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This Grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Saviour, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel.[1]

If the Gospel is not preached, then how can the Grace, the life and the immortality be revealed? As such, we must continue to pray that those fellowships who have replaced the Gospel of Salvation by Grace with the false gospel of salvation by good works, will be convicted and be restored to preaching of the glorious Gospel of Jesus and of God so that once more saving grace is manifested in the churches of Jesus Christ before He arrives. Amen.

How did the saving grace of our Lord disappear from so many churches so that we hear nothing of sinners coming to repentance and faith through them? The apostle Jude wrote for us: For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly stepped in among you. They are godless men, who change the Grace of our God into a licence for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.[2] Jude did not write: for men outside of the church have opposed us; no, he wrote: they have secretly stepped in like a snake and have used the Name of our Lord and His church to further their own ambitions without heeding to the voice of the Holy Spirit, nor do they listen to Jesus. Even if they do, they do not listen to Jesus Christ as their only Sovereign and Lord. In their divided loyalty, they will drop the commands of Jesus that do not agree with those they admire, or they just drop them entirely. When James the Younger recommended that we Gentiles should uphold the Mosaic Law in part rather than listen to Jesus, at that moment whether he knew it or not, he gave grounds for these men to step into the church, for through James, the words of Jesus were no longer supreme but were reduced to a place where they were only equal to the Mosaic Law. The Lord was no longer the Only Sovereign Lord but became like a modern king who relied on parliament’s consent before his commands could and would be enacted. Through James, other men, whom Paul referred to as men from James, began to reinstate the observance of the Mosaic Law. Although they claimed to be godly, they were and are in fact godless, for they deny the Father’s final will and testament before witnesses, both of Heaven and of Earth, when He said, “This is My Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased. Listen to Him!”[3]

There is no Grace of God revealed before Jesus Christ came, for as Paul wrote: It has now been revealed through the appearing of our Saviour. For all who sinned in the Old Testament paid for their sins one way or another, but through Jesus Christ, no sinner pays for their sin, for Christ died once for all if they repent and believe when they first hear the Gospel. Sinners who have heard the Gospel and refuse to believe and repent are already condemned to pay for their sins. Thus, men who substitute the words of others for the words of Jesus, while holding up the Name of Jesus and the Person of Jesus through whom the Grace was revealed, have turned the Grace of God into a licence for immorality (NIV) lasciviousness (OKJV, NASB) lawless and wantonness (AMP), in short, a licence to sin.

To understand the working of God’s Grace for those who have believed and still sin, you must understand what sin is in the life of an unbeliever, and what it is in the life of a believer and of a disciple. For an unbeliever, sin is the master; for the believer, sin is to be avoided; but for the disciple, sin is to be mastered. As such, those who do not listen to Jesus but use His Name as their source of authority, power and salvation, have turned that Grace into a licence to sin. However, for those who listen to Jesus and are constantly practising the words of Jesus, then the Grace of God becomes the licence to master sin.

I am teaching you to make a clear distinction between a believer and a disciple from here on because, by Grace the believer is saved by his faith, but he does not yet know God, for the knowledge of God is found only in the practice of the words of Jesus. Only through the words of Jesus that we listen to and practise, and only through the commands of Jesus that we hold onto can the Holy Spirit reveal Jesus to us for us to know. A disciple is one who has come to know something of the Lord, for it was to disciples that He said, “Don’t you know Me, Philip, even after I have been with you such a long time.”[4] But to the woman at the well, He said, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked Him…”[5]

As such, the Gospel must be preached to unbelievers to reveal God’s Grace in Jesus Christ so that they may believe and be saved. However, not all believers are prepared to listen to Jesus; they are saved by the Grace of God through faith in the Name of the Lord, but they may not be suitable for discipleship. Indeed, like the believers of John 8:31, they may well turn against Jesus. You see, not every believer accepts Jesus’ teachings. They will believe in His Name to secure their salvation, especially those who are born into the faith by the will of man, but so fiercely loyal are they to their forefather’s doctrines and traditions that they will not and cannot accept Jesus’ teachings. They will even argue with Jesus if He were present now as He was with the believers of John 8:31. If you read from John 8:31-59, you find that Jesus was addressing the Jews who had believed Him, saying, “If you hold to My teaching, you are really My disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” But they replied, “We are Abraham’s descendants…”[6] And shortly after, they picked up stones to stone Him.[7]

Only those who will listen and obey are disciples, and even then, remember not every disciple can bear the hard teachings of Christ and will desert Him.[8] It is only when you learn to see clearly the difference between a believer and a disciple that you understand that there is also a difference in how each one is to deal with sin. Believers should avoid sin, that is, to not steal, not kill and so on, but for disciples whose work is to listen to Jesus, the definition of sin as it applies to the general population is vastly different. Sin is disobedience of God’s command to listen to Jesus. Thus, any who claim to be disciples of Christ and step into our midst, yet cause disciples to listen to anyone else other than Jesus, have sinned and have brought sin into the fellowship. Their message, which flows from the spirit of James the Younger’s judgement of Acts 15, is, “You will do well to avoid these things.”[9] Thus, by diverting the church from the practice of the words of Jesus to the practice of the words of the Mosaic Law as an equal to the words of Jesus, such men have turned the Grace of God into a licence for sin, including immorality. The history of the church is filled with such examples to our shame.

Jude is right in warning you about men who turn the Grace of our God into a licence for sin, but for those of you who have not shied away from the hard teaching of Christ, which is: “For My flesh is real food and My blood is real drink. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood remains in Me and I in him,”[10] should realise that every time you eat the flesh of Jesus and drink His blood as He commanded, even by faith, by that same faith you have sinned against the command of the Father to His people when He said, “You must not eat the blood of any creature, because the life of every creature is its blood; anyone who eat it must be cut off.”[11] Thus, every disciple who listens to Jesus and eats and drinks His blood as He commanded, sins against the Levitical Law of God and is cut off by that Law. As such, the words of Jesus for His disciples are not for the avoidance of sin, but for the mastery of sin. For Jesus Christ, in commanding us to eat His flesh and drink His blood, used the very breaking of the command to set us free completely from the old code into the new code where nothing is forbidden, just that not everything is beneficial. And by beneficial, I mean not beneficial to God.

For Jesus came to save all who had died, all who live, and those who will live, for God’s Grace was pre-existent before the creation of the world. It means that same Grace was available to Cain and his descendants as well as to Seth and his descendants who are the Jews and the Gentiles, for all Jews and all Gentiles come from Seth as Cain’s line was wiped out by the flood, unless Noah’s daughter-in-laws were of Cain’s line, for Abel’s line had been wiped out by Cain. Jesus came to fulfil the Law and obey everything the Father had commanded Him. In order to be the Saviour of Cain’s extinct line, He had to also fulfil the command that the Father gave Cain when the Father said to Cain, “If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.”[12]

Jesus, who is without sin, became sin that we might be the righteousness of God through His mastery of sin, whereby His silence before His accusers broke the Levitical Law without sinning, for it says, “If a person sins because he does not speak up when he hears a public charge to testify regarding something he has seen or learned about, he will be held responsible.”[13] So, by His silence before His accusers, He became responsible for their sins once for all. The mastery of sin is to use sin, which is the disobedience of God’s command, to break the power of sin by subduing and subjugating it. Thus, by listening to Jesus, we break the old code, but we do so in obedience of a far higher, superior code. In so doing, what others, who live under the old code, consider as sin is no longer sin for us but a display of our mastery of sin. As such, the Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ for His disciples is not a licence to sin, no, never, but rather, it is a licence to master sin.

The apostle Paul understood the Grace of God as a licence to master sin so, so well that he would even use the father of sin as an instrument to teach some believers who had blasphemed not to sin, as he wrote to Timothy about Hymenaeus and Alexander, Among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan to be taught not to blaspheme.[14] If those murderous zealots, who tortured and killed those they considered heretics in the shameful history of the church, had really believed and practised the words of Jesus Christ, they would never have used swords or fire, or the rack or whatever foul instrument, but like Paul, would have merely handed them over to Satan. But then, if Paul had lived in their time, they would have killed Paul as a blasphemer as well, no, worse still, as a cohort of Satan, for did not Paul hand people over to Satan?

So, to understand God’s Grace more, know that Grace did not come as an after thought from God because sin came, no, God’s Grace is pre-existent, it was there already before the creation of the world. As such, the purpose of God’s Grace is not just to allow a sinner to be cleansed from his sins by repentance and faith, no, but by that same spirit of repentance and faith, it is God’s will that man should master sin. That is why He said to the first son of Adam who was being tempted by sin, “You must master it,” or as the KJV would have it, “and thou shalt rule over him.” He did not say, “Avoid it,” no, He said, “master it.” How could Cain master his sins of jealousy and murderous intent? He would do it by unleashing his blood lust not on Abel but on the flock by killing more sheep, goats and lambs to make a bigger sacrifice to God than Abel, and be reconciled to Abel by joining with Abel in making those blood sacrifices since that is what pleases God.

That is why Jesus preached in Matthew, “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near,”[15] for believers who would repent, believe and go to Heaven to avoid sinning again. But in Mark, He preached, “The time has come, the Kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the Good News!”[16] for those who would repent and believe to go into the Kingdom of God where sin is mastered as God commanded Cain. When Cain gave into sin, he became a son of the devil for he became a murderer and a liar. When the believers of John 8 were, as Jesus said, “unable to hear what I say,” He said to them, “you belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire.” [17] Any believer who is unable to hear what Jesus is saying—unable—meaning they can’t bear what Jesus is saying or refuse to hear what He is saying—can become a son of the devil, for anyone who fails to master sin has disobeyed God. For God did not say, “Avoid sin,” but commanded the first son of Adam, “You must master it.”

Sin came through Adam, and Cain inherited it. It was his birthright as the first born of Adam by the Law of Inheritance. As such, for Cain, there was no hope of avoiding sin, but only the hope of mastery of sin. We are all sinners even after we are saved, and are like Paul as he wrote “For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the Law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me.”[18] Cain had no choice—sin was already living in him, whereas Adam invited sin in. As such, Adam could have avoided the sin, but not Cain. Cain could only hope to master it.

Thus, to us who have chosen to take up the road of discipleship, God’s Grace permits us to master sin. As it is, we sin when we drink the blood of Jesus Christ, and find ourselves cut off from the Law, which gives power to sin, and so we disarm sin and render it powerless in our lives. That is why listening to Jesus and obeying Him is actually, by definition, a sin according to the Levitical Law, yet in God’s eyes, we have done what is right, for He said, “Listen to Him!”

Thus, the refining grace of discipleship does not produce a life that successfully avoids sin—no, but it produces a life that has mastered sin. A life, which to those who seek to avoid sin, will seem like a life of gluttony that is lived amongst the drunkards and the sexually immoral, the prostitutes. For that is what they called Jesus: “ ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and “sinners”.’ ”[19]

That is why continuous repentance is commanded, for until you master sin, you will fail and sin. So, repent for the Kingdom of God is seeking those who can and have mastered sin by God’s pre-existent Grace. AMEN


 

[1] 2 Timothy 1:9-10

[2] Jude 4

[3] Matthew 17:5

[4] John 14:9

[5] John 4:10

[6] John 8:31-33

[7] John 8:59

[8] John 6:66

[9] Acts 15:29

[10] John 6:55-56

[11] Leviticus 17:14

[12] Genesis 4:7

[13] Leviticus 5:1

[14] 1 Timothy 1:20

[15] Matthew 4:17

[16] Mark 1:15

[17] John 8:43-44

[18] Romans 7:15-17

[19] Luke 7:34

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