56 + Green = Milk
by Pastor John Morgan
September 1, 2019
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. - Ephesians 2:4–9 (NKJV)
When we look at Ephesians 2:4-9, we might be tempted to think: “If I’m saved by grace through faith, not of works, then why would I need to do any works?” But the truth is that we are actually saved by works--just not our works.
Our God is rich in mercy. You may feel rich in sin, shame, regret, but no matter how much negativity you’ve got, our God has more mercy. He’s got more mercy than you have sin. He’s got more mercy than you have failure. He’s got more mercy than you have shame. He’s got more mercy than you have mistakes.
God loved us and reached out to us when we were dead in our sins, disconnected and uninterested. God’s mercy was reaching out to us when people were inviting us to church and we were telling people no.
When we were far away from God, he brought us in close. He raised us up together with Christ. The same power that raised Jesus from the dead is the power that raises us up out of our sinful life. Jesus came to give us life, not take the life out of us.
The Bible says that we are raised up and made to sit together in heavenly places with Christ Jesus. He raises us up, and then he sits us down. He’s done everything for us, while all we do is reach back. Even our salvation begins in a position of rest.
We are not striving; we are seated in heavenly places with Christ. We do not have to try to gain spiritual authority. We already have it. When we were saved, God gave us all things pertaining to life and godliness. All we have to do is learn how to walk in the grace, power, authority that he’s already given us.
The Bible tells us that the reason God has given us all these things is because he wants us to know of his great love for us. We are meant to be a trophy of God’s grace to the world around us.
When there is something that you cannot earn, win, or deserve, but you get it anyway, that’s what grace is. Grace is the unmerited, undeserved favor of God. Grace is God’s riches at Christ’s expense. God removes us from the salvation equation so that we do not get arrogant or boastful.
God wants to start you in authority and allow you to finish with good works. We are saved by works for works. We are seated in heavenly places, but we are destined to walk. God’s plan is that first we are seated, then we stand, and then we walk; the enemy wants to flip it. The enemy wants to start you walking in negativity and end you sitting out in bitterness.
We are created for good works, the work of the ministry. When you say “yes” to helping God build the Kingdom, he rewards you in heaven.
For Christians, the question is: what did you do with your christian life? According to 1 Corinthians 3:12-15, fire goes on your life and reveals what you spent your time doing. All the things that you spent your time on that were temporal become wood fire and ash; and all the things you did that were eternal are tested by the fire of God and become gold and jewels, your reward in heaven.
What becomes wood, hay and straw? Your house, your career--these things are not evil, but they are temporal. In heaven, all temporal things turn to ash. Only Kingdom works are eternal. Whenever you give to the church, serve on a team, volunteer your time, invest in the nations, or help the poor, those works become gold, silver and precious stones in heaven.
We obtain salvation for free because of God’s grace. But, it didn’t arrive to us for free. It costs to get the gospel to people for free. Works saved everyone today who is saved; they just weren’t their works. We get salvation by grace, but we receive it on a platform that somebody else built by their works to give us that salvation opportunity. They get rewarded for what they did, and we get rewarded with salvation. Once you get saved, God asks, “What are you going to do to provide that salvation opportunity to someone else?”
Do you remember a time when God’s mercy was being extended to you, but you were disconnected and uninterested?
What works did others do that helped create your salvation opportunity (volunteering their time, giving their finances, or committing their life to full-time ministry)?
How do you spend the majority of your time and effort--on temporal things or eternal?
How can you get involved to provide a platform to help somebody else receive a salvation opportunity?