Part 5 Working with God
33 • The Means of Grace/ Ways grace comes to man
When a person becomes united with God, when he/she gets saved, it is only because of God’s grace—His gift of true faith in Jesus Christ and in His perfect sacrifice on the cross, nothing else (Acts 16:31; Titus 3:4-7). We must receive Christ for Who He is or not receive Him at all (John 1:12, 13; 2 Corinthians 11:4). God saves people by using other people. Just as you use a hammer to hit a nail into a wall; or you would use an axe to chop wood, so in the same way God uses people to get His job of building His kingdom done. God uses ‘hammers’ and ‘axes’ to do His work of saving people. He uses His children’s words and prayers (Ephesians 6:15-19; 2 Corinthians 2:14-16) and the Bible to expose people to the saving message of Jesus Christ.
Today, people can get exposed to the life-saving gospel of Jesus through many different means e.g. the Television, the radio, the Internet, YouTube, Facebook, social media, audio sermons and Bible sermons on the Internet and many more. Mass Media has made the Word of God run very swiftly. The hammers and the axes (Saints) God uses don’t have any power in themselves. On the contrary, they are likened to pots lof clay that break easily (2 Corinthians 4:7), so that the transforming power evidently comes from God and not from man. The moment a person uses these (an axe or a hammer) for a specific purpose, they have a worthy function. The One Who does the hitting gets all the glory; but the instruments God uses are nothing and they do not get any glory (2 Corinthians 3:5).
In 2 Timothy 2:20, 21 it is written that in any great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay. Some are used for honour and some are used for dishonour. If God cleanses a person from dishonour, he/she will be a vessel of honour, sanctified and useful for God’s purposes and prepared for every good work. The good news of Jesus Christ (the gospel) is also like precious seed (1 Peter 1:23). Without seed there would be no life possible in the natural world because the seed contains the information (DNA) that will influence and determine life. If there were no seeds, there would be no life on earth. It doesn’t matter if it is seed for procreation in fish, mammals, human beings or in plant life, these are all necessary. In the same way, with no gospel (spiritual seed: Romans 1:16, 17; Romans 10:13-15, 17; Acts 10:34-46) no one would be saved and united to God.
It is the privilege of God’s children, God’s church, to sow the seed of the good news of Jesus Christ (Matthew 13:1-9;18-23) and to pray that the seed receives spiritual water to grow (Ephesians 6:18, 19; 1 Timothy 2:1-4). It is a great responsibility and a great privilege for God’s children to sow the seed and to water the seed of God’s Word (1 Corinthians 3:5-7). Romans 1:16 says: ‘The gospel is the power of God unto salvation for everyone who believes.’ God’s seed has power and God uses His children to sow this seed—everyone needs it—so that people can be born of God for His eternal glory. God says in Isaiah 55:11: ‘The word that comes out of My mouth will not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.’ 1 Peter 1:23,25 reads: ‘You have been born again not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever…. now this is the word which by the gospel was preached unto you.’
Question to consider: How can God use me to sow His precious seed so that people can hear the gospel of Jesus Christ—thereby taking root to grow, flourish and so bear fruit to the glory of God?
Read: Acts 16:31; Titus 4:7; John 1:12,13; 2 Corinthians 11:4; Ephesians 6:15-19; 2 Corinthians 2:14-16; 2 Corinthians 4:7; 2 Corinthians 3:5; 2 Timothy 2:20, 21; 1 Peter 1:23; Romans 1:16, 17; Romans 10:13-15, 17; Acts 10:34-46; Matthew 13:1-9; 18-23; 1 Timothy 2:1-4; 1 Corinthians 3:5-7; Isaiah 55:11; 1 Peter 1:23, 25.