The Core of the "Grace Message" (Gospel) Part 2

James Preston Reply 8:05 AM

I am excited to say that I got round to finishing my article on the Power of the New Creation!  You can download the whole article as a PDF "booklet" by clicking the link below.  If this is fresh revelation to you as a church or group, then I encourage you to print the article out and distribute it among each other.

Right-click / Apple-click to down booklet.

For now, as a simple blog, I have only pasted in part 2 of the article, as it has turned out to be much longer than I expected!  There is just so much material to cover.  I will post part 3 as a blog within the next few days.  It spreads out your reading.  Enjoy!
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New Life Birthed From Above

Ok, so hopefully I have laid a good foundation for understanding the power of the “New Creation”.  Let’s go back and have another look at some of the verses I quoted earlier:  

Ezekiel 36:26  (NIV)
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.

John 3:3 & 6  (NIV)
In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again... (6) Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.”

One translation of Jesus’ words in John 3:5 uses “born from above” instead of “born again”.  I love that, because it shows the work of salvation. 
When a man receives the Good News of what Jesus has accomplished for them, God births in them new life from above.

What these verses are all pointing to is that when a person hears the Good News (Gospel) of what Jesus accomplished for them on their behalf, and how much God Loves them, and they receive that salvation work as their own; God births in them a new spirit.

And according to Ezekiel’s promise, the old heart of sin and corruption is even removed!  And it is replaced with a warm, sensitive, spiritual heart born of God!

Completely New!

Paul then goes on to say in 2 Corinthians 5:17; “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”

When a person receives the salvation work of Jesus as their own, they are in Christ.  And the old person of who they were is gone!  Done away with!  And they are an entirely different person altogether!

Now, what is very interesting is to note the original Greek language Paul used when writing this.  The Greek word he uses for “new” is the word “kainos”.  Now, this is very, very interesting because usually the word “new” is used in Greek as “Neos”.  When we understand the difference between the two, it further blows our mind to what really happens to mankind when they are transformed by God’s Love!

Let’s just have a look very quickly at the official Greek translation of the word in Strong’s Greek Lexicon:

“KAINOS”
1. as respects form:
recently made, fresh, recent, unused, unworn
2. as respects substance:
of a new kind, unprecedented, novel, uncommon, unheard of

“NEOS”
1. recently born, young, youthful
2. New

Notice the difference?!  See why it is so important to understand what Paul was saying in this verse?  When a man is in Christ, they are not just “renewed” and “young”, no.  They are “of a new kind!  Unprecedented”!!

I love the example a Biblical scholar once shared with me...  Let’s take a car as an example.  If you have a 1998 Mercedes Benz C-Class 1,6 car and you receive a “neos” car, you would receive a 2011 Mercedes Benz C-Class 1,6, brand new.  No kilometres done on the clock, interior, exterior, all shining in its newness.  But it is simply an upgraded version of the original car you had.

But if you a received a “kainos” car, it would be like nothing you have ever seen before!  It would be completely different to any car ever made!  It would have the ability to fly like a rocket-ship, it wouldn’t use tyres but another form of technology, it would be completely and entirely different to what we usually understand to be a car!  This is what it means to be “kainos” new!

You see, this is what happens to the Christian when they are brought into Christ.

Change of Bloodline, Change of Species!

Their bloodline changes.  Their very species they originate from changes!  They become entirely new!!  So completely novel and different they become unlike anything else the world has ever seen!

It is interesting that Paul says earlier in 2 Corinthians 4:18 and 5:7 that “what is unseen is more real than what is seen” and that “we live by faith not by sight”.  So while the Christian may not see or sometimes not even necessarily  “feel” anything when they “come to Christ”, it is not a physical work, it is an entirely spiritual work!  But because the spiritual realm of God is more real than the physical realm, that new spiritual birth can and does effect our physical lives!
You see, it is like this; when a person comes to be in Christ, they change their very DNA.  They become a new species!  Now, this gives light to what Jesus said to the Gentile Syrophoenician woman in Mark 7:27 when he actually referred to her as a dog!

Now, Ephesians 2:11 - 19 tell us that the Gentiles who were once far from God and separated from Him, foreigners, now have access to Him through the Cross.  There is now no longer Jew nor Gentile.  There is no separation.  All are brought near!

What that means is something like this...  When mankind fell from their position of “utopia” in the Garden of Eden, something in them died, and death entered the whole world through that “fall” (Romans 5:17).  It is as if though mankind became another species, different to God, lower than God.

Using Jesus’ words to the Syrophoenician woman, it is as if though since the “fall”, mankind was like a dog.  And the best mankind could do was to be a very good servant to God, his master.

But God loved mankind too much.  He didn’t want dogs.  He didn’t want to express His Love to slaves.  God Loved His “dog” so much that He wanted to marry her!

But the problem was that He was a different species to His “dog”.  It was as if though He were a “man” and His beloved was a “dog”.  It just wasn’t right to marry.

So He set up the perfect plan of redemption.  By crucifying the “dog” species in His own body, He rose again as the “new man”, He legally put in motion the redemption of His beloved to become the same species as Him!  And now He is legally allowed to marry His beloved!  Because they are no longer dogs, they are like Him!  They have been redeemed from what they were!

They are a completely different species!

This is the power of the new creation!  In Him we are made completely and entirely new, and become like Him!  We are the God-kind!


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Part 2 will be available on the Blog on Monday.  If you want the entire article, download it as a PDF at the top of this post!

The Core of the "Grace Message" (Gospel) Part 1 - The New Creation

James Preston 1 8:07 AM

As a Christian, I hope you know that you are living under the New Covenant!  The New Covenant started at the Cross, and anything before that is not what you are under.  Especially the Law of Moses/Mosaic Law/Ten Commandments.  You are under the best Covenant mankind ever has and ever will be under!!  It is entirely and completely different to anything that had happened since Adam & Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden.  And far, far better, too!!

It is so unfortunate, but far too many Christians today do not understand the Power of this New Covenant they are under, and are still putting so much emphasis on man’s effort and not glorying in the Power of what God has done on their behalf (this is why Jesus said to Peter “If you want to have any part in me you must let me wash your feet!”)*

The "New Creation" Not Understood by Christians

Now, there are a number of things that make this New Covenant so glorious.  But one of the most important aspects, that again has been downplayed by Christians for so long, and one of my personal favourites, is what a number of people would term “the New Nature” or “New Creation”.  When believers understand this, their fears of Pure Grace preaching would be allayed.  (Pure Grace AKA the Gospel).

Yesterday evening I was having a conversation with a very well-meaning gentleman in our church who was so concerned about the youth of today and how they should all be taught the Ten Commandments.  As we ventured further into the conversation I realised that he had absolutely no idea about the concept of the New Nature.

This man simply wanted young people to follow a set of moral rules and thereby change their ways in their own strength.  If only believers would realise how futile this is!  We are trying to change society in our own power.  When will we realise this will never work?!  If you want to get political, this is why communism will never work!  While it is a fantastic concept, it will never work because without the Love of God within a man’s heart, corruption is but a choice away.  

But with the Love of God bursting within a man’s heart, we are edging ever closer to Heaven on Earth!

Let’s have a look at two of the most significant verses highlighting this “New Nature” and then allow me to explain why it is so important for us as Christians to understand.

2 Corinthians 5:17  (ESV)
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

Ezekiel 36:26  (ESV)
And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

There are a number of other Scriptures that confirm this most powerful truth.  A truth that not enough of the Body of Christ understand!  John 3, especially verse 6.  Jeremiah 31:31-34 is a powerful prophecy of what God will do in the New Covenant, while Hebrews 8:10-13 and Hebrews 10:14-22 both confirm that this is indeed what has now happened under the New Covenant thanks to what Jesus accomplished on the Cross.  If you don’t know too much on this subject, I would encourage you to read those passages.  (But take note that when God says “I will move them to keep my laws” He is not referring to the Ten Commandments but to the Royal Law of Love, the Nature of God.  God is Love, and His Nature is imputed into us.)

So, while there are a so many other passages of Scripture confirming this subject, these two are enough for me to make my point here.

The New Creation Changes Man's Capabilities

You see, I believe man is incapable of loving unconditionally without God.  God is Love (1 John 4:16), and the Greek word used for love in that verse is “agape”.  Agape means an unconditional, undying love.  This means nothing the recipient does can reduce the amount of love the giver has, and the giver’s love will never cease for the recipient.  I believe mankind is incapable of this kind of unconditional love without God.

Most Christians would agree that mankind is unfortunately corrupt.  How that came to be or actually works out is another topic altogether.  But I am just going to agree with a certain level of serious corruption at the heart of mankind.  And again, most Christians (in fact, most people) would agree on this corruption.

The problem enters when we think that this corruption can be solved by ourselves.  That is religion at its core; that the corruption of mankind can be controlled and even overturned by holding to certain rules.  The more rules you are able to discipline yourself into keeping, the less corrupt you become, and the more moral you become.  Even holiness could possibly be attained by such discipline.  That, friends, is the core of religion.

And what a pity Christian philosophy has descended down the same path.  

Jesus Came To End "Religion"

The whole point of Christianity is that it was never meant to be another religion.  Jesus came to cure the disease of man’s corruption, put him right and set him on a new path.  He came to end religion.

He did that by taking on our sinful nature, then died as sinful man, and rose again as the New Man, who we too become in Him.  Jesus didn’t just die for us, He died as us!

The old nature of sin that had no ability to love unconditionally was crucified in the body of Jesus, and in Him a New Nature is born.  You see, at the core of mankind’s strong inclination to sin is the inability to love unconditionally, because at the root of all sinful acts is a selfish nature that is only looking after one’s own interests.  From lying to murder.  One is an act of protecting one’s reputation, the other is an act of revenge, or selfishness to gain something from that person.  But at the root of both is selfish love.  The love for oneself is stronger than the love for others.  The core of man’s corruption.

But in Christ, the spirit, or the heart, is flooded with the unconditional Love of God.  That heart, or spirit, (or whatever you want to call it) now has a supernatural ability to Love unconditionally.  The Love of God consumes the selfish love within a man’s heart, and there is now a new Force driving that man.  This is the power of the New Creation.  This is the power of the Gospel.

We all can quote Paul’s famous line that he was not ashamed of the Gospel in Romans 1:16, but why was he not ashamed?  Because the Gospel is the Power of God.  Paul knew no other formula could address mankind’s condition.  Not even the holiest formula of them all; the Law of Moses.  Nothing could cure man’s condition but the Gospel.

And it is this point that I am making here that makes the Gospel so powerful.  That when the Gospel is revealed to a man’s heart, a supernatural event takes place, and that man’s heart is changed internally forever.  That is the most powerful thing that could ever happen to this planet.  That man’s heart can be changed.

And this is what so many Christians fail to understand.  They don’t realise at the root of the Gospel Message is true heart change.  God is not after moral replicas, He is after hearts changed by His Love.

Instead of trying to make people follow external rules, we should be simply preaching and demonstrating the Gospel and allow God to work within people’s hearts.

This is why Paul said what he said in 1 Corinthians 15:10; “I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.”

The Core of the "Grace Message"

This is the core of Grace!  This is what makes the “Grace Message” so powerful!  That when people get a true revelation of this Message, His Grace works within them!  Not man’s own efforts to be good Christians, but God’s Power at work within man to be His hands and feet here on Earth!  Grace is the most powerful message we can preach!

If you hadn’t yet considered all this, I do hope this has helped you see why we shouldn’t fear the “Grace message”.  And why we should trust in the Power of the Gospel.  I haven’t really delved fully into the power of the “New Creation” just yet, but I will in a soon-to-be-published blogpost.  This post here lays a good foundation for what I will say in that future post.  For now, I feel like I have said enough for what one person can read on a blog.  :-)  Part 2 will come soon.

My sincere hope is that this article has blessed you deeply, and by God’s supernatural revelation it has showed you how powerful the Gospel is.  I always appreciate comments, so please feel free to give us your opinion.

In Love,

James Preston

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