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The Persecuted Church




Remembering when the grace of God came 

For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, This is what Paul wrote to Titus in chapter 2:11, it is for all.

This presents Godís free gift to the world. That God out of love sent his only son to earth to live among us as a man and by dying for our sins first, then rising from the dead He would leave the earth.

Godís era of grace begins with a child given for us. Grace is Godís favor to us as individuals. It shows His care about our life.

The story of Christ birth is recorded in Luke 2:8-19  where shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.   An angel of the Lord appeared with the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid.   The angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger." And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:

"Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!" 

When the angels left them going into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, "Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us." They found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds.Ē

The angels knew, once they saw the newborn they would go tell all the people they could that Christ was born. This was Godís grace being delivered to the people. 

Jesusí life as a child we read in Luke 2:40 And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him. ďThough Jesus was God, he in humility submitted his life and he learned and grew in knowledge in his humanity (Phili. 2:2-8).

But  as  a man he also expressed  who came from heaven. John 1:14  And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.V.16-18 And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace . For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

By grace he made the means for us to be accepted by him, by our exercising faith we are accepted by Him. When we say we receive salvation through faith alone, it is referring to be the only means made to mankind through the grace of God.  

Grace means God is the initiator and by faith we respond.

As for the salvation we receive as a free gift of God's grace through faith in Christ, our Lord said: "I give unto them [my sheep] eternal life, and they shall never perish" (John 10:28). This is a double promise: that He will care for believers as a shepherd for his sheep, and that this secure relationship is eternal. We don't become His sheep in eternity but here and now, the moment we put our faith in Christ. And the moment we become His sheep, we receive eternal life as a free gift of God's grace: "The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 6:23). We are given this assurance repeatedly in Scripture.

The gospel is to give us peace in our hearts, it brings the kingdom into us by the Holy Spirit being resident, who then transforms us to be prepared for the kingdom that is to come that will last for eternity. Godís spirit is called Spirit of grace in Heb.10:29.

In Jesusí ministry he spoke of the rich having difficulty entering heaven because they trust in their riches and not God. Matt 19:26 but Jesus looked at them and said to them, "With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."  

That means is by grace. And this grace was made known from the beginning of the church.

Acts 11:20-23 they had come to Antioch, spoke to the Hellenists, preaching the Lord Jesus. And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number believed and turned to the Lord.  Then news of these things came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent out Barnabas to go as far as Antioch.  When he came and had seen the grace of God, he was glad, and encouraged them all that with purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord.

 Acts 13:43 Paul and Barnabas, who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God (Acts 14:26 in Antioch)

Acts 15:40-41 Paul chose Silas and departed, being commended by the brethren to the grace of God. And he went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.

We need the grace of God in order to be able to maintain an attitude of contentment and be at peace with God and others. We are to choose to be satisfied and not look to our circumstances, or wants.

F. B. Meyer stated that "very often God allows our helplessness and failure to become extraordinarily acute in order that His grace may have a larger opportunity." (The Call and Challenge of the Unseen (London: Morgan and Scott, 1928), p. 152).

Paul spoke of his ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. (Acts 20:24-25) This was seen among many hardships. Hr faced in his travels.

Yet Paul attributed to it his growth and ability But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. (1 Cor. 15:10-11)

1 Cor. 3:10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it.

2 Cor. 6:1-2 We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain.  For He says:

"In an acceptable time I have heard you, And in the day of salvation I have helped you." Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.

Paulís priority was the message that would save and he never forgot that it was by Gods grace

Rom. 5:15 For if by the one man's offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many.

Paul understood what it was to be under the law and made it clear his departure from it dispensation of the grace of God which was given to me for you. (Eph. 3:2)

 Which means from the time of Jesusí crucifixion until the church era ends we are in the new covenant which operates by grace.

Gal 2:21-3:1 I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain."

Whenever there is a rejection or a diminishing of the grace of God through faith it will be replaced by rules and regulations.  False religion, even under the Christian umbrella can make one work for what is freely given in Christ and received by faith. (another gospel: Gal.1:6-9)

Paul presents the father of faith as an example of Godís grace. Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.í Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt. But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness.

Rules regulations, the doís and do notís of religion keep one from living in the grace of God. And without grace no one can live the Christian life.

1 Peter 5:12 I have written to you briefly, exhorting and testifying that this is the true grace of God in which you stand.

Peter tells us we stand by grace, as does Paul,

Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you--unless you believed in vain. (1 Cor. 15:1-2)

Hear the gospel

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ JesusĒ (Rom. 3:20-24).

Heb. 2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God , might taste death for everyone.

 Yes everyone, For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men  (Titus 2:11)

His grace has made it possible for all to be saved (forgiven and have a new life with God)  but to have it applied it must be received, and to have it received one must place their faith in the work Jesus did for them. This is the reason he was born, and this is why we remember his birth.

When you receive his grace and respond in faith it means you are then born, born twice and will die only once. Once naturally and by faith  supernaturally.

God has done all He can to provide for us salvation, now it is up you to respond.



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