Tuesday, December 26

Grace is living water!

John 7:38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, 'Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.'
Near Glenwood Springs, Colorado torrents of water flow out of the side of a mountain as the above photo shows. This is an illustration of John 7:38 where Jesus says that rivers of living water will flow out of the hearts of the redeemed. He is referring to the fruit that flows from grace and he does not say ‘some’ or ‘most’ will show this fruit. The ‘whoever believes in me’ means all that believe will show this fruit that flows from grace like living water.

Grace, how sweet the sound! Grace is more than a mere offer of spiritual salvation that man chooses apart from God, and it is more than a one-time acceptance of this offer by “simple” faith. Grace secures salvation for lost sinners who have no hope apart from this grace. Grace is powerful and changes people through the work of the Holy Spirit by replacing their heart of stone and giving them a new heart of flesh. This grace does not wait on a human decision because that would never come from humans that are all born spiritually dead. This is why Jesus said that you must be born again. You must be born spiritually to even see the kingdom of God. This grace regenerates and quickens a sinner by giving them spiritual birth, which enables a willing response. The sinners so enabled gladly and thankfully respond in faith and repentance to saving grace. With a new attitude and new desires, redeemed sinners have new goals and desire different activities than before their re-birth. Such things as prayer, Bible study, worship, fellowship, and love toward others are all part of the new Christian’s life and they all flow from grace. Jesus called this grace living water and it enables and motivates believers to produce good works that God planned that they should do. Grace alone, through faith alone in Christ alone is what saves sinners and everything including the faith to believe comes from God. While some deny this power of grace and claim that a simple passive claim of faith without any repentance, change of heart or behavior is a saving faith, the Bible over and over again describes a grace that is life changing and like living water. This is not an addition of works or deeds to justification by faith alone. It is simply an affirmation that the grace of God saves people from their sins and does not leave them unchanged to wallow in their sins. Grace will fill them to overflowing with living water. The following list is a some of the characteristics of grace with supporting Scripture passages.

Grace is applied by God and is not a decision made by man apart from God.
Romans 9:15-16 For he says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion." So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.
Also…. John 1:13, Eph. 2:5

Grace secures spiritual salvation for men by changing them from the inside.
Ezekiel 36:26 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 Jesus answered him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God."

Grace results in a new person.
2 Cor 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

Grace is powerful.
Ephesians 3:20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,
Also…. Matthew 3:11, Hebrews 1:3, 2 Peter 1:3, 1 Thess. 1:5

Grace sanctifies through the Holy Spirit.
1 Peter 1:2 who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance.
Also…. John 17:17, 2 Thess. 2:13

Grace gives the gift of faith.

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,
Also….. 2 Peter 1:1, Eph. 2:5

Grace gives the gift of repentance.
2 Timothy 2:25 Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth,
Also Acts 5:31, Acts 11:18,

Grace is 100% effective.
John 6:37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.
Also..... John 6:39

Grace is applied by God.
John 6:65 And he said, "This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.”
Also…. , Eph. 1:3-6, Romans 8:29-30, Romans 9:6-13

Grace makes spiritually dead people alive.
Eph. 2:4-5 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.
Also…… John 3:3

Grace chooses and calls out of darkness.
1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
Also…. Eph. 1:4, 2 Thess. 2:13, 1 Thess. 4:7, Acts 2:39,

Grace gives eternal security by not losing any of those redeemed.
John 6:39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day.
Also… Romans 8:29-30, Romans 8:38-39

Grace enables good works.
Eph. 2:10 For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Also..... Galatians 5:21-24, Romans 8:1-17

33 comments:

Steve said...

Excellent, as always.

jazzycat said...

Steve,
Thank you. I really enjoy the beautiful photos on your site as well as the messages.

W.H.

Anonymous said...

It is the sinful bent of man to want take credit for faith, to affirm his intiative in saving faith with God being reactive to their choosing of Him. Good exposition, Jazzy, strong scriptural support and all...keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

Addendum: I am surprised you are being afforded the chance to make blog entries, W.H.( we all know who the theological brains of this outfit is, don't we, jazzy?)

jazzycat said...

Scribe,
thanks for the visit. Yes, Jazzy is indeed wise and all-knowing...

For the first six or eight months of this blog, she spoke on a daily basis about the world from a feline perspective with much wisdom and discernment about the folly of secular culture.

She is now on an extended vacation for R and R.

Anonymous said...

Cool beans, W.H.- Jazzy is definately in need of some overdue R & R...mind if I throw you on my blog roll, W?

btw, do you know whatever happened to Exist/Dissolve?

Gojira said...

Now that was an excellent post, Jazzy!

jazzycat said...

Scribe,
Thanks that would be great. One of these days I am going to expand my links. I do not know whatever happened to Exist/dissolve.

Gojira,
Thanks. Hope things going well in N.C. Do you know anything about fall colors in Boone, N.C?

Gojira said...

Hi Jazzy,

Yep, things are going well here in N.C.

I do know I like to take a ride and take it all in at that time of the year. But yeah, Boone is the place to be to take it all in. If you are ever over that way, stop by the Daniel Boone Inn for lunch or supper. You'll be treated to a full feast.

Anonymous said...

Nix the A.P.B. on Exist, I found him...no, it wasn't on the back of a milk carton, Jazzy...

Anonymous said...

Saweeet!

Anonymous said...

I just realized how close Craver vii is too in terms of residence; Must not allow him to divulge my subterrainian, hero hideout in Naperville...

bluecollar said...

Accurate. Excellent. Well written and thought out. Theologically sound.

Great post, W.H.

Welcome aboard blucollar blog!

Anonymous said...

If scribe doesn't crack the acronym and divulge my real name, I will not say who he is.

We haven't been formally introduced, even though I saw him at the local Meijer, Starbucks, and Naperville's "Last Fling."

You might think that the avatar is computer-generated, but it's an actual photo. That, of course, is how I recognized him in a crowd of real-looking people.

Sorry. That's way off the topic of grace; I'll go back and re-read the original post, okay?

Anonymous said...

Not acronym. Anagram. I meant anagram.

Anonymous said...

Drat!!I knew I'd be found out at Meijer's, but it was laundry day and the Tide was on sale...

Craver vii , you secret is safe with me...

And now I am off to fight heretical crime in the greater Naperville area...

jazzycat said...

Mark,
Thanks, and I am looking forward to being on the Bluecollar team.

Scribe and Craver II,
Do you know each other?

Anonymous said...

Jazzy,

Craver and I do not formally know one another...we are one town over from each other thus the humor..

-Scribe

jazzycat said...

I get it now.

Anonymous said...

Jazzy,

Do you realize that your treatise on grace and it's relation to man will get you in hot water with the arminian crowd? You mean to tell me that God is the one that takes the intiative to seek out sinful men? You mean mean to tell me that there is none that seeketh after God, no not one?

-Scribe

jazzycat said...

Scribe,
Yes, I realize that. My primary reason for this post was to highlight sanctifing grace, but I presented grace all the way through from beginning to end. That book you are reading on predestination really explains things very well don't you think?

Anonymous said...

Most assuredly...it is an excellent primer on the doctrines of grace.By way of logic I do not understand how a freewill proponent can hold to eternal security...If a man can will himself into salvation can he not also will himself out of it, by reason of volition?

-Scribe

Cindy Mercer said...

Hello, Jazzycat,

Seeing in your profile that you love photography as well, I took a look at some of your work (at least the ones that accompany your posts). They are beautiful. The Quarter Gallery in Jackson highlights a different photographer each month, hanging the work in their new gallery. I'm sure they would appreciate your work. I'd be happy to arrange it.
Mississippi seems to be recognizing photography more and more as an Art form, and places are popping up all over showcasing brilliant photography. I am quite an amateur, but never leave home without my camera!

Warmly,

Cindy

jazzycat said...

Scribe,
That is a logical outcome of their thinking. Free will to believe and free will to not believe.

jazzycat said...

Cindy,
Thanks for the visit and comment on my photos. I will get by and take a look at the Quarter gallery and see if I would be interested. Thanks again and rest assured your photography is an asset to the First Pres. Blog.

Gojira said...

"Most assuredly...it is an excellent primer on the doctrines of grace.By way of logic I do not understand how a freewill proponent can hold to eternal security...If a man can will himself into salvation can he not also will himself out of it, by reason of volition?"

Indeed. And good point. It doesn't make sense at all. It certainly doesn't have God being a savior but something more along the lines of a salseman offering a deal; you know, half off if you have enough to pay for your end. Sad.

jdlongmire said...

Jazzy,

This is JD - would you be interested in team blogging on a new blog I created?

www.christianskepticism.org

I would also be interested in folks you may recommend.

Grace and Peace,

-JD

jazzycat said...

J.D.
Thanks for stopping by. I just recently agreed to be a contributor on the Bluecollar Blog so my plate is kinda of full. I will try to learn a little more about your new blog. Maybe Tim would be interested. I will mention it to him.
Wayne

bluecollar said...

Wayne,

I am having problems with email again. Yes, post your "Effectual Calling" post whenever you wish. Please feel free. After your post I will Follow with some of Wayne Grudem's thoughts on conformity to Christ.

Mark

Anonymous said...

(clearing throat) Um, well, I didn't... I ah, (clearing throat again). Okay, here goes:
I just wanted to be the 30th comment.

Actually, I tried to post a decent comment last week. I was happy with the funny stuff I wrote for Scribe, but it timed-out or something, and I lost it.

I hope Scribe finds a good church that he can call home. If he ever makes it over to the East side of Bolingbrook, and promises to play nice, I'll buy him a free cup of coffee in the church lobby.

Scribe said...

"Actually, I tried to post a decent comment last week. I was happy with the funny stuff I wrote for Scribe, but it timed-out or something, and I lost it."

Maybe it wasn't meant to be...

"I hope Scribe finds a good church that he can call home. If he ever makes it over to the East side of Bolingbrook, and promises to play nice, I'll buy him a free cup of coffee in the church lobby."


Anonymous people wanna "buy" me free coffee in the church lobby...should I worry or ahould I capitulate? hmm...

Scribe said...

**should

bluecollar said...

W.H. - Please post on Tuesday the 9th. That way Gayla's post can sink in for all the enemies of the Doctrins of Grace.

Mark