Posts Tagged ‘growing in favor’

Yeshua Increased in Favor

“And Yeshua increased in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God and man” (Luke 2:52). 

As a baby growing into a child and then into a  young man, Yeshua would grow in physical stature and the wisdom that comes from maturity.   But why would he need to ‘increase in favor’ or grace?  Yeshua did not need the grace of God for salvation because he is salvation.  Yet, Yeshua increased in grace with God.

Though the Scriptures clearly state that no one is saved nor has ever been saved by obedience to Torah (Galatians 2:16), Kefa (Peter) says there is a spiritual growth process that includes knowledge.  By growing in our knowledge of God and His Word, we protect ourselves from the error of lawless men who preach a lawless  gospel.

“Therefore, dear friends, since you already know this, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Messiah Yeshua. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen” (2 Peter 3:17-18).

If grace is considered a once and done salvation event, ‘saving grace,’ why did Yeshua need to ‘grow in grace?’   As a man walking in this world, he needed the power of his Father’s grace to live out His divine will.  He needed to grow into the fullness of the divine nature which he embodied.   To suffer punishment and death for the sins of the world would need a significant amount of ’empowering grace.’

“And God raised us up with Messiah and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Yeshua, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace …”  (Ephesians 2:6-7).

We are raised up with Yeshua and  seated in the heavenly realm with him.  As I write this little selah, I am sitting in my living room.  While my human body and mind are in this world being templed to sin on a daily baisis, I know my redeemed ‘self’, my soul, is in the heavenly realm. I can either succumb to my sinful nature or be empowered by riches of the Father’s grace and have victory over that nature.

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:3).

Sha’ul (Paul) tells the Roman believers they must no longer conform to this world, but have a renewed mind.   Our minds are not suddenly renewed when we are born again.  Our thinking patterns must be transformed away from this world’s godless values and ethics. When we allow the ’empowering’ grace of God to renew our minds to the pattern of ‘the heavenly realm’ we will understand His good, pleasing and perfect will. We will have the mind of Messiah (1 Corinthians 2:16).

“Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul” (1 Peter 2:11).

As  ‘aliens and strangers in this world,’ we must keep ourselves from enjoining ourselves to sinful desires that war against our soul.  To be an ‘alien and stranger’ means we will not fit into the world’s view of life or death. We will  find our identity and purpose in values other than touted by the world around us.  If our body and spirit were completely and utterly redeemed at the moment of rebirth into the Kingdom, it would not even have selfish desires likes envy, jealousy, anger, hatred.

“Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord.  Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.  I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God” (2 Corinthians 6:17-7:1).

Sha’ul told the Corinthian believers to purify themselves.  If the the ‘saving grace’ of God purified us, then there would be no continuous need to purify ourselves – body and spirit – from things that are unclean.  We would begin our spiritual walk in holiness and have no need to perfect holiness.

In order to be received as sons and daughters of the Most High God, we must perfect holiness!  It is something we must do – something that will bring us to the final goal of being like Yeshua. Perfecting holiness does not suggest a complacent ‘saving grace’ that us to remain irreverent, disrespectful, or contentious to His will.  These are words of action and without the action of perfecting holiness we are not really the sons and daughters of Almighty God.

As part of humanity, Yeshua struggled with the temptation to sin, like we do.   He needed the ’empowering grace’ of God to stand against temptation, like we do.   It was only the ’empowering’ grace of God that he remained steadfast when tempted by the Adversary in the wilderness. He never made excuses for the sinful world in which he lived, saying things like, “Abba, I live in a fallen, sinful world and I just can’t overcome sin.”  Nor did he believe he needed to taste sin in order to have an affect on a sinner’s life.   He knew the commands of his Father, taught the commands of his Father, lived the commands of his Father, and stood against the Adversary and his own temptations through the Torah of his Father.  He needed the ever-increasing favor of God to empower him to overcome.   Because he overcame and stood against the temptation to sin, he was righteous above all others which qualified him to be the substitute sacrifice for my sins, your sins, and the sins of the world.

“My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin” (1 John 2:1).

It is only by using the the instructions of our Father, that honest followers of Messiah learn what is ‘clean’ and ‘unclean’ so that they can purify themselves body (Old Testament) and spirit (New Testament).  It is only through the Truths written in God’s Word that we know His good, pleasing and perfect will: holy days, dietary regulations, how we treat our physical temples, how we treat our neighbor, and our animals.   It is only through meditating on the Truth that the mind can be transformed.  Through the process of this transformation, we experience the fullness of God’s ’empowering grace.’

Yeshua understood that grace was more than just one moment of being ‘saved.’ He guarded himself from the ‘lawless ‘one’ and ‘lawless men’ by obeying the instructions of his Father.  With each step of his life, he increased in ’empowering grace’ and grew in wisdom and stature among men.

©2013 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing.