Posts Tagged ‘purification’

Yeshua Needed More Grace?

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

Yeshua, as he grew into a man, increased in wisdom and stature.  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 Yeshua 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.

“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).

Though the Scriptures clearly state that no one is saved nor has ever been saved by obedience to Torah (Galatians 2:16), Peter makes says there is a 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.

If grace is a once and done salvation event, why did Yeshua need to grow in grace?   He needed to grow into the fullness of the divine nature which he embodied.   As a man walking in this world, he needed the power of his Father’s grace to live out His divine will.  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 and  seated in the heavenly realm with Yeshua.  Yet, as I write this little blog, I am sitting in my living room.  I know my redeemed ‘self’ is in the heavenly realm, but my human body, mind and soul are still here in this world being tempted on a daily basis with sin.  I can either succumb to my sinful nature or be empowered by riches of his grace to 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).

Paul tells the Roman believers they must no longer conform to this world but have a renewed mind.   Our minds are not suddenly new when we are born again.  We need to transform our thinking patterns away from  this world’s values and ethics. When we allow the grace of God to conform us, renew our minds to the pattern of ‘the heavenly realm’ we will understand God’s good, pleasing and perfect will and 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 abstain from sinful desires that war against our soul.  To be an ‘alien and stranger’ means we  find our identity and purpose in something other than the world around us.  If our soul was completely redeemed, it would not have desires likes envy, jealousy, anger, hatred from which we have to abstain.

“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).

The Corinthian believers are told to purify themselves.  If the the saving grace of God purified us, then why do we have to continue to purify ourselves – body and spirit – from things that are unclean?  Why would we have to continue to perfect holiness if we are already holy?  Why was purification not just given to us by the ‘grace of God’?

In order to be received as sons and daughters of the Most High God, we must perfect holiness!  It is something we must do. These words do not suggest a complacent saving grace that allows God’s children to remain irreverent, disrespectful or contentious to His will.  These are words of action that without the action of perfecting holiness,  we are not really the sons and daughters of Almighty God.

As a man, Yeshua struggled with the temptation to sin, like we do.   He needed the empowering grace of God to stand against temptation, like we do.   He never made excuses for the sinful world in which he lived, saying, “Abba, I live in a fallen, sinful world and I’m just can’t overcome sin.”  Nor did he believe he needed to become a sinner 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 words of his Father.  He needed the ever-increasing favor of God to empower him to overcome.  Because he overcame and stood against the desire to sin, he qualified 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 Torah, the instructions of our Father, that true followers of Messiah learn what is ‘clean’ and ‘unclean’ so they can purify themselves body (Old Testament) and spirit (New Testament).  It is only through the Truth in God’s Word that we know what His good, pleasing and perfect will is whether it’s dietary instructions, holy days, how we treat our physical temples, how we treat our neighbor and our animals.   It is only through our minds meditating on the Truth that they can be transformed.  It is through this transformation that we experience the full realm of the empowering grace of God.

Yeshua knew that grace was more than just one moment of redemption. He guarded himself from the ‘lawless ‘one’  and ‘lawless men’ through obedience to the instructions of his Father.  In doing this, he increasing in empowering grace and grew in wisdom and stature among men.

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