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Discussion Forum : Articles and Sermons : Grace Makes Us One by Zac Poonen

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"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

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 Grace Makes Us One by Zac Poonen

In his second letter, Peter reminds us that the good news is that God by His divine power has granted us "EVERYTHING necessary for a godly life" here on this earth (2 Pet.1:3, 4). And if we have received a faith "of the same value" (2 Pet.1:1 margin) as Peter's, we shall receive the same grace that he received and partake of God's nature as he did. Then the character of Christ - "moral excellence, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness and love will be ours in increasing measure" (2 Pet.1:5-11), making us fruitful and freeing us from all blindness and shortsightedness (2 Pet.1:8,9). Everyone who abides in Jesus will bear MUCH FRUIT (Jn.15:5). And so if these virtues of Christ are not being manifested increasingly in us, it would indicate that we are not abiding in Jesus, and that we are not living under the true grace of God.

Those who humble themselves not only receive grace for victory, but also grace to become one with each other. Just as a husband and wife can receive grace together as "joint-heirs of the grace of life", even so believers too can receive that grace that makes them joint-heirs along with other believers in Christ's Body.

Jesus prayed on the last night of His earthly life that we might be ONE AS HE AND THE FATHER ARE ONE (Jn.17:22). And He prayed that we experience this oneness here in this world (Jn.17:21,23). This is not a unity of understanding but a unity of spirit. Because of the sinfulness of our nature and the limitations of our minds that have been warped by sin, we may not see "eye to eye" in every matter with each other here on earth. But that has nothing to do with our spiritual unity. In our hearts, we can still be one.

All lack of unity is because we want to do our own will and not the will of the Head. This has nothing to do with our understanding of doctrine. It has only to do with whether we are willing to deny our own will and do the Father's will alone.

Jesus always obeyed what He heard from His Father. His food was obedience to His Father's will (Jn.4:34). Jesus was one with the Father. It is into this oneness that we too are called through the true grace of God.

Jesus always overcame evil with good. Evil had no power over Him, because He was always rooted in doing good. So shall it be with us, if we too obey the word to "overcome evil with good" (Rom.12:21). When others hate us and scandalise us, we can conquer their evil by doing them good. This is possible when we receive the true grace of God. Then we shall be kept, as Jesus prayed, from the evil that is in the world (Jn.17:16), and we shall become one with all others who walk the same way.

The church that Jesus is building is one that has received grace - the true grace of God - to be built together in unity, under Christ the Head. Only such a church will triumph over the gates of Hell (Matt.16:18).


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