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The Means of Grace
Jude is the last book in the New Testament. (The Revelation could be considered as an appendix to the Bible) What is the clincher message that the Holy Spirit wants to leave for us in Jude?
After listening so many times to Pastor Ed Miller and reading Jude, my impression is that:
It is through the means of grace that the Holy Spirit keeps us from sinning! The questions are “What are the means of grace? and How are we kept from sinning by the means of grace?
What are the Means of Grace?
For some, the means of grace are active involvement in Church works: such as counseling, missions, teaching Bible class, Bible studies, pastoring, singing in the choir, etc.
For others the means of grace are very private activities: such as spending quiet time, studying the Bible, praying to be guided by His light, reading Christian books, writing, worshiping, singing and praising God in group or by oneself, etc.
How are we kept from sinning by the means of grace?
There are multiple means of grace to suit each individual personality. Everything that promotes my growth with God is my means of grace. For the means of grace to keep us from sinning, from the spirit of error, from false teachings and from false teachers, we have to constantly be conscious of our motives.
Our motives for cultivating and doing the means of grace must be to:
Seek to know God
Seek to trust God
Seek to be a channel for His work
Only then will we be able with the help of the Holy Spirit to keep from sinning. He will slowly transform us to the likeness of Jesus Christ. He is faithful and He keeps His words: “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened” (Matthew 7:7-8 NKJV).
To grow in our relationship with God, we must constantly remind ourselves that we are merely the channel, the vehicle through which God works to reach others. The means of grace is His grace to touch others through us. It is His work not our works. The outcome is His. The result is His and therefore we should not be unduly anxious of what others consider as achievement.
If we neglect our means of grace, we will wither. We will not grow in knowing God. God has a part and we have our part to play. God will not force us. If we don’t keep our part, He can’t do His part. Our part is to persevere in the means of grace. His part is to preserve us and to transform us to the ways of Jesus.
Unfortunately, being human, when we carry out the means of grace, we choose many a time to enhance our prestige, our power and our pride. We thus focus on our glory instead of His glory. We get our worldly rewards accordingly and we fail to keep away from sinning. We fail to allow God to transform us. We fail to give God the chance to work His miracle on us.
But God is very patient with us. He loves us unconditionally. He will help us when we come to Him. Often, driven by our adversity and pain, we turn to Him and seek His help. He will send the Holy Spirit to help us by strengthening us when we trust Him.
Pastor Ed Miller in his exposition has summarized the message of Jude as follows:
You can download the MP3 Audio Sermons by Ed Miller into your computer and listen or burn them into CD for later easier listening by clicking on the download links below.
You can go to his website www.biblestudyministriesinc.net and download all his Audio Sermons on his commentaries of most of the 66 books in the Bible.
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