Gregory Dickow - Grace Is A Person
My message is simple today. "Grace is a Person". Grace is a Person. Grace is a Person. The Bible is the roadmap to a person. The Bible is a roadmap to a person. When you read the Bible and you feel condemned, you're not following the roadmap, you're reading it wrong. When you read the Bible and limit God, you're not following the roadmap to the person. It's a roadmap to a person. The person is Jesus. John chapter 1, verse 16, New Living Translation says, "From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another".
Grace is a person. Jesus is the fullness of grace and truth. In Psalm 45, verse 2 and 3, in the Christian Standard Bible, it says, "You are the most handsome of men: grace is poured upon your lips". This is Jesus that we're talking about. God is talking about Jesus here. Saint Augustine provides us with one of the great statements of the beauty of grace, the beauty of the person, Jesus. He said this, "He then, Jesus is beautiful in heaven and beautiful on earth, beautiful in the womb and beautiful in his parents's arms, beautiful in his miracles and beautiful under the torture, beautiful when inviting to life and beautiful when laying down his life, beautiful in taking up his life again, beautiful on the cross, beautiful in the tomb, beautiful in heaven, and beautiful when he returns in all of his glory".
Jesus is the beauty of God. Jesus is the face of God. Jesus said, "If you've seen me, you've seen the Father". He said, "And I've come to bring you to the Father". You know a lot's gonna happen today because you open up your heart to the Father. Jesus came to reveal to us the Father. No wonder the devil fights fatherhood more than anything else on this planet because Jesus came to introduce us to the Father. Jesus came to introduce us to love. Jesus came to... he didn't give us the Bible to be the end. The Bible is the roadmap to the person. Everything in our lives as we get older, we realize everything in life is about relationships. It's the relationships we had, the relationships we should have had, the relationships that we lost after we had them, the relationships that we wish to have, but mostly life is about a relationship with God.
Pastor Dollar was talking this afternoon to the ministry, people in ministry that were here, and he said that we're all at a place in our lives where we need rest. We all come to that point in our lives where we need rest and there's no rest when you run to a shadow, there's only rest when you run to the person who casts the shadow. There's no love when you hug a shadow, there's only love when you hug the person who casts the shadow. There's no healing when you walk in a shadow, but there's healing when you walk with the person who casts the shadow, the Bible says that the old covenant is a shadow, it's a shadow. A shadow goes before a person, but it's not the person.
The shadow goes before the person so that you know the person is coming. And the shadow for hundreds of years, the old covenant operated until it was no longer flawless. There was one flaw with the old covenant, and the flaw of the old covenant was that in Hebrews chapter 8, verse 7 and 8, it says something very powerful to us, and I'd just like to read this to you. In Hebrews chapter 8, verse 7 and verse 8, it says, "The old covenant for if that first covenant," the old covenant, "For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would've been no reason sought for a second".
Now think about this, a covenant that God made, the old covenant, the first covenant. The first covenant that God made, he says that if it had been faultless, there would've been no reason to seek for the second. And why was the old covenant flawed or faulted? And the next verse tells us. "For it found fault with them". Finding fault with them. What was wrong with the old covenant? Was that it found fault with us? If it found our faults, it revealed our faults, but the new covenant Pontius Pilate declared when he decreed over Jesus after examining him the way that a Lamb was supposed to be examined for three to four days. After Pontius Pilates and Herod tossed him around Pontius Pilate as the authority on this earth at the time, declared and decreed.
Well, look at how God used the devil. Look at how God used man's system of tyrannical government. God still took it. He didn't cause it, but somebody's got to know that Romans 8:28 is undefeated still today. Romans 8:28 is still undefeated. It's undefeated. Romans 28, perfect season undefeated. God causes all things to work together for good to those that love him and are called according to his purpose. it doesn't say God causes all things, he causes all things to work together. He's not the cause of all things, 'cause we're the cause of some things, right? We're the cause of stupid things. He doesn't cause all things, but he causes all things to work together for good.
The New American Standard Bible says, "He causes all things to work together for good to those who love him". And you know the devil will beat you up with that verse, too, if you let him. Oh, you see, all things aren't... God is not causing all things to work together for you because you don't love him. It says for those who love him, for those who love God. You know, 1 John chapter 4, verse 19 defines what loving God is. And you know what it says? It says, "We love him because he first loved us".
We love him because he first loved us. You know what he's telling us there? He's telling us, loving God means believing that he loved you first. The way you love God is by accepting his love for you. You've been taught, we've been told, religion has told us loving God means obeying all of his commands, but nobody yet has succeeded. It's like the guy that said, "Lord, I'm doing pretty good today. I haven't cussed, I haven't lied, I haven't stolen from anybody, haven't hurt anybody. Man, I'm doing pretty good, Lord, but I'm gonna get out of bed soon, and when I do, I'm gonna need your help". We've all blown it before we got out of bed. Thank God that loving God in its simplest form, is believing the love he has for us. Because when you believe the love he has for you, everything is gonna be all right. Everything is gonna be all right.
Grace is a person. We have to really renew our minds. We have to, like, we have to work at renewing our minds to this reality that grace is not a topic, it's not a Bible subject, it's a person. Amen. In verse 2 of Song of Solomon in the Passion Translation, it says, from the bride's, soon to be bride's words. "After this I let my devotion slumber, but my heart for him stayed awake. I had a dream. I dreamed of my beloved, he was coming to me in the darkness of night. The melody of the man that I love awakened me. I heard his knock at my heart's door". This man is Jesus. You are the writer. You are the author of these words.
This is God foretelling your relationship with Jesus and what kind of relationship that you would have with him. You are the apple of his eye. He says, "Arise my love". I want you to realize this. You know, preachers don't really preach much out of the Song of Solomon. I think some preachers are afraid to read it. They think they might sin or stumble. You know, like it's X-rated. I mean, it talks about a lot of stuff here. Why? Because the only way to truly understand the reality and the humanity and the affection and the intimacy that we were created to have with God, we have to see it in human form to understand that we can actually have this kind of intimacy with a God who we don't see yet, but that this is real because when you read this and look for this in the marriages of the world, you're looking at two different things. "Arise my love".
Like, if it's not the honeymoon, who's saying this? "Open your heart, my darling, deeper still to me". Think about this. "Will you receive me this dark night? There is no one else but you, my friend, my equal. I need you this night to arise and come be with me. You are my pure, loyal dove, a perfect partner for me. My flawless one, will you arise"? Boy, Jesus is calling us flawless ones. How can he say that when we know how flawed we are? Because he doesn't see us through the lens of the old covenant, which magnifies our flaws. He sees us through the lens of the blood that he shed for us, which was his liquid love spilled out for you so that you could have this kind of relationship and this kind of intimacy.
This is Christianity. This is what it was meant to be. It was meant to be love. It was meant to be flawless. It was meant to be Jesus calling us closer. It was not meant for us to be looking up at him, but looking to him face to face, eye to eye. The Bible says the Lamb of God sits in the midst of the throne of God. And the actual rendering in the book of Revelation, when it says the Lamb of God sits in the middle of God's throne, it actually says, it's actually translated as the Lamb of God sits in front of the throne of God. The Lamb of God in the book of Revelation sits in front of the throne.
Why does he sit in front of the throne? He sits in front of the throne because the Father will never look at you without looking through you, looking through Jesus to see you. He will never look at you ever again the way you used to be. He will never see you the way you used to be. He will only see you through the lens of the Lamb. The Lamb is in the center and in front of the throne because there is no way to the throne except through the Lamb. And there is no way to you, there's no way for the Father to get to you.
This is what the Father is longing for, this is what the Father's wanted. He's wanted you and his family. He's wanted to see you as his flawless one. He's wanted to be with you. He's wanted to have intimacy with you. He's wanted to be in relationship with you, and he will not tolerate a broken relationship with his children, with his people, with the apples of his eye. So he puts in front of us the Lamb, and by that Lamb, whoever liveth to make intercession for us. It doesn't mean Jesus is praying 24 hours a day for us. He's not praying for us at all anymore. He ever liveth to make intercession means he forever lives to remove or to create the connection, to stand in the gap of what was between you and God. He ever lives to stand in the gap. He ever lives so that we will always have access to the Father for eternity.
This is the person of grace. This is the person. He is not a topic. He is a lover. He says, "My flawless one, will you arise"? He calls you his flawless one because in Revelation chapter 1, verse 5 and 6, it says, he loved us, then he washed us, then he made us kings and priests. Notice, we're not like that. We're usually no like that. We usually love what's washed first. Revelation 1 says, "He loved us and then he washed us". He loved us dirty. He loved us dirty. He doesn't love what is washed; he washes what he loves.