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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Gregory Dickow » Gregory Dickow - Grace, The Story Of God's Love

Gregory Dickow - Grace, The Story Of God's Love

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    Gregory Dickow - Grace, The Story Of God's Love
TOPICS: Grace, God's Love

I know it sounds so simple, but Jesus came to obliterate every misconception that man had accumulated about God over 4000 years of human history. Four thousand years of human history, man had come up with all these beliefs and distorted views of what God is like. God's mad at you, God's gonna get you, God is not pleased with you. You haven't done enough for him, you haven't loved him enough. We have heard thousands of years of distorted views of God, and Jesus came to fix that. Jesus came to obliterate every distorted view that you ever had of God.

I don't know about you, but I had some misconceptions about God when I grew up, that God was mad, that God was distant, that God was a judge and we were going to stand at the judgment seat, when the Bible says it is not a throne of judgment that we will stand before, but a throne of grace. It is the throne of grace. It's not the throne of judgment. Somebody's got to be thankful for some grace in this place today. It is the throne of grace continually dispensing as much mercy and grace as you will ever need. I want you to locate yourself today. I want to ask you to locate yourself today. All of the disciples located themselves by what they were seeking from God.

The multitudes said, "Lord, feed me". The disciples said, "Lord, teach me". The apostles said, "Lord, use me". But John said, "Lord, love me". Lord, love me, love me, love me, love me. You've tasted the grace and the goodness of God when your prayer is, "Lord, love me. Lord, thank you for your love. Thank you for your love". Jeremiah chapter 31, verse 3 says, "God says, 'I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness'." I've drawn you with loving kindness. God doesn't draw people with fear. God doesn't draw people with anger. God doesn't draw people with the fear of his wrath. He draws us by his lovingkindness. God describes his love for us when he talks about Solomon and his bride.

I want you to hear this. He says, in Song of Solomon chapter 4, verse 9, "You have made my heart beat faster, my sister, my bride". This is Jesus talking to us prophetically in the book of Song of Solomon. This is Jesus saying to us, "You have made my heart beat faster". Anybody remember ever falling in love? Remember the first time you fell in love when you were like 12 or 13 or some of you, maybe younger, I don't know. This is how Jesus feels about us and I'm praying that the Holy Spirit will reveal this to us today because this is how he feels about you. "You have made my heart beat faster, my sister, my bride".

We have got to get out of our minds that Jesus somehow just pitied us and, therefore, saved us. No, we made his heart beat faster. You make his heart beat faster. He is in love with you. He is madly in love with you. Like I say all the time, he's not mad at you, he is mad about you, crazy about you, wild about you. God wants this intimate relationship with you, but we can't get there any other way than through the grace of God, by the grace of God, because of the love of God. The ultimate goal of grace is to bring us into this intimate closeness with God that nothing will separate us from. There is not a thing you can do right, not a thing you could do wrong, not a thing that you could think about yourself, not a thing you could do to yourself that would separate you from the love that God has for us.

Nothing. Nothing. No thing, no person can separate you from the love of God. There is an illusion in this world, it's called the myth of separation. It's an illusion. The myth separation is that we are somehow distant from God or it varies based on how we are behaving, and we have got to come to the realization there is never any separation between you and God. The moment you're born again, saved by the grace of God, there is no separation and there never will be any separation. You know, one of the reasons, or one of the things that keeps me safe in my awareness of God's love and my awareness of his grace, that there's nothing I can do to earn it, because if there was anything you could ever do to earn anything from God, God would be a part of manipulation.

If you could figure out, how could I get more favor from God, how could I get more blessing from God, how could I get God to turn in this direction towards me for me, then all it is, is manipulation. Then, you're only gonna do the thing that you think you're supposed to do in order to get something from God, and he's not interested in a relationship that is ever built on manipulation or that ever encourages manipulation. And that's why it's 100% him. That's why the grace of God is 100% Jesus. It is not, some of him and some of us, it is 100% him. There is no other gospel than the gospel of God's grace. There is no other gospel because nothing else is good news. There's nothing else that is good news. Everything else is bad news.

If you have 1% to do with your salvation, that's bad news. It's bad news. If you have 1% to do with your salvation, that is bad news. That's why the only good news is the grace of God. It's the only good news because anything less than it could not possibly be good. Anything less than Jesus did at all, anything less than that, is not good because then we're going to be constantly asking the question, "What's my part? What's my part? What's my part? What do I have to do? What do I have to do? What do I have to do"? We learn what we have to do, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved, you and your whole household. I go so far as to say that that's a promise that I wouldn't mind encouraging every person to stand on for your entire family salvation. He said, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, you shall be saved, you and your whole household".

Somebody here has got to take some whole household salvation because that goes with you believing on the Lord Jesus. Now, I don't know how it gets worked out between here and the time we get to heaven. I don't know how it's gonna get worked out. I don't know if I have distant family members that aren't saved, that they're gonna get saved on their death bed. I don't know. But, somehow, I'm believing that verse in Acts chapter 16 that believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and I shall be saved, me and my whole household. And back then, households consisted of like three generations, you know, grandparents and the parents and the kids and they all live together. Thank God it's not like that today.

"You've made my heart beat faster, my sister, my bride: you have made my heart beat faster with a single glance of your eyes, with a single strand of your necklace". My God, what Jesus thinks about us. I think that, still, some of us just are having a hard time believing that. Why would he love us so? It's a mystery. He is love, but why? Because his heart is full of love. His mind is brilliant. He is the smartest and he is the lovingest being in the universe and you make his heart beat faster. Like, when we were in high school, we'd be like, well, that kid could never get that girl, right? How many was that kid? You were that kid, that kid could never get that girl, and we have to say that about ourselves here, that we make Jesus's heart beat faster.

Wow, it's hard to grasp, but the Holy Spirit, I'm praying, will reveal it to you. Like it says in Ephesians 3, that you "may be able to comprehend what is the breadth and length and depth and height, and to know the love of God which surpasses knowledge". I love it how it says in The Message Translation that you would experience, "The extravagant dimensions of Christ's love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb its depths! Rise to its heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God". A distorted view of God is the number one problem in the world, a distorted view, a broken view of what God is actually like.

And I can say this, beyond a shadow of a doubt, everything that happens in your life, everything about you, boils down, not everything that happens to you, but everything about you boils down to this one thing: what do you believe about God? If you believe that he's just letting you in by the skin of your teeth, then you will live your life that way. If you believe he's judging you, you will live your life that way. You will live under constant fear of punishment and you will live under constant scrutiny of your own self and everybody else in your life. It is a painful existence to have a wrong view of God.

The greatest thing that grace has done in my life is, it has given me evidence and proof of God's love. I'll get to this because I wrote some things down because, man, as preachers, we're good at writing down our notes, we're just never good at preaching them, never good at using them. But I want you to hear some of the things that I wrote because I know this is for you and your life's never gonna be the same again. A distorted view of God will defeat damage and confuse you. It'll hurt your ability to have successful relationships, to feel good about life, to feel good about yourself. It will affect your ability to expect good things to come to pass in your life.

You see, all conflict and evil in this world, all conflict, all evil in this world, is a war against God's love. That is what Satan hates the most. That is what Satan is against. That is why religion exists, because religion is Satan's manufacturing of some mechanism to manipulate God or think that people could actually manipulate God and get God to do something. We do not get God to do something by the promises we make to him. We are singing and we are telling the story of his faithfulness, not our faithfulness. And even when we're faithless, he remains faithful. We were talking about...Pastor was talking about the word of truth. Which truth are we talking about? Which Word are we talking about?

Well, in Romans chapter 10, verse 17, this has made more Christians stumble and made more Christians fail than just about any other verse because it's been portrayed incorrectly and it's been preached incorrectly for hundreds of years. And it's in Romans 10:17, "Faith comes by hearing the word," right? "Faith comes by hearing, and hearing", the King James Bible, I'm sorry, but the King is off here. It does not say, it does not say, "Faith comes by hearing the word of God," it does not say, the word "God" is not in there, it is actually the word "Christos". So, "Faith comes by hearing the word of Christ". When you hear the Word of Christ, and what does Christ represent? This one thing we know about Jesus Christ, he died, he was buried, and he rose from the dead.

So, we know he was crucified and Paul said, "I want to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified". Why is that so important? Because faith comes not by hearing various scriptures in the Bible. I gotta tell you, I've read a lot of scriptures in the Bible. I got no faith from it. There are scriptures in the Bible that don't produce any faith. "Judas hung himself, go and do likewise". I'm sorry, but I just don't have faith for that. It is the Word of Christ. And what is the Word of Christ? It's him crucified. Jesus Christ and him crucified.

Why is that so vital? Because faith does not come by getting more of the Word in your... look, I'm all into meditating on the Word of God day and night, but you got to meditate on the right Word of God day and night and the Word of God that you should be meditating on day and night is this Word because this is the Word of God that produces faith, the Word of Christ, the Word of the finished work of the cross. It is finished, tetelestai. It is the Greek word that means "it is finished". It was one word in Aramaic and one word in Greek. "Tetelestai," Jesus said on the cross, John chapter 19, verse 30. That's when the new covenant began on the cross, when Jesus said, "It is finished". It meant three things to the people who heard that word and used that word. It was an accounting term, "The debt is fully paid".

It was a judicial term, "The sentence is fully served". And it was a military term, "The battle is fully won". Now that, my friends, is the Word of Christ. The Word of Christ is, "It is finished". Debt fully paid, sentence fully served, battle fully won. That is the Word of Christ and that's when faith, energy rises up inside of you and can overcome anything because you know the Word of Christ is, "It is finished". He is happy with you. He is smiling at you. He is proud of you. He is dancing over you. He is singing over you. You're making his heart beat faster and grace was the way for him to get you into this love affair with him. God knows. He is so cool. He is so at peace right now. He just wants you to know that. Like, you are at peace and he's at peace with you. He is not at war with you. He is not at war with your sin. He's not at war with your mistakes. He's not at war with your failures. He is not ashamed of any of it. He took it all upon himself.

That's love. He took it all. Boy, if we could just see, if you wanted to see what God is like, what the Father is like, you only have to look and see what Jesus did. He went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed, all that were in bondage, all that were imprisoned by something, by anything. He came to heal us from all of it. And he's smiling. He's happy. The Bible says he sits in the heavens and laughs. He sings, he rejoices over us. You made his heart beat faster. I don't know how you did it, but you did it. I don't know how I did it, but I did it. His heart is beating with such passion for you.

Don't you see, who wants to spend time with a mean God? Who wants to spend time with a God who's against you? A God who has a list and you, kind of, just screwing up every direction? He doesn't. He's not moved by that at all. He's not even factoring that in. Listen, your, Hebrews 8, verse 12 says, "Your sins and iniquities, he will remember no more". He will remember no more. We talked about the old covenant and the new covenant. What was wrong with the old covenant? The old covenant's laws were perfect. So what was wrong with it? It says in Hebrews chapter 8, the old covenant found fault with you. It found fault with you.

The reason for the new covenant is the old covenant found fault with us. The new covenant finds no fault in us because we are in him, and the judge of this world that God allowed to judge Jesus said, "I have scrutinized him, I have searched him out, I have evaluated him, and I find him not guilty. I find no fault in him because the lamb that was gonna be sacrificed for the people's sin had to be a spotless lamb, a lamb without any fault, a lamb without any flaw". That's Jesus, scrutinized by the judge of this world at that time, and guess what that means? That means the judge of this world, the accuser of the brethren, can't find fault in us either.
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