Grace Upon Grace

By: Åge M. Åleskjær
From: 2008 Annual
Found in: The Gospel of Grace Sanctification
For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. (John 1:16) The message of grace is spreading with increasing speed! The light is shining in the dark, and the darkness can’t overcome it!

Luther emphasized “GRACE ALONE”, “faith alone” and “Christ alone”. All forms of legalistic religion fall to the ground in the light of the Gospel. Paul says: “But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the grounds of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.” (Rom.11:6)

Saved by grace

All Christians know that salvation is by grace. “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast.” (Eph.2:8-9)  Grace means “joyful surprise” and “undeserved favour”. Salvation is a gift, it is free. You don’t pay for a gift! A gift may be expensive but it is the giver who has paid for it. Our salvation was so expensive that it cost Jesus His life, but for us it is free. The only thing we have to do is to receive the gift!
When you receive this gift, a miracle happens called being born again! This too happens by grace alone. “Who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:13) 

God’s Gospel of Grace

There is only one Gospel! I do not believe that we have preached it clearly and purely. Kenneth Hagin said that the day we do that, we are going to see a landslide of sinners getting saved. In his booklet called “Paul’s revelation: The Ministry of Reconciliation”, he tells what a shock it was for him to discover 2 Cor.5:19. Listen to this: “God has reconciled the world to Himself, not counting up or holding against men their trespasses BUT CANCELLING THEM; and committing to us the message of reconciliation - of the restoration to favor.”

The world has never heard this message before! They have heard the opposite because Christians have confronted people with their sins. But the Gospel Revolution will enable us to preach the true Gospel to the world!

The New Creation is by Grace

The new creation is the answer to all who fear that the grace message is a license to sin. The reality is exactly the opposite! Eph. 2:8-9 describes salvation by grace without works. The next verse says: “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Eph. 2:10)

Can you see it? Salvation is free and without works and the new life is the WORK OF GOD! The new creation is a miracle including a new life with good works as fruit of the new birth. That’s why Paul is emphasizing so strongly that it is by GRACE ALL THE WAY; FROM START TO FINISH! 

Paul explains in Galatians 3 that to receive the Spirit, to see signs and wonders and healings, to experience the blessings of Abraham, EVERYTHING happens by hearing faith preached. This was the reason why he had portrayed Christ as crucified among them.

The fullness is only by grace - grace upon grace!

One translation says: “Grace after grace”. Grace is standing in line! Salvation is by grace, fullness is by grace, sanctification is by grace, the new life is by grace, the gifts of the Spirit and the ministry are by grace!

The text from John 1:16 explains THE FULLNESS is “grace upon grace”. The Spirit is already given, you don’t have to pray that the Spirit must fall. The good news is that it has already happened! Charismatic people sing, “Let the Spirit fall”. We have good news for them and for all others: The Spirit has come because Jesus is now glorified. (John 7:39) God had to wait until Jesus was glorified. That was the only condition. Once He was glorified, every hindrance was gone.

The fullness is grace upon grace! Thus it has nothing to do with you. Your prayers or your own effort will never make the Spirit fall. He has done it already! The Spirit is sent. It is by grace, a “joyful surprise”. You only receive! I am SO HAPPY that I got to see this! It ended my struggle and “chase” after God.

He has come! He has moved in! Jesus said we are not thirsty anymore, we have drunk from the living water and received a well on the inside! Still, there are many preaching about “thirsting for God”, “seeking God” and “chasing after God”. How joyful we can be, not having to thirst or seek anymore. We have a well of living water inside!

Holiness and sanctification is by grace

This is the most difficult theme for many honest Christians. This is where some even preach that the law has to be applied as a guide and as “traffic rules” for the Christians. But this would be an insult to the cross of Christ! The Bible explains that “our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin.” (Rom. 6:6) So it is the cross of Jesus Christ that sets us free from the slavery of sin! The key is to preach Christ crucified. We are meant to live a life dead to sin and alive to God by His resurrection power. EVERYTHING IS IN CHRIST! “For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law, but under grace.” (Rom. 6:14)  It is the MESSAGE OF GRACE that breaks the slavery of sin. The law made sin come alive, but grace sets us free.

Christ is our sanctification. (1 Cor. 1:30) The key to success is that “Christ is formed in us.”  Holiness is being crucified with Christ, “it is no longer I who lives, BUT CHRIST LIVES IN ME.” (Gal. 2:20) CHRIST IS ALL AND IN ALL! Grace upon grace! Sanctification is a product of saving grace! THIS GRACE disciplines us.

The Gospel is “The Gospel about God’s grace!” It is grace from start to finish!

Signs and wonders happen by grace

Paul continues the same pattern during the whole chapter of Galatians 3. The same way as salvation by grace and faith; signs, wonders and healings also happen as a fruit of the fulfilled work of Christ. It is by looking at Christ crucified we receive healing, for by His stripes we are healed.
In the desert the people were healed looking at the serpent. This was only a shadow, an image and example of the cross of Christ. Now reality has come! If the power of God could flow by looking at the shadow of reality, how much more can we be healed by the real cross of Jesus Christ!

I have read books that make it look like WE had to pay the price for the miraculous power of God. But the Gospel explains that HE has paid the price!

Ministry work is by grace

The Gospel is “The Gospel of God’s grace!” It is grace from start to finish! That’s why it’s grace upon grace…

Paul said: “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.” (1 Cor. 15:10)

It was all a result of the grace of God! It was not Paul’s own effort, not his human ability, but only the grace of God. Grace from A to Z, grace all the way! The world is ready for this message, for religion has failed. Religion has been a disappointment to people and it has put a yoke on their necks, like Peter said in Acts 15. It is time to tell the Good News: The burden has been taken away, the yoke is broken!

By: Åge M. Åleskjær

Former Senior Pastor at Oslo Christian Center, now spending most of his time ministering all over Norway and internationally.

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