Today I am in Portugal after a great weekend of ministry and connection with a great church in Utrecht, Netherlands. God was wonderful and the people were hungry, willing, and teachable. Thank you Pastor Niels and all of the church in Utrecht. I am blessed to know you all and to partner with you in what Holy Spirit is doing in your midst. You are growing as a people who have obtained God’s mercy and you are becoming a culture of grace.
Ephesians 1:7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace 8 which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence…
Mercy is the judgment of God that conveys us from the administration of law and conscience to one of grace and truth. For there to be a judgment of mercy in a system of law there must be a person of grace. Jesus did not give us the judgment of mercy as God, but as the firstborn man of grace. He was a different kind of human being with a different heart and mind. He was empowered by grace from within. Jesus didn’t pronounce mercy in our lives because He was under the law. He could only make a judgment of mercy because He was a man of grace. He wants us to be like Him when we grow up. He wants us to be able to make a judgment of mercy for those who are in the systems of law or conscience. These are elements in the administration of the knowledge of good and evil. For us to make a judgment of mercy for those bound to this administration, we must become people who are under an administration of grace to become people whose lives are empowered by grace. Because Jesus was the man of grace, He gave us redemption through His blood and the forgiveness of sins. His grace empowered sacrifice enables us to know that we are children of God. Our sins are forgiven and we have a Father who loves us. Jesus has forgiven our sins and revealed to us our loving Father in heaven.
Ephesians 1:9 having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, 10 that in the dispensation (administration) of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him.
The word dispensation in these verses can also be translated administration. This is not just a dispensation, not just a new season or a new time, it is a new administration. God has given us an administration that can sum up all things in Christ. This is a way of governing our lives. The governing of our lives in this administration is a governing that can sum up everything about us in Christ. It causes everything about us to become like Christ. It is an administration that works in heaven and on earth. It causes all things to be summed up in Christ. There is no need for another administration – ever! There is not another administration coming for Jew or Gentile. This is the only administration that is needed for all people; Jews, Gentiles, men, women, and all people on earth and in heaven. This administration of grace can sum up everything in Christ. This administration is a government of grace. It is an administration of life where God doesn’t just inform us, He transforms our lives. We become like Jesus was as a man. When we join together we become the fullness of Him. By ourselves we are a piece, but together we are the fullness of Him. We are the body of Christ, the fullness of Him, that fills all in all. We are above principalities, powers, thrones, dominions and names. We are part of His inheritance. We are the testimony of His calling. We are a demonstration of His power because of His grace. His Holy Spirit at work in us is enabling us to become restored in all that we were meant to be in Christ.
God’s mercy justifies us to live, but His grace empowers us to reign in life. We have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins. We are justified to live. There is also an administration that can sum up everything in Christ. That is reigning life.
Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
We are justified to live. This was the gift of God’s mercy through the man Jesus, the Christ. His gift of mercy justified us to live, even though we were bound to death in our sin.
Romans 5:9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.
We are justified to live because of His blood, but we are saved by His grace. We shall overcome all wickedness through Him. Our thoughts, reasoning, desire, imagination, and emotions are being empowered by God’s grace working in our hearts and minds. It is even powerful enough to quicken or mortal bodies and affect us spirit, soul, and body. This is the power of God’s grace working in and through us. It is the power of God’s manifest presence in or lives. It is the proof that there is no gap, no separation, between us and God when we boldly come to the place of His presence because of His mercy, the power of His love towards us as a giver of grace.
Romans 5:10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11 And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.
God’s mercy reconciled us to God as our Father, but God’s grace empowers us to live with the evidence of lives that have been reconciled to God. Grace is the evidence that God is in our lives. We must choose to receive God’s mercy and embrace His grace to live with a culture of grace among the kingdoms of the world.
Ted J. Hanson