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The True Grace Of God


"12 Through Silvanus, our faithful brother (for so I regard him), I have written to you briefly, exhorting and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it! 13 She who is in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you greetings, and so does my son, Mark. 14 Greet one another with a kiss of love.

Peace be to you all who are in Christ."
I Peter 5:12-14 

Good Morning my beloved,


Welcome to worship this Lord's day! We're so glad that you are here with us today. Please know, that we continue to lift all of you up in our prayers. We respectfully ask that you would pray for this ministry to continue to reach the lost, the broken and the hopeless. And for us. We are so grateful for those of you who have been sharing the ministry website with all of your family and friends. Your faithfulness to share God's Word with others has brought about tremendous results. Where will God's Word be heard today? With your help, it will reach those that need it most.
I do not believe there can be any such thing as casual Christianity. The winds are strong; the waves are high; the storms are continuous, and unless we stand firm in the grace of God, there literally thousand of forces would pull us into folly and ultimately, eternal death.
The true grace of God, is the absolute gravitational center of the true Christian, everything else revolves around this great truth.
Proverbs 23:7 teaches "For as he thinks within himself, so he is." 
The truth of Proverbs 23, is then the core of all spiritual life. It is our attitudes which determine our responses and our behavior towards God's Word. These are very real dangers for the Christian who has the wrong pattern of thinking and behavior. For a Christian to grow toward maturity in Christ, he must then be established in the fundamental ways of Christ. You must train your mind by the power of the Holy Spirit to certain habits and behaviors that are righteous, this is what the New Testament calls a renewed mind.
This is why Peter told us in I Peter 1:13, "Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
And, Paul tells us in Romans 12:2, "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect." 
In John 17:17, our Lord Jesus prayed to our Father "Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth."
Everything you do in your spiritual life is a product of how you think, your thought life is the foundation for a godly life.   
Let us pray
Heavenly Father,
Father, as always we are so thankful for Your Word for, these rich reminders. We thank You that by our faith in Jesus Christ, we have overcome the world and through the knowledge of Your Word, we have overcome the evil one. Lord, we know that through Christ, Satan has no authority over, because he comes subtly, seeking to devour us, destroy our testimony, help us to be alert. And when he attacks us,  may it prove the validity of our faith and trust. 
We pray that You will grant us the wisdom and discernment to recognize him and his schemes, that we might claim our victory over him through Christ. Remind us that if we choose to live in disobedience, we will be chastened, because You love us, that Your purpose is not to punish us, but to perfect us in the image of Christ, Who was sinless.
In Jesus' precious name we pray
Today's Message: The True Grace Of God
If you were to visit Princeton University in New Jersey, which is the fourth-oldest university in America, which was founded in 1746, you could still see it’s motto carved in stone reliefs over some of it's oldest buildings: "Dei sub numine viget," which is Latin for "Under God, she flourishes." 
In fact, some of the first classes ever held at Princeton University were taught by Reverend Jonathan Dickinson, who was a staunch Presbyterian Christian. He was influential in the Synod of Philadelphia as well as other Presbyterian Christian circles in early America. 
The training school for Christian ministers which was born out of Princeton University in 1812, Princeton Theological Seminary, taught some of the brightest, most fruitful, and most tenaciously orthodox Christian theologians and ministers in American history.
However, if you sat down with the average professor or student there today, you would find the most shockingly unorthodox, evil, and dangerous ideologies, doctrines, and dogmas espoused, and are held casually and uncontroversially. Today, you will find a spiritual graveyard, mausoleum full of dead bones, a mere shell of where a house full of life used to stand. 
As we come to the conclusion of our passage today, these final three verses, Peter's aims not to introduce a new subject, but rather to sum up the heart of what he has already been saying to us for five chapters. In verses 5 through 14 Peter has been elucidating briefly, but in no less than a wonderful richness, the attitudes which are necessary for us to grow in Christ to effective maturity.
Open your Bibles with me to I Peter 5, verses 12 through 14. As we continue in our study, and as we conclude this wonderful epistle, we are reminded that the beloved Apostle Peter has spent his entire letter with one overarching theme and that is to encourage us as believers, who are suffering on this earth that our suffering is not an indication that God has abandoned us but that, God is keeping us and loving us through our suffering. Also, that current affliction in this life promotes true godliness within us.  
I invite you to follow along with me as I read our text to set it in our minds, as we prepare our hearts for what the Spirit of God is saying to each of us. Listen for the voice of our Lord. I Peter 5:12-14
"Through Silvanus, our faithful brother (for so I regard him), I have written to you briefly, exhorting and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it! She who is in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you greetings, and so does my son, Mark. Greet one another with a kiss of love.
Peace be to you all who are in Christ."
Grace is God’s is just God's disposition to do good to the undeserving. True grace does not lead to licentiousness or lawlessness, which has become so prevalent in society today. It is both pardon so we can survive and power so we can stand firm. God does not save us from works, God's saves us for works.
Peter concludes this chapter with a final word of encouragement, he mentions Silvanus. He's showing that we're not alone, that there are others who are fighting the good fight just like we are.  So stand firm. There's no reason for us to assume that this is not the same Silas that travel with the Apostle Paul. Though is was somewhat a common name during that time. According to Acts 15, he was a prophet, and according to Acts 16, he was a Roman citizen. It is likely, that Peter dictated the letter of I Peter to Silvanus, who then wrote it down for him. This was very a common practice by the way. We've see it with other letters in the New Testament. I believe that this reminds us of another Christian virtue, being faithful. 

Silvanus is a faithful brother, who appears in connection with various early church leaders and Apostles in not only in Acts, II Corinthians, as well as I and II Thessalonians. Then, he says, "I've written to you briefly," just five short chapters. Although Peter's letter is brief, it is condensed, it is so very rich. Peter has been exhorting and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Peter has been telling us about God's saving grace, His sanctifying grace, His grace through trials, and His grace through suffering. He says I want you to stand firm in His grace. Be committed, be faithful as Silas was faithful. Be faithful.
Then, in verse 13, he adds one final virtue, the attitude of affection. He says "She who is in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you greetings, and so does my son, Mark." It is likely that she who is in Babylon must refer to a church. The church is often referred to in female terms.
Babylon was long dead by the time Peter wrote this letter, but is used as a kind of poetic shorthand to refer to nations in rebellion against God and against the people of God. Babylon most likely refers to Rome. As it does in both Revelation 17 and 18. It has been said, that it's a cryptic name for Rome. And, if you will remember, when the beloved Apostle John was banished to the Island of Patmos during the persecution which was instigated by the Emperor Domician, he called Rome Babylon. By the way, Peter, who mention Christian persecution in nearly every chapter of his epistle, died a martyrs death.

Peter wrote this epistle near the end of his life, and according to tradition, he was crucified upside down. So, it is likely that he  didn't want the letter to be found and the church persecuted, so he kind of hid it under the word Babylon.
The second half of verse 12 is the heart of the verse, "Stand firm in it!" Stand firm in the true grace of God.
Mark to whom he refers to in verse 13, likely isn’t Peter’s literal son, but his way of referring to this Mark, whom we've seen many other places in connection with the Apostles, especially Peter. He was called John Mark, is mentioned in Acts 12:12, he stayed with Paul, during his time in prison in Rome. Peter helped him write the gospel of Mark, Peter was there to assist him.
Although the word "affection" does not appear here, we can certainly see affection, from the church, to your church, me to you, Mark to you. That's affection. Then, in verse 14, he shows us an outward sign of affection, "Greet one another with a kiss of love."  By the way, in ancient times, this was a customary part of early church affection, it was men to men and women to women. 
Finally, Peter ends his epistle where he began, "Peace be to you all who are in Christ." The basic attitudes of submission, humility, trust, self-denial, hope, worship, faithfulness and affection. Apart from the truth of God, there is no way that you can produce these attributes. And, as God's truth is poured into your life, day after day, it begins to transform you, change your character, and it creates these attitudes. 
In Closing..
In a single act of one-side love, born out of a heart of mercy, God has caused the spiritually dead in sin, to be raised up to new life and immortal hope through the death, burial, resurrection, and ascension of our Lord, Jesus Christ. We stand firm in grace by setting our hope on that hope. Don't place your hope in greatness, yours or someone's else's, in spite of what you may think, you're not great enough! Set your hope on the Lord Jesus Christ. His Second Coming, His goodness and His rule. Every other hope under the sun can live in the Son's blessing and goodness.Trusting in anything else, any lesser thing, you will assuredly lose it all.
By nature, our human impulse is to try to find a way to make it all about us, when confronted by divine grace. In doing that, you’re not improving God's grace, rather, you’re ruining it, by tampering with God’s grace in Christ. Stop doubting the grace of God and simply believe in Him.
What a great privilege it is to have that hope in the Lord. I thank God every day for that privilege. That's why I do what I do.
May it be so..
And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.

Now and forever, in Jesus' name
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The Brian Monzon Ministries



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