Brian Cole: 'I Am Not Deserving Because of My Past'
I only received one question as a result of last week’s article. I will continue to post regularly, but please feel free to bring up a question at any time and I will address it if I can.
The question posed was this: “I have a close friend who spent many years in prison due to alcohol and drug addiction. He is saved and God is using him in prison and recovery ministry. The way God has changed and continues to change him is amazing to witness. He recently said to me that he believes there are certain things he is not deserving due to his past. He shares God’s word and truths of hope, redemption, and salvation with those in his groups and still struggles with his own worth. What would you say to him on this?”
As I have said in the past, I am honest and blunt and I tell people things they need to hear, not necessarily what they “want” to hear, and this is one of those times.
The first thing I would say is: how can you teach something to someone else that you do not fully understand and comprehend? If an individual doesn’t think God’s grace and forgiveness covers all, how can you teach someone else that it does? Just a question to think about.
May answer is this: God’s grace, mercy and forgiveness covers all!
There is nothing you’ve done that is so bad that God’s goodness can’t cover! You’re right, he is not deserving, none of us are! But that’s what grace is: The Unmerited or Undeserved favor of God!
In Isaiah 53:5 and 1 Peter 2:24 is a verse many misuse in reference to healing prayers. It says: He Himself (Jesus Christ) bore our sins (none just some of them, ALL of them) in His body on the tree, so that we might die to sins (not just some, but all) and live for righteousness; by His wounds you have been healed (of those sins, all of them!). “But He (Jesus) was pierced for our transgressions (all of them), He was crushed for our iniquities (all of them); the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by His stripes we are healed.”
That means because of what Christ accomplished on the cross, all of our past, present and future iniquities and wounds have been healed! We have been completely forgiven and saved!
I will use more scripture references that I’m sure he teaches, but needs to read, meditate on, and understand and apply himself.
John 1:16 – Of His fulness we have all received, and grace upon grace.” In Christ we have all received His FULLNESS of grace, upon grace, upon grace... There is enough grace in God’s stash to meet every need we might ever have! AW Tozer wrote: Ages upon ages will hardly be long enough to experience all the riches of His grace.”
Ephesians 2:8-9 – By grace you have been saved through faith, and that NOT OF YOURSELVES; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. Our salvation is unmerited, undeserved, and unearned.
Ephesians 2:10 – We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” The word “workmanship” means “something made.”
1 Corinthians 15:9-10 – “I am the least of the apostles, and not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. (Here is where it sounds like the man in question is at, but now listen to the rest of Paul’s response!) BUT, by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain, but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me!” There is the key question and answer. The realization that we don’t deserve it, BUT God’s grace covers it.
We were fearfully and wonderfully made, created as a Masterpiece, we are fellow heirs, a royal priesthood, a special people, a Child of the one True Kind, set free with NO CONDEMNATION! Praise God
And if you don’t live it, you can’t teach it! How does a person in depression teach a class on happiness unless they know happiness. James 1:22 – “But be a doer of the word and not only a hearer, deceiving yourselves.”
I hope this answers the question. God bless you.