Grace is synonymous with Jesus. Jesus is grace.
JANUARY 28, 2021
Zach Van Dyke:
Grace is synonymous with Jesus. Jesus is grace. Let’s talk about it on Key Life.
This is Key Life. We’re here to communicate the freeing truth that God’s not mad at his children. Zach Van Dyke is the teaching pastor at Summit Church here in Orlando. And he’s been teaching us all this week. If you’ve discovered that just trying harder, doesn’t make you better. Welcome to the party.
Zach Van Dyke:
And thank you Matthew. Thank you all for tuning in, this is my last day here, Steve will be back tomorrow to answer any of your questions. And it’s been a great week, it’s been so good to just spend this week together with you talking about Jesus, man, that’s the thing that I learned. I’m sure there’ll be lots of books written about 2020 and all the things that people learned during 2020. What I learned during 2020 more than anything, was something that I’ve known a long time. I need Jesus. I need him every day, every day, I need to wake up and fix my eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of my faith, who for the joy set before him endured the Cross scorning its shame. And who now is seated at the right hand of God, the Father. Like, that’s that’s what I need. That’s what I learned in 2020. That’s what I need to carry me through 2021. I need Jesus. I told y’all at the beginning of the week, I spent 2020, spending a lot of time in the gospel of John and in Revelation. And I really just wanted a more full picture of who Jesus is, kind of like that Greek, that went up to Phillip and said, Sir, we want to see Jesus. That’s what I wanted. That’s, I just, I needed to see Jesus so badly last year. And so I spent time looking at Jesus as he’s presented through the apostle John, through his gospel account and then also through Revelation. And we spent some time this week in Revelation, this picture of Jesus at the beginning of Revelation, when he appears in all his glory and all his righteousness. And we see that John is terrified by him. In fact, John falls down as though he were dead, when he comes face to face with Jesus, as he fully truly is, and Jesus’ response to him is, you don’t have to be afraid. And he says, I’m the first and the last. And we talked a little bit about what that means. And in 2021, what would it look like for us to make Jesus our Alpha and our Omega, our first and last. Well, it means that we have to have our starting place being Jesus, who Jesus is, what Jesus says about us, what Jesus has done for us, that has to shape our purpose, that has to shape how we view the world, it has to shape how we view ourselves. He’s gotta be the starting place. And we talked about how, in order for you to understand your country, using that Kipling quote, you have to leave your country. You have to see from a different perspective. And so you and I can’t just rely on our own experience, we have to allow God’s word, which is living and active. We’ve got to allow it to be our starting place, it to be the place that shapes our view and our heart and who we become. And then yesterday we talked about what does it mean for Jesus to be your last, to be your Omega. And how often times Jesus can be a means to an end. And not the end in and of himself, but he is the end, of all the things we do, of all the things we accomplish. If all we end up with in the end is Jesus, it’s enough. He’s the end. He’s our Omega point. So I want to wrap up today, talking about the fact, that if Jesus is the beginning and the end of our story, then our whole story really is all about grace. If you go to the picture of Jesus in Revelation, it’s so different than Jesus in the gospels. It’s so different than what’s described in Isaiah 53, when Jesus is pictured as the suffering servant. As one who had nothing in his physical appearance that would attract us to him. But in Revelation, here he is, here he is since he’s been before the beginning of time, he’s terrifying, he’s holy, he’s righteous, he’s powerful. He is someone to fear, but his first words to a terrified John are do not be afraid. Now John should have been afraid, if Jesus weren’t grace, but Jesus is grace. Grace is synonymous with Jesus. In fact, Titus 2:11 says,
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people.
Jesus is the grace of God. One of my favorite pictures of Jesus, and I’m not talking about the one that was in your grandma’s house, of Jesus, from the seventies where he’s looking off, fondly into the distance, that everyone has had. But I’m talking about in Scripture, in John’s gospel, he writes about the night that Jesus was arrested. That’s a very powerful scene, before the soldiers showed up, Jesus was in the garden, pleading with God, the Father for there to be another way. He was there with all his buddies, all those that had said we’re in this with you till the end, but they’re all asleep. They can’t stay awake. And Jesus is in agony, because he knows, he knows what lies ahead. We’re told he is so stressed about what lies ahead that he begins to sweat blood. And he says, Father, if there’s any way for this to be accomplished without me having to drink the cup, let it pass from me. But ultimately he says, that it’s not my will, but yours. You know, there’s that verse that I’ve been quoting all week,
Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross.
I think after Jesus prayed that prayer to God, the Father, and when he said those words,
Not my will, but your will be done.
He saw us, we were the joy set before him. Jesus had everything. I mean, as we see in Revelation, he has all the holiness, all the righteousness, all the power. He’s imperfect union with God, the Father and God, the Spirit. He had everything. The only thing, he didn’t have before he came into our story, was us. And so in that moment, I believe he saw us. We were his joy. And he got up and this is where I’m so blown away by the description that John includes of Jesus’s arrest. We’re told the soldiers come at Jesus with armor and swords and cudgels and Jesus walks straight towards them. And he says, who is it you’re looking for? And they say, Jesus of Nazareth. And he says, I am he. And John tells us that the soldiers, these heavily armed men fall back in fear. And then John says, Jesus moves closer to the soldiers. And he says, who is it you are looking for? And they say, we’re looking for Jesus of Nazareth. And he says, I am he, Jesus bravely sought us. Jesus would not let anything get in the way of saving us. So when Jesus in all his glory bends down to the apostle John, and puts his hand on his shoulder when he’s terrified and says, do not fear. He means it. He says to John, I’ve given everything away so that I can have you. I know you’ve made mistakes. I know that standing in my presence in comparison to me, you’re covered in filth, but you were my joy. You were the joy, that gave me what I needed to bravely face my opponents, to bravely face a Cross, to bravely drink the cup of God’s wrath against sin. Now I know some of you made new year’s resolutions that you’ve already dropped. Me too. I know some of you even made a resolution to go back to church and you’ve already stopped, or you never actually started. Some of you decided that this year would be the year you took your relationship with Jesus more seriously. Some of you said, this is the year that you’ll get control of your addiction or you’ll stop that sinful pattern. This is going to be the year where you get better. But listen, however, this year plays out for you. Whatever happens in 2021, whatever choices you make, whatever commitments you keep and fail. If Jesus is your first and who’s your last, if he’s the beginning and the end of your story, you don’t have to fear, because Jesus is grace.
Thanks Zach. That was Pastor Zach Van Dyke wrapping up his week long teaching on fixing our eyes on Jesus. Again, if you missed any episodes, make sure you stop by our digital front porch at keylife.org to access those any time you want. Steve will resume his tour of Galatians on Monday, but first tomorrow, it’s time for Friday Q&A. One of the questions on tap for tomorrow, what about a child who accepts Jesus as their savior, but then later as an adult walks away from God, are they still a Christian? What a challenging, but important question, make sure you tune in for that answer. So you and I have probably never met and yet I can make one pretty safe assumption about you. You desire to have a deeper relationship with God. And of course you do. That’s why you’re listening to this program, right? Well, there’s a booklet that Steve wrote that talks about that very thing, how to go deeper, how to love more, how to know more of him. Could you use that? If so, would you please give us a call right now at 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also email your request to Steve@keylife.org. By mail, write us at
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