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Mark McGee

God loves the world. That's plain to see as we read His Word. Today, God loves the world through us, His Children of Grace. Christ is 'in' us and we are 'in' Christ. Christ is loving people and reaching out to them through us. He is making His appeal through us. He is reconciling people to Himself through us

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Paul's evangelistic mission was different from the Kingdom Apostles, but in many ways the same. The Kingdom Apostles preached Jesus the Messiah, ready to return to Israel and set up His Messianic Kingdom. From Israel, the Apostles, with Christ on David's Throne, were to go into all the world and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to observe everything Christ had commanded them. They would do that because all authority in heaven and on earth had been given to Christ. As we all know, that did not happen. It will happen in the future, but it has not yet happened. What has happened is that Christ revealed a Mystery through His Special Apostle Paul.

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We were lost and dead in sin. We were by nature objects of God's wrath. But God Loved us That Love caused Him to do something about our situation. God is rich in mercy, so He made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions. God acted on His Love for us and saved us by His Grace Grace is the result of the actions of His Love. The remarkable thing about His Grace is that He didn't ask us to do anything but believe Him. God didn't ask us to perform some great deed. He didn't demand obedience from us before He would save us. God made us alive with Christ 'even when we were dead in transgressions and sins.' God is showing the universe 'the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.' (Ephesians 27) God was Kind to us 'in' Christ because He Loved us.

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What should we emphasize in our teaching We learn much from Paul's letters to Timothy and Titus. Paul mentored each and sent them out to the churches to encourage and instruct God's Children of Grace. Notice how often Paul uses the words 'command,' 'warn,' and 'remind' in his letters to Timothy and Titus. God wants us to be loving and gentle in the way we teach His children, but He also wants us to be strong, precise and decisive in what we declare. We are not 'asking' Christians to obey God's Word. We are 'telling' them what God commands. We have no special power in ourselves, but when we preach God's Word we have the 'Power' of God behind us Our preaching and teaching should be in the 'Power and Strength' of God. He gave us the responsibility and authority to declare His Word. We do it humbly, but we do it.

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