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Holiness and Grace

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Slide one

Holiness and Grace

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Slide two
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1 Peter 1:13–17 ESV
13 Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 17 And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile,
2 Timothy 1:9 ESV
who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began,
1 Peter 1:13–23 ESV
13 Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 17 And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, 18 knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. 20 He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you 21 who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. 22 Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, 23 since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God;
1 peter 1.13
Slide three
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1 Peter 1:13 ESV
13 Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 1:18–23 ESV
18 knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. 20 He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you 21 who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. 22 Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, 23 since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God;
INTRODUCTION
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Slide 4
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God has designed holiness and grace to work in harmony. The church however, has far too often, pit the two against each other.

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Today we move into the second of three studies in a series called:
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Slide 5
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ELEMENTS

To quickly recap - an element is a vital part of something… it is engrained in the making… and the product.
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It works together, as a single element, with other elements to distinguish the unique characteristics of a certain thing.
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In this series, we are not merely talking about ELEMENTS individually… but specifically, we are talking about those elements that we sometimes have a hard time striking a balance with.
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Last week we talked about…
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Slide 6
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Spirit and Truth

We talked about the importance… in both our doctrine and in our worship… to not over emphasize one over the other.
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We learned in Jesus’ discussion with the Samaritan woman … specifically how.. GOD WANTS TO BE WORSHIPPED.
not in a specific location… Not in a manner that is overly spiritual and lacking truth… - and not in a manner that is wholly true, but LACKING SPIRIT.
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many traditions in the church have gone down one path at the expense of the other… and to divide the two was NEVER GOD’S PLAN.
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Today we continue this study by considering two different elements.

The first is HOLINESS… The second is GRACE.
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Slide 7
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By definition…

Holiness is a chief attribute of God and a quality to be developed in his people.

It’s important to understand, that our motivation to walk in holiness, is found in the fact that God is holy.
-This is why you will read… in both Leviticus, and in 1 Peter… -God saying: “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”
The primary OT word for holiness means “to cut” or “to separate.”
.God is separate.
He transcends over nature… and his moral character is perfect. The world is fallen… nature is corrupt… and immorality is a product of man’s sinful nature.. -
GOD IS SEPARATE FROM ALL OF THAT.
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Slide 8
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AND SO… When He declares in
Leviticus 19:2 ESV
2 “Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel and say to them, You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy.
He is calling His people… to be distinct, because He is distinct.
Historically, this was a huge struggle for Israel.. over and over again, they fell away from God, because they wanted to be like the other nations…
-They wanted to practice the idolatry… the debauchery… the drunkeness… that the other nations practiced.
-They wanted to be like the other nations… they wanted a King when God had given them judges…
-They wanted to intermarry when God called them to separate.
-They wanted the great weapons and chariots.. when God had given them clay pots and torches.
-God called His people to be unique and different… but they strived to be like everyone else… and as a result..
-God kept them in the wilderness for 40 years.
God gave them some really bad leaders...
-God led them off into captivity...
-And for the 10 tribes who were taken captive by the Assyrians.. God allowed them to be dispersed.
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Fundamentally, holiness is a cutting off or separation from what is unclean and a consecration to what is pure.
-So, in the OT sense… - it speaks of separation. Specifically… a separation with a holy purpose.
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The definition literally speaks of something that is done to us… rather than something we do.
-God cut Isreal off from the rest of the nations…
-God separated Israel from the rest of the nations…
Why? because…
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Slide 9
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God had a unique calling and purpose for these descendants of Abraham.

They didn’t make themselves to be children of Israel..
-God did that.
-He called them as a nation to be set apart from the other nations… for a holy purpose
-From their midst, He called the Levites to be people set apart from the other people… for a holy purpose.
-Israel was set apart with a holy purpose…
We learn about that purpose in...
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Slide 10
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Genesis 12:2–3 ESV
2 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
Isaiah 49:6 ESV
6 he says: “It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to bring back the preserved of Israel; I will make you as a light for the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”
These were God’s words for Abraham.
-His descendants would become a great nation..
-Abraham’s name… and the nation of promise that would come from him… would become great...
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AND… THAT GREATNESS WOULD COME WITH A PURPOSE…
-They would become great, so that they could become a blessing…
-The greatness that God gives… comes with responsibility… and even though they did not fulfill it very well as a nation…
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They did fulfill it, ultimately through their lineage.
-Through this nation… that was set apart with a holy purpose… -
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SLIDE 11
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all that nations of the earth would be blessed… -

-When we read Jesus’ conversation with the Samaritan woman last week, He said SALVATION IS FROM THE JEWS.. - Jesus was referencing this covenant that God was making with Abraham..
-The whole world would have the opportunity to be blessed, because the nation of Israel produced… for the rest of the world… A MESSIAH.
-SO… from the OT we learn… that:
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Slide 12
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Holiness is a condition and a position that God establishes for His people, so that they might be distinct as He is distinct, and unique in purpose as He is unique in purpose.

GOD CALLED ISRAEL TO BE HOLY. They didn’t do a good job at being set apart…
There are two different definitions… or better yet.. aspects of holiness laid out in the NT.
THERE
ONE IS VERY SIMILAR TO THE OT DEFINITION… Holiness speaks of an external separation from the profane… and a DEDICATION to the service of the Lord.
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The other definition signifies....
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slide 13
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…an inner state of freedom from moral fault and a relative harmony with the moral perfection of God. It is often translated as ‘godliness’ which means, ‘godlikeness’.

As we move into the NT, and specifically during the ministry of Jesus… we begin to see a conflict arise between: the OUTWARD WORKS WHICH seem to display HOLINESS… -
-and the inward, real condition of holiness.
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-Much of Judaism in Jesus’ time sought a ceremonial holiness by works… - But Jesus stressed an ethical, rather than a formal dimension of holiness.
These repeated conflicts between Jesus and the Jewish leaders… exemplify a conflict that the church struggles with to this day.
In HOLINESS… there is a call to separate from the world… There is a call to focus on deeds… there are works to do… works of cleansing… works of denying the flesh…
-And these are real and true works that are set before us in the scriptures..
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slide 14
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2 Corinthians 7:1 ESV
1 Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.
2 Cor 7:
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slide 15
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1 Peter 1:14–15 ESV
14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,
-It is an undeniable truth, that God has called us to deeds… works if you will… of holiness..
-We must cleanse from ourselves… the defilements… literally… the POLLUTIONS… of body and spirit. - We do this… to: BRING OUR DEEDS OF HOLINESS… INTO HARMONY WITH OUR STATUS OF HOLINESS.
-WE MUST NOT allow the PASSIONS OF OUR FORMER IGNORANCE to shape or mold the thoughts, behaviors, or patterns of our life.
-Basically:
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slide 16
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If your mind or your flesh desires to mold you and shape you according to your fallen and broken nature, which is contrary to God’s call to be holy, then you must not allow it.

-The NT calls us to bring holiness to completion in the fear of God…
BUT -
-If we merely strive for the works of holiness.
-if we merely work to be sinless in deed and thought.
-if we focus on the outward deeds and expressions.
-if we obsess to be right… to be pure… to be obedient…
-And if we do this, without the motivation and balance that Grace brings to the process..
WE RUN THE RISK OF BECOMING:
-bitter.
-legalistic
-arrogant
-judgmental
-prideful
WE RUN THE RISK OF BEING A PEOPLE WHOSE FAITH BECOMES A WORK OF THE FLESH. -even as we strive to… intend to... crucify the flesh and the desires within…
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slide 17
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The holiness produced by a motivation of grace, creates a different kind of Christian, than the holiness which is motivated strictly by the letter of the law.

-on the other side of that coin
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slide 18
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Grace that doesn’t motivate a life of holiness, is a grace that is misunderstood, and wrongly defined.
A lack of balance on either side, will become a devotion to rules rather than a devotion to relationship..
…holiness without grace often turns into a work motivated by the will to adhere to the outward rule concerning morality, purity, and devotion.
…grace without holiness looks at the rules differently.. but it’s still rules. Grace without holiness leads to a casual attitude towards sin because God will always forgive.
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.Slide 19
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For one, the rules demand compliance. For the other, the rules provide allowance. In a way, both attitudes are essentially legalistic.

Paul explained the unity and the harmony that grace and holiness should have in his letter to Titus
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Slide 20
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Titus 2:11–14 ESV
11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, 12 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, 13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.
THE GRACE OF GOD HAS APPEARED… This is better understood in the following passage.
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Slide 21
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John 1:16–17 ESV
16 For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
There was grace under the Old Covenant… God is and always has been a God of grace…
… but, even as they experienced a gracious God… they looked forward to a greater… FULLER EXPRESSION OF GRACE.
-As we look back to the Grace of God that appeared in Jesus...
-They looked forward to the grace upon grace which would come in fulness in the coming of the Messiah.
The TYNDALE BIBLE DICTIONARY WORDS IT THIS WAY:
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Slide 22
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The doctrine of divine grace underlies the thought of both the OT and NT. However, the OT merely anticipates and prepares for the full expression of grace that becomes manifest in the NT.

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So, according to … the grace of God has appeared bringing salvation..
Then… in verse 12, it explains what a true and balanced response to grace will be…
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Slide 23
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Titus 2:12 ESV
12 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age,
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Grace trains us to renounce ungodliness… or literally… to refuse and disown un-holiness.
Grace trains us to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives… -Not our will… not our flesh… but grace.
-Grace doesn’t train us to have a flippant and casual attitude towards sin.
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This passage goes on to tell us what else GRACE SHOULD PRODUCE IN US…
-GRACE causes us to look forward… with hope, to the revelation of Jesus as He returns again to bring justice to this world and establish His Kingdom.
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-Then, this passage tells us why Jesus wants Grace to work in us properly…
-Because He wants His possession… those who are His… Those whom He has purified… to BE ZEALOUS FOR GOOD WORKS.
The Tyndale Bible Dictionary goes on to define grace..
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Slide 24
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Grace is the dimension of divine activity that enables God to confront human indifference and rebellion with an inexhaustible capacity to forgive and to bless. God is gracious in action.

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We know what grace produces… it gets us to a place where we live lives of holiness…
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But it continues to be a reality to us… as we struggle with the corruption… the brokeness… the weakness… that exists in our own hearts and minds.
-We might have a small view of sin. That is… our view towards sin might only concern our thoughts and our deeds.
-It is true that we are called to be a people who are crucifying the flesh with its passions and desires..
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But even as we do that.. WE do it with the understanding.. - That this is not a one time thing for us. Jesus finished His work on the cross…
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He said, “It is finished… and He meant it.”
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But we have an ongoing practice of faith to make that finished spiritual truth a daily, physical reality…
-WE just READ In … Grace motivates us to holiness and hope because we are His possession for His purpose..
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In … it tells us that those who belong to Christ Jesus
have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. … the flesh is always with us… AND THE DESIRES WITHIN… ARE ALWAYS THERE.
… have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. … the flesh is always with us… AND THE DESIRES WITHIN… ARE ALWAYS THERE.
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In the flesh, our condition is one of sin… because sin LITERALLY MEANS… “missing the mark”… and our flesh is doing just that… it is falling short of perfection.
… We have an ongoing challenge. We carry with us, an ongoing struggle… So in our own willpower, we might stop the deeds of sin…
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but if we loose sight of the condition of sin… Then we run the risk of losing sight of Grace.
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Slide 25
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Galatians 2:20–21 ESV
20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.
-When I say… that I’m a sinner… I’m not talking about the spiritual truth that God extends to me…
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I’m talking about the condition of my flesh, that is in constant need of being crucified by faith…
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Because if I forget this reality, I run the risk of nul
Righteousness is not gained in my willful accomplishments of sinlessness.. -If so, I nullify grace, and Christ died for no purpose.
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-with anything that is ongoing… there will be struggles… failures… there will be times where we are led into failure by our failing desires. There will be times when we know to do right, and we don’t do it..
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Holiness without grace leads to self condemnation, guilt, self-punishment…
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I love this part of Tyndale’s definition:
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Slide 26
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Grace is God’s.... inexhaustible capacity to forgive and to bless.

Some respond to their own failure with guilt, condemnation, guilt, shame, punishment…
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Some respond to the failures of other Christians with guilt, condemnation, guilt, shame and punishment…
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But God’s inexhaustible response.... is to forgive and to bless.
-I don’t know about you, that’s mind blowing stuff.
-You might think that you’ve done too many bad things.
-You might think that you are not good enough to be accepted by God.
-You might think that you’re not good enough to be around so many good people.
-You might think that you’re too much of a hypocrite to pray, to worship, to go to church…
-IF YOU THINK ANY OF THESE THINGS… THEN YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT GRACE IS.
-Your personal sense of justice does not apply.
-The justice system of your government does not apply.
-The justice that the courts issue, does not apply.
-THE INEXHAUSTIBLE GRACE OF GOD EXTENDS BEYOND ALL OF THAT.
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Let me wrap this up with these thoughts from John Newton… the man who wrote Amazing Grace.
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.Slide 27
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As he thought upon the words: “By the grace of God I am what I am,” he said, “I am not what I ought to be. How imperfect and deficient I am! I am not what I wish to be. Though I am not what I ought to be, I can truly say that I am not what I once was—a slave to sin and Satan. I can heartily say with Paul: “By the grace of God I am what I am”!”
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I hope that we too can say this… As we strike a balance… as we find the harmony that grace and holiness can produce…
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I hope we too can say, today…
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I am not what I ought to be… but I am not what I once was- a slave to sin and Satan.
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Slide 28
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By the grace of God I am what I am
I am what I am!
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