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Sunday, July 24, 2016

God's Favor- Graham Coke

God’s favor may be one of the more misunderstood conversations among Christians today. That’s why I’d like to take a few weeks and discuss it here. Today, let’s look at a few foundational truths about favor that may help us weed through some of the common misconceptions.
Favor is a special preference from one to another. It is an intentional bias. An advantage given to someone’s benefit. It’s the evidence that we are seen in a very particular way by someone who esteems and approves of us. To be given favor is to become privileged and highly regarded. We obtain favor because we are powerfully loved—a favorite.
That’s an impressive list of conditions! No wonder most believers do not believe they measure up enough to deserve favor.

The first KEY to favor is how God sees us in Christ.

We are not given favor because of who we are, but because of who Jesus is … in us! His favor with God now becomes ours also, because He is in us.
At the very least, as we are growing up and learning our truest identity in Jesus, we are joint heirs [Rom. 8:17]. Whilest we are making mistakes and developing our integrity we share favor with Christ, in Christ, through Christ [1 Cor. 8:6]. Favor is a constant, unchanging part of our relationship with God in Christ by the Holy Spirit.
The presence of Jesus in us safeguards all our favor in the sight of God.

The second KEY to favor is that we are not given favor because of our performance, but because of our placement in Christ.

We are given favor because of the Father’s relationship with Christ in us and then because of His relationship with us in Christ. The classic double portion of ultimate blessing!
“In Christ we are a new creation, all the old is passed and all things become new”[2 Cor. 5:17].
As we grow up in the new man, we partake of all the favor that Jesus already possesses in full. We develop from being a joint-heir as a child to being an heir of God as a fully mature son. That means when we are in much-loved child mode as we are learning something new, our favor as a joint-heir is still powerful and rich.
The Father loves us as He loved Jesus and wants the same relationship with us that He has with Jesus. That loving sonship is rooted in favor [Jn. 17:6-10]. Heaven has a right of possession over us! “They were yours” [we belong to the Father] … “You gave them to me”[we belong to Jesus].
All people given to Jesus by the Father also still belong to the Father. All things that belong to Jesus also belong to the Father! [Jn. 17:9-10]
Everything that the Father has given to Jesus now automatically becomes part of our relationship also. As we put on Christ with the help of the Holy Spirit [Jn. 16:13-15], we grow into this favor and righteousness.

Favor is a relationship! It is a vital part of our lifestyle of walking with God in Christ.

The origin of all our favor is rooted in John 14:20.
“I am in the Father, and you in Me, and I in you.”
Favor is not a reward, it is a relationship between the Father and the Son … that now includes us.
“Just as the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you, abide [learn to stay and dwell] in my love” [Jn. 15:9].
Whatever the Father is to Jesus, He is to us. He put Christ into us and us into Christ so that He can enjoy the same relationship with us as He does with Jesus!
We are double wrapped in Presence. Favor is our protection from doubt, fear, unbelief, low self-esteem and unworthiness.
The very heart of favor is also the essential nature of the Gospel. That is, that everything that would disqualify us from favor has already been killed off in Christ [Col. 3:3]. We are dead to it and alive to God in Christ [Rom. 6:11].

Our favor is unchanging because it belongs to Christ in us and therefore is a right of relationship because we are in Him.

Favor is tied to the new creation [Christ in us], not the old. That means that because our old nature is dead in Christ, the Father can only relate to the new nature that is resurrected in Christ [Rom. 6:4-8].
All of Heaven is attracted to Jesus in us. What makes the Gospel to be the Glad Tidings of Great Joy is that we are included in His resurrection life. He is our inheritance.
The Father put us into the most privileged place in all creation … Christ in you, the expectation of glory [Col. 1:27].

Favor is our refuge in God’s nature. It provides strong encouragement.

Our favor is attached to God’s relationship with Jesus. He grants us the same promises and lifestyle in Christ [2 Peter 1:2-4].
Every promise is designed for us to experience Him acting in relationship with us. Promises lift us up so that we become aware of God’s heart towards us. The favor that we have in Christ elevates our promises from potential to realization.
Favor empowers us to live from Heaven to Earth in our circumstances. We know, through favor, what it means to be empowered, to be seated with Christ in heavenly places [Eph. 2:6]. The favor in God’s word calls us up to a higher place than our circumstances.
When we practice our relationship in Jesus, The Living Word, our favor increases constantly because of who He is in us.
We cannot be conscious of the inward Presence of Jesus without also being aware and responsive to the favor that He carries in us.   LINK
PS) In the next few blogs we will look at how God trains us for a life of favor and how to grow in favor in a practical way.
For now, take this moment to begin eliminating all your disqualifiers from your experience of Jesus.
Make a list of them and alongside each of them, write down the exact opposite. This is where your favor begins to put down roots … in the truth of who Jesus is for you.
For example: If you believe your lifestyle is against you receiving favor, read and meditate on Galatians 2:20; Colossians 3:4; 1 John 4:17. As He is … so are you … in Christ Jesus.
If you see favor as a reward for performance, read Ephesians 3:6, “fellow heirs; fellow members of the body; fellow partakers of the promises in Christ Jesus, through the Gospel.” Being joined to Christ, releases all favor!
If you feel unloved and unlovely to God, read Ephesians 1:2-6 … you are accepted in the Beloved with every blessings as sons/daughters of God.
I’m sure you will have lots of questions, and some reservations, and also a desire to explore the goodness of God in Jesus.
PPS) If you want to explore favor in all its fullness there is a 6-part CD teaching called theFavor Series which includes a powerful prophetic word on favor. Check it out on BrilliantBookHouse.com.

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