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Robert R. McLaughlin Bible Ministries
The Tree of Life is a weekly teaching summary.
The Tree of Life from the week ending 05/20/07
What it means to be initiated into the secret of the mystery. Part 60.
The Doctrine of Supergrace.
PHI 4:9-13, “These things [doctrinal principles] also you have learned [manthano - learned from a teacher under strict academic discipline] and received [accepted through metabolization of doctrine] and having heard and have understood by means of me [Paul's teaching ministry]. Be putting these into action and the God of prosperity shall be with you, all of you[Supergrace believers]. Not because I am speaking with reference to poverty or lack; for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I have come to know how to be humbled and I have come to know how to live in prosperity. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret [I have been initiated into the mystery] of how to be filled, how to be hungry, how to be prosperous, and how to suffer need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” This last statement is only true for a special kind of believer called the Supergrace believer. The level of contentment Paul describes in this chapter is exclusively for those believers who have reached Supergrace. Paul identifies that fact in verse 5 when he instructs the Philippian believers to let their Supergrace mental attitude be known to all men; these are the type of believers who can do all things through Him who strengthens them.
            PHI 4:14-15, “Nevertheless, you have done well to share with me in my affliction. You yourselves also know, Philippians, that at the first preaching of the gospel, after I left Macedonia, no church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving but you alone;” Believers who have reached Supergrace have phenomenal mental attitude, know the secret of remaining content in all circumstances, and have confidence in Him to provide what is needed to be victorious in all situations. They focus not on their own real problems, but rather on the needs of others, and give graciously and sacrificially. This is NOT done by bragging about how advanced they are in the Christian way of life, nor lecturing others about where they fall short, or flaunting blessings. Grace pours into their laps, and flows out to others.
As we continue our study of Philippians, remember that chapter four is divided into four paragraphs. 1) The perspective of the Supergrace life, verses 1-7. 2) The subject of grace orientation, verses 8-11. 3) A dissertation on the next objective after Supergrace, ultra-Supergrace, verses 12-19. 4) The final objective of the spiritual life on earth, surpassing grace, verses 20-21. This is the stage of the greatest tests and pressures for the individual believer, because this is the ultimate goal to be attained by the intake of doctrine. Dying grace is actually the reward for advancing through all the other stages (PHI 1:29). PHI 4:1-7 reveals the beginning of no-mans land, between Supergrace and ultra-Supergrace, where we finally experience what living in the minority is all about. The chapter starts out with a command to advance to ultra-Supergrace and not retreat. PHI 4:1 “Therefore, my beloved brethren [members of the Royal Family of God] whom I desire to see [or be with], my source of happiness and wreath of glory, so stand firm [be advancing not retreating] in the Lord, my beloved.” This is an encouragement to advance in the spiritual life and never quit; it is the most rewarding and the most difficult advance in all of the spiritual life for the believer.
            We are now ready to continue in this chapter which deals with the subject of the objective in Supergrace leading to ultra-Supergrace. JAM 4:6 says, “But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, "God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” The word for greater grace is where we get the phrase Supergrace.
            The Doctrine of Supergrace. Grace is all that God is free to do for man on the basis of the Cross. If God is going to give man blessing, He must not in anyway jeopardize or compromise any characteristic of His essence; because of the complexity of divine essence, God must be consistent. Look at JOH 3:16For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son,” God would not give mankind anything if it in any way becomes incompatible with or compromises His essence. God's freedom to give His only begotten Son is based on the principle that God found a way to bless mankind in eternity past. REV 13:8 tells us that He was the lamb that was slain before the foundation of the world, “And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”(KJV). God had to be propitiated or satisfied completely; so the work of Christ on the cross frees God to bless man under the plan of grace. Therefore God is free to bless mankind because the work for salvation has been accomplished and completed perfectly by our Lord (JOH 19:30). Grace is God's freedom and consistency to express His love through grace to mankind without compromise of His essence. Under the principle of grace, God provides a series of blessings for man totally apart from man's merit, ability, planning, or energy. Under the policy of grace, God gives and man receives. Under the concept of grace everything depends on God's essence. Grace is what God can do for man and still be consistent with His own essence. HAB 1:13 says, “Thine eyes are too pure to approve evil, And Thou canst not look on wickedness with favor.” How can a God who cannot look upon sin have fellowship with us? The answer is that He had to do something about our sin, and then He treated us with grace. Under the mechanics of grace, man has a relationship with God in two categories: Before and after the Fall. The first category is based on creation; man was created an adult. Therefore, God provided everything man would ever need in the Garden, and we have an illustration of that grace with the trees. GEN 2:7-9, “Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. And the Lord God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed. And out of the ground the Lord God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”
There were trees which were for the stimulation of the soul, or the eyes, and that were good for food, or provisions for the body. Then the tree that was related to the human spirit and spiritual sustenance was the tree of lives (plural), and that tree was capacity to appreciate what God provided in grace. Man had immediate capacity to appreciate God's grace provision. Then, the tree of knowledge of good and evil which was a test. This tree was forbidden because good and evil result in spiritual death. However, man in his creation relationship with God was under grace, and there were two things he did not need in that relationship. One was good and the other was evil. Evil is the thinking of Satan whereas good is the application of that policy to history. Evil is the thinking policy of Satan and good is the application of that policy to experience in history.
            So, the grace relationship before the fall was based on creation. Everything was provided, and one thing was forbidden as an extension of the angelic conflict into human history: Eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. After the fall, the relationship is based on regeneration. At the time of the Fall, man ate of the forbidden tree; this first sin was a sin of negative volition toward the plan of God. A sin that the majority of humans, including believers, are still committing. Man immediately understood good and evil, and was immediately under the rulership of Satan, and immediately performed human good: Operation fig leaves. The original parents had a choice to choose God's plan or Satan's plan, and they chose Satan's. Therefore the salvation plan of God came into effect. Under God's plan, grace is all that God can do for man, and grace is the genius of God, and doctrine is the revelation and manifestation of that genius.
            We have looked at our definition of grace; we are now ready to see the different categories of grace that exist in God’s plan. 1) Saving grace, EPH 2:8-9, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast.” This is the work of the Trinity: The Father planned it in eternity past, the Son executed it on the cross, and the Spirit reveals it in time. 2) Logistical grace (MAT 6:25-33). This is all that the Trinity provides by way of power, security, and provision to keep the believer alive in the devil's world. This includes both spiritual provisions such as the Bible, the local church and the pastor-teacher as the communicator. Temporal provisions include food, shelter, clothing, and money. 3) Supergrace is the tactical victory of the angelic conflict, or spiritual maturity (JAM 4:6). This is experiential sanctification or the balance of residency between the filling of the Spirit and Bible doctrine resident in the soul. 4) Ultra-Supergrace is the sphere of the angelic conflict between the unfairness of the devil's world and the total fairness of God to mature believers, whom God places under maximum testing and pressure (2TI 2:10; 3:11-12). The blessings of Supergrace are intensified and protected by God even under intense pressure, persecution, and attack from Satan. Beyond Supergrace is an even a higher plane whereby you still have all of the blessings, but they are completely surrounded by suffering, pressure, and adversity which intensifies these blessings. It doesn't remove them, it only makes them better, and that's ultra-Supergrace. It's the fairness of God versus the unfairness of Satan. 2TI 2:10-14, “For this reason I endure all things for the sake of those who are chosen [or the elect], that they also may obtain [or acquire not the salvation but] the deliverance which is in Christ Jesus and with it eternal glory [escrow blessings in the eternal state]. It is a trustworthy statement: For if we died with Him, we shall also live with Him; If we endure [in suffering for blessing], we shall rule with Him [as mature believers]. If we deny Him[in time by rejecting the PPOG] He will deny us [rewards, escrow blessings]. If we are faithless, He remains faithful; for He cannot deny Himself. Remind them of these things, and solemnly charge them in the presence of God not to wrangle about words, which is useless, and leads to the ruin of the hearers.”
            Moses and Paul are two illustrations of ultra-Supergrace. Both were geniuses and reached ultra-Supergrace where their lives were enshrouded with continual pressure and suffering, 2TI 3:8-11, “And just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men [the reversionistic believers and unbelievers at the time Paul wrote this] also oppose the truth [Bible doctrine], men of depraved mind [corrupted mentality], rejected as regards the faith. But they will not make further progress; for their folly [their own lack of sense, which is their madness from reversionism] will be obvious to all, as also that of those two came to be. But you followed my teaching [doctrine], conduct [his self-discipline], purpose [his teaching and building up the body of Christ], faith [faithfulness], patience [his steadfastness], love, perseverance [endurance], persecutions, and sufferings [there is the shroud that wraps itself around the ultra-supergrace believer], such as happened to me at Antioch [pressure from legalism], at Iconium [there was a conspiracy to stone him] and at Lystra [legalism and he was actually stoned to death and God brought him back from the dead]; what persecutions I endured, and out of them all the Lord delivered me!” This is the highest honor that God can give to a believer in time. These men wear the highest honor and dignity and even though they are in a shroud of pressure and disaster they're in that total blessing. It is the demonstration of the power of doctrine. 2TI 3:12And indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus [the spiritual life] will be persecuted.” So it goes on in every generation. Ultra-Supergrace provides everything found in the blessings of Supergrace plus the intensification of these blessings completely enshrouded in maximum pressure and persecution from the satanic forces of evil.
5) Dying grace is the blessing provided when passing from time to eternity (PHI 1:21). This blessing is even greater than the greatest blessings of time. It means leaving behind great blessings by association to friends, loved ones, and family members. 6) Surpassing grace: The blessing, awards, and decorations for the mature believer for all eternity, EPH 2:7 “in order that in the ages to come [the eternal future] He might show the surpassing riches of His grace [surpassing grace riches] in generosity toward us in Christ Jesus.” This is referring to Supergrace and ultra-Supergrace believers. Supergrace and ultra-Supergrace are described as pursuing grace in PSA 23:5-6; EPH 1:6. David was a Supergrace believer, ACT 13:22 “I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My heart, who will do all My will.” When David reached Supergrace, the first thing that God gave him was wealth. There's a difference between being carnal and being reversionistic. David in operation Bathsheba tells us about his discipline in Psa 38 and Psa 51, and he had instant recovery when he rebounded. The discipline on a Supergrace believer when he's carnal is there and obviously strong, but when a person continues in reversionism his life is an intensified state of misery piled upon misery until he dies the sin unto death. David never lost his Supergrace. This doesn't mean he was perfect; Supergrace and ultra-Supergrace believers sin (1JO 1:8;10). Paul describes Supergrace in EPH 1:6to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.” The blessings of Supergrace and ultra-Supergrace are beyond human imagination, EPH 3:20-21 “Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly [infinitely more] beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works [effectively] within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.”
            By definition, therefore, Supergrace is the highest adult stage of the spiritual life in the Royal Family of God. It is the place where you are qualified to increase the grace to ultra-Supergrace. Supergrace is maximum glorification of the Lord Jesus Christ complementing His strategic victory of the angelic conflict with the believer's tactical victory. Supergrace is the status of spiritual maturity while ultra-Supergrace is maximum growth and blessing attended by maximum suffering, which intensifies the blessing. Supergrace is where the normal function of the royal priesthood and the production of divine good begins.
            Synonyms for Supergrace. We looked at nomenclature that the Bible uses to describe the Supergrace believer. 1) The theological synonym is greater grace, [meizona charin] (JAM 4:6). 2) The Hebrew word chakmah means wisdom; this is maximum Bible doctrine in the soul, in the Greek it is epignosis. 3) The priestly synonym: The altar of the soul, HEB 13:10We[the royal priesthood] have an altar, from which those who serve the tabernacle have no authorization to eat.” So when the altar in the soul is constructed the believer reaches Supergrace and maturity. 4) Building: the edification complex of the soul,(EPH 4:12,16). Once the edification complex is completed, the believer is said to be in maturity or Supergrace. 5) The sanctification synonym: Eusebeia translated godliness, meaning to live the spiritual life. The corrected translation of 1TI 6:3-6says, “If anyone advocates or teaches a different doctrine, and does not agree with sound doctrines, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, even with the doctrines pertaining to spiritual life, he has received blind arrogance and understands nothing [of doctrine]; but he has a morbid obsession about controversies and verbal conflicts, out of which arise jealousy, discord, evil speculations [or presumptuous sins], and constant friction between people of a distorted mind and devoid of doctrine, constantly presuming that gain is godliness or living the spiritual life. But living the spiritual life keeps on being a great means of prosperity, when accompanied by contentment [capacity for life].” 6) The chemical synonym: salt (MAT 5:13). The salt of the earth or the salt of the land is the Supergrace believer or the ultra-Supergrace believer being a blessing to his nation and to others by association. 7) The crucifixion synonym: Take up your cross... (MAT 10:38; MAR 8:34; LUK 9:23;LUK 14:27). This is the consistent function of perception, metabolization, and application of Bible doctrine. Following Christ is the result of Supergrace. 8) There are three military synonyms: Put on the full armor of God, (EPH 6:11-18). Running the race with endurance, (HEB 12:1-2). Establishing a command post of the soul, (COL 2:5-8). All three of these are military synonyms for the Supergrace status. 9) There's a central control system called inner strength: The inner rule or dictator of the soul, EPH 6:10From now on, keep on becoming strong by means of the Lord, and in the strength of His might [or inner rule].”
            Blessings of Supergrace. Category one: Spiritual blessings. Sharing the perfect happiness of God, occupation with Christ is maximum category one love which is intensified in Supergrace and ultra-Supergrace. There are many blessings because of your maximum love for the Lord Jesus Christ. The Supergrace believer also has great capacity for life, love, happiness, blessing, and total appreciation for grace. Also, there is the tremendous ability to face undeserved suffering in life without complaining. For the Supergrace believer, the intensification of spiritual blessings comes when you wear that shroud of maximum suffering that never seems to terminate, in fact, will not terminate until departure from this life. Remember the corrected translation of PHI 1:29“Because to you it has been graciously given with reference concerning Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer on behalf of Him,” Under spiritual blessings, the Supergrace believer also has the ability to correctly interpret contemporary history in the light of the Word of God. He has freedom from the circumstances in life and adaptability to changing circumstances, and has a total sense of security, whether in prosperity or disaster. Category two: Temporal blessings. Wealth, either received or acquired. You can be wealthy and enshrouded in the great suffering mantle. You can have professional prosperity which means having a great influence on others, leadership dynamics, success, promotion, recognition in different areas of life. Moses was a ruler and advanced as a ruler. Paul was the greatest communicator of all time, and advanced in his communication. Jeremiah was the greatest prophet of all time. So, it is when God promotes you that you are truly qualified for the job. Under Supergrace, you will have the ability to assume responsibility and authority without emotional inspiration or pseudo motivation. You will also have great social prosperity, and sexual prosperity with one's right man or right woman. Moses got his right woman the second time around, and she was both the source of social and sexual prosperity. There's also technical prosperity or mental prosperity which is the ability to think and concentrate which will give you a greater capacity for life. You will have cultural prosperity which is maximum enjoyment of drama, art, literature, music, history. Establishment prosperity includes enjoyment of freedom, privacy, protection of life and property from criminals and reprisal. Category three: Blessings by association. Those around a mature believer are blessed by their relationship with that person. They are blessed either directly by God or indirectly from the Supergrace believer as a result of the overflow of his blessings. Being gracious, the Supergrace believer shares his blessings with others. There are peripheral areas of blessing by association such as loved ones, in business life, in social life, and to those in a local church. There are also geographical blessings to the Supergrace believer's city, state, and nation. Category four: Historical blessings (2TI 1:5). This is the doctrinal principle that the mature believer carries his generation. He stabilizes his generation, and becomes a stabilizer for future historical generations. The ebb and flow of history does not disturb the tranquility of the mature believer. The Supergrace believer is on the right side of history, while the reversionist is on the wrong side, being caught up in the disasters of history and swept along with them. EPH 4:14 “As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming;” Category five: Undeserved suffering. Only in time does God have the opportunity to give us pressure, disaster, and undeserved suffering to prove to Satan and the fallen angels that Bible doctrine can handle any situation. God gives us the ability to handle suffering and turn suffering into blessing (ROM 8:28; DEU 23:5). A mature believer knows when he is under divine discipline or undeserved suffering. The first is unbearable suffering; the second is bearable. The Supergrace believer's ability to handle undeserved suffering glorifies God and becomes evidence against Satan in his appeal trial. Undeserved suffering is also used by God to help you keep your eyes on God and your focus on eternity. REV 2:10 “Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.” 2CO 12:9-10, “And He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.”
            Undeserved suffering also teaches us the value of Bible doctrine. PSA 119:67 “Before I was afflicted I went astray, But now I keep Thy word.” In this Psalm, the Psalmist is under pressure, and he says under pressure and disastrous conditions,I keep Your word. God in wisdom deals with us as perfectly as only He can. He allows the suffering, heartache, disaster, and sorrows to afflict us to draw us closer to Him. God will allow people and circumstances to handle us roughly at times. PSA 119:68-75, “Thou art good and doest good; Teach me Thy statutes. The arrogant have forged a lie against me; With all {my} heart I will observe Thy precepts. Their heart is covered with fat, {But} I delight in Thy law. It is good for me that I was afflicted, That I may learn Thy statutes. The law of Thy mouth is better to me Than thousands of gold and silver {pieces}. Thy hands made me and fashioned me; Give me understanding, that I may learn Thy commandments. May those who fear Thee see me and be glad, Because I wait for Thy word. I know, O Lord, that Thy judgments are righteous, And that in faithfulness Thou hast afflicted me.”
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