Amazing Grace: Where Sin Abounds, Grace Superabounds – Paul Says So!

The following is a transcript of a sermon given by  my uncle Santo Calarco at his church yesterday, who has been a minister of religion since 1981.  I feel privelidged that he has given me permission  to publish his article as it is his desire to share  his knowledge  with the  hope those who read it will receive some blessing from it. 

Where sin abounds grace superabounds: Paul says so!

 In Romans 5:20 Paul makes a radical statement that has been the thorn in the side for many believers throughout the centuries.  It basically sounds like Paul is creating a license for sin.  He says, “The law was added so that trespass might increase.  But where sin increased, grace increased all the more.” 

 Although Paul has made it clear that grace is no license for sin (Romans 3:8) Paul is still maintaining that man’s sin cannot outstrip the grace of God.  Paul uses two important words in this verse that makes Paul’s intent clear.  He uses the word “increased” in reference to both sin and grace: where sin “increased” graced “increased” also.

 However the difference between the “increase” is not proportionate: where sin increased grace increased all the more!  How much more is the question: a little more, a lot more?  

 The Greek word for “increased” with reference to sin is not the same Greek word in regards to grace.  When Paul refers to sin increasing he uses the Greek word pleonazo and when referring to grace he uses huperperisseuo.

 According to Strongs Concordance the former means “abound” but the latter means “to abound beyond measure, to abound exceedingly, to exceed a fixed number of measure.”   In other words Paul is telling us that as sin increases grace increases disproportionately to cover that sin.  What amazing grace. Look at the way the Amplified Bible has dealt with the original language:

20But then Law came in, [only] to expand and increase the trespass [making it more apparent and exciting opposition]. But where sin increased and abounded, grace (God’s unmerited favor) has surpassed it and increased the more and superabounded.

This is the gospel of God’s amazing grace according to Paul and admittedly it can seem to sound like license for sin.  Let me say this categorically and in no uncertain terms: unless the gospel we hear doesn’t “sound” like a license for sin then we have not heard the gospel of Paul.

 How do I know that?  In the very next verses Paul says, “shall we go on sinning that grace may increase”?  Although he is quick to qualify what he is saying Paul knows for certain that his message seems to sound like that very thing!

 As we read this verse we need to remember that Romans 5:20 is the climax of the message of the entire fifth chapter and needs to be understood within that setting.  Paul commences in verse 1 by telling us that since we are justified by faith we have peace with God. This is a summary statement of everything he just said in the book as a whole.  This verse also sets the scene for what follows in the chapter which climaxes in radical statement in verse 20.  In Romans 1-4 Paul has carefully set out to define what Justification by faith is.

 He tells us that to be justified means to be “declared righteous” not made righteous – in spite of all our failed attempts to keep God’s law. The word translated “declared righteous” in the NIV of Romans 3:20 is the exact same word as “justified” in Romans 5:1.

 To be justified by faith is not an ethical quality but a legal, relational standing one has with God through faith in the blood of Jesus. It has nothing to do with how righteous I become in regards my behaviour here on earth. To be justified means that God freely declares us righteous by faith in Jesus and then credits to our account all the good works of Jesus and credits all our sin to Jesus himself.

  See Romans 4:1-6.  It not only means “just-as-if-I-never-sinned” but it also means “just-as-if-I-had-only-ever-been-righteous”.  Although forgiveness of sins is included in justification (Rom 4:7) it goes beyond it: it also means acquittal which means we never committed any sins that need forgiveness. 

 The Revised Standard Version of Romans 5:18 translates the same root word as “acquittal” compared with “justification” in the NIV.   Forgiveness means we have committed wrongs but acquittal means we never have! 

 Because of all this Paul concludes that the believer has peace with God. Rom 5:1.  And just in case we still don’t get it, Paul continues to labour the point in chapter 5 by listing even more results that accompany this blessing. 

 Through a series of contrasts he speaks of the peace that comes through justification.  The key phrase in this chapter is “how much more” and climaxes with his radical statement in verse 20. 

 Paul tells us that we not only have peace with God as a result of justification but we also have a number of other things: continuing standing in the grace of God (v.2), hope for the future coming of Jesus (v.2) and meaning and purpose in trials (vv.3-4). 

 This hope that grows out of justification is grounded in the very love of God which has already been poured out into our hearts. Romans 5:5.   It is at this point that Paul commences his series of comparisons; his “how much more” statements. 

 He reasons that if God has already poured this love into our hearts through the experience of justification by faith (which has resulted in peace) and since God demonstrated this love to us through the death of Jesus whilst we were still lost sinners, then how much more certain can we be now in our standing with God: if he loved us and Jesus died for us when we were lost sinners then how much more now can we have peace knowing that we will escape his wrath? 

 Read verses 5-9 in one sitting carefully to notice the contrast.   He continues with the next contrast and says that if God made peace and reconciled the lost world to himself through the death of his Son then how much more should we rest peacefully secure since we will [not “may”] be saved through faith in Jesus life? Romans 5:10. 

 He goes onto say that if through Adam’s one sin we were all wrecked then how much more peacefully safe are we now in God’s grace that overflows to undo and compensate? Romans 5:15.  Then Paul finally arrives at his radical statement on the grace of God.  He says that if the introduction of the law worsened our situation by increasing sin then how much more at peace can we be, knowing that our standing with God is never jeopardized since God’s grace superabounds our sin? 

 What amazing grace! We cannot out-sin the grace of God:  this is the essence of the good news of the Gospel.  We can rest assured of the peace we have for it is grounded in the marvellous and boundless grace of God demonstrated through the doing and dying of Jesus.

————————————————————————————————————————————————Author Bio:

 Santo Calarco has been a Minister of Religion since 1981. He has earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Arts, receiving awards for academic excellence and is currently completing his Masters Degree.

 Santo has written articles which have been published in “Ministry Magazine-International Journal for Clergy” and “South Pacific Record”. During the course of his ministry Santo has received professional training in Management by Objectives, Conflict Resolution, Group Facilitating, Communication Skills and Pastoral Counselling.

Santo has completed post-graduate professional training as a Therapist and is registered with the REBT Institute in New York and Australia. Santo is currently a Life Coach and Strategist, Lecturer, Motivational Speaker and businessman. He has spoken to crowds of up to 5000 all around the globe.

Santo’s greatest qualification he says is his life experience.

“My life was a shambles. It was riddled with anger, hostility and depression for 20 years! I tried so many forms of therapy and self-help for so long with little or no success. I had nearly given up hope until I began to study various forms of Cognitive-behavioural Psychology. This was the catalyst that began my journey and transformation. From my research I developed a specialised approach to self-empowerment. I am a strong believer in helping people help themselves and others. As a result, not only have I radically and rapidly changed, but I have also witnessed the transformation of many lives. The greatest thrill I get is when people contact me and say thanks for the massive, enduring transformation they received at my workshops.”

Through Focus For Life Seminars and Workshops you will learn how to use the simple, proven strategies of “CET” to develop long-term control, empowerment and transformation of your life.

For more information or to contact Santo please go to: www.focusforlife.com

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The Secret behind Masterchef Julie Goodwin’s win!

It was no surprise that Julie  Goodwin, mother of three from New South Wales’ Central Coast, was announced Australia’s first Masterchef in the television series that has been coning into Australian homes nightly over the past weeks.

I say it was no surprise because anyone who had watched it carefully ( as I did), would have noticed in Julie the elements and qualities of a woman who had decided from the outset that she was in it to win it.

Many times throughout the television series when contestants were interviewed and asked questions and asked to  talked about themselves, their desire, passion, vision and so forth, Julie stood out.

I don’t know how many times I recall Julie talking about her little dream restaurant that she intended to open up on the Central Coast, and the kind of cuisine she intended to offer.  One of the most remembered comment she made was that she cooks from the heart and that she puts everything into her cooking. 

 Her passion, her love for food, the joy she gets from cooking meal and watching explosions of smiles on people’s faces as they taste her glorious food, are what she loves the most about cooking.

So what made Julie stand out above anyone else?

Julie had a CLEAR VISION of what she wanted.  She dreamed of winning this challenge before her.  She placed herself in the environment she needed to to get where she wanted to go.  She had a burning desire to realise her dream.  She could literally taste the victory.  She imagined herself winning it, regardless of the odds. 

When Julie had been asked by Donna Hay about what the title of her cookbook would be if she won and to give a brief description of how she would set it out, she gave such a detailed account, chapter by chapter,so much so that the adjudicators as well as Donna Hay could not help but see it as a tangible object.  In fact, Donna Hay was so excited about it that she said she could see it and wanted a copy of her book. 

The two competitors were asked the same question and the same vivid explanation was not offered. 

Quite often we have dreams and our dreams dissipate into thin air and we wonder why.  We often wonder if it is just a mater of bad timing, bad luck, raw deal, not God’s will, however it is none of these things.

Our desires need to be backed with a burning desire.  So intense should be our desire that we begin to move toward it by putting ourselves in the appropriate environment.  For example, one may want to be an actress.  Wishing to be an actress and doing nothing about it isn’t going to get you anywhere. 

However, having a plan on how you can start your journey toward it for example:  joining a local theatre group would place you right where you need to be.  If you’re out in the middle of the country on a cattle farm, you are hardly going to be ‘noticed’, right?

Besides having a plan you need to be committed to it.  Stay focused and on target for as long as it is going to take you.  I remember an interview with the great John Farnham ( one of Australia’s singing icons) where he was asked how he felt about his sudden fame. 

John answered that his fame was not sudden at all.  He had a one-hit wonder when he was just a young lad with ‘Sadie the cleaning lady’, and after that nothing for two decades!  In the meantime he worked a normal job, raising a family and still pursuing his dream.  One day John was offered lead singer in ‘The Little River Band’ and of course, the rest is history and we here in the land of OZ refer to him as  ‘ Lightnin’ Jack ‘.

He persisted for 20 years.  You see, when you talk to people who have had a best selling album, book, career, you may notice that one of the underlying reasons for their success is persistence. 

The road to realising your dream is a journey.  If it takes you twenty or thirty years, you keep the vision clear in your mind and in your heart.  Never give up and stay on course.  Don’t let anyone distract you or tell you that ‘you can’t ‘.

It really is that simple!

Know what you want!

The Law of Attraction succinctly put is : YOU GET WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT!

Some 20 years ago my father was diagnosed with liver cancer and this is when I began to Learn about the power of the Law of Attraction long before I had ever heard of those words Law Of Attraction!

My father refused to believe that he could not overcome it and so checked himself into a holistic clinic in the countryside some two hours drive from where we lived then.

It was here that my father who was removed from anything or anyone that would tell him other than he was going to live and remained in silence for more than 30 days under the careful watch of an amazing team of holistic doctors. Here he fasted for 30 days under strict observation and spent most of his time meditating.

He refused to accept anything other than a positive outcome and though I was still quite young and in my early twenties, I remember my father’s thinking become rather sharp, his senses heightened and a remarkable transformation taking place.

The Law of Attraction is an impartial law that simply IS. It is a Law that works whether you use it or not. If you choose to use it deliberately – then all the better for you. If you do not choose to use it deliberately, then you will end up wherever!
Here are some useful tips on using it more effectively and more deliberately:

1. When you want something from the Universe be clear about what you want. The more specific and clearer the better.
2. Ask for what you want in the PRESENT tense – as if it were already here.
3. Know why you want it. For example, if you want more money, what do you want it for? Do you want a better lifestyle, home, car, holiday. When you KNOW what you want it for it is easier to remain focused.
4. Take Action: Notice any opportunities that may suddenly come your way. follow your ‘gut’ feeling – your intuition.
5. Create a List ora  Vision Board to help you stay focused on your intention. Look at your list or vision board daily.
6. KNOW that it is already on its way to you.
7. Detach from it emotionally. That is: Do not be concerned HOW, WHEN, WHERE it is going to come from. Just trust.

Develop that inner knowing that it is happening NOW!
8. Change any old beliefs or thoughts you have about money. If for example you had the belief instilled in you since you were a child as I had that the only way to acquire money is to work 16 hour days and you had to work pretty hard, then this belief has to go.

Believe that it can come from expected and unexpected sources. Take inspired action towards what you want. I have met many people who have expressed that they would love more money but do not want to do a thing to get it! They would like it to fall from the sky! Do they believe it could happen that way? NO!

Quite simply you can’t get something for nothing. You must have an exchange somewhere. Begin to make an effort towards what you want.   Wishful thinking is hardly enough and in fact is not the same. Wishful thinking is not backed by belief and for most it is backed by disbelief.

Banish doubt! Take a look at your thoughts and your emotions behind your thoughts. Are your emotions in line with your thoughts? Do you believe without a shadow of a doubt that nothing can shake your conviction that you will attract all that you desire?  The Law of Attraction is always working – Believe it or not!

Creating Your Vision by Ivan Campuzano

dream_a_z.jpg vision of dreams image by candyloo06

Creating Your Vision

“Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one” Albert Einstein

I feel that one of the most important ingredients in your formula for success is having a clearly defined and vivid vision of where you want to be. At first the “how” is not that important, you need to create a vision that gets you so excited that you develop the mentality that you will stop at nothing to get what you want. Many people first focus on the how than very quickly find themselves overwhelmed with too many details and just as quickly talk them selves out of pursuing their goals. You have to take a leap of faith and trust that the how will be shown to you as you go along. Do you remember the days as a kid with dreams of epic proportions? What happened those dreams? You got older and domesticated by a society that says that having those dreams is foolish. That’s nonsense, why wouldn’t you want to accomplish the things that even as a kid you knew would make you happy. I encourage you to dream like you once used to.

“Shoot for the moon…even if you

Miss you’ll still be amongst them stars”- Beanie Sigel(rap artist)

One way I keep myself motivated and keep my vision alive is through my picture book. In my book I have everything that I want and every morning I look at it to remind me what I want in life. Go right now and get some magazines and cut out every picture of the things you want and places you want to visit, don’t be thinking if you can actually get those things now, dare to dream. Remember your mind thinks in pictures, look at your picture book until in becomes as vivid as possible in the theater of your mind. Your mind cant tell the difference between something you remember or something you experience in real time.

Visualization Exercises(meditation):

(Please read this whole section, I will explain why almost all self help fails to produce the results people want)

You can think of meditation as conscious sleeping. Just as you sleep to gain energy for your daily functioning, meditation is conscious sleeping that gives you all the energy(creative abilities) you need for what you intend to accomplish.

I also use lucid dreaming as another way to increase creativity, I will soon write a hub on lucid dreaming.(Lucid dreaming is when you actually become aware in your dream that you are dreaming, once properly trained you can control your dreams)

Use the power of meditation to help you achieve your goals. Strive to everyday meditate one minute for each year of your current age. I am 24, so everyday I try and meditate at least 24 minutes. If you are new to meditation check out this website on transcendental meditation .There are many techniques find something that feels good to you.

Quantum Mind Power

Daily Routine:

1. Pick a nice comfortable place where to meditate. Have an intention on what you plan to meditate on before hand. Ex. A destination you want to visit.

2. Find a comfortable position to sit. Sitting on a chair or on the floor, does not really matter as long as it is comfortable for you.

3. Cross your legs, clasp your hands together.(this helps make your own energy circuit and gives stability)

4.Close your eyes, than stop inner and outer chatter.

5. Relax, begin thinking that your whole body is becoming extremely relaxed.

6. Eyes should be closed.

7. You will notice that your mind is full of many thoughts. Your mind will than begin to ask questions to those thoughts and try and come up with answers whether they are known or unknown. This is why your mind(ego) can be your enemy if it mostly thinks in negative terms.

8. You will need to transcend your mind and thoughts in order to meditate. Your mind and thoughts are what separate you from your higher self, you can also think of your higher self as your subconscious mind don’t worry about the labels.

9. You transcend your mind by simply observing your breath. Don’t inhale/exhale consciously just observe your natural breathing. Don’t go behind your thoughts, if you catch your self drifting just always come back to your breathing. Slowly the amount of thoughts reduces and your breathing becomes thinner and shorter. If you are able to keep all your focus on your breath, you will get to the point of no thought and no breath. This state of no thought is your connection to your divine being and energy body. The more you meditate the more benefits and energy that you will receive. Your own self awareness and consciousness will also expand.

10. You will feel a very pleasurable feeling meditating. If you feel any discomfort in your body these can be possible areas of disease or illness. If you meditate everyday you will heal your body naturally.

11. Now that you are in a state of no thought and total relaxation. Begin to think only on your intention. Remember whatever you think now is in a state that will be impregnated directly into your subconscious. It is incredibly important that you don’t color any of your thoughts with any lack,limitation,dis belief or doubt. This is why almost all self help material does not produce the results people expect. Wishing for more money(or anything else) never works, the thought of wanting more money also has the thought of doubt attached to it. Ask your self how many thoughts that you think about have been modified in a way that is not beneficial to you. You just never realize that you are programming your sub conscious all day. This is why meditation is so powerful. You are able to make suggestions to your subconscious where the thought is not modified in any way shape or form. So if you want to make things happen fast you need to get rid of the concept of attaching time to yourthoughts. You have to remember that everything you get in your life comes based on the conditions that you set up and time is usually one condition that cuases the most frustration with people. Just as a computer programmer gives a computer instructions to complete a task, you program the most powerful computer you have which is your subconscious. Your conscious mind acts as the gate keeper as to what thoughts you let in. Now that you know this choose to become more aware and conscious about what you think all day long. Learn to see the world in a non linear way, remove time from your consiousness and watch how things show up in your life faster than you ever thought.

Thoughts = feelings = actions = results (just like that you can begin to shape your life)

12. Mentally rehearse every moment of it with all your senses. Dare to be like Peter Pan 🙂

13. Visualize in vivid detail, your intention as established fact. Also make sure you meditate only on days you feel good. Remember you want your thoughts to be as pure as possible. This also means that you really find out what you want, make sure its not something you want solely for ego purposes. Thoughts that involve the ego are usually always colored with negativity.

14. With time you will begin to be able to hold vivid pictures of anything(you will develop you third eye). The more you are able to hold onto an image in your mind the more power you give it.

15. Get up and go have a great day 🙂 notice how much energy you have the rest of the day. As you advance in your discipline, you will have a lot of fun basically creating your day before it starts.

Beliefs:

To start making that vision a reality you will have to change some of your beliefs and adopt beliefs that will help you reach your goals. Because if you have this great vision of you retiring on your own private beach but deep down you don’t believe you can do it, you have already sabotaged yourself. Your desire and your belief are in conflict with each other and therefore you will not manifest what it is that you want into your life. If you want to be a good leader one day but you currently have the belief that you are a shy person, it will not happen. You need to truly make a decision to adopt the belief that you are really outgoing. When you truly decide to do something you will find a way to do it.

“Nothing happens unless first a dream” – Carl Sandburg

Some Ways to shape your beliefs:

1. Always think Success- as soon as you think about failure forget about it and don’t let anymore negative thoughts snowball. The more attention you give a thought the more powerful it will become than you will make it harder for yourself to get back to a productive mind state. The only way to change how you feel is to think about something else. Whenever you feel doubt, fear, and failure creeping into your mind have a default thought that you can use to avoid giving attention to mental poison. As soon as I feel I am entertaining thoughts of negativity I immediately begin to think about relaxing on a beach and affirm to myself that “I attract abundance to all areas of my life”. The more I try and have the feelings of being on the beach with no worries and remind myself that I am in complete control of how I feel, I immediately feel the negativity begin to melt away as I begin to focus on my new positive thought.

2. Develop the belief that you are better than you currently feel- don’t look at your weaknesses as a burden but as an opportunity to improve your self. When I find something I don’t like about my personality I don’t get down on myself for it, I just realize that now I have something I can work on to make myself better. Most importantly love and accept who you are, not who you will or should be.

3. Believe that sky’s the limit- if you have little goals you will have little success, the bigger your dreams the more potential for your possible success. Even If you think your dream is too big, strive to reach that dream, because you will end up at a better place than if you would have set your sights on a smaller goal. The trick is to really believe you can do it, this just isn’t wishful thinking. Wishful thinking never got anyone anything, you need to find out what you want and get out there and get it. If you really want that house on the beach your mind will come up with ways to help you get it.(develop faith in your self)

How to remove junk beliefs:

1. Meditate on your old belief and tell the truth about it. Now replace it with a belief that will better serve you. Meditate on it until you feel you have changed that belief.

Now when you accept these beliefs it means you will have to raise your standards and develop a strategy that will put you on the road to accomplish what you set forth. Do whatever you have to do. Read any books that will spark your interest or help you discover any distinctions that will point you in the right direction. Find a role model, a person who has already accomplished what you want. Find out what some of their beliefs, interests, body language, image, etc. is and adopt them as your own. Your role model can serve as a blue print, the goal is to cut down on the trial and error so you can get where you want faster than you ever thought possible. You can take all the qualities from all the people you admire and add your own personal touch. Just think of if it as if you are trying to build the person you want and know you can be. Thomas Edison is one of the greatest inventors in history, he was able to elaborate, modify and adapt on other peoples ideas. You don’t have torecreate the wheel just constantly be aware of any success ingredients you come across and make them part of your identity. Think of your mind as a warehouse the more you learn and store will eventually serve as an inventory for future reference, which will breed new ideas and perspectives.

Consistency is key we are all creatures of patterns and habits. In order to become the person you desire to be, start by changing your patterns. Think of all the quality traits you must possess, make a pattern which uses those traits efficiently than strive to be consistent. Consistency will develop into habits and this is key because if you fail to be consistent with your actions you will not be consistent with who you desire to be. This lack of confusion between your actions and what your mind knows you are capable of leads to tremendous amounts of stress, confusion, and even depression. Many other consequences also come from a lack of consistency.

This is why awareness of self is critical; you need to be constantly evaluating your self. Decide if the persona you are currently displaying is the reality that you want for yourself,because with enough time thats what your reality will become.

Thank you for reading my hub, I love to hear anyones opinion or suggestions. Good luck to everyone.

http://www.howtogetyourshineon.com

About The Author

Ivan Campuzano

A recent Colorado State University graduate with a degree in Finance. While at CSU Ivan studied abroad for a semester at the School of Economics (VSE) in Prague. Prague was such an amazing experience for Ivan, that he decided to move back and pursue several of his dreams.Interests: investing,trading,reading,traveling,music,meeting new people,and looking for new opportunities.

The Power Of Intention – Dr Wayne Dyer

In this video Dr Wayne W Dyer explores intention – not as something you do- but as an energy that you are a part of.  The field of intention  is an energy that you can access to begin co-creating your life!

” In the universe there is an immeasureable, indescribable force which shamans called intent, and absolutely everything that exists in the entire cosmos is attached to intent by a connecting link”  Carlos Castaneda.