THIS is the final installment on Shekkainah Glory Ministries Global’s forthcoming Grace Conference whose keynote speaker is notable South African pastor, writer and conference speaker

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South African pastor, writer and conference speaker, Francois du Toit and wife, Lydia

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, Francois du Toit, the author of the Mirror Bible translation. Tendai Manzvanzvike spoke to Shekkainah founder Bishop Shelton Mudyaro, who is part of the Mirror Bible translation project about the message of grace.

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Q: The first part of the grace message discourse last week ended with you explaining how man’s relationship with God was messed up by sin, and how despite that God’s grace triumphed …

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A: Indeed. The Bible says God was one with Christ and tabernacled in Christ, reconciling the whole world to Himself, not counting their trespasses. This is grace!

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Because of His grace upon our lives, when we deserved to perish, we did not. When we deserved to die, we did not.

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So, you find that in the new covenant, we no longer have to do something in order to please God. He was pleased with us before we even thought about it.

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To a nation who did not know God, He revealed Himself, which means that this was never our idea. We never did anything to deserve it. That’s grace! (Isaiah 65:1)

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We never worked for it. We never toiled for it.

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And the Bible says if the devil knew what was happening on the cross, he wouldn’t have crucified the Lord of Glory. Why? Because, what God did in the person of Christ was that He laid down His majesty so that we might embrace Him in the person of Christ. When Jesus braved the cross, He knew that He was going to present us in the same mould and design as we were before the foundations of the earth.

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That’s grace!

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Jesus Christ came, full of grace and truth. This grace is two-faced as the Bible says in Colossians 1:15-22. God has delivered us from the bondage of darkness, and conveyed us into the kingdom where the love of His Son rules, which means in the kingdom of God, light rules.

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So what happens is that we have one side of grace, the unmerited favour that most of us are familiar with. Then the other face of grace is that of God giving Himself to the enjoyment of man, and a lot of people are not familiar with that.

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They don’t understand and realise that the other part of God was that He disposed of Himself before us.

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God wants an intimate relationship or fellowship — the one that we had from the beginning.

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Q: Is this the common view regarding grace?

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A: If you have a law mindset, grace offends you, because there is nothing you can do now to get God’s attention. And, there is nothing that you can do now that can impress God. It was God who said, here I am, and not the other way round.

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What makes the gospel of grace different from religion is that religion is man’s effort to catch God’s attention as if He is a reluctant God. From God is everything that is good and, everything perfect comes from Him.

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Some people will say they are in difficult situations because God is teaching them something. But that is not true.

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Q: Like how some say Zimbabwe faces challenges because God wants to teach us something…

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A: Why would God want to punish us as a nation? This is what we need to understand, when temptation or contradiction come or challenges come — they come with one sole objective: to question our identity.

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Q: What do you hope to achieve through the Grace Conference?

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A: I feel that this is a message that is so relevant for our nation Zimbabwe now, more than ever.

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God has not cursed us because the Bible says in Galatians 3 that Jesus Christ on the cross became the curse so that we can be the blessed of God. Not only that, so that we can access the blessing of Abraham.

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Whatever we hoped for, Jesus Christ, who is the substance of what we hoped for, everything that God hoped us to have, He has emptied it in the person of Christ.

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That’s why we are saying, in our conference this year, “Christ in you”, because when we understand God’s gift of grace, who is Christ in us, the hope of glory, we are complete, and lacking nothing.

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I want to tell you that Zimbabwe is not cursed, and there is nothing that we have done wrong as a nation. Why, because the moment we start thinking that we have done something wrong, we are actually embracing the fallen mindset, which Jesus Christ came to redeem.

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We need to understand that Christ came to redeem our fallen mindset because we had embraced a lie about ourselves. We should not look at God’s promise for our nation with a question mark because He has redeemed His image and His likeness in human form.

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Zimbabwe needs to believe what God believes about us as a people and as individuals. And in believing what God believes, then we are in line with God’s perfect will of our lives: just because we are His image and we are His likeness.

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Ephesians 2:10 says we are God’s workmanship, in Greek “poema (poem)”, which means we are God’s poem. So, let’s allow Him, who is the author and giver of life to make the music of our lives.

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Q: You are part of the Mirror Bible translation team. Briefly tells us about the mirror principle.

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A: The Bible is a love story between God and man. It’s not a manual. God wants us to fall in love with Him through His letter, which is the Bible.

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I love the Mirror Translation and most of the time I meditate on it. It is a paraphrase translation of the Bible, thus it is advisable that most of the time people read it, they use it as a study tool alongside other Bible versions.

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Francois du Toit’s Mirror Bible is also the first paraphrase that unveils the heart of God to man.

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I have studied under Francois’ ministry for nine years now, and I still feel that there is a lot I need to learn concerning the message of grace. The Mirror Bible translation is being received internationally with endorsements from notable men of God. And in Zimbabwe, we are blessed because we have translated it into Shona.

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Q: Final remarks!

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A: Romans 2:4 talks about the goodness of God and Paul says that it is the goodness of God that leads to repentance.

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We live by the goodness of God, and we need to embrace who we are in the person of Christ because He did not come as an example for us, but He came as an example for who we are.

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1 John 5:9 says if they received some other testimony, then, the testimony of God is greater. So, whatever testimony we have received about our lives, whatever we have known, which is unlike God, there is a greater testimony, which is the testimony of God.

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And, what is the testimony of God concerning our lives — it is Christ in us who? The hope of glory!

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The Gospel of Jesus Christ reveals the inscription of the image of God in the face of Christ, as legal tender to redeem mankind.

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So, when we preach the message of grace, we are not preaching a new thing, but a message that brings an awakening of the goodness of God in people’s lives. It is also a message that sets people free from the shackles of the evil one.

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Feedback: tendai.manzvanzvike@zimpapers.co.zw