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GRACE is Grace!

GRACE is Grace!

Grace is Grace!  This morning we will look at Grace and what it means.  I think there is a lot of confusion on what Grace really is.  I would like to start with a song that many from all Christian traditions love to sing including non-Christians and yet do not ever really look at the words of this terrific God centered song.  Look with me at the song Amazing Grace!  See if you see how Grace is penned throughout the song.

 

Amazing Grace Lyrics

John Newton (1725-1807)

(Page 104 New Hymnal)

 

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
that saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

 

T'was Grace that taught my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed.

 

Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
'Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far
and Grace will lead me home.

 

The Lord has promised good to me.
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.

 

(Not in our Hymnals)

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

 

When we've been here ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun.
We've no less days to sing God's praise
Than when we've first begun.

 

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

 

(Song Explained during Service, notes written in Hymnal)

 

Grace is Totally Unmerited Favor!

God takes the initiative in our Salvation, we do not take the initiative.  Look with me at Romans 3:9b-20 and see how much initiative we take towards God for salvation or anything…

9b We have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin;

10 as it is written,

There is none righteous, not even one;

11 There is none who understands,

There is none who seeks for God;

12 All have turned aside, together they have become useless; There is none who does good,

There is not even one.”

13 “Their throat is an open grave,

With their tongues they keep deceiving,”

“The poison of asps is under their lips”;

14 “Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness”;

15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood,

16 Destruction and misery are in their paths,

17 And the path of peace they have not known.”

18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

19 Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God;

20 because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.

 

Clearly we do not go towards God naturally, instead we go away from God further and further unless He takes the initiative to reveal our true need for God to save our soul!  The law of God shows us clearly that we are not righteous but sinners before a Holy God!

 

So how does this Grace of God work?  Is it really God who does the work of saving our soul?  Do our works have any merit at all…?

 

Ephesians 2:8-10

8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;

9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

 

Now if we are to understand grace correctly this scripture shows us the reality of what Grace really is… Totally Unmerited Favor!

  1. We HAVE BEEN saved by grace.  HAVE BEEN is a past tense of what has already happened through Jesus!  We do not earn our salvation because it is by grace and therefore we are already saved by grace!  We already received what we do not deserve…our salvation!
  2. Through Faith.  We know that that we are safe in the loving hands of our God and Savior.  We trust God totally because He has revealed Himself to us through Holy Scriptures and the message of the cross is clearly of God!
  3. Not of Yourselves!  Man contributes NOTHING!
  4. It is the Gift of God!  We all know what a gift is!
  5. NOT the result of our works!  Works are not in the picture.
  6. NO one can Boast that they earned their way into heaven.  Jesus paid it all!

 

So what about works?  Why do we do anything for God if our salvation is a free gift of God?

 

Ephesians 2:10

10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

 

The result of our salvation is loving God and serving Him.  We do those things in God’s will and God has prepared for us to do these works in His God ordained plan!

 

This morning I share this message because sometimes we can forget that our salvation rests on Christ Jesus Alone and therefore we can beat ourselves up because of our past sins.  Praise God that if we are a believer we have our Lord Jesus’ righteousness applied or given to us.  That is why we can say our sin is washed white as snow.  This is great news and freeing news giving us the ability to serve God with joy and thankfulness.  It is humbling to understand God saves us minus anything we do to try to earn salvation.  Salvation is not earned but by grace!

 

So we are cleansed of all of our sins.  This does not mean that our past sins do not have repercussions!  If we abused our bodies in the past our bodies still have the results of the abuse.  If we were sexually active before marriage we may have diseases or children out of wed lock or problems when married. 

 

If we committed a crime and about to go to jail we will probably still go to jail and that jail sentence will follow you the rest of your life, but your forgiven and the GRACE of God covers those sins.  Simply put our sins are totally forgiven through Jesus but our pasts still bring reminders of those past sins, but the grace of God does cover those sins because it is grace not works that save us!  Grace is Grace!

 

God’s Gift of Salvation is by Grace Alone, by Him Alone, For the Believer to Know!  This is our closing thought of how our salvation is given and our repentance is evidence of our Salvation Received!

 

Psalm 116:1-9

1 I love the Lord, because He hears

My voice and my supplications.

2 Because He has inclined His ear to me,

Therefore I shall call upon Him as long as I live.

3 The cords of death encompassed me

And the terrors of Sheol came upon me;

I found distress and sorrow.

 

Our salvation starts with a real understanding of our sin problem is separating us from God.  We have no hope and no way of receiving this forgiveness in ourselves.  We therefore come to Jesus because it has been revealed to us we are sinners before God and death and hell await us!  It is a terror and a reality that sinks in deep within our soul saying HELP me LORD!

 

4 Then I called upon the name of the Lord:

“O Lord, I beseech You, save my life!”

5 Gracious is the Lord, and righteous;

Yes, our God is compassionate.

6 The Lord preserves the simple;

I was brought low, and He saved me.

 

Here we find a repented sinner before the thrown of God asking for God to show Grace towards them!  Recognizing God is the only One who could save us!  There is nothing we bring to God for salvation.

 

7 Return to your rest, O my soul,

For the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.

8 For You have rescued my soul from death,

My eyes from tears,

My feet from stumbling.

9 I shall walk before the Lord

In the land of the living.

 

In Christ Jesus there is a reality of our sin debt being dealt with completely and therefore know that we will be in the land of the living eternally in heaven!  We receive rest for our soul because we trust in Christ Jesus Alone knowing there is nothing we contribute and Jesus paid it all on the Cross!

 

Do you understand this morning that Grace is Grace!  Grace is Totally Undeserved Favor from God!  Grace is All of God void of any of mans efforts!  Our Salvation is completely-totally-Absolutely from God and His Love towards us who believe.  We are receivers of God’s gift of Salvation and our works are not part of the equation!

 

LET US PRAY!