Only By Grace: P.4 (4.15.18)

Titus 3:3-7
For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Salvation is only by grace. You cannot earn it by works.

Ephesians 2:7-9
That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Luke 18:9-14
And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are , extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.  I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

It’s only by Jesus’ righteousness that we have access to God. Salvation is a gift that we cannot earn. We simply have to receive it.

Galatians 1:3-8
Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father: To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.  But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

Galatians 2:20-21
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.  I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

Grace isn’t a one-time event in our lives. From the moment we are saved and forward, God wants to show His grace to us every day. We need grace to fulfill the purpose He has for us.

The wages of (payment for )sin is death.  Jesus died to pay the debt of our sin.  If we could have paid it ourselves, Jesus could have stayed in heaven.

Galatians 3:1-3,21-26
O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.  But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

The Galatians had lost sight of grace. They knew that grace saved them, but afterwards, they fell into a pattern of works. Don’t let bad religion fool you into a works-based concept of christianity. You are not righteous because of what you do.

Hebrews 7:19
For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.

Romans 7:9
For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.

1 Timothy 1:8
But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully;

Romans 8:3
For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

You cannot fulfill your purpose until you are secure in your identity, which is in His acceptance of you without works. If you see it any other way, you’ll always fall short. You’ll always feel insecure in your identity. God loved us and gave Himself for us when we were dead in sin (Romans 5:8). The payment for sin is the death of the sinless. None of us has the ability to pay that price because no man was ever born without sin; except Jesus. Because Jesus gave His sinless life for us, the work is finished. We only need to receive the gift He died to give us.

 

Romans 3:20
Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

The purpose of the law was to bring you to Christ. We know that no man has the ability to keep the whole law. If you break one, you’re guilty of breaking the whole thing.

James 2:10
For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.

Because none of us has the ability to keep every one of God’s laws at all times, we all need Jesus. And Jesus did not do away with the law; He fulfilled it. He lived a perfectly sinless life. The law shows us that we need Him as a savior. Once we accept this grace given by God, from that point forward God sees us through the righteousness of His Son.

Imagine that you had spinach in your teeth. You went the whole day with that spinach there, and didn’t realize it until you got home and looked in the mirror. That mirror isn’t responsible for your condition (having spinach in your teeth). The mirror is just the tool that revealed your condition to you. In the same way, the law is like a mirror. It isn’t responsible for man’s sinful condition…. it simply reveals to us that we are sinful and in need of a Savior. It is meant to point us to Christ.

 

Romans 7:9-13
For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death.  For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me. Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.

Romans 8:3-4 
For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Christ did not come to connect us to the law. He came to connect us to love. Every human being needs acceptance, identity and purpose.

Luke 7:36-50
And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to meat. And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it , he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner. And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on. There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most? Simon answered and said, I suppose that he , to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged. And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment. Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven. And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also? And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.

This woman realized that she had been forgiven much. Because she was accepted by Jesus, she became secure in her identity , which enabled her to go and fulfill her purpose.

God’s purpose for our life is that we bring Him glory. We must understand that we are accepted by God’s grace. Our acceptance by Him isn’t conditional on anything we’ve done. His love is unconditional. If we grip that, we’ll be able to receive His forgiveness and start to find our identity in Him. Only then can we fulfill our purpose.

We will take on the identity of what we worship. Eventually we’ll become like whatever it is we consistently follow.

When you worship God you take on the identity of God. You become like Him. And that is the purpose He has for all of us. We are created to represent Him here on earth as His image-bearers. We all need grace for this. 

2 Corinthians 5:14
For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:

Hebrews 10:16-17
This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.

No one is too far gone. No matter what a person’s past looks like, God’s grace is enough.

Your past does not have to define you. No matter what you’ve done, you are accepted by grace. You can receive that grace right now. There’s no past too horrible that could exclude you from God’s grace. God loves you and wants to show you His love every day. Receive His grace and forgiveness, and move forward knowing that you are accepted.

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