Grace

 

Grace. Thank God for the grace of God. Without grace no one could be saved! But here is the thing you need to know about grace: It is just the beginning. What is grace anyway?

Here is one definition from the dictionary that fits well with the usage in the Bible. A favor rendered by one who need not do so. Or in terms of Godís grace it can be seen as unmerited favor from God towards man. And that unmerited favor began from the very beginning. From the moment God knew that man would sin and indeed did sin. It was that moment when the Father and the Son agreed to implement a plan that would provide a second chance to sinful man. By the mercy and grace of God there would be an opportunity for salvation even though all have sinned and deserve death not eternal life.

*†† (Rom 3:22-24 NIV)This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, {23} for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, {24} and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

*†† (Rom 6:23 NIV)For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

What was the plan?

The Son would give up the glory He had with the Father and become a man. (John 17:5 NIV)And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began. That man would live a perfect, sinless life and thus qualify as a redeemer for men. (Heb 4:15 NIV)For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--yet was without sin. But that redemption required Him to have His blood spilled and to die. (Heb 9:22 NIV)In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. By His death the door was opened and the way established for men to have that second chance they needed. (John 14:6 NIV)Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. This opportunity is a gift from God bought at the price of Jesusí blood and suffering. (Rom 6:23 NIV)For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. His resurrection three days later did not open the door but it was simply the proof that the door had been opened. It proved that Jesus was who He said He was. (Mat 16:4 NIV)A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a miraculous sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah." Jesus then left them and went away.

 

But the door being open still requires men to enter through it. And to get to the door requires men to find the path, the way, and follow it all the way to the door. Once the door has been reached all that remains is to enter and accept the gift. And have no doubt. This is a gift, free to you, but bought for you at a terrible price. You have done nothing to deserve this gift. But thanks to the grace of God and the death of His Son the gift is available to you.

 

But how can we find the path? How can we know where it goes and not stray from it? Thankfully God has made provisions. Read your Bible, talk to God, and pray about it. You will find what you need to do and you will find His Spirit, the Comforter is accessible to help you. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

 

  1. (Mat 10:22 NIV)All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.
  2. (Mark 16:16 NIV)Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.
  3. (Luke 8:12-15 NIV)Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. {13} Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. {14} The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life's worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. {15} But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.
  4. (John 10:9 NIV)I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture.
  5. (Acts 2:21 NIV)And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.'
  6. (Acts 4:12 NIV)Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."
  7. (Acts 16:30-31 NIV)He then brought them out and asked, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" {31} They replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved--you and your household."
  8. (Rom 5:9-10 NIV)Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him! {10} For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!
  9. (Rom 10:8-13 NIV)But what does it say? "The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart," that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: {9} That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. {10} For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. {11} As the Scripture says, "Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame." {12} For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile--the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, {13} for, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."
  10. (2 Th 2:13 NIV)But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth.
  11. (1 Tim 2:1-6 NIV)I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone-- {2} for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. {3} This is good, and pleases God our Savior, {4} who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. {5} For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, {6} who gave himself as a ransom for all men--the testimony given in its proper time.
  12. (Acts 2:38 KJV)Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
  13. (Rom 8:24 KJV)For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?
  14. (1 Cor 15:1-2 KJV)Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; {2} By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
  15. (Eph 2:8-9 KJV)For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: {9} Not of works, lest any man should boast.
  16. (John 6:53-54 KJV)Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. {54} Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.
  17. (Eph 2:13 KJV)But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
  18. (1 John 1:7 KJV)But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
  19. (1 Pet 1:2 KJV)Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

 

So we see although the door to salvation is open and we know the way to salvation there are things we need to do while we are on the way. Also, we need to persevere, endure, finish the race, and fight the good fight. What a shame it would be if we failed to receive the gift that through grace and sacrifice are rightfully ours. And, such an outcome is possible. Listen to this.

 

  1. (Phil 2:12-16 NIV)Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed--not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence--continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, {13} for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. {14} Do everything without complaining or arguing, {15} so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe {16} as you hold out the word of life--in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing.
  2. (Heb 10:25-27 NIV)Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching. {26} If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, {27} but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.

 

Let us pray.