Galatians 5: We're living in a day/time where it is such a struggle
for Christians to live a Christian living.
July 9th, 2000, Sunday Morning
"Taking God's Grace for Granted"
Forgetting the only reason we're
OPENING: Ephesians 2:1-10, KJV
Ephesians 2:8-9: While doing good works will not get you into
heaven, it should be a natural act for those who are
If we are struggling to work through a burden of a personal nature then we
are attempting to get by on our own power and accord; we're not asking God's help.
However, if you're struggling to do good works for God, then it is not a burden but a
blessing upon you.
This church (Berean Independent Baptist of Alamogordo, NM) claims this is
the "year of victory." However, you can't have victories without fighting battles.
We will not win nor accomplish anything without working hard and suffering for the goal.
GRACE--WHAT ABOUT IT?
- #1: WHAT IS IT?
- Grace is God's love which we do not deserve but yet are given. Because
God's love for us is greater than all the sins of this world put together, we can be
saved. Thus we are
saved ONLY by the
grace of God and nothing more.
- Hebrews 4:16:
Grace is needed so we may be
saved AND TO SERVE the Lord.
- Ephesians 4:29: An example of how we serve the Lord with grace.
- Ephesians 2:1-2: Paul reminds us how we forget that God's grace
is what keeps us alive; we're taking God's grace for granted as demonstrated by our
behavior. If it weren't for grace, God would most likely zap us dead the next time we sin!
- Today's Christians say "I was bad, but not that bad." Not true--the entire world
is bad enough that each of us deserves to go to hell.
- Ephesians 2:4: But God loves us not because we do good works,
we're pretty, righteous, sympathetic, or law-abiding but simply because he loves us.
- #2: WHY WAS GRACE GIVEN TO US?
- Isaiah 64:6: For one reason, doing all the good works of this
world still leaves us as nothing but "filthy rags"--unfit for God's presence.
- Ephesians 2:8: Even our faith is not enough! We'd never have
enough faith on our own. It must be coupled with God's grace.
- Romans 3:23: "all of sinned" includes your pastor, Mohammed,
our president, the Dali Lama, everyone except one man on earth--Jesus Christ.
- Romans 6:23: What the end result of sin is. This even includes
very young children if they're at the age of accountability. We need God's gift of grace
because otherwise we'll go to hell. We can do nothing on our own.
- Titus 2:11: This gift from God--grace--is for all men. Not some,
not just good, but for all.
- Without grace, we'll all scream at the top of our lungs forever and ever as
we burn in the fires of hell. Wicked unbelievers will then find compassion and say, "thou
art God" as they enter hell. We all deserve to be in hell. Some people have a problem
with this (i.e., a 7-year old) but no matter how young someone is, if they've reached the
Age of Accountability, they will enter hell if not
- Hebrews 12:28-29: We need God's grace so we may have the strength to serve Him
- Grace has allowed an imperfect teacher (pastor) to preach the perfect Word
- Today we're spoiled brats. We approach God any which way we want whenever
we feel like it. But back in the days of Moses and the children of Israel in the Old
Testament, priests had to wear certain wardrobe and the people had to give their prayers
to the priests and the priests had to deal with their sins before they could enter the
holy sanctuary of God. These priests wore ropes around their waist so if they
performed these rituals incorrectly, they would die and could be safely pulled out!
- It's a grace of God that we may perform works imperfectly and live:
singing in church, cutting the grass, vacuuming, giving money to the offering, choir
piano practice... anything! Therefore, anything we do for God requires His grace!
- #3: GRACE REQUIRES WE SUFFER
- 2 Corinthians 12:8-9: Read this verse to understand. Paul was
formerly a great persecutor of Christians. God decided to use him for His work. Paul went
to God three times to ask that his memories of persecuting Christians be removed but God
said that His strength is made perfect in Paul's weakness.
- Paul thought men would think more of him than a man so Paul required humility--a
handicap--to bring his puffed-up-ness down.
- Grace is so we can be saved, serve, and suffer for the Lord. The weaker we
become, the better grace looks.
- #4: GRACE HELPS US SEPARATE FROM THE FLESH OF THE WORLD
- Titus 2:11-12: God still expects us to live spiritually sober
no matter how tough and tempting this world becomes. This is sanctification--separating
yourself from the world to God.
- #5: GRACE BRINGS US STABILITY
- Instability comes at a time of personal crisis--and isn't that usually the
time you turn to God to acknowledge Him and ask for His help? Instability is a time
not to move away from but to draw closer to God.
- Despairing? Depression? Death? Disaster? Isolation? Trouble? Trail?
Tribulation? Loneliness? Battling? God's grace is sufficient to overcome all.
- #6: WHO GETS THE GRACE?
- Grace is for all but is given to the humble of all ages--those who are
faithful and genuinely sorry for their evil deeds.
- James 4:6
- 1 Peter 5:5
- Romans 5:2
- Ephesians 2:8: Faith is not so much an intellectual belief as
it is a conscious thought. Many Christians don't genuinely believe when they pray. Even
a parrot can speak the saving prayer
but the parrot won't be saved.
- Grace was bestowed where? Calvary's cross when Jesus was crucified. That's
where the culmination of this world's sins were paid for as they were taken by Jesus when
he died on the cross.
- God has grace for you where you're at right now.
Hebrews 4:14-16: When Jesus (God in man-form) was here in earth, he
faced all the trials we did. Jesus didn't resist all temptations through his God-deity
attribute; he left that behind when he came to earth. He was guided by the Holy Spirit;
- Some say: "Well I'm not Jesus!" So? Jesus hungered and thirsted and ate
and drank like the rest of us; He was tempted just like us. These people are trying to
say Jesus cheated. How could God and Jesus Christ sympathize with us if he didn't go
through what we do everyday for Himself?