Summary: God is rich in GRACE, giving us what we don’t deserve.
NOTE: There are a lot of people out there working in a lot of ways trying to be right with a lot of gods.
• Pilgrimages/Passages, Works/ Weariness, Sacrifices/Sorrows.
• In every country, on every day…
• Man, trying to work his way into favor with God.
Many years ago the Grand Rapids Press covered this story… "Conversation to Hindu Faith Is Tortuous." "A West German businessman has completed his conversion to the Hindu faith by piercing himself through the cheeks with a 1/4-inch thick, 4- foot-long steel rod, and pulling a chariot for 2 miles by ropes attached to his back and chest by steel hooks. Still others walk through 20- foot-long pits of fire, don shoes with soles made of nails, or hang in the air spread-eagle from hooks embedded in their backs."
Works & Weariness… so often the choice of man to reach out and to reach up to God. I can do it if I try really hard!
BUT They won’t get a person where he wants to go.
• They won’t get our friend there through the Hindu faith.
• It’s sort of like driving to a destination with the wrong map.
• You can go through all the motions and have all the right motives, but you won’t end up where you wanted to go!
Why? Because the God of all creation has made A way. He’s made THE WAY. Salvation is available through His Son, Jesus Christ.
• It’s earned thru our works… but extended as a gift by His Grace.
• No more toiling. No more sweating. No more hooks in back.
• But a man can be BORN AGAIN, become right with his Creator, by believing in, believing on, trusting fully in Jesus Christ.
Romans 10.9-11 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, "Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame."
NOW WHY ALL THE WORKS? Because man is trying to cover his SIN.
• Even as we read of Adam & Eve trying to cover their sins.
WE LIVE IN A SOCIETY that doesn’t like to talk about SIN today.
• We’re not aware of our sinful condition because we don’t want to know. We don’t want to bring it up.
• So in some circles of religion, sin isn’t even a topic to discuss.
• Let’s not talk about who we are. I’m OK. I’m doing fine.
• In fact, I’ve been taking AFFIRMATION CLASSES. I’m lovable, I’m kind, I’m nice, I like me just the way I am.
• Consider Ephesians 2:1-3 with me…
• Spiritually Lifeless, Wandering Aimlessly, Disobediently Lustful.
• That’s life without a relationship with Jesus Christ. That’s it!
• BUT GOD… v4. BUT GOD! The Gospel Message in 2 Words.
GOD BREAKS THROUGH TO HELP & BRING HOPE!
• I believe this is for many of this morning… God who is rich in Mercy is near and ready to help.
• Struggling financially? BUT GOD.
• Wrestling in your marriage? BUT GOD.
• Fighting against your flesh? BUT GOD.
• I can’t overcome this. I can’t get through that. BUT GOD.
Eph. 2.4-5 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
God who is RICH IN MERCY. He overflows in MERCY.
• MERCY… NOT getting what we deserve. He gives us a chance.
• And a chance… and a chance… and a chance!
• He cuts us slack. He patiently endures. HE’S RICH IN MERCY!
• But He’s also rich in GRACE, giving us what we don’t deserve.
• The hymn writer put it this way:
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.
Twas 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 hath brought me safe thus far and grace will lead me home!
When we’ve been there ten thousand years, bright shining as the sun.
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise, than when we’d first begun.
WOW… when pondering the grace of God, The psalmist says:
Psalm 40.2-3 He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, Out of the miry clay, And set my feet upon a rock, And established my steps. 3 He has put a new song in my mouth--Praise to our God; Many will see it and fear, And will trust in the LORD.