Summary: Grace cannot exist until we come to the realization that we are helpless. When we submit to this fact then and only then can the grace of God work.
AMAZING GRACE: ROMANS 5:6-10
If I was to poll this room to the percentage of the 10 commandments each of us have broken, we would find that each of us have broken most of them. This classifies us as sinners, and as sinners, a price must be paid for that sin. That price is the penalty of death. For the wages of sin is death.
Grace: God’s free action-based on Jesus’ death & motivated by love-to redeem all who believe & to make them righteous.
“For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, have been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.”
2 REQUIREMENTS OF GRACE:
1. THE REALIZATION OF OUR HELPLESS POSITION:
“Since God is a holy & righteous & sin is a complete offense to Him, His love or His mercy cannot operate in grace until there was provided a sufficient satisfaction for sin. This satisfaction makes possible the exercise of God’s grace. Grace thus rules out all human merit. It requires only faith in the Savior. Any mixture of human merit violates grace. God’s grace thus provides not only salvation but safety & preservation for the saved one, despite his imperfections.” (Merrill F. Unger’ s Bible Dictionary)
When we come to a point of facing our hopeless & helpless position, then the grace of God can work.
“For when we were still without strength…”
GRACE IS HELD IN MUCH HIGHER REGARD WHEN WE REALIZE WHAT A GREAT GIFT IT IS, AND HOW UNDESERVING WE ARE.
Unfortunately, since salvation is free, we take it so lightly.
WE LACK THE FULL COMPREHENSION OF THE IMPLICATION OF THE PENALTY FOR OUR SIN:
Thomas Hooker “Conceive this much, if all the diseases in the world did seize on one man, & if all the torment that all the tyrants of the world could devise, were cast against him; & if all the creatures in heaven & earth did conspire the destruction of this man; & if all the devils in hell did labor to inflict punishment upon him, you would think this man to be in a miserable condition. And yet all this is but a beam of God’s indignation. If the beams of God’s indignation be so hot, what is the full sum of His wrath when it shall seize upon the soul of a sinful creature in full measure.” (The Tale of the Tardy Oxcart; Charles Swindoll)
In 1741, Jonathan Edwards presented a well known sermon, still read in public schools today for its powerful literary presentation. Those sitting in the pews that day, claim that they could actually feel the flames of hell licking at their feet. When we come to the realization of what this grace covers, provides and protects for us, we will truly come to a place of complete surrender and love.
ABANDON ALL HOPE YE THAT ENTER HERE.
In the saga of Dante’s Inferno, a description of what the writer sees hell to be like. At the mouth of the abyss was posted the sign which read “Abandon all hope ye that enter here”.
Grace cannot exist until we abandon all hope in ourselves.
Paul understood this when he said:
Rom. 7:24,25 “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God-through Jesus Christ our Lord!”
ABANDON ALL HOPE IN YOURSELF! Righteousness is as filthy rags!
ABANDON ALL HOPE IN YOURSELF!
Eph. 2:8,9 “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”
ABANDON ALL HOPE IN YOURSELF!
2 Cor. 12:7,8 “And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing, I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”
Gideon: Judges 6-7; 6:15 “So he said to Him, “O my Lord, how can I save Israel? Indeed my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, & I am the least in my father’s house. And the Lord said to him, “Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat the Midiannites as one man.”