Summary: For anyone who feels inadequate. . . you ARE! You need to hear about grace! Here are three things you need to believe about GOd’s grace. *HANDOUT INCLUDED*
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God’s Grace: Absolutely Free!
"Pasteurized, homogenized, standardized, Vitamin A added."
One cow turned to the other and remarked,
"Makes you feel sort of inadequate, doesn’t it?"
This series is for anyone here who has ever felt inadequate!
* Inadequate to please God.
* Inadequate to please others
* Inadequate to face your problems
* Inadequate to change your life.
First, understand this: You are inadequate!!!!! :-) Me, too! We’re all inadequate together!
Second, hear this: That’s why the idea of grace is so powerful. That’s why Jesus Christ is so awesome. Let’s focus in on his grace today...
Here’s my definition of Grace:
God’s undeserved kindness to me
God’s enabling power in me
Three things you need to believe about God’s free grace:
1. You can’t possibly earn it.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God...” (Ephesians 2:8)
Reader’s Digest recently asked the great fighter Muhammed Ali what his faith meant to him. Ali replied:
"[It] means [a] ticket to heaven. One day we’re all going to die, and God’s going to judge us, [our] good and bad deeds. [If the] bad outweighs the good, you go to hell; if the good outweighs the bad, you go to heaven. [I’m] thinking about the judgment day and how you treat people wherever you go. Help somebody through charity, because when you do, it’s been recorded.
I go to parties, [see] good-looking girls. [I] take a box of matches with me. [I] see a girl I want to flirt with, which is a sin, so I [light] my matches, [touches his finger] oooh, hell hurts worse than this. Buy a box of matches and carry them with you. Put [one] on your finger and see how long you can hold it. Just imagine that’s going to be hell. Hell’s hotter, and for eternity."
Ali is right. Hell is hot. But those who go there do so not because their list of good works is too short. They go there because their belief in themselves is too strong. "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-- and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works, so that no one can boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Source: SermonCentral Staff. Citation: Face to Face with Muhammad Ali. Interview by Howard Bingham, Reader’s Digest, December 2001.
2. It cost the blood of Jesus Christ.
“...being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 3:24)
“Justified” means to be declared “not guilty.” It’s “just as if I’d” never sinned.
So we are freely declared not guilty by His grace. That sounds good! But look at the last half of the verse: “through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”
“Redemption” means “to buy back.” Jesus Christ paid the price to buy us back when we were slaves to sin.
However, Paul didn’t stop his swearing. In fact, while he improved somewhat over the next couple weeks, he really wasn¡|t having the success he wanted and was losing a lot of hard-earned cash.
After the fourth week, William told Paul he had decided that the deal needed to be changed for the coming week, but he wasn¡|t going to tell Paul how it would change. He just said, “Trust me. It will cost you both less and more.”
When they met the following Sunday before worship, Paul admitted he¡|d failed again. William put a hand on his shoulder and said, "Paul, I told you this was going to cost you both less and more. It’s called grace."
William took out his checkbook, and made out a check to the church, leaving the amount blank.