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Summary: The entire New Testament is dedicated to revealing the dynamic process of God's grace empowering us with the love and dedication of Jesus.

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Illustration

An old man lay drunk in the street causing a policeman to confront him with: “Get out of the street or I am going to run you in.” A young preacher witnessed this and was moved to interrupt the policeman: “If you will allow me I will aid the old man.” The policemen grumbled something and walked off as the young preacher squatted down beside the old man and asked: “Is there anything I do for you?” The old man looked up through bloodshot glassy eyes and replied: “You got anything to drink on ya?” The preacher spoke gently: “no I do not.” “Ya got a smoke?” questioned the old man. “No,” answered the young preacher. “Well then, I recon you cannot do a damn thing for me,” retorted the old man. The preacher held out his hand and asked: “How about I help you move to where you can lean your back against this building.” “Ok,” the drunk meekly said. The young preacher aided the old man in getting out of the street and positioned where he could sit next to the building wall: then he sat down next to the old man.

They sat there together in silence, leaning against the building, for quite some time. The young preacher finally broke the silence by asking: “You hungry?” “Nope,” replied the old man. Again there was a long period of silence, which was eventually broken by the old man. “You a preacher,” he asked. “Yes I am,” replied the young man, “I graduated from a very prestigious bible college, preached at a very prominent church, was fired and now I am preaching Sunday nights at my father’s church.” The old man looked quizzically at the young preacher and said, “Why in hell did they fire you. You get too friendly with one of the deacon’s wives?” At which point the old man began laughing. He was so taken with his version of humor that his laughing transitioned into fits of coughing, mixed with laughter. Eventually the old man regained his composure and just sat there looking at the young man like a teacher waiting for an explanation from a misbehaving 2nd grader.

The young preacher eventually took a deep breath, slowly let it out and quietly said: “no … they would probably have over looked that.” They sat there for a spell, the old man still staring at the preacher. Eventually he spoke: “Well, why in hell did they fire ya?” The young preacher turned to look directly in the face of the old man, “They fired me because I would not preach health, wealth, and happiness sermons that made the people feel good about themselves.” The old man grinned and asked: “Did they pay ya good?” “Yes they did,” replied the preacher, “very good.” “Then you are a dummy,” snorted the old man, “a real dumb ass. They are the ones that hired you and it was your job to do what they told you to do.” “I do not work for man,” the preacher coldly responded, “I work for God.” “Does God pay ya,” quizzed the old man. The young preacher sat there, staring off into the distance. The old man jostled the preacher while questioning, “Just how much does God pay ya?” “Eternal salvation,” the young man replied, “eternal salvation.” “Bull crap,” the old man snorted, “everyone who asks for salvation gets salvation … salvation is a free gift from God … it ain’t pay … grace is unconditional you big dummy!”


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