Summary: Christians are expected to produce "fruits worthy of repentance". This sermon contrasts "Our Works" with the "Fruits of the Spirit"
Grace 2 – Parable of the Sower
Who knows how to make a cake?
• The first thing we have to assume in making a cake is that I have the competency to make a cake
• I have to be able to go to the store, buy the ingredients, follow the recipe, put it in the oven, decorate it, etc
• Most of us, although the women might have some reservations about letting some of us men in the kitchen, would be capable of making a cake
• It’s a doable project even for us men
Who knows how to make an apple?
• I know how to make an apple. I go out buy a tree, plant it, water it etc and all things being equal when it bears fruit, I have produced an apple
• But have I really produced it?
• No, I had to trust the work of the tree to do its thing – which is to produce apples
• This simple example highlights the difference between “our own works” and “faith in the saving works of Jesus Christ”
• When it comes to something like making a cake, we can through our own works produce a cake
• It’s a doable project as I said
• But when it comes to something as complex as producing an apple the best we can do is plant a tree and let it do its thing
• It’s the same when it comes to our salvation. We of ourselves despite how hard we work are incapable of coming up with the goods for perfection – like we discovered last time (Scale of success)
• It is beyond our ability – it is not doable
• So our only alternative is to trust the one whose job it is bring about salvation for us, Jesus Christ – He is the salvation tree if you like, He is the Tree of Life
• That’s what saving faith is – trusting the one whose job it is to produce salvation.
• But, and here comes the rub, why is it that we are happy to trust an apple tree to produce apples, but we have the hardest time trusting Jesus when He tells us all we have to do is believe in Him and He will produce salvation for us
• “He says believe Me when I tell you that I have done it for you, so sit back and enjoy the apple”
• But what do we do in our unbelief, we sit down under the apple tree fretting about our inability to produce an apple and continue to try to come up with our own plan to produce an apple
• We still think we have to contribute our own works in producing an apple
Last time we started a series called “Living under Grace” with the key scripture being Rom 6:14-15 “We are no longer under law but under grace”
• This is a very important subject because if we are honest and look at Christianity today it would seem we are still living under the law instead of living under grace – we seem to be preoccupied with the law
• So my hope is to show you the benefits of living under grace
• Its goes back to what I was saying last time, Jesus came “bringing glad tidings of great joy for all peoples”
• Last time we learnt the glad tidings that when we fail, Jesus makes up the difference for us with His grace
• Remember we discussed how we are so quick to use the ideals of Marriage, Friendship, and The Law as a club to beat up our spouses, friends, fellow Christians etc
• And we end up with an environment of “guilt and blame” instead of one of “Grace and forgiveness”
• But the good news of living under grace is that we have the Freedom to fail – Jesus came to make up for our failures.
• He lived the perfect life we could not live; He died the death we should have died; and he defeated death by rising from the dead so we could live with Him for all Eternity
• And we briefly discussed the deterrent for that huge fear some seem to have that “if grace abounds, then sin will also abound”
• And the two points we mentioned were, 1) Sin has penalties – pain is a good deterrent, and 2) we are born again, a new creation, born of the Holy Spirit and therefore wired for producing the fruits of the Spirit
Today in response to this fear “if grace abounds, then sin will also abound” I want to spend some more time on this subject of “how we are to grow under grace”