Summary: Message 8 shows that our salvation is a gift from God/ He gives us Calvary and both elements of conversion(repentance and faith). He also gives us free will to accept it or reject it.
SALVATION BY GRACE
“It is by grace that you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves. It is the gift of God. and not from works, so no man should boast."
“You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, that you may bear much fruit.”
A young soldier, returning home from war, called his parents when he reached the United States. He said, “Mom and Dad, I have a friend with me who needs a place to stay for awhile.
His face was blown away, and he is blind and has no ears. Is it alright if I bring him home with me for a few months?
The parents hesitated a little, and suggested he might do better in a hospital or special home. The next day, their son, who made the call, was found dead, hanging from the ceiling in his hotel room. The reason was obvious. His face was blown away and he had no ears.
God see us as ungodly and morally and spiritually ugly and gives us salvation Grace means an extravagant gift. It has been defined as something we need but do not deserve. Justice gives us what we do deserve and mercy and grace give a home with God for all eternity, something we. do not deserve.
THE GIFT OF CALVARY
“God demonstrates His love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
In the heart and character of God, for us to be forgiven there must be a sacrifice made for us. He says, “Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. Jesus knew this from his OT Bible and said his “blood was shed for many, for the forgiveness of sins (Mt. 26).
There is no way we can make God come down and nothing we can do to earn it or deserve it. I’m not sure, but I might suffer and die for you. But never in a million years would I give you one of my daughters to strip naked, to be beaten so that she would not look uman (Isa. 52) and be hung on a cross.
Sins like ours tortured and murdered Jesus. We do what is best for us like Pilate; we have made fun of people like the crow around the cross. In Acts 2:36, two months after Jesus was crucified, Peter told a crowd, many of whom did not even know about death – you crucified Him. Hebrews 6 tells people leaving the church that they are “crucifying Jesus all over again,” (6:6)
Jesus died for the ungodly, those like us who hated, tortured and killed him (Acts 2:36 / Heb. 6:6). We, who murdered Jesus are given the gift of His forgiving mercy. His Father (God) put Him into our hands Son; if that isn’t lavish, loving grace to the undeserving, I don’t know what is.
THE GIFT OF CONVERSION
2 Cor. 7:10
“Godly (God given) sorrow produces repentance leads to salvation”
Repentance and faith are God given. Ephesians 2:8 says faith is God’s gift. So is repentance. The term “godly” sorrow cannot mean the sorrow of a godly person because before salvation we anything but godly. Even the good things we do are “filthy rags” if we think they will get us to heaven. Hebrews six says God “leads us to repentance”.
1. God Comes to us
Rom. 3 :11.
“No man seeks God at any time / The Son of Man has come to seek and save that which is lost.”
God came to Adam and Eve when they were naked, ashamed and afraid. We say people are “seeking for God” when in reality we are seeking everything but God. When I was young I was interested in girl, football and cars. Adrian Rogers says a sinner nor more looks for God than a mouse looks for a cat.
God has an avenue of approach to every human heart. For Luther it was a bolt of lightning; for T.B. Matson my ethics professor it was the fear of hell; for me it was the desire to have a loving home.
It can be the birth of a baby or the death of a baby. Harry Lauder, the Scottish humorist said when his son died, “For me it was alcohol, suicide or God and I chose God.”
2. God Enlightens Us
1 Cor. 1:18ff
“The natural man does not understand the things of God; it is pure nonsense to him
Spurgeon says the unconverted man can no more understand the gospel than a horse can understand astronomy. He says we are dead, and dead to the fact we are dead; and we are blind and blind to the fact we are blind.
A pastor friend told me he did not do much pre-marital counseling because when a couple comes to a Pastor smitten by love, they are deaf, dumb, blind and stupid. That is how God finds us to be.