Summary: How grace can change your life and Ungrace can ruin it.
Saved By Grace. Sunday 30th Of March 2003 St Andrews Church
Written By Shane J.Hodge
Disciple of Christ.
Scriptures: Ephesians 2.1-10
Numbers 21. 4-9
John 3. 14-21
For it is by grace that you are saved, through faith and this is not from yourselves it is a gift from God, not by works so that no one can boast. For we are Gods workmanship created is Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
It is by Grace that we are saved?
Sounded like an easy sermon to write.So I studied, Bert even helped he gave me a great book to read, gee I thought, this is going to be easy, and then I opened the book..And then I started to read..And then the subject came to light…and then ..I Thought….This will be difficult.
Why? Because the more I read the more I learnt and the more I became troubled.
Grace in its Godly format is such a wonderful thing, I mean we can do anything and God will forgive us, no questions asked
So does that mean we can sin over and over again and we will be forgiven, Paul stated in Romans “That when sin increased grace increased more and more”.
Wow we might say, it’s a license to be naughty enjoy all the things in life we are told not to as Christians because we will be forgiven by Gods grace anyway. In fact some Christians throughout time have followed this rule, there is a story of a group of monks in the third century who had devoted all there lives to being strict in there living codes, but upon the eve of being arrested and facing death they would go on a rampage of drunkedness, sex and other things as they believed that gods grace would forgive them so what would one night of sinning matter.
I mean grace abuse is a real temptation, if it’s a matter of not paying a price for misgivings who are we to care, so guys you can go out and get drunk and come home late, ladies you can shop till you drop without giving any care to bills at the end of the month, kids can make a mess of the house invite there friends over and create virtual havoc, its all Ok because the more we do it the more God will love us, well according the Romans you would think that would be the case..Or is it?
Paul knew that when he wrote this passage that some would take it as a license to sin, so it’s cancelled out in Romans Chapter 6 , what should we say then? Shall we go on sinning so our grace may forever increase? And what is his answer , NO WAY.
Sorry About that folks, I must admit the thought of quoting Romans to MasterCard, as an excuse for not paying was appealing.
So knowing that we cannot sin and be excused for it, what is that God really wants us to know about Grace?
I feel that we should go back to Ephesians , when it states that we are Gods Workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works. And is from this statement that I feel we can safely say that is if is godly to live by grace then it is most likely human to live in Ungrace. We are far to ready to let Ungrace rule our lives, yes we come here on Sundays and state and act the opposite but in reality our daily lives may be far from Gods Grace. To be blunt Christians are not doing a very good job of dispensing grace to the world.
But,Lets look at Jesus, he did not let any institution interfere with his love for any individual, Jewish racial and religious policies forbid him to speak with a Samaritan women let alone one that was a prostitute and she even became a missionary, his disciples included a tax collector who was viewed as a traitor by the Jews, a zealot who is those days were basically hired killers, fisherman who were famous for loving wine women and song, he loved John the Baptist while others thought he was a bit off the edge, he had dinner with a leper, a roman soldier, for Jesus the person was more important than any category or label.
Could you imagine if we had a sign out the front of this Church in big neon lights, and visitors labels to match, that said welcome to all Murderes, Prostitutes, AIDS Patients, Robbers, Thieves, Rapists and general crazies…how many of us would be hanging around for a cup of tea and a chat after the service? The bible shows that god has a marked preference for “general crazies” in Jesus own words, “ There will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner repenting, than over ninety nine righteous people who do not need to repent” Ah Yes Grace is certainly not an easy thing for us mere mortals.