Summary: We are saved by God's grace.
Last week, we looked at the first aspect of God's amazing grace - His seeking grace. We're drawn to Christ by God's grace and are saved through Christ by God's grace. Which brings us to a second aspect of God's amazing grace - His Saving Grace. (READ TEXT) Paul speaks about our salvation, which is by grace through faith. Let's look at what he says and see what we can learn about God's Saving Grace.
1. Our salvation is grace given - v. 8a
The dictionary definition: "the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings."
"Grace is God’s love in action towards men who merited the opposite of love. It is God moving heaven and earth to save sinners who could not lift a finger to save themselves. It is God sending His only Son to descend into hell on the cross so that we guilty ones might be reconciled to God and received into heaven." - J.I Packer
Understanding the difference between mercy and grace has helped me understand better God's Saving Grace.
Mercy is my not receiving what I deserve. When God saves me, it means I don't have to go to hell, which I deserve. I don't have to live eternally barred from God's presence, which I deserve. I'm no longer the object of God's wrath, which I deserve. That's God's mercy. I don't receive what I deserve.
Grace, however, is more than mercy. Grace is my receiving what I do not deserve. When God saves me through my placing my faith in Christ, it means I not only do not have to go to hell, but that I get to go to heaven, which I do not deserve. It means I not only do not have to live eternally barred from God's presence, but that I get to eternally
enjoy God's presence, which I do not deserve. It means that I am not only no longer the object of God's wrath, but that now, I am the object of His blessing. That is God's grace. I receive what I do not deserve.
One terrific description of Saving Grace is that it is . . .
God's Riches At Christ's Expense
Because of Christ's payment for our sins, through faith in Him, by God's grace, we now have access to all the riches of God. God took our place on the cross, paying the penalty for our sin, so that through accepting His payment for our sin on our behalf, we might be brought to a place of right relationship with God. That's God's saving grace.
In his classic work, "The Divine Exchange," Derek Prince lists 10 things that were accomplished for us by the cross:
1. Jesus was punished that we might be forgiven;
2. Jesus was wounded that we might be healed;
3. Jesus was made sin with our sinfulness, that we might be made righteous with His righteousness;
4. Jesus tasted death for us that we might share His life;
5. Jesus was made a curse that we might receive the blessing;
6. Jesus endured our poverty that we might share His abundance;
7. Jesus bore our shame that we might share His glory;
8. Jesus endured my rejection that I might have His acceptance with the Father;
9. He was cut off that we might be joined to the Lord; and
10. Our Old Man was put to death in Him that the New Man might come to life in us.
"Come, and see the victories of the cross. Christ’s wounds are your healings, His agonies your repose, His conflicts your conquests, His groans your songs, His pains your ease, His shame your glory, His death your life, His sufferings your salvation." - Matthew Henry
"For you are recognizing [more clearly] the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ [His astonishing kindness, His generosity, His gracious favor], that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that by His poverty you might become rich (abundantly blessed)." - 2 Corinthians 8:9 (Amplified)
2. Our salvation is faith accessed - 8b
By His grace, God initiated all that was necessary to provide for our salvation. Now, it's up to us to respond to His provision of grace and His invitation to benefit from that provision. How? By faith. What is faith? There are three elements associated with saving faith.
A. There is the content of saving faith. Certain things are required for us to know about Christ if we are to be saved.
"Let me now remind you, dear brothers and sisters, of the Good News I preached to you before. You welcomed it then, and you still stand firm in it. It is this Good News that saves you . . . I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said." - 1 Corinthians 15:1-2a; 3-4 (NLT)