Summary: Have you ever heard, God helps those who help themselves? Not a bad phrase but look at what it is teaching.
Ephesians 2:8-9. 07/10/05
I want to start another series of messages about something we sing about a lot of times. I am talking about something if you are a child of God, you might not be able to explain it, but you have experienced it. I am talking about amazing Grace. So I want to do a series of sermons around the subject of amazing grace.
In way of introduction, I want to start by a saying that is probably familiar to about everyone and you finish the saying. If it is too good to be true….it is. How about we make money the old fashioned way….we earn it. How about this; there is no such thing as a free….ride or lunch. Here is the one you have heard and that is God helps those who…..help themselves.
These aren’t real bad sayings but you look at what they are teaching us. They teach us that the American way is to work for all you have and want. Everything the American way of life teaches us that we work for everything we have. But when it comes to the salvation of a soul, Jesus doesn’t work the American way. In salvation for the soul, it is not what we do but what He has done. Our song goes, “amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now I’m found was blind but now I see.” The man that wrote this song was a drunk, cheat and just a wicked man. But when the grace of God griped his heart, he was changed from the inside out. That is what the grace of God does to a person.
When I was getting this message together, I tried to think about a good definition for the word grace. You know, there is no real good definition for the word grace especially when we think of the grace of God. But the best definition I know of grace is God giving me what I don’t deserve. I believe these Scriptures we have this morning will tell us just that.
Now our text tells us this morning that we are saved by grace through faith. I know what some of you are thinking. You are thinking I have known that for a long time. I have been saved for a length of time and I know I am saved by the grace of God. But did you know there are many aspects of grace? There is healing grace. There is forgiving grace. There is reconciling grace. I could go on but we will look at these at a different time.
Now I want to take the word grace and use it as an acrostic this morning. I read about this great speaker who was going to speak at Yale at the commencement exercise. He took the word Yale and used it as an acrostic and spoke 2 ½ hours. When he finished, he asked a young man how he did. He said you did fine; I am glad our collage name is not The University of Tennessee.
So, grace starts with the letter G, so we want to start by talking about G standing for GIFT God’s gift.
Have you ever ask a few people what they think it will take for them to get to heaven? You ought to do that sometime; just ask some people what they think they need to do to go to heaven. You will be surprised at the answers and the many different answers you get. But you can count on this and that is the non-Christian will tell you it has something to do with what you do as in works.
Now Romans 3:23, Says, “for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” That means that everyone misses the mark in his own deeds. All great and small have missed the mark for all have sinned.
Then in Romans 6:23, the Bible says, “the wages of sin is death.” All have sinned we are told in Romans 3:23 and we are told in Romans 6:23, the wages of sin is death, which means separation from God, and then what chance do we have?
But then in Romans 6:23, the latter part of the verse says, “but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Then in Romans 3:24, the Bible says, “being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,”
Now what is God’s gift? God’s gift is eternal life through faith in His Son Jesus.
Our next letter is the letter R. For the letter R, we want to say RECEIVED by faith. Now in just a short time I want to tell you more about this one, but in the mean time listen, salvation is not based on my performance but His promise. It is not something I do but what He has done.