Summary: God’s grace is sufficient to save, and to empower us to work in His service.
SAVING GRACE, SERVING GRACE
By Kenny McKinley
Now, if you will turn with me in your Bibles to the book of Romans, chapter 3 and follow along as I read, beginning in verse 9 (read Rom. 3:9-18). In these verses Paul is speaking about all of humanity, he says that we ALL have sinned, that we are sinners by nature and sinners by choice, In verse 23 Paul sums it up by saying, “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”
Now I’ve heard people say that they aren’t sinners, and that they don’t sin, but 1st John 1:8 says, “If we say that we have no sin, then the truth is not in us, and we have deceived ourselves.”
In Romans chapter 5 Paul tells us that this happened because of Adams transgression. In Romans chapter 5 vs. 12 Paul says, “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the wold, and death through sin, and death spread to all men, because all sinned.” See Adam was sort of like mankind’s representative, and when he fell all of man fell. Now again I’ve heard people say that this isn’t fair. They say that they shouldn’t be held accountable for what Adam did, but if you think about it, we are held accountable for people all the time. Take for example our president. Let’s say that this evening President Bush were to tell the Soviet Union and China where they could go, and Russia and China decided that they didn’t like it. So the Soviets and Chinese decided that they were going to show us and launch nuclear weapons in our direction. Well if this were to happen we would suffer the consequences even though you and I were not directly involved. But because the President represents us, then we would have to pay the consequences. Now here’s the thing, we (sinful people) elect our government representatives but God Himself chose man’s representative. Now I don’t know about you, but I would rather have God choose than man any day. But you see my point. We are all sinners because of our ancestor, Adam, which means that we are sinners by nature, and we are all sinners by choice, meaning that because of our sin nature we choose to sin.
Now people say, ok, so I’m a sinner, but so is everyone else, so what’s the big deal? Well Romans 6:23 tells us that the wages of sin is death. Now that doesn’t just mean dying a natural death. It means death, hell, and eternal separation from God.
Pretty heavy stuff huh? But guess what? We don’t call this the good news for nothing.
Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” And 1st Timothy 1:15 says, “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” So to those who would say that they are not sinners, then I would have to say that Jesus didn’t come into the world to save them.
Now I said all of that to get to our text. How does a person get saved? By grace, that’s how.
Ephesians 2:8 “for by grace you have been saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.” It’s by Gods grace alone that we are saved. By grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.
We can’t do it, we can’t earn it, and we can’t buy it. We can never be good enough to keep God’s righteous requirements, that’s why it’s totally of God’s grace.
The Bible tells us to humble ourselves in the sight of the Lord and in due time He will exalt you. And that’s what we do when we receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.
We humble ourselves and say, Jesus I believe that you paid the price that I owed, but could never pay, and that You have accomplished my salvation on the cross. That You are my Lord and Savior. I’m not in charge of my life, and I humble myself to your authority.
It says, “my righteousness is as a filthy rag, but I have become the righteousness of God in Christ. It’s saying, “In me, that is, in my flesh, there is no good thing.” And so we TOTALLY trust in the mercy of Christ. That’s what it means to believe, that’s the part that faith plays. Faith reaches out and receives the gift that is being given to us.
Now there’s a story in the Old Testament that demonstrates this perfectly. My wife has heard me talk about this story several times, but it’s a beautiful picture of the entire process of salvation.