Summary: Our newspapers are filled with bad news. As we listen to news reporters on television relating the tragic events happening around the world, we can easily become fatigued with the tragedy of what is taking place. Our text contains some good news for th
The Grace of God and Our Salvation
Our newspapers are filled with bad news. As we listen to news reporters on television relating the tragic events happening around the world, we can easily become fatigued with the tragedy of what is taking place.
Our text contains some good news for this new year and for every year. It informs us that the grace of God has appeared in a remarkable from to make possible the salvation of people. Paul had grown up in a world that believed only good Jewish people experienced salvation. The Great Commission was a new statement affirming that the grace of God had appeared for the salvation of all. Paul himself was included, though we was a persecutor of the church. You were included; I was included, and thus, we need to ask ourselves, “What is this great salvation that has been made possible by the grace of God?”
The apostle John affirmed, “For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” The Jewish people considered the law as primarily being given to them. Both John and Paul proclaimed that the grace of God has come through Jesus Christ to all people.
The New Testament was written in Greek. The Greeks thought of grace as a favor conferred freely on a friend. In Hebrew though God’s grace is his unmerited favor freely conferred upon those who have make themselves his enemies. The grace of God is something much more than a favor conferred on a friend. It is God moving toward the undeserving sinner, offering freely the gifts that we so desperately need but do not deserve.
What, then, is this great salvation for all people that Paul is talking about?
I. Salvation by grace includes the new birth, or rebirth (John 3:3-7)
a. There is no salvation apart from this spiritual birth of which Jesus speaks in his conversation with Nicodemus.
b. The appearance of Jesus has given humankind a chance.
i. Christ’s work on the cross has made it possible for a sinful race to look to Jesus Christ by faith and receive this miraculous spiritual birth.
II. Salvation by grace includes spiritual rescue (Luke 19:10)
a. The grace of God brought Jesus Christ into the world as a seek of the lost.
i. We, by nature, do not seek God.
ii. The Holy Spirit seeks us by sending believers to communicate the good news of God’s love to us.
b. We have been rescued from our wanderings by the Good Shepherd, who searches for those who have strayed from God.
III. Salvation by grace includes spiritual restoration. (1 Peter 3:18)
a. The apostle Peter ways that we have experienced restoration to God because of the death of Jesus Christ on the cross for us.
i. He speaks of the substitutionary nature of the death of Jesus Christ on the cross for a guilty race.
ii. He affirms that it is by means of this that our Lord seeks to restore to the Creator God the sinful creature that was driven out of the garden because of sin.
b. God the Father is eager to bring about the restoration of everyone who is willing to turn from sin to him through faith in Jesus Christ.
IV. Salvation by grace includes spiritual renewal (Romans 12:1-2)
a. Salvation is more than just a ticket to heaven, and it is more than just being accepted by God on the basis of our faith.
i. It involves a renewal of the mind.
b. Paul challenges believers to respond to God’s mercy by presenting their total being to him.
i. He encourages them to refuse to be squeezed into the mold of a wicked, ungodly world and to experience renewal of mind that they might know and experience that the will of God is good, perfect, and right.
c. God wants us to be like Christ in actions and attitude – indeed, in our very nature.
V. Salvation by grace includes some revolutionary changes (2 Cor. 5:17)
a. The conversion experience is described as a spiritual resurrection (Ephesians 2:1, 5)
b. The grace of God that appeared in Jesus Christ for our salvation came to transform us.
c. The Father is eager to help each of us experience our full potential as his children.
The Good News is that the grace of God brings salvation for all people – including you. This salvation is experienced through the faith that makes Jesus Christ the Lord of your life. Today, if you have not already done so, let him become no only the Savior of your soul, but the transformer and enricher of your life.
Salvation is by grace: you cannot buy it, earn it, or steal it. You can receive it as a gift by faith when you open the door of your life to the Lord Jesus Christ.