Summary: 1- The grace of God brings salvation 2- The grace of God teaches goodness 3- The grace of God gives hope
INTRO.- ILL.- D.L. Moody was an American evangelist (February 5, 1837 - December 22, 1899 - 62 years). Moody said: “Grace isn’t a little prayer you chant before receiving a meal. It’s a way to live. The law tells me how crooked I am. Grace comes along and straightens me out.”
He also said: "It is well that man cannot save himself; for if a man could only work his own way to Heaven, you would never hear the last of it. Why, if a man happens to get a little ahead of his fellows and scrapes a few thousands of dollars together, you’ll hear him boast of being a self-made man. I’ve heard so much of this sort of talk that I am sick and tired of the whole business; and I am glad that through all eternity in Heaven we will never hear anyone bragging of how he worked his way to get there." AMEN!
Luke 18:18 The rich young ruler asked of Jesus, "Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" This is the mentality that most people have when it comes to eternal life. WHAT MUST I DO TO GET IT?
ILL.- A former Buddhist who became a Christian wrote, “One of the hardest things to understand was why I didn’t have to work my way to heaven. In Buddhism you must pray hard, burn incense and give many offerings. Even so, you can’t know for sure if you’ll go to heaven.”
This is the thinking that most people have even if they aren’t Buddhists! They still think they must do a lot of good things in this life in order to qualify for eternal life. However, we should be motivated to do good not because we want to be saved but because we are saved!
Ephesians 2:8-10 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” We need to understand God’s grace much more than we do and this text will help us.
PROP.- This passage teaches us much about the grace of God, which we badly need.
1- The grace of God brings salvation
2- The grace of God teaches goodness
3- The grace of God gives hope
I. THE GRACE OF GOD BRINGS SALVATION
11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. What is your nature? What is my nature? What are you naturally inclined to do? For preachers: Talk!
ILL.- Oprah Winfrey’s nature is to talk. That’s the way I see her. Dr. Phil’s nature is to talk, to dish out advice as if he knew everything. And he is pretty smart. He’s smart enough to make millions of dollars by talking. I read that he makes around $43 Million dollars a year. Not bad for just talking. That’s his nature.
What about God’s nature? What’s the thing He does best? GIVE to people? LOVE people? BLESS people? FORGIVE people? YES, all these, no doubt. God is love and He is a giver of good gifts and He is quick to forgive when we believe Him. His nature is that of grace. He is a gracious God. He is a grace giving God. And His grace brings salvation and has appeared to all men.
I would say that His grace has appeared in the person of Jesus. The nature of God is that He wants all men to be saved in Jesus.
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish....”
Luke 19:10 “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.”
John 1:29 “Behold, the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world."
The problem with our society, however, is that they don’t even know they are lost. They don’t even know they are perishing. Most people don’t know they are heading to the 2nd death, which is separation from God.
Ephesians 2:1-5 “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.”