Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Friday, January 13th. The Bible teaches that every believer in Jesus has a treasure that can never be lost or stolen. Let's learn about the riches of God's grace today. Would you like to be rich? If you were really honest, most people would say, count me in.
Well, let me ask you this. What would it take to make you feel rich? Well, how much of that would you have to have to be rich? Well, the truth is a lot of people are rich and don't know it.
They're just looking in the wrong places. And what I want to talk about in this message is simply this, and that is the riches of God's grace. And I want you to turn, if you will, to Ephesians chapter one. And I want us to read just a few verses of this first chapter. And Paul, beginning in the third verse of this first chapter says, Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. And he says, Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him, in love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ through Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us and the beloved. In Him that is in Christ, we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace, which He lavished on us in all wisdom and insight. Now, here's what I'd like for us to do.
I'd like for us to think about it in this light. What I am about to share, these are the characteristics of God's grace to us. Then we'll talk about what the expressions of God's grace are. But let me remind you what grace is. Grace is God's unearned, undeserved favor, love and kindness toward us in spite of what we deserve.
Unearned, undeserved, love, kindness, and goodness toward us in spite of what we deserve. So, what I want us to think about is from God's Word, now listen carefully. If you will listen very carefully, take some notes. Here's what you're going to discover. You're going to discover a new way to look at yourself. You're going to discover a new way to think about God. You're going to discover a new way to think about your relationships to life and things and so forth.
You're going to begin to realize how awesome God is and how personally involved and how much He loves you. We're talking about the riches of His grace, that you and I know that God's not poor. He's the sovereign God of the universe. He owns it all. He controls it all.
He can release as much or as little as He chooses. So, if you have trusted Jesus Christ as your Savior, I want to listen, I want you to listen to the truth about what God says about you and what you have. Not what I think, because everything I'm going to share with you comes right from the Word of God.
I want you to listen to that. Here's what God says about you. When you were saved, the moment you were saved, something awesome happened in your life. Now, I was only twelve and so I didn't understand any of this because nobody told me. And even after I was saved, nobody explained it to me. And I think many Christians go through their life handicapped really because they trusted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. You know that you're saved, but beyond that, you know, you ought to read the Bible and you ought to pray and go to church and give and some of those things.
And you know what the shoulds, ought and musts are about. But when it comes to really living it out, I'm afraid most believers don't know how to live it out because they don't understand what happened. What I'm about to explain to you is really what happened the moment you trusted Jesus Christ as your Savior.
So, let's begin with the characteristics. That is, these are things we know about God's grace and the riches of His grace that you have. And the first one is this, they're all given by the heavenly Father. That is, every good thing that you and I have is a result of God's bestowing them upon us. The Bible says that every good imperfect gift comes from the Father above.
And sometimes difficulty and hardships also come. But it's out of this awesome God's heart, this God of love that He bestows these things upon us. So, remember now, we're talking about from the moment you were saved, something happened, and what happens, this is the way you describe those things. So, all of His riches are bestowed upon us by Him.
Then a second thing I want you to notice is this, and that is they come freely. Look, if you will, in verse six of Ephesians chapter one. He says, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us, He freely bestowed upon us.
That is, God's not chinchy. He delights in giving us good things. Then He says also in verse eight that He bestows them a different way. Listen to what He says in verse seven, in Him, that is, we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace, which He lavished on us. That is, He pours them out in abundance. You cannot measure the blessings that God has in store for His children.
Somebody says, well now, wait a minute. I've been going through a difficult time most of my life. What did God have in store for you? You say, well, it wasn't very good.
Yes, it was. Because, you see, we know that He says, this sovereign God of the universe says, He causes all things that work together for good to those who love and to those that call according to His purpose. That even the difficulty and hardships sometimes are expressions of God's goodness to us because what is He doing? He's growing up character. He's building character in us. He's sanding and sifting us and conforming us to the lightness of His Son, which is what He says He predestined to happen. So, these things are immeasurable, but likewise, they come instantaneously. Now, watch this.
I'm going to say this over and over again. The moment you're saved, God deposits to your account what we're going to talk about in a few moments. But how does He do it? He does it lavishly. He does it instantaneously. That is, God doesn't sort of weed it out a little at the time.
I'm going to give you a little bit of this, a little bit of that, a little bit of the other. We may begin to enjoy them a little bit at the time as we begin to mature in our Christian life, but God deposits them to our account instantaneously and simultaneously. He doesn't say, Well, I'm going to forgive you over here and I'm going to sanctify you over here and I'm going to do something else over here.
No, He gives them simultaneously, instantly. God does something awesome in the life of every one of His children. The tragedy is that we don't know about it. The tragedy is that most people will never learn about it and that the growth of their Christian life, listen, wanting and wishing for something that is already there. Likewise, He, listen, He gives everything on the merit of Christ. Now, if He gave these things on our merit, then grace would not be grace.
What do we say? Grace is undeserved and unearned. That is, grace is undeserved, unearned, and in spite of what you and I deserve.
So, what He gives is on the merits of Christ, which simply means this. It is because Jesus Christ died and paid our sin debt in full that that opens the door for a holy God to, listen, to lavish blessings upon those of us, which includes every person, who've sinned against Him and rebelled against Him and transgressed His law. And then something happens that transforms our life.
And what happens? He pours His blessing upon us. Not only that, all of His blessings are eternal. That is, remember this, money can't buy them, death can't take them away. And many people will die and never recognize what they have as a result of being a child of God.
They think, well, I have eternal life. When I die, I'm going to heaven. Well, what about between now and then?
There's a whole lot that happens between now and then, we hope. So, I want you to listen very carefully, and I want you to jot these words down because they're just going to be brief phrases in the Scripture. And every single one of these things you possess now. The moment you trusted Jesus as your Savior, you possess these things. I want you to listen carefully. If you can write, write this down because it will change the way you think about yourself. You say, well, you've already said that. Right.
Because I want you to think the way God thinks about you. All right, so what is the first? What's the first riches? And when we think about the riches of His grace, how do we describe them?
How do we identify them? Well, the first one is this, that God's placed you in His eternal plan. Now, what does that mean?
I'm going to show you. He's placed you in His eternal plan. You are somebody very special in the eyes of God because here's what He says. In this first chapter of Ephesians and the third verse, blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has past tense, not going to, has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. He's prepared it for us.
Listen. Just as He chose us, chose you and me in Christ Jesus, that is through a relationship with Him, and notice what it says, He chose us in Him when? Before the foundation of the world.
Now, watch this. If He chose you in Him to be one of His children before the foundation of the world, what have you got to brag about? Not a thing. What did we say grace was? Didn't earn it, don't deserve it. He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him, and then in love He predestined us to adoption. That means, so to speak, God drew a circle around us and we're His children. And what He did, drawing a circle around us, this set us apart as a child of God.
We became a part of the kingdom and a part of the family of God. He put us in His plan. And of all the things that God could possibly do to think about that before you and I were ever born, before we were even a human thought, we were in the mind of God.
He chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world. Somebody said, well, I just don't know how that works. You don't have to understand how that works.
You know what? Naturally, you don't because it's far beyond our comprehension. But God, listen, God cannot be fully comprehended by human mankind. He's an awesome God whose love for us, what did He say? Lavishly, abundantly, what He's done for us is almost beyond human understanding. Then, of course, I want you to notice there's several words that you've read lots of times.
And I'm going to give just a brief explanation. The second thing here is that He's redeemed us. What does that mean in Galatians chapter three and verse thirteen?
If you want to jot that down, it'd be good if you would. Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us, for it is written, cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree. And there are many times in the Scripture the Bible refers to redemption. Here's what redemption means.
Listen carefully. Redemption, to redeem something means that you buy it back. Now, how could God buy us back? Does He buying us back from the devil?
No. Here's what that means. It means that when Jesus Christ went to the cross, watch this carefully, that His death on the cross satisfied holy God's requirement. Every single one of us have sinned against God and so we had the debt of sin hanging over us. When Jesus went to the cross and He laid down His life at the cross, His death had to be Jesus, had to be sinless, had to be perfect, the Son of God's death did what? It paid, so to speak, redeemed, that is, it satisfied, not Satan, it satisfied holy God's requirement to deal with our sin. Only Jesus could die for our sin because only He was the perfect Lamb of God. So, redemption means that Jesus at the cross, what did He do? He satisfied the requirements of holiness.
Then there's the word justification. Look, if you will, in Romans chapter five, verse one. Here's what He says, Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God through His Son, Jesus Christ. Now, what does that mean?
To be justified means this. We being sinners, separated from God because of our sins, that God, watch this carefully, that God looking upon sinful mankind, that He sees all of us who are His children no longer guilty. You say, but I am guilty. He has pardoned us from our sin. Now, how did He do that? Well, He said, The soul that sinned it shall die, the wages of sin is death. How could holy God, without being a liar, without saying something that is not true, how could He declare you and me not guilty when we've sinned against Him?
Here's how He did it. He sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to the cross. Jesus paid your sin debt and mine in full. That is the requirement for our forgiveness and the requirement for being no longer guilty from being pardoned of our sin.
Something had to take place. Only the perfect Son of God who laid down His life at Calvary because He satisfied the requirements of God, now He can say no longer guilty. Does that mean that I'll never sin again?
No, it doesn't mean that. But it means this, that you and I have been pardoned for all eternity. Now, the confession and repentance of our sin is what we do when we sin against Him in this life as believers. But He says the blood of Jesus Christ is continually cleansing us from all sin. From apart from the blood of Jesus Christ, there is no forgiveness of sin. And sometimes people who don't understand that say, Why do you all talk about the blood? It is the shedding of the blood of the Son of God, the perfect Son of God that paid our sin debt in full.
Nothing else could. So, justification means no longer guilty in the eyes of God. And then, of course, there comes the whole issue that oftentimes people say, Well, what does it mean to be reconciled to God?
So, let's look at that. In Romans chapter five, I want you to notice in this tenth verse what he says. He says, For while we were enemies living in sin, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. That is, what does it mean to be reconciled by God?
Here's what it means. Now, remember this. All of this happened the moment you were saved. You don't get saved and then get justified, redeemed, and reconciled. It all happened at one time. Now, what does it mean to be reconciled?
Here's what it means. Let's say that you and your wife or you and your children and sons, you all have a big fight. And so, y'all are at odds with each other. Don't speak to each other. Then one of you decides to get this straightened out. You reach out to the other person and say, Look, I want us to do whatever we can do to make this thing right. So, you both begin to discuss it and you have reconciliation.
Now, you're back in harmony. God reconciled you and me in this way, in the very power of Jesus' death. Here's what He did. He reached out to you and me, and He convicted us of our sin, gave us the gift of faith and made it possible for us to believe in Him. And so, what did He do? He reached out and reconciled Himself to us. He brought us to Himself.
He brought us back into a relationship with Himself. So, when He says He reconciled us, when did that happen? Moments you were saved. When were you redeemed the moment you were saved? When were you justified the moment you were saved? And He says He has forgiven us of our sin. Well, you said, Well, I thought that's what all that other was about.
No, the different words, the reason I'm mentioning them here is because they're so very important. And Colossians two, thirteen, listen to what He says in this passage. He says He's forgiven us of our sins. In the thirteenth verse, when you were dead in your transgressions, somebody says, I've never been dead.
Listen carefully. When the Bible says that a person is dead in sin, here's what that means. It doesn't mean that you're dead physically, but it means that you're dead where it counts most. You're dead spiritually. A person who has not been saved for the grace of God is dead to the things of God. Somebody says, Well, I'm not a Christian, but I pray and God hears me and He does this, that, and the other.
No, He doesn't. Because you can't have any relationship to God the Father apart from His Son. Here's what Jesus said. He said, I am the way, the truth, and the life, and no one's coming to the Father but by Me. Either Jesus Christ was a fraud and a liar, or He told the truth. If He told the truth, there is no access to God the Father except through His Son.
And somebody says, But now look, wait a minute. I believe Jesus was a good man. I don't doubt that He healed. I don't doubt that He did a lot of good things, but now some of this stuff I can't believe. You can't have it with Him that way.
Either He is who He says He is or He's not. The perfect Son of God laid down His life in order that you and I, whether as children or as adults that come to Him and say, I know that I've sinned against you. I'm asking you to forgive me of my sin. You know what that means?
Listen carefully. To be forgiven means He doesn't hold it against us anymore. Doesn't hold it against us anymore. When He sees us, He doesn't see us as living in sin. He sees us as His children. Will He chastise us? Will He discipline us? Will we sin against Him? Yes, He will. Does that mean He stops loving us?
No, it does not. Because it's because He loves us. And it makes that crystal clear in Hebrews chapter twelve.
It's those whom He loves He disciplines. So, think about this. All of these things that I've just mentioned happened to you the moment you were saved.
Think about it. You were redeemed, justified, reconciled. All of these things forgiven of your sins.
All of these things happened the moment you were saved. You said, nobody told me. That's right. Does that mean it didn't count?
No, it doesn't. Because let me tell you something. When God saved you and me, wrote our name in the Lamb's Book of Life, that's the sovereign God of the universe who had you in mind before you were ever born. Listen, that's Him doing what He intended to do and predestined to do.
That's who God is. Thank you for listening to The Riches of God's Grace. If you'd like to know more about Charles Stanley or InTouch Ministries, stop by InTouch.org. This podcast is a presentation of InTouch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-13 06:35:09 / 2023-01-13 06:44:03 / 9