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The Grace of God: Our Salvation

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
March 28, 2023 12:00 am

The Grace of God: Our Salvation

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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March 28, 2023 12:00 am

How exactly is grace related to salvation?

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Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Tuesday, March 28th. Any discussion of the character of God would be incomplete without a good grasp of His grace. Let's start with an understanding about the crucial part that the grace of God plays in our salvation. I want you to get out a pencil and piece of paper, and I want you to get the definition of grace. There is no such thing as an adequate definition.

There's no such thing as an exhausted definition. The only definition you and I can give for grace will always be a very limited definition. But I like to think of grace in this way. The grace of God is the undeserved, unconditional, unlimited favor of God. The grace of God is the undeserved, unconditional, unlimited favor of God.

Now I want you to think about those three words for a moment. The fact that it is undeserved, you and I will never be able to do anything to merit it. That it is unconditional love, something that most of us do not understand. Love that is not conditioned by anything that we do or fail to do.

Unlimited, it has no circumference, it has no radius, no diameter, it has no measurement, no limitation, no boundary line. It is the infinite favor of God which has been bestowed toward all men. And this morning I want us to look at this matter of the grace of God as it relates to our salvation. And I want you who are Christians to stop for just a moment and do not take for granted that because you're saved and because you're eternally secure, that you possibly may not need what I'm going to say. In these first three verses of Ephesians chapter 2, he reminds us here, Paul does, of our need of God's grace.

What did we say it was? It is his undeserved, his unconditional, his unlimited favor toward us. He says in verse 1, describing our past life, and you have he quickened once and for all, one single divine act.

Once in the past has he made alive you who were dead in trespasses and sins. Therein in times past, and then he describes our walk, our works, and our words. And Paul is saying here, in times past, we were dead men walking around.

We were encompassed by, chained by, imprisoned by, caught by, trapped by sensuality, materialism and pride. And he says that's death that destroys everything within a man that would be a part of God's much too to making him the maximum that God wants him to be. So that in order, watch this, in order for God to rescue man from this awful state of sensuality, materialism and pride, God had to perform a miraculous feat and that is all wrapped up in one word, grace, unmerited, that is undeserved, unconditional, unlimited favor of God. And apart from that, there is no life, there is no righteousness, and there is no maximum of anything that is worthwhile in our life.

Now all of us this morning stand on one side or the other of a single line. We have accepted the grace of God through in salvation, or we have rejected the grace of God. Those of us who have accepted the grace of God have acknowledged our need of it. Those of us who have rejected the grace of God in our pride we say, we don't need God, we're good enough and sufficient within ourselves. And before any man accepts, listen, accepts and appropriates for himself the unlimited, unmerited, unconditional grace of God, he comes to the stark realization he needs something from God he cannot provide for himself.

And I want to ask you this morning, has there ever come a time in your life when you asked God to move into your life, when you told him you could not do for yourself what you knew needed to be done and you wanted him to help you, what you were asking for is the manifestation of his grace in your life. Now listen, the grace of God is not revealed to man the day he's saved. The grace of God has been expressed toward man from the moment that man came into being. The expression of the grace and the favor and the blessing of God has been surrounding us all of our lifetime. The problem is we've been blinded to its need, blinded to the way we appropriate his favor personally in our life. But all of us will have to acknowledge we need God's favor and goodness and love and mercy and kindness in our life.

The second thing I want you to notice is the availability of God's grace. If you'll notice in these first three verses, as Paul described our condition beforehand, he says we were dead, dead. When God says you're dead, you're dead.

That is dead to spiritual things, dead to heaven, dead to Christ, dead to the spirit, dead to the meaning of prayer, dead to the meaning of the power of God in your life. He says as he interrupts that train of thought, verse four, but God who is rich in mercy for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins has quickened us, made us alive together with Christ. And then he inserts this by grace, you're saved. And again in verse seven, he says, the riches of his grace in this kindness and verse eight, for by grace, you're saved. Now if you'll turn to Titus, first, second Timothy Titus, and look in chapter two and verse 11, we're talking about the availability of God's grace for all of us. He says in Titus chapter two, verse 11, for the grace of God, unconditional, undeserved, unlimited favor of God that bringeth salvation, listen, salvation by through in grace only for the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared unto all men. Listen, God has not limited his grace to any body. In his segment of society, the unlimited grace of God, the all available grace of God. If you'll turn to Romans chapter five, I want to show you a beautiful verse, and I want you to get a hold of something in your heart here. In chapter five of Romans, many things here about the grace of God, but I want us to read these first two verses together. Paul says, therefore, being justified or declared, declared acceptable before God, declared righteous, therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God, now watch this, through our Lord Jesus Christ by whom also that is by Jesus Christ also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand and rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Now listen, when a man is willing to accept his unlimited, undeserved, unconditional favor, the scripture says, we are placed in a position of the grace of the favor of God.

Now what is that position? He says we stand, we're standing in the undeserved, unconditional, unlimited favor of God, undeserved favor of God, unconditional favor. That is his favor toward you and me isn't conditioned, praise God, on how good we are, how bad we are, or what we promise him we're going to do. Unconditional love, unlimited love, that means you cannot measure it.

You cannot weigh it. It is absolutely unfathomable, the matchless grace of God. And you see we Christians ought to walk around with a smile upon our face, a jaw on our heart for the simple reason we know unapologetically we have what the whole world needs to experience. That we can walk every day in the unlimited, undeserved, unconditional radiance of the sunshine of the grace of almighty God. And it is available to any man and every man wherever he may be.

Now here's the problem, watch this. The reason it's difficult for us to believe that it's that available is because we look internally and say, do I deserve it? When we ought to be looking externally and upward to say, how did he arrange it? Listen, it is not my deserving it, it is the fact that his atoning death on the cross provides grace.

Now watch this. It is the death of Jesus Christ that makes grace available. It is faith that makes it possible for God's available grace to be appropriated in my heart so that his atoning death provided grace. Grace becomes mine when I'm willing to accept by faith, unconditional, undeserved, unlimited favor and love from God. And you see the problem is we just can't see how God could be so good to us when we've been so bad.

I'll tell you why. And I want to say that enough that you can't get away from it. Unconditional, undeserved, unlimited, has nothing to do with how good we are, it's all to do with what he's done. Not our works, his work. Not our goodness, but his grace.

It is available to every single person. Now the third thing I want you to notice is the adequacy, the adequacy of God's grace. Now let's look at it this way. What would you have to do to deserve the grace of God if you'll turn to Romans chapter four?

Let me show you something. Undeserved, and it's very important to get this because if we don't, we'll question the adequacy of it. Verse four of Romans four says, Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace but of debt.

Now watch this. Let's say, for example, tomorrow morning you go to work and you'll work five days and some of you work eight hours, 10 hours a day, 12 or 14 hours a day, and then come next Friday, your employer gives you a check. What are you going to do? You're going to get on your knees and say, aha, how much I thank you for this. You are so gracious, so kind, so loving, so bountiful, so generous to me to give me this beautiful check. You're going to put in your pocketbook and walk off and say, man, I deserved a whole lot more than I got.

I'm going to listen. That's what Paul's saying. For example, when you work 40 hours and you get paid, that's not grace. Your employees, he's not expressing grace.

What's he doing? He's paying you off for what you did. That is exactly, watch this, what God wants us to get. Now watch this, God isn't going to be in debt to any man. Therefore what he does for us is undeserved, unconditional and unlimited. You see, if he checked my works out to see how I was doing, and then he decided how much grace he was going to share upon me, then God's grace wouldn't be unconditional and wouldn't be undeserved and wouldn't be unlimited.

But here's what that would say. That would make God a debtor to me. He owes me for what I've done. Now we don't like to admit this, but I can look back in my life and know in ignorance, but because of the way I was taught, I was to be sure that I didn't disobey God and I'm glad I was taught that. Be sure to keep the 10 commandments and the Sermon on the Mount and be sure to do this and do that and do the other.

And if I didn't, watch out because God was sitting up in heaven, he's going to chalk you off. If you don't do what God wants you to do, he's going to be greatly displeased and you're going to lose the love and favor of God. And besides, the wrath of God is coming upon you.

Now nobody may have ever taught you that, but let's be real honest and won't tell anybody but us. Most of us deep down inside know that we've been saved by grace, but we act as if we're secured by good works. No we can't ever lose our salvation, but what do we do? We try to go around pleasing God and making sure we stay within his favor. I want to tell you, friend, there's nothing you can do to work for it.

What could you do to work for it? You see, he did the work at Calvary. Listen, the death of Jesus Christ, the death of Jesus Christ made grace available.

The appropriation of grace by faith makes me acceptable. On merit? No. Deserving?

No. On what he did, not what I did. Now I want you to get that in your heart, because we have a difficult time accepting the fact that we're always in his favor. It doesn't mean we always pleased him, it doesn't mean we're always obedient, but we're always in the favor of God. This grace wherein we stand, through Jesus Christ, grace has been made available.

Well, something else I want you to notice, back to Ephesians chapter 2. If you'll notice he says in verse 8, for by grace are you saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast. We're his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus under good works, which God before ordained that we should walk in. Listen, the fact that he's created us to good works does not mean that if we fail to commit good works, we lose his favor. If we do good works, we're in his favor. You know what that would mean? Most of us would just die shortly on getting in, getting out. Getting in his favor, getting out of his favor, getting in his favor, getting out of his favor, and that's exactly the way most Christians live.

They have no sense of real, internal, adequate sense of security, because they don't know where they stand. I want to tell you, my friend, once and for all, I can tell you where you stand. If you have ever by faith accepted the grace of God for salvation this morning, you stand right smack dab in the middle of the favor of God, and you can't ever get out of that. I don't know how to say it any stronger, it makes no difference what you've done. It makes no difference the nature of the sin in your life. When he says, by the grace of God, our sins are forgiven. By the grace of God, he makes us what we are. Listen, if you were born in a lovely Christian home, or your mother and daddy read you the Bible every day, you came up as a teenager, you never drunk anything, never took any drugs, no amorality, any of those things, never used bad language. And you became a Christian, and today you're serving the Lord.

Let me show you something. Here's a fellow who grew up in a terrible home. His daddy used all kinds of languages, daddy was a drunk. Nobody read the Bible in that home, nobody prayed in that home, nobody wanted to go to church and nobody wanted to go to Sunday school. That fella also became a Christian. And God also used that fella. Let me ask you, which of these two got to heaven by grace? Both of them. Which one of them did it take less grace to save?

Neither one of them. You see, that's man's comparison in the eyes of God, every single one of us need the grace of God to be saved, to be forgiven, to be guilt freed, and to live in that energy of God. But I'm here to tell you, the thing that is hindering more of God's people today in their service for the Lord, is their own poor puny attitude about themselves. I guess I look back in my life, God could surely never use me, why not? If he could use the apostle Paul, he can use you. And you see, God isn't checking up on your past to say, aha, look at all these sins in his life, I can never use him.

You must be freed of the guilt. If you're going to be free to become the person God wants you to be. Now watch this, a man plus God equals a whole person. A man minus God can never be whole. That's why the world that you and I see around us, they're empty, they're lonely, they're frustrated, they're not happy, there's something missing.

There's no peace nor joy in their heart. And the reason it's not there is because man minus God will never be able to be a total and complete person. A sense of worth comes when I know that I belong to God, that because Jesus Christ died on the cross for me and lives within me, I've got to be worth something in his eyes. And because the Holy Spirit is living within my life, energizing me to do his will, there is a sense of confidence as Paul says, we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. But before that'll be true, I must be willing to give up my guilt of the past and trust in the pure unadulterated, unalterable, unchanging, irrevocable, incomparable grace of God, unlimited, unconditional and undeserved. Whatever you are, by the grace of God, Paul says, I am what I am.

And were it not for the grace of God, my friend, all of us would be absolutely worthless. Now listen, you may not be a Christian this morning, and you may be struggling with whether God will save you or not. And I want to tell you that he will, that he'll save you just like he saved all of us, because he wants to, because he loves us, not because we ever deserved. And I want to encourage you this morning, just to let God do in your life what you cannot do for yourself. And I want to encourage you to obey God, whatever he requires of you this morning. Thank you for listening to The Grace of God, Our Salvation. If you'd like to know more about Charles Stanley or In Touch Ministries, stop by InTouch.org. This podcast is a presentation of In Touch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-03 21:50:33 / 2023-04-03 21:58:10 / 8

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