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A Second Chance Now - Part 2

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
April 19, 2022 12:00 am

A Second Chance Now - Part 2

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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April 19, 2022 12:00 am

Are you looking for a second chance so you can change your life?

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Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Tuesday, April 19th. Have you ever wondered what makes God's grace so amazing? Explore this subject today as you're reminded of God's offer of a second chance. The message of the gospel is the gospel of the grace of God. If it isn't the gospel of the grace of God, what must it be? It must be the gospel of the works of mankind. If it isn't the gospel of grace, it's got to be a gospel of works. You can't have but one or the other. It's either a gospel of grace or gospel of works, a gospel of grace or gospel of law.

You can't have both at the same time. It can't be grace and law, grace and works. It's just grace. And so the word of God is an expression of the grace of God. Now, if someone should ask you, what is grace? I want you to jot this down because usually we say, well, grace is God's unmerited and undeserved favor.

And that is true. But let me give you a little fuller definition of that. Grace is God's kindness and graciousness toward humanity without regard, without regard to the worth or the merit of those who receive it and without their deserving it. Or you could say in spite of the fact that they do not deserve it. That is, it is God's kindness and graciousness toward humanity without regard to merit or our worthiness to those who receive it in spite of the fact that we don't deserve it. That is, God does something for us in spite of the fact that we do not deserve it. Now, many, many people, probably most people, if they were really honest, would have to say, well, yes, I do believe that I was saved by grace. Yes, I do believe I live by grace. And yet deep down inside, they spend most of their lives trying to pay God back in some fashion, either for something good he's done or pay him back for sins that they committed or looking back over the years in the past, maybe years and years ago, as something happened in their life or some guilt back there.

In spite of the fact that they know God has forgiven them deep down inside, Satan keeps bringing it up. But look at your past. Look at your past. Look at your past. You don't think God's going to bless you.

Look at your past. Well, that's what grace is all about. Grace is God's eradication of our past guilt. Grace is God's favor that depends upon nothing within us. You see, God didn't look inside of you and me and find something worth saving.

Grace is God's unmerited, undeserved, non-barded love. We can't buy it and we can't barter it. You see, it is a gift. Now, if it is a gift, it can't be a gift plus works and it can't be a gift plus my merit. And so many people are trapped in that attitude. Well, I know that God has saved me.

But but what? Well, you see, I just feel like deep down inside he's been so good to me. I've got to pay him back.

You can't pay him back. God is no manipulator. He doesn't barter with anybody. He didn't say we're saved by bartering. He said we're saved by grace. And grace is an undeserved, unmerited. You cannot purchase the gift of God. And so if I think that somehow I've got to pay God back, I'm going to live in some certain form of bondage that I've got to do and I've got to work.

And as a result, I'm not going to be able to enjoy my Christian life. I'm always going to be wondering what the score is up in heaven. Grace is my motivation for living and loving Almighty God. And so you ask yourself this question. Deep down inside, if you're really dead level, gut level honest, are you trying to get God's approval?

Are you trying to live up to? Are you trying to pay him back for something he's done? Well, to do so is to frustrate the grace of God because it is a gift.

It is, listen, unmerited, undeserved, non-purchase, non-barded gift. That's what grace is. Now, the difficulty we have is there's something inside of us that wants to pay him back. You say, well, you mean to tell me not to serve God? I didn't say that. But rather service and devotion and love for God is because of our freedom and liberty in him not to pay him back.

And there's a lot of difference. There are a lot of people who are working to be saved. Every once in a while, when I share my faith with somebody, they'll say, well, I'm working for it and I just want to unload about 40 sermons on them right quick. No, you're not working for it. You work because you already have it.

You've got it. And if you don't have it, working for it will never get it for you because you don't work to be saved. Now, listen to me carefully, friend. I know that a lot of people, and maybe you've never heard this before in your life and maybe you have, but even if you have, I want to ask you, are you still trying to please him?

Are you still trying to work up something in other words, you just want to be sure that you keep his favor? Do you realize that when Jesus died for your sins and you received him as your savior, it's like God put the umbrella of his favor over you? You say, well, if he put his umbrella of favor over me, why am I not experiencing it?

That word, the reason you're not, is mentioned twice here. He says we are justified by faith and we live, we stand under the canopy of grace. We stand upon the rock, immovable rock of grace by faith. Listen, we have obtained our introduction, our access. That is, we have been privileged to be brought into the presence of God, into a relationship with God whereby we now are in a position to receive the blessings and the favor of God.

We are the children of God. And the thing that I want to get across here is this. You can't do anything to make him love you anymore. Listen to this one. You can't do anything to make him love you any less. You say, you mean to tell me that if I went out and committed some heinous sin, some horrible sin that God wouldn't stop loving me? Well, that's no excuse for doing it.

Mark that one down. But you can't cause God to stop loving you. There's not a thing in this world that you could possibly do to make God stop loving you. You say, what about all these people who died and are lost for eternity? That doesn't make God stop loving him. He warns and warns and warns, sin is only begotten Son of God on the cross. God still loves us.

And I want to ask you a question. Do you deep down inside, can you experience the love of God? Can you sense God loving you? Do you just know in your heart and your spirit and your soul that he really and truly loves you? And that you don't need to do anything to make him love you anymore, try to get him to have any more favor toward you? You see all the favor and the blessing and the love that God could possibly express.

He's already done so. Now, if I'm going to experience it, here's the key. He says, through whom also we have obtained, we already have our standing in grace. He says, by faith in this grace in which we stand. How are you saved?

You trusted him. You received his forgiveness. How do we experience his favor day by day? We stand in that grace. We experience it.

We trust him for it. I want to thank you, Father, that you love me today. I want to thank you for your goodness and love and kindness, told me today. You say, but suppose everything around me is falling apart.

Let me ask you a question. Does the love of God depend upon your circumstances? Never. Does the love of God depend upon whether you feel good or feel rotten? No. Does the love of God depend upon whether you feel that love, you don't feel that love?

No. What can change the everlasting, eternal love of God? Nothing in this universe or in heaven can change that. We are the children of a loving Father who loves us with all the heart that God himself can love. And he says that he introduced us into this love through Jesus.

Now, think about your condition before Christ came into your heart. The Bible says that sin separates us from God. Jesus said, no man comes to the Father but by me. That's what Jesus said, that Jesus is either telling the truth or he's a liar. You see, you can't have it both ways. And I say that with all the sincerity of my heart, you can't have it both ways. One way is that you come through Jesus.

That's what he said. Jesus said, no man comes to the Father but by me. And the whole book of Hebrews is about God opening the way to himself through the death of his son.

You say, well, I know Jesus is a good man and all that stuff, but I don't believe that. No, he's either a liar and an imposter and a counterfeit or he's the only way to the Father. You can't have it both ways.

And I said that as lovingly as I know how, you can't have it both ways. Jesus said the only way to the Father is through him, through his death at Calvary, shed his blood, bale and the temple was rent open, opened the way to every single one of us. Now we can come straight to God the Father through his son, Jesus Christ.

He's our only mediator we need. You eliminate the cross, you have no access to the Father because it is the sinfulness of man against the holiness of God. And those two will never meet, the holiness of God and the sinfulness of man.

No way. The only way that gap is closed is the blood of Jesus Christ closes that gap and makes us one with the Father. Now, so what is that? All of that is an expression of the grace of God. He says introduced into this grace in which we stand and now we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.

And what I want you to see is this. You and I don't have to pay him back. You mean to tell me that I'm not to serve God?

I didn't say that and that's why I repeated. You don't have to pay him back. You say, but I want to pay him back. You can't pay him back. You say, but he's been so good to me I feel like I owe him something.

Now watch this carefully so you misunderstand me. If God the Father at some point in your life because of some sin in your life were to withdraw his grace, then it wasn't grace to begin with because grace can't, listen, grace can't be conditioned on anything within us. It is the eternal love of the Father being expressed. Secondly, if God were to say to you and to me, now that I've saved you, you are indebted to me.

That wouldn't be grace. That's not a gift. That's bartering again. God's saying, I'm doing this for you. You do this for me. You say, well, now, wait a minute. But what about all this serving God and all this giving and so forth?

What about it? Why do we do it? We do it because we love him. He says we are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus under good works that we should walk in them. Not, listen, not that we work in order to get God's approval because if he withdrew his grace for any reason it wasn't grace. Grace is the unmerited, undeserved love of the Father being expressed toward those of us who do not deserve it and none of us do.

Now listen to this. He didn't say you didn't deserve it when you got it. He said we don't deserve it, period. We'll never be able to deserve eternal life. We'll never be able to pay him back.

It is bondage to live with the idea that I've got to pay him back because I want to ask you again, how are you going to know when you've paid up? You say, well, when I die, I figure I've paid up. Well, what about the person who doesn't pay as well as you do? What about the person who gives lots and lots of money or does lots and lots of service for God?

Are they more paid up than you are? Now listen, I want to say this because I don't want to be misunderstood, but let me just put it this way. There are people who believe that when you die, that you go and if you've sinned while you have been a Christian, that you die and you go to this place and you suffer. And then when you have finally cleaned up, then you go to heaven.

You know what that is? That's paying God back. I want to tell you, my friend, that absolutely eliminates the grace of God. Unmerited, undeserved, because what happens if you pay, you deserve. If you pay, you're rewarded for what you've paid.

That's not grace. And I think about people who believe that. What a terrible thing to have to go to bed every night thinking, if I were to die tonight, I'd go to torment and have to pay and finally I'd get out. Wonder how long I'm going to be there. Hallelujah.

You're going to miss it, brother. If you've been saved with the grace of God, first of all, there is no such place. And secondly, when you die, the Bible says, listen to this, for every saint, he didn't say unless there's some sin in your life. He says, absent from the body, what? Present with the Lord, not going to torment on your way.

That's not what he said. He didn't say there's a detour between death and glory. He said, absent from the body, present with the Lord.

No detours, no punishment and no penalty. Saved by the grace of God. You say, wait a minute, what about the judgment seat of the Christian?

Right? It is a judgment of rewards. It is a judgment of rewards, has nothing to do with salvation. In the judgment seat of Christ, salvation is not even an issue. You won't be in that judgment if you've been saved with the grace of God. The great white throne judgment is the judgment of the lost. And those people will be judged according to their deeds.

And that will determine the degree to which they suffer. And our good deeds will determine the degree to which we are blessed forever in heaven. But you see, you can't pay him back. Now that is no license for sin. That is liberty. That is freedom.

We live in the favor and the freedom and the blessings of God. Don't try to pay him back. Just serve him because you love him. Because if you do it any other way, if you're trying to pay him back, you grieve in the heart of God. Now listen to this carefully. You don't get forgiveness because of confession. You get forgiveness because of the what? The cross. Now listen to me. If you go to a church somewhere and nobody ever mentions the cross and nobody ever mentions the blood of Jesus Christ and nobody ever mentions the atonement, you need to get out of that place.

There's something wrong. When you eliminate the cross, you don't have any Christianity. You don't have any grace. You don't have any forgiveness. You don't have an eternal life. Apart from the cross of Jesus Christ and his shed blooded caribou, there is no forgiveness, no access to God, no grace, no nothing.

And I want to say it again. Not even God can wink at sin and say, oh, you're forgiven. He cannot and remain God.

It is the cross that makes it possible for God himself. And this is what he teaches in the book of the third chapter of Romans. He says, how can God be just and justify those of us who are guilty? How can he remain a true God and declare us no longer guilty?

One way that Jesus Christ took my penalty in his death at Calvary and that makes it possible for God to remain just and still to declare you and me not guilty. We are the children of grace. We're the recipients of the grace of God. He says, listen, we have been saved by grace and we're to live in it moment by moment, day by day. He says we've been introduced into it. Now, notice these next few verses.

I'm not going into detail, but just to comment because look what you have here. In verse two, he says, this is your position. What is our spiritual position? We live, we are in the sphere of grace.

Look at this. Through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Look at verse three. And not only this, but we also rejoice or exalt in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance, perseverance, proven character, proven character, hope. And hope doesn't disappoint. Now that you and I have been saved by the grace of God, he says we're going to grow in that. And notice, if you will, the fifth verse. And hope does not disappoint because the love of God, look at this. The love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Now, watch this. The Holy Spirit was given to us. How much of the Holy Spirit was given to us? He says the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. That is, you and I are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, person of eternity. Now, he says the love of God was poured out within our hearts. Let me ask you this. How much love was poured into our hearts? A little bit. The truth is all the love that Almighty God has, he's poured into our heart.

Now, watch this. He didn't pour 16 ounces into his life, 32 into his, and six into his. The love of God has been poured out. Listen, he talks about the riches of his grace and the abundance of his grace. The love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit.

While we were still helpless at the right time, Christ died for the ungodly. The love of God is within you. The love of God is there to express itself through you. God wants you to understand, don't pay me back, just love me.

You can't pay him back. We love him and we serve him and we give and we witness and we preach and we sing, we do all the things we do because we love him not to pay him back. You can't repay a holy God with any gift because it would be unacceptable. The first step is trusting Jesus Christ as your personal savior. And we enter into the life of grace. It's by grace that we're saved and then we walk in grace moment by moment, day by day. And if you've never trusted him as your personal savior, I want to challenge you to ask him to forgive you of your sins based on the death of his son at Calvary and that he paid your sin debt in full. And if you're one of those believers who's struggling in your life and you look around you in things not like they ought to be or you wish you could change a lot of things back there, just remember this, that when God forgives you, he says he remembers your sins against you no more.

That is pure grace. You don't have to pay him back. His love has been poured out and his is perfect love.

Listen to this. He says perfect love casteth out all fear. You don't have to be afraid of God. He's a loving father. To fear him, that is, to respect him and honor him is God, yes, but he's a loving father. And when you and I are full of his love, we have no reason to fear because we're not a loving, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, heavenly father, take good care of his children, perfect care.

And that's his offer to all of his children. Thank you for listening to Part 2 of A Second Chance Now. 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 / 2023-04-30 02:00:32 / 2023-04-30 02:09:17 / 9

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