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Grace Alone - Part 1

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
April 20, 2022 12:00 am

Grace Alone - Part 1

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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April 20, 2022 12:00 am

Fully understand God's grace so you can have true satisfaction.


Welcome to the intense podcast with Charles Stanley for Wednesday, April 20 10.

He is not God's requirements for entrance into his kingdom and physical reminder of why heaven is opened by grace alone.

One of the primary reasons that many people struggle all of our Christian life and just wonder what in the world is going on a while little have been a real piece of genre successes because they don't really understand how they became a Christian and if someone were to ask you how did you become a Christian.

To begin with. I wonder what you would tell our text in this message is one of the most crucial text in all the Bible it's familiar to a lot of people, but it is one of the most crucial because our whole understanding of our Christian experience and how we became a child of God is found in this particular passage. This is the second in our series entitled grace God. Second chance. That is God's goodness and love and mercy to others gives is not only a second chance, but many chances and I want you to turn if you will to Ephesians chapter 2 and I want us to read these first 10 verses because herein Paul settles once and for all. A very vital issue that in spite of how many times many Christians have heard it somehow. It's very difficult for them to accept the fact that salvation is by grace and grace alone. About the time of this message. Grace alone. And Paul is writing this to persuade those Ephesians to whom he is writing this that it is not by works, but only by grace. Listen to what he says beginning in verse one of chapter 2 and you were dead in your trespasses and sins in which you formerly walked according the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were about children are by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. So you see, Paul includes himself there. Then he says in verse four, but God, being rich in mercy, because of his great love with which he loved as even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ by grace you have been saved and raised us up with him and seated. As with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, in order that in the ages to come he might show forth or show the surpassing riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

For by grace you have been saved through faith and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God not as a result of works, that no one should boast, but we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Will Paul was writing this to clarify what happened when you and I trusted Jesus Christ as our Savior and what he has in mind primarily here is first understand it's grace alone, almost look at this passage in the light of this, and first of all, the want to say that the condition of man requires that salvation be by grace alone to look at this.

These first three verses here because here he describes the condition of man, you may several you know I didn't live that way that's not the way I was clueless.

Look at it promote. He says that you speaking of all of us.

That is all of us, including himself. We were dead in our trespasses and sins.

That means that sin had brought about death and us and so we could not relate to God. Then he says, in which you form the walk was just something that happened once he says this was our lifestyle we were living dead men and women in which you formerly walked according the cause of this worldwide because of your spiritual dad.

You're naturally going to follow the course of this world and you can do things that are common and natural things that the world sets out for us. He says according to the prince of the power of the air that is Satan who is in control and any person who is unsaved is under the control of Satan. I didn't say you were demon possessed what I said you under the control of Satan. If you not saved by the grace of God and walking according the cause of this world is a natural normal thing for person who is unsaved to do. He says of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. People who unsaved. There is a spirit about them in that spirit is rebellion and disobedience toward God and then he says, among them we too all formerly owned that his policies. This is a way lost people live.

He says according lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind and that were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.

And if you notice hear what he's described is a helpless condition. A hopeless condition and ultimately destruction these as children of wrath, so the whole world.

The Bible says is guilty before God and what happens is when we hear the gospel. Either we reject the gospel only receive the gospel of Christ and the transformation takes place.

So when you look at the condition of man. The only conclusion you can come to is that with that kind of condition it can only be grace because what can a dead man do to save himself can't do anything you say will not happen. You said that before. Absolutely because even though many believers, deep down inside would say yes I do believe it's by grace only, they set out and live their lives trying to add something to their salvation experience or do something to please God, to be sure that they are fully saved his salvation can't be determined by behavior.

There's not a single verse in the Scripture that says my salvation is based upon my behavior, but the grace of God. It is grace alone, so let me define grace again.

You recall, we said the grace is God's kindness and graciousness to humanity listen without regard to man's war on his merit and is inspired.

It is inspired of himself that is inspired of whatever may have been going on in his or her life does make a difference. They can never merit they can never deserve salvation.

It's God's graciousness and kindness to humanity without regard to merit all worth of the individual who receives that grace and spite of what they are and in spite of their condition and in spite of the fact that they don't deserve. No one deserves.

Now what is salvation because oftentimes people say what yes I think I'm stable. What is salvation. Salvation is the work of God whereby he delivers rose from eternal death and endows us with eternal life. So the whole idea that Paul has in mind here is this is to explain how it is that God delivers us from eternal death and endows this as a gift with eternal life. How does he do that he says it is by grace and grace alone, and I believe that one of the primary reasons for the struggle that goes on is why we say we believe it and we sing about it.

Deep down inside we are still working to add to to be sure that we indeed are remaining safe suppose as the reason he's writing this passage is the clarify once and for all that it is salvation by grace and grace alone. It's interesting if you notice, hear, having describe these first three verses of the condition of mankind. Then he says in verse four.

He begins with the butt. That is, he's getting the change the whole perspective, he says, but God, being rich in mercy, because of his great love with which he loved us, even when we were like we used to live out there in verses one through three pieces even when we were like that. He says we were made alive. God did something on the inside of us that made us spiritually alive. We were dead spiritually alive. He says and not only that, he says, by grace you been say before he gets to his ultimate point in verse eight, not intent.

He just sorta slips to stand by grace you say because his whole purpose is to remind us it isn't anything that you and I have done. There is not anything that you can do and my friend, no matter how good you are and how benevolent you may be to other people. There is not a single solitary thing that you can do in order to be saved but one thing is that something that you did, you simply receive by faith. You receive the gift. So he says it is, but it is by grace alone a lot. He says that but God, being rich in mercy, so you and I know that all of God's saving grace is the result of God's rich mercy toward us and so we say that grace is God's kindness and graciousness toward humanity without regard to merit or without regard to their work.

That is, he did not look down the future and say well he's going to be obedient and she's going to be obedient. Therefore I'm going to choose them to be safe. No has nothing to do with that.

He says no merit on our part. No goodness on our part but pure grace and grace alone. So first of all, the condition of man requires the grace alone. What can a dead man wicked mild sinful been away from God do to save himself, not a thing.

The condition is that the heart is simple because a person is born with a sinful nature no matter what the age may be, but at some point there is accountability at that point of accountability that person is responsible to God and then that person becomes a teenager lives that long on a Delta wherever there say the Scripture says, the condition of the heart is such, it must be redeemed. It must be changed by the grace of God and that is the only thing that can change. The second thing he says this passage almost notices this that the unacceptability and the unacceptability of the works of man absolutely require that it be by grace and grace alone eloquently says in this passage, he says in verse eight for by grace you have been saved through faith and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God not as a result of works, that no one should boast that he makes it very clear they can't be works not of works, lest anyone should boast. Now why does he say that. Well first of all, let's look at the nature of our work, so why couldn't God look down and say well, now that's a good man or good woman in I think I will just say that person will first of all, because all of this is on the outside.

This is where person looks what's on the inside but he described it partly their and then when it comes to evaluating our works. If you'll notice here in the second chapter again.

Verse three he says among them. We all form and live in the lust of the flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath is that while I don't think I was quite that bad, will turn back to Galatians if you will, and the fifth chapter look at this passage because here he describes exactly the way we operate in.

This is the reason has to be grace alone because it cannot be works. You notice in this fifth chapter, we usually emphasize verses 22 and 23 but the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy and peace and so forth.

But look what he says in verse 18 he says, but if you are led by the Spirit you not under the law. In verse 19 look at that now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outburst of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, Indians, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these of of which I forewarn you, just as I have 41G that those who practice such things shall not hurt the kingdom of God. Now he says these the works of the flesh, and I think all of us could look at those and see that there are times when yes, even at the risk say we find may be at least one or more of those things that creep into our life. He says that that's the works of the flesh. He said you will know what man's like apart from God will read Ephesians chapter 2 verses one through three and read Galatians chapter 5 verse 1920 21 he says that's what we like.

Apart from God. So how in the world. Could it be that a person whose nature is such could ever come up with enough good righteous works in order to make themselves acceptable before God.

You see, what we do and what the lost person as he looks at all the good things that appear to be good but the question is what is their motivation. What is their motivation.

What is the method and often times many many people who carry out benevolent gifts to do very good things and they are commended by the their ultimate motivation is selfish because you seen the works of the flesh that self-centeredness expressing itself in order to make itself feel good that has nothing to do with God. Now Paul notice he what he said this passage, he says, not as a result of works, that anyone should boast. When it came to boasting he's that I have a lot to boast about. But when Paul met the Lord Jesus Christ. He realized that all of that, he says, was all that was rubbish. It was absolutely meaningless when it came to salvation makes it difficult for a person understand that sometimes, especially a person who is lost because remember this that the lost person. The Bible says impersonating chapter 2 look in that passage from first Corinthians chapter 2 reminds us of the condition of a person who is unsaved and where they are at this point in their life and this is not a criticism. It is just the spiritual scriptural fact prescribed in chapter 2 verse 14 describing the lost person listen to what he says but a natural man or a woman does not accept the things of the spirit of God. Now why doesn't their foolishness to him and he cannot understand them because they are spiritually appraised, but he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no man for who has known the mind of the Lord, that he should instruct him, but we have the mind of Christ.

Now notice what he says in this 14 verse he says the natural man does not understand or accept the things of God because their foolishness to think about how reasonable this is.

Is it not reasonable to think of a person lives a good life that is never shooting a body never seen anything, try to be a good neighbor and I work hard, make a good living for their family and all the other good attributes you not get thinkable. Why would that person be saved. I mean a lost person says wait a minute you tell, you mean to tell me as good as I am.

Don't use profanity. You mean to tell Ms. good is land that God is going to let me be lost right because the truth is you not good order.

What you mean I'm not good. You see, that's what he says.

The natural man receiving out the things of God.

Because if initiative that's not logical. You mean to tell me if I do all these things that God is not a give me some credit some great music.

What is it that people boast about building we boast about our works and you hear people say why did this and I did that I did the other and a person can work up a pretty good case for being morally acceptable human. You don't have to do anything to be saved is not logical is not reasonable but it's the truth because he paid the price because you and I couldn't pay. It is not that we would be when we couldn't pay it is grace and grace alone. Now what you notice to that of the Scriptures because that many of them in the Bible intern. First of all, the second Timothy chapter 1. Let's begin verse eight therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel according the power of God who has saved us and called us with what kind of a calling, a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity. Now watch that he says this grace, which was granted to us in Christ Jesus. How long ago from all eternity. Think about this.

How could my works get me saved. If God made a choice in eternity past, he certainly looked down thousands of years and say well he's going to be good she's going to be good.

He's not going to be too bad. No, he didn't say anything.

You see, grace is without merit and without worth nothing within us that he looked upon and then make a choice he see that's prime and that would bring glory to man.

The last one. This message really sums it all up. There is no way God is going to allow you need to glory in anything but himself. Now when you go back to Romans chapter 4 for a moment. Romans chapter 4.

Listen to what he says now comparing here our works versus grace listen to what he says in Romans chapter 4 and verse four now to the one who works his wage is not reckoned or considered as a favor, what is due, but to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly are saved on garlic, his faith is reckoned as righteousness that is, God forgives us of our sin and saves us now I don't have to come to him and say well I deserve it I can do that. Now I have a right to get on my knees and say rank you thank you thank you dear God for saving me because it is by your grace and goodness and love and mercy and favor you did it and the only thing I did just receive what you gave me back my he's is can't they work. You can't mix the two. Now once again that's very difficult.

The most difficult kind of person to deal with is a good man or good woman what you know what I need God and I have had people send me what you know I don't mean that you talk about blonde brother. They are blind when you say you don't need God. You are blind because this the Bible says it is upon the demand. Once the dynamic of this the judgment you got a meeting and to reject him and to deny him and to reviews him and doing for him all of your life and I'm facing think you don't need there is anything in this world you in on the likely need God through his son Jesus Christ.

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