Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Tuesday, January tenth. Grace is much more than a theological concept. It's a necessary reality for a Christian's daily life. Learn more in part two of Our God of Grace. If someone should ask you, what do you mean by grace, what would you say?
Because oftentimes people think they know what a particular word means. And we sing Amazing Grace, how sweet this sound, that saved a wretch like me. And, but the question is, do you understand what it means? And secondly, what part does grace have in your life? And how do you relate the grace of God to your everyday living?
So, I think first of all, we have to decide what does it mean? So, grace is God's undeserved, unearned favor, goodness and love toward us. It's His unearned, undeserved favor, which includes His goodness, His love, His kindness toward us. Now, what does that include? It includes every single thing that you and I need.
It includes every single thing that you and I desire that fits His will and purpose and plan for our life. And so, we have the awesome privilege of going to Him. And we don't have to go wandering and fretting and saying, Oh God, I know I don't deserve it. And oftentimes I'll hear somebody say, Well, you know, I don't deserve to be heard by God.
Join the whole crowd. None of us deserve it. Notice what grace is. It's undeserved and unearned. You'll never deserve it.
You can't ever buy it. It's the goodness and love and kindness of God. It's His awesome gift to you and me that we can live under the canopy of His grace. We can live on the highway of His grace. We can live by His grace, in His grace, under His grace, on His grace, every single moment of our life. That's the goodness of God. And so, believers, we should be the most thankful. We should be the most humble people in the entire world that we are the recipients of the grace of Almighty God. Can't ever earn it and will never deserve it, but there it is as His gift to us. Now, I want to distinguish between something for you.
And I want to help you to see that there is a difference. Mercy means that God does not give us what we deserve. That's what mercy is all about. God doesn't give us what we deserve. Grace means He gives us what we don't deserve. That's what we really want. We don't want what we deserve, condemnation, judgment. We want what we don't deserve.
How do you get that? By receiving Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. In that moment, what happens? All that He is and all that He has becomes ours because of our personal relationship with Him. And we live in grace every single day.
Now, where did all this start? I'm going to take you through about six or seven things here that I want you to see how God expressed His grace before you and to you before you ever thought about it. So, if you'll turn to Ephesians chapter one for a moment. Now, I'm going to give you about seven of these and I want you to jot these down because when you put all this together, it makes a great statement of who we are and what God has done for us. So, I want you to notice this because most people will read this and you don't really, a lot of folks won't believe it.
Now, listen to what He says. Chapter one, verse three. 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. Just as He chose us in Him that is in Christ before the foundation of the world that you and I should be holy and blameless before Him, in love He predestined us to adoption His sons through Jesus Christ through Himself according to the kind intention of His will.
Now, let me tell you why you can't take any credit for it. He said He chose you and me and predestined us. To be predestined means that God put a circle around us.
And He said, that's mine. Before the foundation of the world, God chose you and predestined you to adoption as His sons and His daughters. How many of you can take credit for being chosen before the foundation of the world when you did not exist? That's how grace was bestowed upon us. He chose us to be His children. Predestined us.
We're eternally secure in Him. So, that's where it all began. Then I want you to see, this is one of the most important passages of Scripture in the Bible, in Romans chapter three. Because here is described exactly how God brought all this about. Because in the third chapter, I want you to look at these verses in one of the most important passages because it's the heart. It's the heart of grace and it's the heart of the whole redemptive story. He says in verse twenty-three, a verse that most people probably remember. He says, For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. We've missed it.
We did not and cannot live up to what He requires. He says, So all of us have sinned. Now, He says, Being justified, watch this, as a gift by His what? By His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus, whom God displayed publicly, speaking of the cross, as a propitiation or a sacrifice in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness because in the forbearance, the patience of God, He passed over the sins previously committed, talking about the Old Testament, for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. Now, what does that mean?
Here's what that means in essence. When God created us and Adam fell and all humanity fell and we've all sinned, God said the soul that sinned it shall die. God, seeing the helplessness and the hopelessness of mankind, chose to send His Son Jesus, who was the only perfect life that ever lived, and He sent Him to the cross as a living, human, vicarious, all-sufficient substitute in your place and mine, and He died as that substitute for all humanity. Now God, who said the soul that sinned it shall die, placed your sin and my sin and the sin of the whole world upon Jesus, and it is God who killed Him. It's God who crucified Him. It may have been by the Romans, but it's God who did it.
It was predestined to be done. God killed His Son Jesus Christ as a living sacrifice, and He paid the penalty for your sin and mine. Now, God can say, I'm saving you, saving you, saving you, saving you, even though I said the soul that sinned it shall die, because my son's already paid your sin dead in full.
That is real grace. You and I could not possibly be saved. So, this is why He says in this passage that He would be just and the justifier, the one who has faith in Him. You say, well, if He died for everybody, is everybody saved?
Absolutely not. He says those who have faith in Him, those who place their trust in Him now. So, therefore, you and I have been forgiven of our sins. You and I own our way to heaven.
We have eternal life, the gift of eternal life, which anyone and everyone who can have it, if they're willing to place their trust in Jesus, which means this, God, I do accept by faith that the death of Your Son two thousand years ago paid my sin dead in full. I accept Your forgiveness and Your cleansing in my life, and I receive Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord and Master of Life. Then a person becomes a believer. And what you've just done, you have accepted the grace of God. Do you understand when you, listen, when you refuse the Lord Jesus Christ and you choose to live a rebellious life and you transgress the law of God and you want to walk in sin and have your own way, what you're doing, you're rejecting the grace of God. You're rejecting the love and the goodness and the kindness of God. You're rejecting your only way to heaven. Jesus said, I'm the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but by Me.
It's the only way. So, look what the grace of God's done. So, let's go to the third one of those statements, and I want you to jot this Scripture down if you will. By His grace, we've gained an eternal position in heaven.
Now, what in the world does that mean? So, I want you to turn, if you will, to Ephesians chapter two. And look at this passage of Scripture because, again, there are some things that God has given us in His Word that people just read right over and never stop to think, well, now exactly what does that mean? Look, if you will, in Ephesians chapter two. And we will begin in verse one just to give you a little idea. Here's what Paul says, And you were dead, it's all of us, we were dead in our trespasses and sins, in which we formerly walked, according to 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, Paul included himself, we too all formerly lived in the lust of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. Look at this, But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love of which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, He made us alive, that is, He brought us to salvation, together with Christ, by grace you've been saved, raised us up with Him, seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace and kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you've been saved through faith, that not of yourselves, it's a gift of God. Now you say, what in the world does all that mean? Very important.
Now watch this. When you and I received Him as our personal Savior, He says He not only brought about redemption in our life, a new birth, a new life, a new beginning, eternal life, but He says, watch this carefully, He raised us up with Him. Now where's Christ? Seated at the Father's right hand. Raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, which means when you and I trust the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Savior, and we're saved by His grace, in the mind and heart of God, you and I are as good as already being there in heaven with Him.
Because we're eternally secure. Listen to what He says, Seated with Him in the heavenly places in Christ, for what reason? So that in the ages to come, not in the ages to come, He, that is God, might show the surpassing riches of His grace, in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. What is He saying?
Watch this. Every single one of us who is a believer, when we get to heaven, you and I individually, we will be like trophies. God's trophies of grace. And for all eternal future, before the angels, God can point us out as trophies of His grace. That sinful, wicked, vile, transgressing mankind, living, lost, condemned, judged by their sins, by the awesome grace that our Father provided through His Son Jesus Christ, they've been snatched out of that, and have been saved by His grace. And now, look what He says, so that in the ages to come, He might show the surpassing riches of His grace, in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. You're a trophy of the grace of God.
You say, well now, wait a minute, that already being there. God is, He has given you the gift of eternal life and you can never lose it. It's eternal and fixed by Almighty God Himself. You say, well suppose I sin. By the grace of God, your forgiveness is there. By the good, do you earn it?
No. Cannot earn it? Never deserve it. It is the gift of God's awesome grace. And you see, I think if people begin to understand what grace is all about, you won't even ask the question, well if I go ahead and just sin a little bit, what happens? Listen, when you understand the grace of God and how good He is to you, why would you want to do anything tomorrow? Your relationship to Almighty God. Let's turn to the next one, if you will. By His grace, endure suffering and profit from it.
Look what he says. Second Corinthians, notice that if you will, in this twelfth chapter. You remember this is the passage that deals with Paul and this thorn in his side, this ailment, this physical ailment that he has. He prays and prays and God does not take it away. And so here's what he says in verse eight of this twelfth chapter. Concerning this, I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me, whatever this thing was. He said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness. And so Paul says, Most gladly therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.
What did he say? He says, In your sickness, in your trials, in your heartache, my grace is sufficient. If anyone understood grace, Paul did, for the simple reason, think about this. Everywhere he went, they tried their best to assassinate him, get him thrown in jail. They stoned him. They put him in jail. They beat him.
They did everything possible. And here's what he's saying. He's saying, My grace is sufficient for you, Paul. And the same thing God said to him, He's saying to you and me. In our difficulties and trials and heartaches and burdens, it is the grace of God that makes us adequate. The grace of God that makes us sufficient.
And if you'll notice, we read a few moments ago in that fifth chapter of First Peter, what he said. He says in verse ten, After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. You will be able to go through the trials and heartaches and difficulties.
Why? Because the grace of God will make you sufficient. The grace of God will make you adequate.
Let's turn to the next one, if you will. And by His grace called to serve Him. Every single one of us who is a believer, we're not only called to salvation, we're called to serve God.
And here's what He's done. God, in order to equip us, has given us spiritual gifts. Turn to that next verse in the twelfth chapter of Romans, and here's what you'll find out. He says in the twelfth chapter and the sixth verse, that God has done something awesome in your life and mine. That is, when He's called us, whatever He's called us to do, here's what He says, Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly. That is, not only is it the grace of God, listen, the grace of God to give you an opportunity to serve Him, it's the grace of God who has given you a specific spiritual gift that equips you to serve God. There's no such thing as, listen, as a non-gifted believer. Every single believer has one of seven major gifts, and He mentions them here in this chapter.
For example, maybe you're not familiar with that passage, but look if you will in the sixth verse. He says, prophecy, service, teaching, exhorting, giving, diligence or administration, mercy, leading. In other words, all these major gifts, He says every single one of us has a particular gift or some probably other secondary gifts so that God would never call you to do something He hasn't gifted you to do.
Well, how do you have that gift? That gift is an act of His grace. So, every single aspect of our life, what you're finding is the grace of God providing you everything that you need. Go, if you will, to Second Corinthians, the ninth chapter, and look at this passage, if you will. And here again, listen to what Paul says in verse six. Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do just as he's purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
Now watch this. And God is able to make all grace, that is His goodness, His kindness, His love. He's to favor us. He's, listen, God is able to favor us, to make all grace abound to you so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed.
Now think about this. We can go all the way back to the very beginning of what God's been doing in your life, and notice what we said. First of all, that for the foundation of the world, He expressed grace toward you, chose you and predestined you. He justified you by grace. You have gained this eternal position with Him in heaven by the grace of God. And He called you to serve Him by His grace. You have spiritual gifts by His grace. And He provides everything you need by grace. Now what is it? Could you and I ever deserve that?
No. Because if you'll think about it, He had you in mind before the foundation of the world so you and I could never, never, never boast of anything. It's the pure grace of God so that when you deliberately, willfully reject the Lord Jesus Christ, listen carefully, you're rejecting the greatest gift that God has ever given to mankind.
Because it's through that gift that makes it possible for all of us to be favored by God in our life. Through His gift, the Lord Jesus Christ, the grace of God is offered to all mankind, but we have to receive it, we have to believe it, we have to take it through ourselves. And that's my prayer for you.
You'll be wise enough to say, I accept Jesus Christ as my personal Savior, God's awesome gift of grace to me personally. And Father, how grateful we are, we could never express our gratitude adequately. But I pray that every person who listens to this message will do some serious thinking about their eternal future.
And also think about their present life. It's all an expression of your grace. Therefore, we owe you everything. And may we so live that our lives will be an expression of the very life of Jesus who lives within us. It's my prayer in His name. Amen. Thank you for listening to Part 2 of Our God of 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.
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