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Grace On Display - Part 2

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

Grace On Display - Part 2

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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January 12, 2023 12:00 am

Did you know it's not too late to accept God's grace?

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Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Thursday, January 12th. Trying to do enough to make God like you leads to an endless pattern of frustration and defeat. You can leave that cycle behind and embrace the transforming power of God's grace. Here's part two of Grace on Display. Now, what I want us to do in this message is this. I want us to look at life before grace. And I want us to look at life by grace. And I want us to look at life in grace. I want you to see what life was like before grace in a particular person. And that is in Saul of Tarsus. We call him Paul the Apostle. But I want us to look what, see what life was like before grace in his life.

Now, look at this man. He has one goal, eradicate the Christian faith. Blasting the name of Jesus. Destroy the church. Remove it from the face of the earth.

So that there's not only no influence, but no evidence of it. Now, usually when you think about the Apostle Paul, you think of this very godly man. This is Paul the Apostle before grace. The Scripture says he assisted in the death of Stephen.

He consented to it. He destroyed people. He intruded into their homes, dragging them out, husbands and wives and probably children.

Imprisoning them, threatening them, killing them, binding them, persecuting them, punishing them, beating them, opposing them, voting for their death, torturing them to rekindle their faith, raging against them, blaspheming and injuring them. And this man's in the Bible? This man's a Christian?

Yes. And here's the reason. Because you see, the grace of God can reach out to anyone no matter who they are. On the Damascus Road, God reached down in His loving favor and did what? Transformed His life. And listen, this murderer became a missionary. And this man who plotted against the church became a preacher of the gospel of the church.

He absolutely, totally revolutionized and transformed His life. He can do the same thing to you because God is in the process of doing so. That's what God is up to all over the world, changing people's lives, making them godly, making them His servants, transforming them for all eternity.

Well now, let's look at His life now. We have Paul before grace, by grace, and now. Now, watch this, not after grace, but in grace. Listen very carefully because this part of the message is so applicable to every single one of us.

So, here's what he says. Now, in grace, having trusted Jesus, Paul says in verse twelve, I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has, first of all, He strengthened me. He considered me faithful, and He put me into service. He says He chose him, He strengthened him, He considered him faithful, and He put him into service. Now, I want you to notice something about the Apostle Paul here. After this takes place in his life, I want you to notice two things. I want you to notice his attitude, and secondly, I want you to notice his actions.

And his attitude here is very clear. Because, you see, Second Corinthians chapter five, verse seventeen says, Therefore, if any person is in Christ, that means they've trusted Jesus Christ and said saving Christ is in them. If any person is in Christ, he is a new creation.

You see, watch this. Many people believe that salvation is putting on something new. Now, I'm going to start going to church, start giving money, start praying, start this, start that. That's not salvation. That's not what grace is about. Grace is not about adding things to your life. Grace is about getting on the inside of your soul and spirit and transforming the very person you are. You can add a whole bunch of stuff, like patching up clothes.

I can put green patches, red patches, yellow patches, purple patches, white patches. You know what? That wouldn't make me a new person. Something has to happen on the inside. And so, when God changes our life, that's what He does.

We're not patching up anything. We're talking about, listen, the grace of God making you a new person. You say, well, look, I'm seventy years old. How can I be new?

Just watch. God will make you a new person. You will think differently. You will act differently. You'll just have different desires. Everything about you is going to be different.

Your body is still seventy years of age, but you know what? When you do lay it down, you go into glory. And that is an eternal promise of Almighty God. So, I want you to watch the different attitude that Paul now has after the grace of God's worked in his life.

Look, if you will, beginning in verse twelve. And the first attitude you see here is the gratitude that he has. I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me because He considered me faithful, putting me into service. Listen, the apostle Paul could never thank God enough for what he did. That he took him, a murderer, and a destroyer, and did what? He so transformed his life.

Listen to what he did. He made him the most outstanding, the most vocal person in his age about the very Jesus whom he tried to destroy. That's the work of grace. Gratitude beyond all measure.

Let me ask you a question. When's the last time you thought about your life which you used to be? Got on your knees and thanked God for what He's done in your life. When's the last time you thanked Him for forgiving you for sins that you wouldn't even mention in public? Thanking God for the second opportunity and the tenth opportunity and the hundredth opportunity He's given you. Thanking God for not allowing you to take some route in your life and to drink this and to go with that and to commit this sin and that sin. He rescued you from that. He put a block in your life at times to keep you from destroying yourself.

When's the last time you thanked Him for it? Second attitude that's here, listen, look at this. He says, verse fifteen, it is a trustworthy statement. He says, you can believe this. It deserves full acceptance. Well, I'm going to say He says it deserves full acceptance. That Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners among whom I am foremost of all.

Now, here's what most people would say. Among whom a sinner, I used to be a sinner, till the day Paul died, this is the way he saw himself, foremost of all sinners but a work of God's grace. Foremost of all sinners but a work of God's grace. Listen, God hates pride.

He hates it because it takes away His glory. The apostle Paul never even began to think about what he had done. It was God who reached down and saved him. It's God who used him. It is God who was working in his life. It's all about God, not about us.

A spirit of humility. Not I used to be a worse sinner, but I still see myself. Listen, Paul never got over what he did to all of those people.

What an attitude. But I want you to watch this carefully. I want you to turn to Romans chapter nine for a moment. Listen to what he says in verse one. I'm telling the truth in Christ.

I'm not lying. My conscience testifies with me in the Holy Spirit that I have great sorrow and unceasing grief in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen, according to the flesh, who are Israelites. Here's what he said. He said, when I look back at my life and see what I was like, and see how blind I was to the truth, and the way I lived, and now that I'm experiencing grace in my life, he says, I could wish because of my love and compassion and concern for my people, I could wish that even if I had to be separated from Christ, so be it, that they may know the truth.

Here's what I want you to see. When you understand what grace is all about, you too are going to have a heart of gratitude for your salvation like you've never had before. Secondly, you're going to have a spirit of humility. Won't be any bragging about things in your life. And thirdly, you're going to have a compassion for people and a love for people because you see, you want them to have what you have.

You want them to know what you know. When a church has no missionary organization, when a church has no missionary spirit, no missionary zeal, they've missed the point of their existence. It isn't just to come and worship and clap and have a big time.

And there are all kind of churches out there that are not blaming anybody else for what they're doing. I'm just simply saying that according to the New Testament, it is the work of the church, the mission of the church, the responsibility of the church to get this message of the grace of God to the whole world. It's the only message that transforms a person's life. Now, you think about all the other religions in the world, they're trying to do this and do that and get acceptance and they got all kind of promises that when they get to heaven, here's the truth. Here's what God wants.

He wants to transform your life and mine and have a personal intimate relationship with us so that you and I, listen, would be living, walking examples of the Lord Jesus Christ so that by our very life, other people would desire to know Jesus Christ as their Savior. So, what does grace do in a person's life? Changes the way they think.

And the second thing it does, it changes the way they live and changes the way they live out their life daily. Notice what happens here. Back to First Timothy a moment.

Here's what he says. He says, now, I thank Jesus Christ our Lord who has strengthened me because He considered me faithful. He put me into His service. What's the action of a person who is genuinely, who understands grace and genuinely savors the grace of God?

You're going to want to serve God. I'm talking about this, that when you and I wake up in the morning, we wake up, listen, by the grace of God, we wake up in the grace of God, and we live by the grace of God every day. And because of the grace of God, you and I have the privilege of serving Him every single day of our life.

Most people today are wrapped up in three people, me, myself, and I. They forget all about the, it's the grace of God that has you alive. It's the grace of God that's protected you.

It's the grace of God that's going to get you to heaven. And you and I should be living with the attitude of gratitude and the sense of humility and a compassion for other people. And that should put our feet to that, helping, loving, listening, doing some, in some way serving God. We should all see ourselves as servants. Now, watch this. In order for me to see myself as a servant, I have to forget myself and think about other people and think about what's my motivation.

Listen, watch this. My motivation is not to get somebody's acceptance. That's pride. My motivation can't be so somebody will think I'm doing well. So I get somebody's approval or somebody's accolade.

No, I want to serve somebody else because Jesus Christ saved me, the grace of God is living within me, and I want to give away to other people what He's given to me. When you understand grace, you can't keep it to yourself. You just cannot. Now, I realize you can listen to all this and say, well, but you know, you just don't know my circumstance. What I want you to see is this. We are here by the grace of God. Suppose you had to go to bed tonight with the weight of all of your sins, all the sins that you've committed all of your life. Suppose you had to go to bed tonight with the guilt of all that resting on you.

Could you go to sleep? I doubt it. You don't have to. You know why? Because you have the peace that passes all understanding. You have grace, grace greater than all of our sin. All these wonderful hymns we sing about the grace of God.

Why? Because God chose to love you. Was there anything worth loving in any of us before we were saved?

No. We were carnal, sinful human beings. But God in His awesome love and favor and mercy, kindness and goodness toward us, what did He do? He reached down and chose to save us, and He'll do the same for you. When I think about service, I think about the apostle Paul, where he went, all the places he traveled, preaching the gospel, writing the epistles in jail, all the things that he did. You can read the book of Acts and they're all there.

But watch this now. We said his attitude was threefold. Tell me what it is. First was what? Gratitude.

Then what? Humility. And third, compassion. And his actions were service. But there's something else we forget sometime. And that is if we are going to show our gratitude to God for His grace, we're willing to suffer. It's suffering, it's not only serving, but it's willing to suffer.

Now watch this. When you trust Jesus Christ as your Savior, your sins are forgiven, your name is written in the Lamb's Book of Life, the Holy Spirit seals you as a child of God forever. What I want you to understand is that does not cancel out the, all the consequences of your sins.

Doesn't cancel. Are you forgiven for them? Forgiven. Totally forgiven. Is God paying you back?

No, He does not pay back. But you and I live in a life and there are consequences for sin. Forgiven, yes, but the consequences are there.

And the sooner you trust the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, the better. And when those consequences come into our life, what do we do? Well, God, here's what you said.

He's keeping His Word. They're consequences of sin. And what does God do you say? Well, that's not love.

Yes, it is. Because God's being true. And here's how He turns that for your good. Watch this. Think about the grace of God in your life.

You say, Well, I'm thinking about that. Let me tell you how you can experience grace right now. If you're willing to acknowledge that you have sinned against God and that you are a sinner by nature. And you're willing to acknowledge that the Bible is true, that Jesus Christ was and is the Son of God, and that God the Father sent Him to Calvary and His perfect life was the only acceptable sacrifice. He died on that cross, shed His blood, and the Father accepted His blood as the final sacrifice for your sins. If you're willing to ask Him to forgive you of your sins, and you're willing to believe that He's the Son of God and that He'll forgive you, He will forgive your sin. And the moment you ask Him in belief with a repentant heart, your life begins to change at that very moment. You won't, you cannot ever be the same again. The only sure thing, friend, is Jesus. I don't care where you've been, what you've done, how long and how bad.

Remember that list? You haven't done all that. God saved him. And now, listen, not only did He save him, but look what He made out of him. Not only was he the foremost sinner, but the foremost evangelist and missionary the world has ever known. You say, Yeah, but that was Paul. Let me ask you a question. Do you know what God would do in your life if you surrendered yourself to Him?

No, you don't. Could Paul the apostle ever have believed, riding on the Damascus Road before he got saved, could he ever have believed that he would have become a missionary and a preacher and an establishment of church and that his teaching would be the foundation of the whole Christian church? He would never have believed that. Listen, don't condition yourself to believe what you think you can do. Give yourself to Jesus Christ and see what He can do. The gospel is the same, the power of God is the same, and you're not so evil and you're not so wicked and you're not so ignorant that God can absolutely transform your life. It's yours for the asking and believing, and it's my prayer that you be wise enough to receive Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. And Father, how grateful we are that You included all of us in the world, that You included all. When You said, whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord will be saved. That if we confess with our mouth Jesus as Lord, believe in our heart that You raised Him from the dead, we would be saved. I pray that every person who hears this message would be honest, would be honest and look at their life, look at their alternatives.

Jesus the sure person versus all those patch-up jobs and all the things that they've heard and all these gods and all these prophets who know nothing about love, nothing about grace, nothing about the goodness and love of the one true God. I pray in Jesus' name, penetrate their heart, God, and help them to see that Your love is the most powerful thing on the face of this earth expressed in the gospel of Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray, amen. Thank you for listening to Part 2 of Grace on Display. 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 / 2023-01-12 05:46:18 / 2023-01-12 05:54:18 / 8

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