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March 24, 2021 12:00 am
Be great if somebody accuses us of having a little too much joy. They really smiled too much over there there something going on to happy.
I look for that kind of rumor to get around, so with the apostle who wrote don't forsake the assembling of yourselves together, as some have become ready to infuse into another courage literally share one another on word to love and good works. Why could there be that kind of joy because we discovered here in these few words, we have been given peace with God, and the wars over simply means at war with God, our relationship with God was marked by animosity. What changed and made all the difference is that God offered us peace.
We looked at God's peace yesterday and today we look at the basis of the peace, God offers his grace. What is God's grace. How does God's grace impact our lives. What are the implications of living in a state of grace stay with us, as Stephen takes us to God's word to examine this beautiful gift from God. God's gift of grace in his book entitled the finishing touch Chuck Swindoll asked the reader if they ever thought about the implications of being satisfied with something less then excellent. Whether it was in the field of science or medicine, or business. He wrote these words, thanks to Natalie Gable. I woke to a whole new awareness of what would happen if 99.9% was considered good enough.
If that were true, then this year alone, 2 million documents would be lost by the IRS, 291 pacemaker operations would be performed incorrectly. 20,000 incorrect drug prescriptions would be written out and 12 babies would be given to the wrong parents in the hospital every single day.
The truth is we don't experience 100% perfection in life. Babies have been handed to the wrong parents and pacemaker operations of not worked in.
Sometimes the government loses things we send them.
Swindoll went on to make a comparison between what we expect out of life and never get and what God is done for believers when he declares us righteous rights God justifies us declaring us righteous 100%. Remember justification does not mean you are righteous because every day use in justification means that God declares you to be righteous and he wipes every sin off your record.
Every sin you committed before salvation and every sin you will commit after anything less then 100% justification and we could not be declared righteous. We would be declared almost righteous.
Isaiah 118 would need to read. Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord. Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be like pain or slightly gray when Jesus breathed his last.
He would've said it is almost finished, we would have to keep working at it adding something the Christ evidently didn't finish at the cross justified means we are forgiven 100% are our hearts and our souls have been washed as wide as what is why this now, but according to the word of God. This is really just the beginning place. Those who are justified.
Those who have accepted the conditions of surrender and the terms of peace with God through his son are given perfect gifts. We discovered the list in Romans chapter 5 verse one where we began discovering that he has given us to believe the gift of peace with him now in the next verse, the apostle Paul delivers the news that we have been given another perfect gift. This one the gift of grace. Notice what he says in Romans five again.
Let's start with verse one therefore, having been justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction or we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we loudly prays that as we exult in hope of the glory of God. You have to understand for a moment what this meant to them in the first century we take it for granted. But when Paul was talking about access to God an introduction to the presence of God. This was revolutionary talk was new. Jews and Gentiles were not accustomed to access in their worship. They were accustomed to distance, they were not used to a bridge. They were used to barricades. The temple itself designed in Jerusalem was a series of courtyards and walls and in the further in, you win more access was denied to people as he moved from the outer courtyard in toward the holy of holies the first wall divided the courtyard of the Gentiles only Gentiles were allowed up to this one wall in an Jews, of course, as well, but they were not allowed beyond it and they had to worship in the perimeter around the perimeter of the temple. They were warned. In fact, two signs that used to hang on the wall during Paul's day have been excavated and now hang in museums. The law was written, a Gentile who trespasses beyond this wall will be executed. In Romans upheld the law, the Jews, you would go to another wall. If you are a Jew and pressed forward a second when divided the courtyard of the women from the courtyard of the men all the women stayed back in this courtyard of the men were allowed to go into an inner courtyard. But even they were stopped by another wall with golden doors that separated them from the selected priests who would go into the holy place, and even those selected priests who went in, found themselves again before another barrier along deep curtain that separated them from the presence of God's glory and only one praised only one time a year only for a brief moment got to go behind the veil. They were so terrified that he would survive the holy presence of God in a rope tied to his ankle and bells on the fringe of his garments and that they no longer hurt those bells or the rope wasn't moving about. They know even struck detonate drag him out no concept of access to God, Jesus Christ, the Lamb paid the complete and final offering for sin which separated man from the presence of God. And when he cried on the cross.
It is finished that Intervale ripped from top to bottom as if invisible hands the hands of God pulled aside, showing the glorious presence of God's are and now man had an effect access to God.
No more barrier wall men, women, boys and girls could now worship as it were being priests and priestesses. In fact Peter in first Peter 29 delivered the breathtaking news that every believer is now priest you are a royal priesthood, there is no longer a need for representative. There is no longer a need for a human mediator, there's no longer need for confessor. All believers are priests all believing women are priestesses. Every believer can worship God immediately continuously personally intimately transparently. This was the precious truth to the Roman believers that was so radically new you can get in the presence of God.
No more walls to keep you away no more barriers just one bridge Jesus Christ today around the world.
Orthodox prayed to their patron saints as they have been taught.
They pray to God through their favored St. today around the world.
The Catholic Church prays to God as they are taught through Mary hi friends in these churches.
They tell me the same story they have told me over the years. We want your earthly father to give you something more than likely went to your mother to have your mother talk to your father, and then you'd probably get it. Let this out is the work to some degree. My answer to them, however, is always the same.
Suppose I was your friend, or maybe even a relative of yours in one of your children came to me and said, would you please go to our father because were hungry or thirsty and we have some needs and would you convince him to take care of our plight. How would you feel if your children came to me. Even I was a good friend of the family, or maybe even a relative you will be offended, it would say a world of things about your relationship with your children. It would say something about what kind of father you were you would want them to come directly to you, our heavenly father is no less hurts offended that we would ever go to somebody else and ask them to ask him to grant us what we need and he knows we Artie needed any weights to hear our request.
There are thousands of Protestants today. On the other side of the Reformation line the today are hoping their needs will be heard in heaven because some televangelist or some telecaster claim to have God's true anointing of the lonely sender prayer request to him with a little money, though later truly anointed hands on those prayer requests, and God will really pay attention to you now, that's a violation of what the reformers called the doctrine of the individual priesthood of the believer, you could go directly to God.
You don't come from me.
Nobody is a special connection you go through. No one except the one mediator who is Jesus Christ wonderful truth, you can with boldness.
The Bible says go to the presence of your father would you listen very carefully. One of the key revealing characteristics of false religion. One of the key characteristics of false teachers, and it keeps coming up is this very violation of the doctrinal priest of the believer. In other words, that religion will teach you were that teacher will try to teach you or convince you that you're an ordinary believer nurse. The walls, you need a special connection if you'll just go through them, God will really grant your request that my friends is on biblical and it is wrong. Turn the channel turn it off to something else. Look at the grass they don't understand the word for 72 five says Jesus Christ is the only mediator between God and man. Hebrews 1224 says that Jesus Christ is the mediator of the new covenant and Paul says here in Romans chapter 5 verse two that Jesus Christ has provided access into this grace my translation reads an introduction into this grace of the wonderful nuance a very special word and referred to somebody who would introduce you to royalty to the very special person and that's who Jesus Christ is our introducer.
In this text, introducing us, as it were, to the father. I like the way Erwin lutes or the pastor of Moody Church illustrated this point in one of his books I have in my library. He talked about speaking in a conference in Washington and his family along with them for the special conference and in the audience was a member of the president, Secret Service detail after the service.
The Secret Service agent came up and he said Dr. Luther, the president is out of town for a few days, I'll be happy if you'd like to give you behind the scenes tour take you into the Oval Office and sharing sites.
If you're interested course, they said we are very interested. So the next morning they met one of the gates of the White House and Luther wrote these words. When we stopped at the first guard station. One of our daughters offered her purse to the officer for inspection, but he waved her on your with him, he said, nodding to the agent going in this we enter the White House. We met another assembly of guards. They looked at the agent glanced at us and said you're with him go on in the analogy is obvious in we shudder when we realize the awesome holiness and purity of our eternal God was high and holy. We know we are sinful creatures and we sin every day. Surely some angelic sentry will will obstruct our communion with God the father surely the father himself, will send his wave of but we come to Lyman and he sees us with the lamb, our Savior his side. It is as though your with thinking that future day of death should take us and were ushered toward that magnificent city's gates are pearls and as Walter Jasper and the streets are shimmering gold and were winging our way toward one of those 12 gates of pearl.
Revelation 20 tells us which is guarded by the Sentinel of angels which measure in the tens of millions Angels at each one of those gates surely they will turn us away, but they will turn their blazing eyes toward us and they will see our introduction order gave us access to heaven and now the one who will give us access into heaven, and they in effect cite all your with a man I know you're out there think the apostle Paul was dictating this letter to tertius his close friend and scribe. I can imagine a pacing back and forth saying purchases in this incredible truth, holy, aspiring, God is revealed to us that we now have an introducer we have access to the very person of God. I imagine churches like Dennis Crilly said Manning to get walkaround on this with this is so we have been given an introduction into the grace of God, but I want to point out. Secondly, we have been impacted by the grace of God. Notice he says in verse two, we obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand.
The Bible talks on numerous occasions of standing.
Paul wrote in Romans 1120 we stand by our faith.
Different nuances whenever this word appears in his derivative form of his stay me. The Greek verb for the stand. Romans 14 for for the Lord is able to make us stand for screen is 15 one. I make no new brother in the gospel which I preach to you what you also received in which you also stand second Corinthians 124 not that we lorded over your faith but we are workers with you for your joy for in your faith.
You are standing firm. Roman soldiers had shoes or sandals and they would when the souls were hot they would place nails and rocks into it so that when it hard and they would have the sort of forerunner of the modern day cleat so that they could stand and get a grip on the earth like the imagery of Ephesians 611 where he says put on the full armor of God's, and you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the deli lobby pushed about you lots slide back and forth for our struggle he wrote is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.
Therefore take on the full armor of God so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything a lot to stand firm in Colossians 412. He wrote a path for us send you his greetings. Always he is laboring earnestly for you in his prayers, that you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God. First Peter 512 says I have written you briefly exhorting and testifying that this is the true grace of God stand firm in it. Great texts.
It's interesting to me as I study this word. I found both believers and unbelievers called upon the stand the end of time were told in Jude verse 24 the believer will stand before God that text says now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to make you stand in the presence of his glory blameless with great joy. But to the unbeliever. The Bible warns Revelation 20 verse 12 and I saw the dead's reference to the dead do not believe the great and small, that is the important and the unimportant standing all now on level ground before the throne, standing before the throne. The books were opened. And another book was open, which is the book of life and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. We know in the latter part of chapter there condemned to hell because it. In other words, what we learn is that one day believers will stand before God with great joy. Unbelievers will one day stand before God in great judgment. I do every one of you in this auditorium today. It is the same.
You are in one of those two companies will you one day stand before God with great joy, or will you stand before God in great judgment.
If you are an unbeliever here than this is another invitation to you to receive the pardon of Christ the lamb he died for you be saved from the wrath of God through Helen judgment join those of us who found in his son. All we need and we have this promise of everlasting joy. Now Romans chapter 5 verse to the use of the were to stay me or stand is in talking to some sort of strength is in talking about him some sort of doctoral commitment. It is in talking about some kind of fortitude he is talking about the believers new status in this grace is literally talking about our state.
In other words, we were once living in the state of law.
We are now living in the state of grace we once had the status of people condemned by the law.
We now have the status of people freed by grace. So we live, as it were in the state of grace. Can you imagine somebody asking you what state do you live in is I live in a wonderful state of grace probably quit talking to you and move the seat over on the bus for the plumbing, let me apply this verse by giving you two challenges that emerge from this great statement.
Grace is your new status. I would just add the words so enjoy it.
Enjoy it. You know the Bible commands us to be filled with joy as we surrender to God will grace is your new status. Your new state. So enjoy it.
What's it like to live in the state of grace is currently living in any state is like living in the state of North Carolina. We have our borders we have art our charter.
We have our seal. We have our statutes we we even have our own accent which some of master quite well. We have her own unique style of barbecue view of the state of North Carolina.
You don't pay taxes to California. They wanted to, but you paid taxes to the state of North Carolina right you respect the laws of the state you follow the leaders of the state, the ordinances, which might be even unique to the state you watch the weather channel and you want to finish the West Coast in the mid-West and the Northeast to finally get to where your state. This is where you live. This is your interest you work here you go to school here you played here you're a resident of the state of North Carolina. You cheer for the sports teams of the state where you should Carolina hurricanes fan. During this time of tribulation. First of all because one of its players goes the church or the County got me started but now I'm a fan game on last night difficult for me to bring my priority sermon hockey's sermon any meaning mining well see you live in the state of grace, that means you cheer for those who are on the team of grace. You invest what you have been time in talent and treasure in the efforts of grace watch the news and automatically interpreted in light of how it affects the community of grace you love nothing more than the fact that your state your status is membership in the community and fellowship of grace. It's your news state. Enjoy it.
It's also your new spirit so expressive word access. By the way. In fact, if you wrote a little word in the margin of your Bible encircled this word introduction or access and wrote this little word. It's a precious word if all of the etymology of the word back far enough discovered it was used at one point to speak of a haven harbor, so Jesus Christ has given us a haven which is this marvelous grace harbor where we can pull our boats out of the Tempest and rest, then would be the description of our lives that we provide havens and harbors for it all to be the description of our church is this church a haven for those who've come from the storm of life to people come in here and breathe a sigh of relief, which made it here again for an hour to an what a haven this is for me. Is this a place that expresses grace. Is this a place where gossip is replaced with kind words.
Is this a place where people give the benefit of the doubt to other people. As a rule and not as a rare exception. Is this is the place where everybody consider somebody else more important than them. That's a lot to ask. It were asking to get along with one another or on the team of grace were part of this particular family of grace. The truth is, were more prone to understand what the anonymous poet wrote when were these rather humorous lines.
He said to dwell above with saints we love that will be grace and glory, but to live below with the saints we know that's another story. Paul wrote in Romans 12 love each other with brotherly affection take delight in honoring each other never be lazy in your work that serve the Lord with enthusiasm.
Be glad for all God is planning for you and even be patient in trouble and prayerful when God's children are in need you to be the one to help them out. Ladies and gentlemen, there is no way for any local church to ever have this happen within the confines of its community without the supernatural impact of God's grace on the lives of us all, whereby we surrender to him and then were able to express grace because of God's grace. Jesus became our servant, and now we express servant hood to each other. We have been totally forgiven. Now we forgive others. We have been granted mercy question is do we offer mercy we have been given undeserved honor do we honor others.
Grace is your new status.
Enjoy it. Grace is your new spirit, expressive. I love the humility and the wisdom that comes from the mouth of little second-grader of six-year-old read about. He was having an elementary school play, and I do everybody's in the play doing something. But there were few speaking parts is so excited about being in the player's mother was worried because you know is will shine reticent, should one be hurting. He was so thrilled. The play was coming up and so she she waited on the day he arrived home from school the day they announced he was playing the part of what he came in all smiles. He was beaming from ear to ear and she's an what happened then he said mom I have been chosen to applaud his grades have been selected to cheer.
I wish that were in the list of spiritual gifts. It's absent, but there is the gift of encouragement. In fact, if you break that word down, you discover that it is to put courage in to literally cheer on what would the church be if people came ready to cheer somebody else on Sunday. In a way to look more like a pep rally than a funeral procession will not have required breakout pom-poms every once in a while that would be an exciting moment in our church history that be a site that really confirm the wild rumors out there about us. There are rumors out there.
You know, I talked to one couple that have been coming for about two months now. I met him back here in this white island between services and have they been coming for four weeks at the time for five weeks and so I stopped and chatted with a little bit and I said you know how to do, how you find out about the church they said well you know we heard about it to other people, but only time we didn't come for some time because of the rumors I said really efforts on what you hear anything well one of them was we heard that y'all were dancing in the aisles. We want to be great if somebody accuses of having a little too much joy. They really smiled too much over there. There's something going on. I never go to happy I'd love for that kind of rumor to get around, so with the apostle who wrote down for sake the assembling of yourselves together, as some have become ready to provoke one another we not to do that all right. No word provoke his parcel out with that word encouraged to infuse into another courage literally cheer one another on word to love and good works.
Why could there be that kind of joy because we discovered here in these few words, we have been given peace with God.
The wars over and we have been given this new status. We have been introduced to grace we have been impacted by grace. Now we live in the state of grace and we have the spirit of grace, so we ended that verse by saying can we do anything other than rejoice, exalt loudly praise in the hope we have in the glory of God. So as best I can say Sarah and sheer others on a med. It's easy to look around at our society be pessimistic and perhaps downcast. We don't always live out the practical implications of God's gift of grace in our life and we need to. I hope Stephen's message today encouraged you. You're listening to wisdom for the heart with Stephen Devi.
Stephen is the pastor of the shepherd's church in Cary, North Carolina. Today's lesson is called grace and it's part of a series called unwrapping the perfect gifts. Do you know someone who could use the encouragement of hearing this lesson please consider sharing it with your friend. It's posted right now on our website which is wisdom online.org.
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