Read: Acts 20:17-24
1) That God has provided a way of salvation for sinners…
2) And that He had done this without requiring merit on the part of sinners!
I. The "Need" For Grace
A. The Bible Describes Man's True Condition...
Ro 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Jas 2:10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.
Ro 6:23a For the wages of sin is death…
Isa 59:2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.
Isa 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
B. What These Passages Really Mean To Us...
1. We must all plead guilty!
a. Every accountable person has sinned
b. We can never demand entrance into heaven because we are somehow good enough
c. Even the very best of us is without merit in God's sight!
2. Our sins have alienated us from God!
a. By our transgressions, we lose that precious relationship with God
b. We experience "spiritual" death, or separation from God; which if left unchecked, will result in eternal separation from God in a place called hell.
c. While in this state of "spiritual" death, we are dead to God; our prayers are not heard!
1Pe 3:12b …the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.
3. As sinners, we cannot accomplish the removal of our guilt on our own!
a. We cannot run away from this guilt
b. We cannot work our way out of this guilt
c. So don't be self-deceived by notions of our own goodness.
d. We are sinners in need of salvation!
e. It is fair to say, then, that the FIRST requirement of salvation is recognition of our true guilt.
f. Once we acknowledge our sinfulness, we are in a position to appreciate...
II. The "Provision" Of Grace
A. Out Of "Love", God Has Provided His Son...
1. Because God loved us, He sent His Son to die that we might have eternal life.
Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 1Jo 4:9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
2. Because God loved us, He made His Son a "propitiation" for our sins
1Jo 4:10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
a. A "propitiation" speaks of the satisfactory payment of the sin debt.
b. Therefore God has offered His Son as the only satisfactory payment of our debt of sin.
c. Talk about His great love…He gave His Son Jesus to die on Calvary to pay the debt for my sin and yours…
d. No other sacrifice would do…
B. Out Of "Justice", God Has Provided His Son...
1. To satisfy His justice, God provided redemption through the blood of His Son.
Ro 3:24-26 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
2. God's grace therefore functions in this way:
a. God's justice requires an appropriate sacrifice for sin
b. Because He loves us, He provided His Son as a sacrifice for sin God recognizes the death of Jesus on the cross as a suitable ransom for our sins, paid in full!
c. So to satisfy both His justice and His love, God has graciously provided salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ.
d. What we cannot earn, God has provided!
III. The "Reception" Of Grace
A. Receiving God's Saving Grace Requires Faith...
Eph 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
1. Faith = taking God at His Word; believing He is truthful when He speaks to us.
2. This verse tells us that salvation is the gift of God's grace.
3. A gift is either accepted or rejected.
4. We cannot earn it … we do not deserve it… but God in His marvelous grace offers us eternal salvation.
5. We then can either receive it by faith, or…
B. It cannot be received through our works.
1. Paul clarifies this truth and tells us why salvation is 'not of works'.
2. If salvation was attainable by something that we did, we could boast about it as we do other accomplishments.
3. If it was something that we could achieve by works, then there is a possibility of losing it by not doing works.
4. But God in His infinite wisdom, knowing the heart of man, offers it simply as a gift to be received.
5. And once we receive it…we cannot lose it!
C. Eternal means forever.
1. A common saying used today is, "Just what part of NO do you not understand?"
2. Let me change that a bit and say. "Just what part of ETERNAL do you not understand?"
3. How can something that is eternal ever end? It can't…if it did, it wouldn't be eternal!
Ro 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
1Jo 5:11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
4. How then do I receive this wonderful gift of Grace from God?
5. Through faith…believing what God has said in His Word.
Ro 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
The Gospel of the grace of God is good news about God's grace. We all need His grace, God has provided it through His Son Jesus, and all that is left for us to do is receive it by faith. Now that is good news! You have heard today, will you receive His gift…or reject it? The decision is up to each person this morning.
Friend, understand that God loves you today, and He demonstrated that love by graciously providing salvation through the shed blood of Jesus Christ on Calvary. Will you, by faith, receive His grace today? Come now.
Christian, when we consider the wonderful grace of our Lord; how can we not serve Him? How can we refuse to witness to others that must hear before it is too late?