Oct 01 8:05 AM
Joy in God's Grace
Oct 01 8:05 AM
Oct 01 8:05 AM
Friday, October 1, 2021
Today, I want to talk to you about the joy of God's grace, how we find joy in God's grace. Look at Philippians 4:23. It says, "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your Spirit. Amen." Amen means "so be it" or "it is so." Paul says, "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit." He didn't just say be in your life, but be with your spirit. What is the grace of God? When you become a Christian, you become a Christian by putting your faith in Jesus Christ. When you put your faith in Jesus Christ, you experience His grace. If Ephesians 2:8-9 says, "For by grace," meaning God's grace, "you have been saved, through faith. It's the gift of God - not the result of works, so that no one can boast."
Grace is, first of all, getting something we don't deserve. So, he says our spirit gets something from God that we don't deserve. What is that? We don't deserve forgiveness. We don't deserve love. We don't deserve a place in heaven. But we get all that through faith in Christ. Another person said this, think of grace as acrostic. G R A C E: God's Riches At Christ's Expense. Grace is God's riches, given to us at Christ's expense when he died on the cross. But there's another meaning of grace that is less popular. Grace also has the idea of not only undeserved favor and our spirit, but divine power and our spirit. When you become a Christian, God gives you his power in your spirit to live out the Christian life, to do good works, to serve other people, to live holy, to change bad habits, to pursue good habits, to desire him more, etc. And Paul prays that we would have more of this grace, more of this divine power to live for Him. I love grace. Where would we be without grace? Where would a funeral service be without Amazing Grace? Of all the funerals I've done, for at least half of them we've sung Amazing Grace at some point. We love grace, we need grace.
Paul says, "May the grace of God in Jesus Christ be with your spirit." Maybe you need little grace today. Maybe you need a little forgiveness from God. Maybe you need a little power from God. Maybe you need a little help from God. Maybe you need something from God. And all I want to say is this: you can only find it through Jesus Christ. If you've never made a faith commitment to Jesus Christ, you have no idea what grace is. You can ask Jesus Christ in your life if you do what Ephesians 2:8-9 says. For those of you who are already convinced, are you still living by grace? Are you still operating by grace? Are you still experiencing God's grace? Are you still extending grace to other people who maybe don't do things right? I hope you're living in grace. But for those of you who have never committed your life to Jesus Christ, let's look at Ephesians 2:8-9 one more time. Take this in, "For it is by grace you have been saved from your sin, through faith in Jesus Christ - and this is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God - not the result of our good work so that no one can brag or boast." Have you ever put your faith in Jesus Christ? You may say, "I believe in Jesus Christ," but I didn't say "Do you believe in Jesus Christ?" I asked, have you put your faith in Jesus Christ? And there's a big difference. I can believe all I want that there's a tree over there, but until I touch it and feel it and know it and climb it, it doesn't make a difference. I could believe this thing in front of me is a table, but until I put my arms on it and trust it, it does me no good. Believing in Jesus Christ doesn't do us good. You have to trust him and put your faith in him. The devil believes in Jesus Christ, but he doesn't put his faith in Him.
Have you? You can do it right now. Say, "Jesus Christ, I believe that I sin stem to stern, and I know that you're holy. I know there's a problem. The problem is I'm not good enough. I can't be good enough. Your holiness demands perfection and I'll never have that. But I do what Ephesians 2:8-9 says. By your grace, I put my faith in you, Jesus. I trust you. And I put my faith in you that when you died on the cross you took my place on the cross. You bore my sin, you forgave my sin, and you offer me a clean slate, a fresh start, a new life, and total forgiveness, so that I can be seen as righteous by you, and go to heaven." If you say that prayer and mean it with a heart of faith, congratulations, you've experienced the grace of God in Jesus Christ. We celebrate that. Let us know about it and we'll help you grow, even from a distance. And this Sunday, as always, we're talking about some aspect of grace. I hope you'll join us at Lakeshore online, or in person if you're local. Our sevices are at 9 and 11 AM, and we would love to have you.