Posted on Dec 10, 2013 in Messages |
We know that grace through Christ is the only way to solve the sin problem, but what of the law? The law was given by God and was completely perfect for the purpose for which God made it. However, that purpose was never to take away sin. Instead it was there to show us that we were guilty sinners when compared to God’s perfect standard.
But are we not under the law that God gave to mankind? For this question, Paul gives an illustration in the seventh chapter of Romans. Someone married to another is released from the marriage requirements when one in the union dies. We were tied to the law, but then we died in Christ, freeing us from the law and providing an opportunity to be unified with another – Christ. Christ freed us from the law, not so we can claim that we have grace to cover our wicked actions, but so we can be more closely linked to Him!
Christ lived sinlessly, died sacrificially, and rose from the dead so that we could receive His free gift. His gift releases us from death’s rule and union with the law and lets us become more closely associated with Him by walking in the Spirit as He did. This is some of the rich harvest that comes from the overflowing grace that we have in the Lord Jesus Christ.
-David NicholsonRead More
Think of a lifetime of sin. Think of the sins of all humanity. What an overwhelming weight that drags mankind down to depths unknown! I speak of humanity, for it was with humanity that sin started. “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned.” (Romans 5:12) It started with one man, but did not stop there, for all are sinners.
So how are we to receive grace? By one Man! In the fifth chapter of Romans, a comparison is made between the work of Adam that introduced sin into the world and the work of Christ in bringing grace into the world. Death, like a plague, spreads to all it touches, leaving us totally defeated by our interaction with sin. But a Savior comes and provides life! Just as we chose to sin against our God, we must choose to accept the gift He offers. That gracious gift is His only Son. Death reigned by sin, but righteousness reigns in life by the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ. Anyone who decides to receive the gift will also enjoy the defeat of sin & death, and share in the victory over these foes and the power they once had in the individual’s life.
As we continue into Romans 6, we find that the battle with sin does not stop at conversion, but continues on into the Christian life. “If grace wins, then I can just let grace keep ‘winning’ while I sin all I want.” We find this thought process is a lethal error. A choice is presented: be a slave to sin or a slave to righteousness. If we have accepted the death of Christ in dealing with the penalty of our sin, why do we not accept the new life given in the resurrection of Christ to triumph in our daily struggle against the power of sin? Grace continues to conquer sin in our lives by Jesus Christ, but now it is by His life!
-David NicholsonRead More
“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.”
The foundation of our precious salvation is the grace that we receive through our Lord Jesus Christ. Notice that grace does not conclude at the moment of our conversion, but continues so that believers “stand” in the benefits and comforts of this same grace.
The truth that salvation is not of works floods through the New Testament. In Romans 5:2, we see that we gain access by faith into grace. In Ephesians 2, this is spelled out in a clearer sense, stating definitively that our salvation is not received by our works. Why is it not of works?
Hebrews 9:22 tells us that shed blood is required to provide for the forgiveness of sins. Yet that leaves us with a dilemma. A perfect life must be sacrificed so sinners may be cleansed. It seems the sinful human race would be doomed to the fate they justly deserve. Enter grace.
The Lord Jesus is the only man to live a pure and holy life devoid of all sin. He was the only one who could ever present Himself to God as a substitute for anyone. But He did not just offer Himself for one man. Jesus as both God and man was capable of providing Himself as sufficient for all humanity everywhere throughout all history!
So it is not surprising, when man attempts to work his way to Heaven by means of another option than Jesus Christ, that such an effort should be described as filthy and distasteful. Can any deed compare to the precious blood of our Savior? Such comparisons disgust God.
-David NicholsonRead More
“But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.”
The gospel that Paul preached was the gospel of the grace of God. It was not a gospel of the works of men. The achievements and contributions of men were not needed or even welcome in this gospel. It was the message of God’s free favor toward men who did not merit it. It was the proclamation of what God, in His rich grace, did for mankind.
It is God’s grace that we saw when the Son of God took the nature of man and was born into poverty; so that we through His poverty might become rich. It is God’s grace that we saw when the Lord Jesus died for the sins of the world. It is God’s grace that we saw when Christ ascended to prepare a place for us, so that where He is we can be also. It is God’s grace that we see, when simply through faith in His completed work, anyone can be eternally saved.
What He has done we did not deserve. It was His grace. What He has done we cannot improve on. It is His grace. Our sins, washed away. Our future, secured. And for today, we have someone in heaven who cares for us, advocating and interceding on our behalf. Is there anything of works here? No, it is all grace. It is the deep and unsearchable riches of the grace of God. It is the gospel of God’s grace.
-Nathanael PenaRead More