Titus 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
In continuing the series on "God's Grace" I began a message out of Titus 2:11-15 last week titled the "Past, Present, and Promise of God's Grace." We dealt with the first two points Sunday morning and Lord willing I will preach the third and final point concerning the rapture of the Church. If you are looking for a place to attend Sunday morning I would like to invite you to Salem Baptist Church in Calhoun, GA. We are living in a day when many people are predicting and guessing about things to come in the future. God's Word tells us exactly what to expect in the future. The next event on God's prophetic calendar is the catching away, or rapture, of each believer in the Lord Jesus Christ (I Thess. 4:13-18; I Corinthians 15:51-55; Revelation 4:1). The return of Christ in the clouds for His Church is imminent and we need not to be ignorant or confused on things to come!
Salem Baptist Church
Romans 3:24 "Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus;"
For the past several weeks on Sunday morning I have been preaching a series on "God's Grace." It has been a blessing for me personally to go through the countless scriptures concerning the grace of God. A preacher could spend 10,000 lifetimes trying to expound on the grace of God and never scratch the surface. The first message in the series was from Romans 3:24; Romans 5:15-21, "God's Grace is Free." As I began to study these passages of scripture it became more clear to me how truly wonderful the grace of God is. Additionally, in Romans 5 Paul speaks of the "free gift" of salvation. In essence, the grace God provides is free, and the gift purchased by Jesus Christ is free. It has been said that grace is "God's Riches At Christ Expense."
I have found that many people who take a firm biblical stance on the grace of God are often accused of preaching and teaching so called "cheap grace." However, if something is cheap that means it still cost something. Therefore, the Bible does not teach the doctrine of cheap grace, it undoubtably teaches the doctrine of FREE grace! Grace is the unmerited and undeserved favor of God. If we lift one finger to the grace of God we have completely destroyed grace. This grace is free to all not because we deserve it but because God is gracious to give it. There are different forms of grace concerning the Christian life. The first grace we experience is the free grace in salvation. Below are just a few points from the text mentioned above concerning this grace in salvation.
1. God's Grace is Available:
Romans 5:15 "But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many."
-The offense in verse 15 speaks of Romans 5:12. Adam sinned and plunged all humanity and creation itself under the curse of sin. We were not there in the garden of Eden. We received this condemnation freely by what Adam did. As in Adam all die. This is why the Bible states "for the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. (John 1:17)". The grace of God is available because of one man, Jesus Christ! He came into the world born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, went to the cross, paid the sin debt of all the world, and rose from the dead.
2. God's Grace is Abundant:
Romans 5:17 "For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ."
-We receive grace and the gift of righteousness NOT by our works but by the work of Jesus Christ. This is why we are saved, sealed, sustained, and serve by grace.
3. God's Grace is Abounding:
Romans 5:18-20 "18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. 19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. 20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:"
-This grace has been and will always be greater than our sin. No one has ever been saved by keeping the law. The law slays, condemns, and all the world is guilty before the law. But although the offense abounds through the law, the grace of God much more abounds! Why? Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us!
We had a great week during our VBS at Salem Baptist Church. Each night we averaged over 100 students with nearly 70 of those being young people. It was encouraging to see many parents and grandparents in the community bring their children to learn more about the God of the Bible! The theme of our curriculum this year was "Searching the visible, discovering the invisible."
There were 11 students that learned the theme verses this year, Colossians 1:15-16 15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
As a church the participation was outstanding! Those that prepared and served food, set up tables and chairs, registration, recreation, teachers, art and crafts, music/songs, and photography all were faithful to be there each night and I know received a blessing from being around the kids all week. We are looking forward to following up with the contacts that were made and praying for God to give the increase from the seeds sown throughout the week.
Isaiah 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
The fifty-third chapter in the Book of Isaiah is referred to as the Gospel according to Isaiah. Seven hundred years before Christ would come and fulfill the things concerning Himself in this wonderful chapter Isaiah penned down so vividly the suffering of the blessed Lamb of God. There is a word in verse 6 that is of great important concerning God's plan of salvation. The first word and last word of Isaiah 53:6 is "all". Here we see the simplicity, scope, and satisfaction of God's redemption.
All of humanity can identify themselves with the word "all" in verse 6. Truly "All we like sheep have gone astray". The Bible declares in Romans 3:23 "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God." Additionally, the word "we" is given in relation to going our own way. Thankfully, the verse does not end there. The good news is that "the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all." Jesus Christ bore our sins in his own body on the tree. He became a curse for us, the just for the unjust. So, just as sure as all humanity can identify with the first "All" of verse 6, by faith in what Christ "hath" done for us we can identify with the last "all" of verse 6. We go in the first "All" as SINNERS, we come out at the last "all" as SAINTS!
As I begin this blog I do so with the purpose and passion to faithfully communicate the truths of God's Word. I do not profess to be an expert in any realm of Bible doctrine or interpretation. I do believe and have total confidence in the Word of God. It is my prayer that comments made in this blog will be a source of encouragement. In a day in which the apostates and scoffers are flooding our government, schools, communities, and churches it is vital that we adhere to the admonition given by Jude and "earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints."
The Bible states in Romans 4:3 "For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness." This verse will serve not only as the heading of this blog but I trust it will be the very heart of it as well. In this world of confusion, chaos, and conflict we must judge and compare all things according to "For what saith the scripture?"
Here are a few reasons why we must rely on "For what saith the scripture?"
1. The Scriptures are Truth
Ephesians 1:13 "In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,"
John 17:17 "Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth."
The Word of God is the only source of truth we have. We are saved by hearing and believing the Word of God. In expounding on I John 5:9-10 the late Dr. M.R. DeHaan states "the truth here is as clear as it can be stated: salvation is believing what God says about His Son Jesus Christ. God knows of no other way of redemption for lost humanity." The Lord Jesus Christ in His high priestly prayer in John 17 prays for us to be sanctified by the Word of God. We are always on solid ground when we believe the eternal truths of God's Word.
2. The Scriptures are Timeless
Psalm 119:89 "For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven."
Matthew 24:35 "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away."
Psalm 119:89 tells us that there has not be a time in which the Word of God has not been. Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Word, informs us that there will never be a time in which the Word of God will not be.
3. The Scriptures are Tried
Psalm 18:30 "As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the Lord is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him."
I Corinthians 15:3-4 "3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:"
There isn't enough time and space in this post to list the innumerable verses that we could reference about how God has said something and brought it to pass. If you want to study history, study the Bible. If you want to study current events/issues, study the Bible. If you want to study the future, study the Bible. The greatest message the world has ever known is given in I Corinthians 15 concerning the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ was born according to the scriptures, He died for our sins according to the scriptures, He was buried and rose again the third day according to the scriptures. The Word of God is tried and approved! Just as sure as we believe the gospel according to the scriptures we can look forward to our gathering according to the scriptures (I Thess.4:13-18).