THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date – 6-16-13
LESSON TITLE: “GRACE SAVES.”
Welcome to the Living Word Program on this wondrous Lord’s Day morning. We thank God that you have chosen to be with us today, as we commit this time to our wondrous Creator. What a great privilege we have today to join in this opportunity to praise our God and glorify our Savior. May we each do our part to make this time acceptable in His sight and according to His Will. Now, let’s approach our Father’s throne in prayer.
What a wonderful privilege we have as Christians to lift up our voices in praise to God. Furthermore, what a sweet smelling savor the fruit of our lips is to our Creator. So, this morning won’t you join in with the congregation at this time as we sing together our first hymn of the morning. The name of the song “We Have Heard The Joyful Sound!”
(SONG # 1)
How many times have you felt like you’re the only one with troubles in this world? Doesn’t it seem like every time things are going good, something else happens to burden us down in the troubles of the world? In fact, it doesn’t matter whether you are of God or of the world; we are all affected by the troubles of everyday life.
However, David reminds us that troubles are different for those who are followers of the Lord’s will. In Psalms 34:19, we read, “many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.” In this verse, we are assured that the Lord is always there to deliver us from problems if we are following Him according to His will. Another fact, that is pointed out in the same verse is - even the righteous have afflictions.
So how do we react when trials come our way? Usually, the first thing you and I think is, “why is God allowing this to happen to me?” You see, we always put the blame where it is not due for God does not and will not tempt man. James stated this very idea in his book, when he said, “let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am tempted by God’; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone,” chapter 1, verse 13. This inspired writer tells us that God can not be tempted nor does He tempt anyone. So, why do these trials and problems come our way? The answer, because God allows us to be tested!
Think about the wonderful story of Job. Why were such awful things happening to him? It was because God was allowing Satan to test him, to confirm his faithfulness to God. When we are tested, this brings suffering, because Satan uses our fleshly desires and weaknesses against us. In verses 2-3, of the same opening, James also said, “my brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.” Problems and trials in this life test us and make our faith stronger, because we learn to rely more on God, as we read earlier.
A final exhortation in dealing with troubles is found in Paul’s words to the Corinthians, where he said, “no temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it,” 1 Cor. 10:13! Have you got it now? We will be tempted, but God will help - even to the point of showing us a way of escape to remove ourselves from the situation.
Are you trusting in God and allowing Him to be by your side in troubles? Or have you forgotten your friend Jesus, who has promised to always be with you? Let’s face every day stronger knowing that God is there and will guide, guard and protect us always - as we faithfully labor in His vineyard.
Today we will continue our study on Jesus Statement, “I Say These Things That You May Be Saved.” Our specific topic of the day will deal with, “Grace Saves.” So please continue with us this morning and after our next song together, brother Jerry Sullins will be leading us in this lesson from God’s Word. It’s now time to join in our second hymn of the morning, the name of the song, “What A Friend We Have In Jesus.”
(SONG # 2)
By Jerry Sullins
Again, let me welcome you to The Living Word broadcast. It is always a pleasure for us to have you view our program each Sunday Morning. This program has been going on as you well know for over thirty years and we continue to get very many complimentary comments from many people about the need for the program. So it is a blessing for us to be able to come into your home and to preach and to teach the word of God. We certainly realize, and I believe I say this with your accommodation and your belief also, that without people knowing what God’s Will is for them of course they would never be able to obey it but without their obedience to His Will there is no salvation. So it is our pleasure again to be with you this morning.
The theme of these past few weeks has come from a statement that was made by Jesus where He said simply, “I say these things that you may be saved.” Well, that great question, ‘What must I do to be saved?’ was asked many times in the New Testament and the answer was given. So for that reason for several weeks we have been discussing this subject. We will discuss it a few more weeks because actually the answer to that question, and the obedience to the answer that is received, will make a determination as to whether or not you are truly saved from your sins. No doubt we have already discussed with you the importance of being saved from sin, “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God,” Romans 3:23. Then we also see in Romans 6:23 that, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” So my friend we have an opportunity through Christ Jesus our Lord to be saved from our sins. Every one who has ever lived on the face of the earth has had to deal with that problem that has caused sin, which basically, as John pointed out in 1John is a transgression of God’s law. God does have something that we must obey.
For this mornings lesson I would like for you to consider the fact that we are saved by grace through faith. We are going to discuss grace and its application to our salvation. We are also going to discuss faith because both of those elements must be there in order for us to be saved. I call your attention to a verse that is found in Ephesians 2. It is a very familiar verse to all of us who read our Bibles and who talk about salvation. It goes like this as you may well remember, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” Then he goes on to say in verse 10, “for we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. An interesting statement is made in Acts 15:11 where it says, “But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved” Now what is that grace that we are talking about? The general definition, and a good definition that is given, is that it is because of grace by Gods love and favor toward man in fact His unmerited love and favor that we are saved. That is what grace actually is. Now I don’t want us to be confused about this because most people take the first part of that verse in Ephesians 2:8 and say for by grace are we saved. But that is not all of what that verse says. It says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith.” So we must understand what grace is and what part that has to play in our salvation, and what faith is and what part that has to play in our salvation. Yes we are saved by grace and we cannot be saved unless we have the unmerited favor of God. But there are conditions that are placed upon ones salvation and that’s where faith enters in. Now most people miss the second part of that verse, in fact some have even tried to distort what the original text said. Many of the reformers said this, and well especially one of them added one word, he said, ‘For by grace are you saved through faith alone,’ which means basically that faith only will save us through the grace of God. Indicating as he wanted to indicate, or as he wanted to say, that there is absolutely no conditions upon which our salvation is based. Well, the Bible certainly does not teach that.
So we want to say that yes, and we believe, because the Bible says for by grace are we saved through faith. That when we speak of salvation it is not by a law that we were saved, that is especially the Law of Moses. We won’t spend a lot of time on that this morning, there are so many verses in the New Testament Romans 3:20-28 points out vividly how it is not by the works of a law that especially the Law of Moses that we are saved. The entire book of Hebrews discusses, well most of it discusses, the fact that we are not saved by the Law of Moses but we are saved by Christ. Christ is superior to Moses, He is superior to the Law of Moses, He is superior to the sacrifices under the Law of Moses. On and on and on it shows us superiority of Christ. Grace and truth came through Jesus Christ, the Law and death came through the Law of Moses because there was no way on earth that the Law of Moses could save people from their sin. But grace and truth, and you notice again what was stated; grace and truth, the unmerited favor of God, and our obedience to the truth is what causes us to be able to be saved. Could the Law make a man righteous? No the book of Galatians 3:9-12 points that out, certainly that there is no way that the Law of Moses could make a person righteous. There is no way that any Law could actually make us righteous if it were not for the grace of God, but it is because of the grace of God in our acknowledgement of Him and our obedience to His will that is by faith that we are saved.
So therefore as we look at this important subject today we need to consider many things that God has said about His grace. Now under the old Law of Moses how was atonement made. Hebrews 2:9 and other verses that are found in the book of Hebrews, Hebrews 9:15. We are saved by the atoning blood of Jesus Christ. It is not by the blood of bulls and goats that we are saved but we are saved by the precious blood of Jesus Christ by our recognition that Christ came to this earth to die upon the cross, to shed His blood that we might have opportunity to have access to that blood, and thereby be saved. That is what we are talking about when we say that we are saved by the grace of God. Also as we look at the Bible it was by the grace of God that the Gospel or the word of God was revealed unto us. The apostle Paul makes statements such as that in Acts 20:24, 32, that it was through the grace of God that we received the word of God. So, without the word of God would any of us be saved? Well, what is part of the grace of God? Is that we receive the word of God without Christ could any of us be saved? No, it is because God revealed Christ to us that we have the opportunity to be saved from our sins. It is so clear if we look at the Bible and understand the Bible as it is written. Not through the eyes of another man. Now the most, I would say, direct verse that we see in all the Bible concerning what grace is and what faith is, is found in Titus 2:11 where it simply says this, now listen, “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.” Now how did He appear? He appeared in the image of Jesus Christ. So the grace of God, the unmerited favor and love of God, came to all mankind through Jesus Christ. Now let’s go back to the first of that verse, “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.” How did He appear? In the image of Jesus Christ our Lord. As we mentioned before grace and truth came through whom? Jesus the Christ. Back to the first part of that verse again, “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men,” now listen to this next part, “teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts…” You see it teaches us that we should deny ungodliness and worldly lusts and that we should live righteously, soberly, and Godly in this present age.
Ok, so what do we have here? We have the message of the Bible, as James said faith without works is dead in itself being alone. And as we see that grace and truth has come through Jesus Christ and that there is a part that God plays that is He played His part. He sent His only begotten Son. Do you remember the verse in John 3:16? For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever beleivith in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. So what is our reaction to that grace? Our reaction to that grace is belief and if we believe in Christ as Paul said to Titus there in Titus 2:11, it teaches us that we must deny ungodliness and worldly lusts and we have a life that we must live that is a life of righteousness in this world. It also teaches us what we must do in order to reap the benefits of God’s grace. Now you mean to tell me that God did not have the power just to say that I am extending my grace to everyone? Now some of you might even believe that regardless of what they believe, regardless of what they except or live. Some of you might even believe in what is called universalism, that God is going to extend His umbrella of grace over all mankind and all people from all ages who have ever lived are going to be saved regardless of how they react to Jesus Christ. Now my friend how could that be true? Because did not Jesus say, “I am the way the truth and the life and no man comes unto the Father but by me,”? The Bible is filled with verse after verse after verse which causes us to at least acknowledge the fact that one must believe and obey Christ in order to be saved. Well, simple verses like, “Not every one that saeth unto me, ‘Lord, Lord’ shall enter the Kingdom of Heaven but he that doeth the will of my Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 7:21. Jesus even mentioned in that day “Many shall say unto Me ‘Have we not cast out demons in your name, done many wondrous works?’ Then I will say unto them ‘Depart from Me ye that worketh iniquity I never knew you.’” Why? Because these people may have been acknowledging like the Pharisees did when Jesus lived, and the Sadducees, and many Jews, they may have been acknowledging that indeed He was the Christ but they were unwilling to obey the commands that Jesus desired that they obey.
Now hoe do you fit into your style of faith, if we might call it that, if you say ok I believe that grace saves us and that is it. Now, let me ask you this; How do you fit into your system of faith what Jesus said in Mark 16:15-16? When He gave his great commission, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel unto every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved…” Now my friend don’t you believe that there is things that one must do in order, there are conditions upon ones salvation? Well, certainly you do, because if I were to ask you what is the condition of your salvation the number one things that you would have to say is that I must believe that Jesus is the Christ. Is that not a condition? Yes, well what about Jesus saying except you repent you shall perish. “I tell you nay lest you repent you shall perish,” Luke 13:3. Is not repentance a condition upon our salvation, placed upon our salvation? If we fail to repent is the Lord God going to save us? Many of you would say certainly not even if you don’t believe that baptism is necessary, you would believe that that is something that one must do. So that is a condition placed upon ones salvation. Well, what about confession that Jesus Christ is the Son of God? Romans 10:10, “Confession is made with the mouth unto salvation.” And all of us would say, including you whom I just mentioned, that one must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God in order to be saved. If not, why not? Then what about baptism? Did not Jesus say, “He who beleivith and is baptized shall be saved.” That my friend is a condition upon which our salvation is based.
Are you willing to accept what Jesus wants you to do? No it is not through meritorious works that we will be saved. But be not mistaken about this one fact; the challenge was made throughout the scripture like in Romans 12:1-2 to, “…commit our bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is our reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Now can you fall from the grace of God? You certainly can Galatians 5:4 says that you can alienate yourself from Christ and there were those who had fallen from grace. So what is our concern this morning? We accept the grace of God that brought salvation to all people through Jesus Christ our Lord. We believe and accept what that Son, the Son of God being God Himself, said to us. That we must do follow the conditions that are placed upon our salvation, and we obey those conditions, and continue to live a faithful Christian life that will lead us to heaven. That is the message of the salvation that is offered through the grace of God in the New Testament. I plead with you to not accept what man might have to say; to not be confused with what man might have to say. Leave your manuals, and your disciplines, and all of those things that are written by man and look at God’s word. Seek to know His will, and to do His will, and to obey His will. It is through that my friend that you will be saved. May God bless you in making that decision.
(SONG # 3 - “We Praise Thee O God!”)
Let me thank you again for choosing to be with us today for the Living Word program. I hope and trust, that together we have all benefited from this service to our Lord. Let me also invite you to join us every Lord’s Day morning at 7:30 as we give this time to our Creator.
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May we realized just how blessed we are to have the Saving Grace of God almighty. Furthermore, may we realize our part of faith, so that we will not fall short of His glory. For God said, “We are saved by grace, through faith!”