Grace…It’s Free! Got It?
“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” Ephesians 2:8-10
“Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” Luke 6:46
Christ’s sacrifice of grace(His free gift to all who believe) in salvation calls for our sacrificial response to die to self in every part of our life and make Him Lord! Modern day teachings center on Christ’s work of salvation with little on the accountability and obedience we are called to as His disciples. Where are you with regard to Christ as Savior and Lord?
Grace…It’s Free! Got It?
We were made for relationship and the one relationship that makes all others work and worthwhile is relationship with our Creator God.
However, because of our own rebellion we are separated from God and that negatively affects every other relationship…whether we know or understand it or not. God knew that we could never be satisfied or fulfilled apart from Him and because of our own sin we can not stand before or be in a relationship with Him.
All have sinned and the cost is death…can’t stand before a Holy God – (Romans 3:23)
So, God sent Himself in the form of His Son to pay the price that had to be paid and that no matter what we offered it would never be enough. We deserve punishment, we deserve death, we deserve hell and nothing we could do to change that…BUT
Jesus came, in the form of a baby (Christmas), lived a human life just as we do with all the bumps, bruises, trials and temptations and never sinned. That made Him the only One Who could pay the perfect sacrifice for us. He became sin and sacrifice all in One and received the punishment (death on the Cross – Good Friday) we deserved so that we could receive the gift of salvation. He didn’t stop there! He rose from the dead (Easter)! He conquered sin, death and hell because we couldn’t and offers us the greatest gift ever – a relationship with God The Father, Son and Holy Spirit…that’s Grace! And with it we have Eternal Life! (Romans 6:23)
We can move no further than our own sin unless and until we are aware of this. It is only in His forgiving our sin(s) and us receiving Him as Lord that we move forward, come to know and share what that relationship looks like in His Love and Lordship!
Salvation – Jesus Alone Saves
- Jesus is The Only Way/Name – John 14:6; Acts 4:12
- It’s an invitation…not a demand –Revelation 3:19-21
- Saved by Grace Through Faith (for good works not by them) – Ephesians 2:8-10; Philippians 2:12-13
What is Grace?
The story is told of a rebellious young pre-teen boy who constantly landed in the principal’s office for his bad behavior, disrespect for teachers and his bad treatment of other students. On his latest “visit” to the principal’s office, he puffed his chest out, leaned his head back and said, “Go ahead, give it to me” referring to the coming punishment.
As the principal talked about all his previous trips to the office and related punishments, trying to get the boy to see the error of his ways, he asked, “How many times have you been here?”
The child sneered rebelliously, “Apparently not enough.”
The principal gave the boy a strange look. “And you have been punished each time have you not?” ‘Do you ever stop to think about the punishment before you decide to break the rules?”
“Nope, I do whatever I want to do. Ain’t nothin’ you people gonna do to stop me either.”
The principal asked the teacher sitting beside him, “What was it this time?”
“He shoved little Tommy’s face into the sandbox.”
The principal looked at the boy, “Why? What did Tommy do to you?”
“Nothin, didn’t like the way he looked at me, just like I don’t like the way your lookin’ at me! And if I thought I could, I’d shove your face into something.”
The teacher, clearly uncomfortable, started to rise but the principal stopped him. He contemplated a moment and then quietly said, “Today young man, is the day you learn about grace.“
“Grace? Isn’t that what you old people do before you sit down to eat? I don’t need none of your stinkin’ grace.”
The principal studied the young man’s face and whispered. “Oh yes, you really do…”
The boy continued to glare as the principal continued, “Grace, in its short definition is undeserved favor. You can’t earn it, it is a gift and is always freely given. It means that you will not be getting what you so richly deserve.”
The boy looked puzzled. “So no whuppin? You just gonna let me walk?”
The principal looked at the unyielding child. “Yes, I am going to let you walk.”
The boy studied the face of the principal, “No punishment at all? Even though I socked Tommy and shoved his face into the sandbox?”
“Oh, there has to be punishment. What you did was wrong and there are always consequences to our actions. There will be punishment. Grace is not an excuse for doing wrong.“
“I knew it,” Sneered the boy as he held out his hands. “Lets get on with it.”
The principal looked at the teacher. “Bring me the belt.” The teacher handed it to him. He slowly folded it and then gave it back to the teacher. Looking at the child, he said. “You count the blows.”
He got up from behind his desk and walked over to stand directly in front of the child. He gently reached out and folded the child’s outstretched, expectant hands and placed them back in his own lap. He then turned to the teacher and extended his own hands and in a whisper said, “Begin.”
The teacher cracked the belt across the principal’s outstretched hands. Snap! The startled boy jumped back away from the principal.
His face had turned from defiance to shock, “One” he whispered. Snap! “Two.” His voice rose. Whack! “Three…” In disbelief. Whack! “Four.” Tears began to form in the eyes and the rebel spirit began to soften.
“OK stop! That’s enough. Stop!” Crack! Another blow on the worn, reddened hands of the principal. Crack! The child tensed with each blow and now the tears were flowing freely down his face.
Schmack! Schmack! “No more, please”, the former rebel pleaded, “Stop, I did it, I deserve this. Stop! Please. No more…”
Still, Crack! Crack! One right after another. 10 blows! Finally it was over.
The principal stood with sweat shimmering all over his face and beads trickling down his cheeks.
Slowly he knelt and looked into the tear filled eyes of the once defiant boy. He extended his arms and puffy swollen hands to gently grasp his bowed head.
Grace never comes as a command or a demand from me or anyone and certainly not from Jesus…I just want you to know The Truth of who He Is, what He’s done for you and me and what it looks like if you choose Him as Savior and Lord of your life!
Jesus is a Gentleman…He sacrificed all and made it completely available to you and me! That’s Grace. It’s your choice by faith? But know this…everything else you do in your life will be affected by whether you choose Him as Savior and Lord or not?
We’re going to explore these Truths in Him so we can understand what it means to walk In His Love and Lordship in every part of our lives and relationships so that not only do we have His Peace and wholeness but we can let others know who He is so they can have the opportunity to truly know Him as well!
It is absolutely essential that you be in a relationship with God The Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The only way is by faith through His Grace in Christ’s sacrificial death and then you can walk victoriously in His resurrection!
Food for Thought – The only way to know His Love and live in His Lordship is to receive this free gift! There’s no other way! You cannot be in a relationship with Christ where He is not Lord.
That’s our desire for you and it begins with believing, submitting and yielding to Him! It cost Him everything…It’s free to you and the only way you can know Him! It will cost you everything not worth having…and it will be worth it!
Love in Action…
- Spend time with God and in His Word, prayer and listening every day…begin with the Scriptures in this message.
- Ask The Holy Spirit to teach you.
- Journal about what grace looks like to you. Then compare that to what God’s Word says about His grace. Are you walking in His Grace or in your own concept of grace?
- Where are you when it comes to your relationship with Christ? Honestly assess and write out how He is your Savior…or you are growing in your walk with Him as Lord?
- How are you extending that grace to others?
Make it a great day and God bless in Christ (John 3:30)!
Love and Lordship Prayer Focus Heavenly Father, teach me of Your true grace. May I desire to understand the free gift you’ve given, what it looks like in my life and my responses to You so that I will not abuse Your grace but grow in it to be more like Christ. In His name I pray, Amen.