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January 18, 2022 1:00 am
For people bent on working for everything in their life, God’s grace is very difficult to accept. Two kinds of people struggle with this: 1. those who feel they’re too unworthy because of their great sin and 2. those who feel they have a good shot at heaven because of their religious deeds. In this message, you’ll apply the characteristics of God’s grace to your life. Whether you tend towards despair or pride, no one earns God’s favor based on their merit.Click here to listen (Duration 25:02)
Looking to Jesus believers get their strength from God given to them because of abundant grace is unmerited favor towards them through Christ the grace that none of us deserves is our focus on today's broadcast. Please stay with us from the church in Chicago is wanting to win sir make across the finish line in a series on how you can be sure that you will spend eternity with God.*Insert I believe your listing the many characteristics of race and you know Dave, I have to say that I never become theory of listing the characteristics of race, because no matter how often I preach about grace, I'm always renewed in my own spirit, and it is such a message of great hope. I hope that everyone listens very carefully today to this message. It has to do with course with the grace of God and I've written a book entitled how you can be sure that you will spend eternity with God and it contains this material for a gift of any amount. It can be yours.
You can go to RTW offer.com or if you prefer you can call us at 1-888-218-9337 and I'm going to be giving you this contact info after the message.
For now I just want you to listen carefully to the wonder of the grace of God.
Only the people with the gold coin of grace can enter. Everything else is grace is unaffected by the degree of our sin.
That's why grace is so amazing is 1/3 characteristic and that is it takes us all the way to heaven. Now notice what the apostle Paul says, by grace you have been saved and the verse six and God raised us up with him and is seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. It's a verse that I can only read today, but I have to skip if your member the first message in this series I talked about the ladder that some people want to climb to heaven in the futility of the whole thing. Well, you know, when God raised us up from the dead from the cemetery. He not only helped us halfway to heaven.
The Bible says he took us the whole way and we are seated there already. Now if you think that that creates legal problems for a holy God and it does legal problems that he had to solve. I want you to come back next week because that's what were going to be talking about and and the absolute implications of what grace does and why God can do such wondrous things for sinners, so we must hurry on it is a gift that takes us all the way to heaven. Number four. Let me emphasize it is a gift of God. Let's continue to read.
By the way it says in verse seven, and that, in order that in the ages to come he might show the surpassing riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Jesus Christ and those famous verses for by grace you have been saved through faith and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, and it is a reference to God's saving grace, and even the faith that we appropriated with is a gift of God not the result of works, I told you a moment ago God took human works and set it aside and said unusable, lest any man should boast. You can boast you receive a free gift that is so incredibly undeserved. It is a free gift back on the farm where I grew up we used to listen to the radio and that we used to listen to certain evangelists that came on and they always wanted an appeal at the end asking for money or something and they had something that they were giving away. I remember one man whom you would never know because he's not on the radio anymore, but Justi impersonated him and I'd hate to do that for you this morning but with a little coaxing I guess I could use to say now, my dear friend, if you will send me five dollars IV will send you a new leaf free.
This new book I you nice to sit there the age of 10 and say this doesn't compute any what you mean send you five dollars, which in those days. By the way, when I was 10 years old was an awful lot of money. Do you mean send you five dollars if it's absolutely free.
You not only should send the book but you to pay for the postage that is used to write and ask you for it because that's what God does pays the whole freight the whole way, not like salvation is a free gift. You know what that means, you will never ever repay it, ever, ever, ever if you could repay it, even in the smallest amount, God would have to regard it and God would have to acknowledge the payment but the Bible says it is of grace, and it is not of works lest no man should boast. So that nobody ever stands before God is as will God is for me, but after all I did pay you a bit back. Listen to this very carefully.
God owns so much Jimmy think that God would have to buy anything God ever have to go shopping and say we know I'm running out of supplies, much less use a credit card to have to do it now, but the Bible does say God purchased one thing it says that he purchased his church with his own blood. When Jesus Christ died on the cross that was redemption, God purchased costs and it is insulting to think that we could ever pay him back. There was an Indian Hindu who became the friend of a Christian missionary and they spent many hours talking about salvation and the Hindu good never understand how Christians can believe that salvation is a free gift and that it does not have to be paid back.
The Hindu said that he was going attain to salvation by going to Dell. I on his knees, but before he left he wanted to give a gift to his missionary friend, whom he had come to love and he gave a beautiful pearl very delicately formed and he said I want you to have this pearl and I want you to know that my son die while capturing it now. It's yours. Visionary received it and then said, but I need to pay you for let me pay you for it was an insult that he said how can you pay for something that was purchased by my son's death. Then it began to dawn on him, how can we pay to God. That which was a free gift given by his precious sons death. We will never pay never another. Some people say oh I'm so unworthy of grace on my dear friend joined the club.
Would you would you wear all unworthy of it. That's the whole point. Grace is God's unmerited favor undeserved unearned and never recompensed.
That's the whole point of grace.
Some people say will have to make myself ready to receive grace by a proper amount of sorrow. There is a sorrow that leads to repentance, no doubt about that. But how do you know when you have enough sorrow.
Finally, somebody else like an alcoholic said to me, will you know I hope to receive Christ some time, but I need to know that I will be able to hold out so I'm gonna wait until I know I can get off the bottle you're going to wait until you know that you can hold out your going to wait forever. My friend, because you're never going to know that grace is a free gift and you come as you are. Notice number one. It sets aside all human effort and secondly it is unaffected by the degree of arsenic.
Thirdly, it takes us all the way to heaven. Fourthly, is a gift of God and mine. It is very difficult to accept very difficult to accept somebody listening to this as well. You know what they do their community church. They just preach this business of cheap grace. I want you to know today that to accept the grace of God is difficult though it is a free gift. Let me tell you two categories of people that find it difficult to accept God's grace. Luther said that the natural man is on a pendulum, and he swings between pride and despair. So first of all, were going to talk about those who are in despair.
The drug addict. The child molester of the murderer. The practicing homosexual. The adulterer, the alcoholic. All of these people find it difficult to accept God's grace frequently because what they're saying in themselves is if you only knew. God is so mad at me. There is no way that I talk to him about this is just waiting in heaven ready to spew me out of his mouth. He so angry over what a wretch I am and so they look at other people and they revise their estimation of themselves downward because they say I'm unworthy may find it hard to receive God's grace. And there's another category. Those goody two shoes religious types, somebody was asked one time was the greatest sin you've ever committed. He said well is that I was out on the golf course and I got real mad and hit the ball real far all, how could you do something that terrible.
I can't believe it.
First of all let me say that I think he did other things that were far worse than that if he were honest, the religious types find it very hard to be honest, but number to those who say well you know as people have told me on the plane. I've heard it so often, they say, will you know I think I have just as good a shot at heaven as anybody else, and they look at other people and they revise their estimation of themselves upward because they can tell you 100 people who are worse off than they are. So they say. My got a good shot. Listen to me very carefully. Those people are farther from the kingdom of heaven than the other category that I've listed and that is why Jesus said to the religious types of his day. The prostitutes will go into the kingdom of heaven ahead of you folks because you still think that somehow works are involved and as a result of your thinking that works are involved why you look to your self and do not understand that you are is wretched before me is all the folks whom you think are so much worse than you are using these phones are insulted when they are told that as far as God is concerned they are in the same category as all the other sinners.
They are insulted when they are told that what they need is not divine help they need a resurrection. Let me be very clear to you today and say this but when you come to Christ. It is not to give it is to receive the idea of works is so ingrained within us that even in the terminology which many people who should know better use we find works.
For example, I hear people say now what I'm going to do is to challenge my friends to commit themselves to Christ.
Think about that a little bit what do you mean to commit yourself to Christ. It's true that we as Christians commit ourselves to Christ pulses is able to keep that which I've committed unto him against that day. But what are you expecting these people exactly to commit I had a friend who used to witness this way since I challenge people to pledge their allegiance to Jesus Christ pledge allegiance to Jesus Christ. There's a famous evangelist. My frequently admired and some of you might know who he is but he gave an invitation.
One time, and he said I'm going to invite you to come forward and those of you are coming 40s as you are making a promise to follow Christ. 0000. There are some of us who have lived in the Christian life for decades, and we still are struggling to follow Christ and now you're asking all those people to comment to follow Christ.
What if they make their promise to follow Christ and then go home and break it. An hour later. Now what will you listen to me very carefully when you come to Christ to be saved. You come to receive. You do not come to give you, do not come to receive help you come to be rescued.
You do not come to be made better, though that happens, thank God. But you come to be resurrected you, helplessly.
But you come to the only God who can speak to a graveyard and can cause a corpse to live and you can never take care of your problem just by getting real serious about it many years ago and it is many years ago I was pastor of the Edgewater Baptist Church. I came there with my wife in 1971 was very new in the ministry.
Still feel new in the ministry. As a matter fact but there were some evangelistic services that had already been planned and we had them in there was this couple that came in. I didn't know who they were. I had never seen them before, but they came to this meeting and afterwards they came to talk to me here was their story. They belong to a wife swapping club and the wife had newly come to saving faith in Jesus Christ and I got the impression though it was not explicitly said that she had kind of dragged her husband to church that evening, I got the feeling that he wanted to be there about as much as a counterfeit coin enjoys being put on an offering plate. Personally, but as I talked with them. This man said you know my wife is now a Christian but he said I want you to know something he says there is no way that I can stop being a moral. He said if you believe that I'm going to come to Christ and I'm going to clean up my act. He says I'm gonna tell you in advance. I'm too weak to do that is that I lived in immorality all my life, and he said there's no way that I can stop what I'm doing, but he said I do know that I'm a sinner and I desperately need help.
I thought well I hadn't recalled that seminary had prepared me for this exactly but I said I'll tell you what, why don't you hear trust Christ as your Savior acknowledging your helplessness, your bondage to immorality, as you are believe receive by faith in Christ, knowing that even the faith that you come to tonight is God's gift and I said regarding your lifestyle. You and God will work that out after you become one of his children tonight, so he did because they were not part of Edgewater Baptist Church. I never saw them, and weeks went by and I thought to myself. All you know this is this a cheap grace guy comes here and praise a prayer. Now he probably thinks he saved because he prayed a prayer and is probably living the ways always live about six weeks later, he made an appointment to see me.
They came to the church and after a few pleasantries, he sat down and said Doug you know I think I'm cold to the ministry. He said that what you think of my attending Moody Bible Institute. When I appeared not to look shocked. I picked myself up off the floor and dusted myself. We talked about Moody Bible Institute and other possibilities. We prayed together.
He was on his way out and I asked him the question you would've asked if you had been me. I said what about that wife swapping club always said that I want you to know that God took that out of my life entirely. After I became a Christian six weeks ago, my dear friend, do you realize why grace is amazing Grace is amazing because when we come to Christ we bring nothing to the table except her own sin. We don't come to Christ thing out. I really got serious about this I could take care of this. I need your help. That's not the way you come to Christ, you come to Christ helplessly you come to be made alive you come because you are blind and you invite Christ to make you see you come because you're definitely have to create ears for you to hear.
That's how you come the words of the song just as I am, without one plea, but the five blood was shed for me and Augustine's top lady got it so right when he said, not the labors of my hands filled by laws demand could my tears forever flow could my zeal, no rest, no all first sin could not atone. Thou must say, and that alone. Nothing in my hands I bring, but simply to thy cross I cling to a kid coming to the fore dress helpless look to the four grace PowerLite to the fountain fly wash me save your air I die and that's why grace is so so I'm pacing is pretty father we pray today for those who are on one end of the pendulum in despair with secret lives of immorality and impurity feeling that they are undeserving of your grace. We thank you that they feel that way, but we pray that you might show them that though they are undeserving it is for sinners, Christ came. We pray for those were on the other end of the pendulum the prideful. Those who think that Shirley got a good shot at it, strip it all away today father and show them that there is no commonality between human goodness and divine holiness. They stand just as desperately in need is the Savior role is all the criminals do and today we pray that you might show your grace to both and that you might wondrously grant to these the gift of faith, but they might believe before I close, I want you to talk to God. Those of you who do not know Christ as Savior. You can pray this prayer after me. It is a prayer that will simply tell God that your finished, you come to the table with nothing at last that you come to receive. You can say dear God, I know that I'm a sinner. I desperately need you to save me at this moment. I receive Christ's grace. I cast myself upon his mercy and thank you that you shall doing me the miracle I need. Thank you, my friend, this is pastor looser. I hope that your heart is been touched by God whether you are a believer, I trust that your faith in Jesus Christ will be renewed and strengthened as a result of what you have just heard if you are an unbeliever, or if you are not sure if you are filled with doubt, come to Christ with those doubts. As we sometimes sing though tossed about with many a conflict. Many a doubt fightings within and fears without old Lamb of God, I come.
We all come as sinners, we all come to receive what we don't deserve God's grace. I've written a book entitled how you can be sure that you will spend eternity with God. It contains the messages that you are listening to on running to win as well as additional material for a gift of any amount. It can be yours.
Here's what you can do. Go to RTW offer.com that's RTW offer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337.
Perhaps you have heard me say before what I like to repeat, namely, that the question of your eternal destiny is the most important issue that you and I will ever face and only the grace of God can rescue us asked for the book how you can be sure that you will spend eternity with God. Go to RTW offer.com that's RTW offer.com or if you prefer, call us at 1-888-218-9337 you can write to us running to win 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614 the race of the Christian life.
There is one gift of God that believers cannot live without. We dare not die without it.
Either since this opens the doors of heaven, making us successful in God's sight. It's not automatic.
It's a gift we must receive want to know what this gift is tune in for our next running to win to find out running to win is all about helping you understand God's roadmap for your race of life.
Thanks for listening for Dr. Erwin. Looser, this is Dave Callister running to win is sponsored by the Moody Church