(The following is a summary of the message preached by Michael Larsen on Jan 6, 2019)
Good News About Grace -Part 1
You can't understand the Christian life at all unless you understand grace. It is the heart of our faith. It is the heart of our relationship to God. When you understand grace, you're going to feel closer to God. You're going to love God more, and be more grateful to God.
Today I want us to look at five aspects of Saving Grace, one for each letter in the word G.R.A.C.E.
G - GOD'S GIFT TO ME
Grace is a free gift. Romans 3:23-24: For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
How do you accept it?
R - RECEIVED BY FAITH
God's gift is received by faith. Ephesians 2:8-9 says "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” It's a gift, but you still have to receive it by faith. Romans 4:16: Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham's offspring—not only to those who are of the law but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all. Salvation isn't based on my performance. It's based on God's promise. It's not based on my goodness. It's based on God's grace. That's why God gets all the credit and glory.
A - AVAILABLE TO EVERYONE
It doesn't matter whether you've been a religious person or a non religious person. It doesn't matter what sins you’ve committed. Romans 10:13 says, “For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." God says it's available to anybody who opens up their heart in faith. Heaven is perfect and you're not. The only way you're going to get in is by receiving God's gift to you, receiving it by faith which is available to every person.
C - GRACE COMES THROUGH CHRIST
Why is Jesus Christ the only way to heaven? Why not Buddha? Why
not somebody else? Why Jesus Christ? John 1:17: The law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. Why through Jesus Christ?
Because He's already paid for your salvation. Nobody else has done that one. On the cross, He paid for your sins. Grace is free, but it is not cheap. It cost Jesus Christ His life. Romans 5:15: But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God's grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!
Another meaning of GRACE is God's Riches At Christ's Expense. It comes through Christ and only through Christ.
E - EXTENDED THROUGHOUT ETERNITY
The results of God's grace are going to go on and on forever. Eternal life is one of the benefits of grace. Romans 6:23: For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.