This message was preached by Colin D'cruz at Word of Grace Church on March 4th, 2018. To listen/download the audio please click here. To listen to the Sunday's worship and prophetic contributions please click here.
The grace of God is amazing. Today we are going to cover one aspect of the Grace of God. Many people use that word without understanding what it means. Let’s pray.
I am speaking to people who have trusted in Jesus. There is common grace which is available to all people. The Bible says that he makes it rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. We don’t need to believe in him to receive this grace. But there is something called as God’s special grace which is available to those who have put their faith in him. If you are a worshipper of Jesus, you have received God’s special grace.
1. We have been Chosen by Grace: John 15:16 “You did not choose me but I chose you”. What does that mean? For every believer we are chosen by grace. In Romans 8:29, “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified”. God at some point in time chose you.
Ephesians 1:4 “He chose us in Him before the creation of this world”. Before anything came into existence, God chose you. Revelation 17:8 “the inhabitants of the earth whose names have not been written at the creation of the world”. It is not through anything we have done or anything good in us. It is like with Noah where he was chosen and the rest were drowned. Abraham who was an idol worshipper was chosen and through him the whole Jewish race became God’s people.
2. We have been Saved by Grace: Ephesians 2:8-9 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.” We have been saved by God’s grace. There is nothing we can do to earn our salvation. Every other religion prescribes things to do for the salvation of their souls. But with God there is nothing we can do to earn our salvation. There are only 2 religions in the world. One says, “do” and Christianity says “done”. All we do is to put our faith in Jesus and repent of our sins. 2 Corinthians 5:17.
We have been Justified by Grace. God the judge looks at you and Satan brings accusations to him. Jesus our advocate says that He has paid for our sins and God says, “okay, not guilty”. All the righteousness of Christ has been transferred to our account. 2 Corinthians 5:11-12 “Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade others. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience. 12 We are not trying to commend ourselves to you again, but are giving you an opportunity to take pride in us, so that you can answer those who take pride in what is seen rather than in what is in the heart.” If Jesus only forgave our sins, we would not be punished. But by transferring His righteousness to us, He has made us as righteous as Himself. Today we can come boldly before the presence of God because we are in Christ. In the Old Testament people could not enter the presence of God. In Davids time Uza touched the ark of the covenant and immediately died because he was not Holy.
3. We are being Sanctified by Grace: God is changing us to become what we are positionally. God wants to change us to go from one degree of glory to another. With just the word and the spirit, transformation is difficult. It is in community that sanctification is worked out. God has given us the church so that we become more and more like Jesus. Romans 6: 12- 13 “Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness.” So we give ourselves for holy tasks. So we become in practice what he has declared us in position. Every perfect Christian is a dead Christian. Billy Graham is perfect now.
4. We are cleansed by Grace: Firstly, we are now Saints and not sinners. We have to change that mindset. We were sinners and now we are saints. In some Christian traditions only people who are dead were called saints. But we are all saints here and now. Sometimes we plan to sin and sometimes we sin without thinking.
Q. What is your first reaction when you sin?
You feel regret. It is called guilt.
There is so much technological advancement. But science and technology has not been able to solve the problem of a guilty conscience. In the Old Testament you had to bring a sin offering. The priest would examine the offering. Leviticus 1:10- the animal had to be without blemish or fault. That is the standard of offering things to God.
Q. Who did the high priest examine?
The offering and not the one who sinned
Hebrews 9: 11-12 “But when Christ came as high priest of the good things that are now already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not made with human hands, that is to say, is not a part of this creation. 12 He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption.” The things that happened in the Old Testament is the shadow of the reality. The reality is found in Christ.
Hebrews 9:13 “The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!” So their conscience was not cleaned. They were only ceremonially clean. But here is the secret. It is only the blood of Jesus that can clear our guilty conscience. So we go to Jesus and cover ourselves with the blood of Jesus. We ask forgiveness, we repent, we turn away. The blood of Jesus cleanses our conscience.
The devil is the accuser and accuses us of our sin. But the blood of Jesus is enough to deal with sin completely. When we sin, we go to God immediately.
Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again), Spirit filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that have people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service. To know about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.