Bible Lesson 55

Saved by Grace
Ephesians 2:8-9

Countless millions of people will understand when they read the title of this Bible lesson, something of what we mean when we say that we are saved by Grace; but most will not be able to claim that wonderful and enlightening promise from God. There has to be a reason for the disconnect and we need to deal with that disconnect in this Bible lesson. We will deal as always from the truth of the Word of God, the Bible. The word that is translated grace in our Bible, means many things but for the heart of the meaning, it means delight or favorable regard of the Creator toward the Creature. The Creator God is Holy and the Creature because he disobeyed God is unholy and separated from God. In our understanding of Grace, we must look at the word Mercy to fully comprehend what Grace is.

One of the great preachers of yesteryear wisely said, “No man will ever know the love (grace) of God until He has dealt with the wrath of God against his sin”. Unrepentant man can never know the mercy of God, therefore He cannot know the Grace of God. Mercy is the act of God, peace is the resulting experience in the heart of man, and that comes once the Grace of God has saved a person and shown them mercy.

We often describe Grace by saying that it is undeserved mercy. God is merciful to us in that He gave His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, as a substitute for those who would truly believe. God does not overlook any sin and we are all born in sin and under the wrath of God because we love to sin. The man had no way to reach God unless and until God reached down to man.

God paid the sin debt of those who will truly believe unto obedience by sending Jesus Christ the Second person of The Godhead to take their sin upon Himself and take their place on the cross and shed His blood and die and be resurrected on the third day, to redeem or buy them back from sin to God (See Hebrews 5:8-9). Have you repented and submitted yourself to God through Christ?

You will need your Bible close at hand so that you can verify for yourself from the authority of the Bible, all that I write to you. Let’s begin by defining, from the Greek language, what Grace means. Grace is much more than a nice word that is spelled by 5 letters; grace in the sense of God’s grace is so special that words fail in attempting to encapsulate it.

We will strive to find the scriptures that will allow us to understand how Great the Grace of God is. We are saved by Grace, through Faith and neither of those gifts belongs to us, they are gifts that God gives us in His “quickening, or bringing us back to Spiritual life”.

We find that we were born dead in trespass and sin and we had no Spiritual discernment, so God in the first stage of Salvation has to “quicken” us to give us the ability to deal with Him about sin. (See Ephesians 2:1-7). Think about that, you were born, depraved, and in rebellion against God.

You had no desire to serve God or even to know God because you did not know that you were under His Holy Wrath. Oh, not everyone who is born that way ever verbalizes his rebellion against God, nor do they ever formally declare war against God. What we do is that we simply never consider God, never want to think about Him or His way and we certainly do not intend to die to self and ask Him to live through us.

In the condition you were born in, you perhaps thought, and maybe your community even agreed that you were a good man, a good husband and father, and perhaps even a good neighbor. Was that good enough to get you into heaven when you die? Absolutely not; because any sin will send you to hell for eternity, and without faith in Jesus Christ as your hope, everything that you did was a sin.

Perhaps you even were a church member or are a church member as you read this if you have not made that intimate relationship with Jesus Christ if you have not submitted your life to him and as Galatians 2:20 tells us “you have been crucified with Christ, nevertheless you are alive”, yet it’s not you but Christ that lives in you. This life that you now live in the flesh you live by faith in the Son of God, who loved you and gave Himself for you.? unless you have been there and done that and claim that for your hope of salvation, you are not saved.

Sadly, we have been trained to believe that walking the church aisle and shaking a preacher?s hand and becoming a church member is all that it takes to save you. That may make you happy and give you membership in some church body; but it does not save you and consequently whatever you do, preach, pray, testify, sing, even go to church every time the door is open? It is all sin to you. That is what God says in Romans 14:23, Where He warns us “that whatever is not of faith is sin.”

So, let’s say that you allowed some church to save you, rather than agonizing over your sin and repenting before God. Since that “experience”, you have thought that everything you have done was service to God; however, it has been work done for the devil.
Some people who hear that will begin to study and pray and ask God to save them, and that’s what the truth is supposed to do; however, there will be others who are too apathetic, too lazy or too carnal to attempt to be the recipients of God’s Amazing Grace. God’s grace does not require anyone to jump through hoops.

God extended His grace and mercy and forgiveness to us over 2000 years ago, in the beaten and battered body and blood of His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ. God’s grace and mercy and all the benefits of heaven were manifested toward those who would believe, on a cruel cross outside the wall of the city. The only thing that those who come to God through Christ, have to do is to know the facts of the Word of God, the Bible, and believe them to the degree that we obey what we know God would have us to do. We are saved by facts not feeling. So know the facts (truths) of the Bible and then act on them as you live in this world.

Romans chapter 6 tells us that we are crucified with Christ and that we are buried with Him and raised with Him to walk in newness of life. Now, if you believe that you know that a new creature comes forth out of salvation and that new creature is “in Christ” and Christ is in Him (Ephesians 2:10). Then 2nd Corinthians 5:17, tells us that everyone who is “In Christ”, is a new creature, the old things are passed away, behold all things have become new?.

If you read those verses in context and understand them, they are saying that everyone who is saved, is immediately a new creature, a supernatural creature, who has buried the old man and his sin and now has all things new. Do you believe that? If you do, you need to act like that new man who now has the power to say no to sin. That power is not of your flesh, but it is from the Spirit of God that indwells you and will never leave you. Some may say, Where in the world did this come from and why? It all comes from God and His Amazing Grace, that saved a wretch like me and you.

Unfortunately, over the past decades, the visible church has, little by little, degraded (at least in their minds) the Amazing Grace of God. That’s what you hear when you hear preachers and evangelist and teachers of all ilk, teaching that we are all “just sinners saved by grace”. That sounds good to the luke-warm church of our day, but that reflects the degradation of true Grace.

You never really hear it said, but reading between the lines, what most of those who say that is saying is that God?s Grace was not able to save me to the uttermost, but it has given me a free pass into heaven and yet I am still a sinner. Hear me well now, if you have been saved by grace, you are not a sinner, you are a SAINT!!! See Romans 1:7). I can not find any place in the Bible where God called a man to preach anything close to “We are all sinners and we sin all the time”. What the Word of God teaches us to preach is that it is certainly possible for a Christian to sin; but when they do they are in big trouble with God. Sin separates us from God and the Bible says that sin is a possibility, not a probability (See 1st John 2:1).

How do you feel about that the title, saint? Can you wear it, and call yourself a saint? If you can?t then you need to go back to the cross and deal with God about the only kind of Grace that He extends to His creatures, and that is the Grace that creates a new creature, a creature that is instantly a radically changed person, that is a saint. (See 2nd Corinthians 5:17). What happens the moment that any person is truly saved by God.

Ephesians 1:13, tells us that the moment that we are saved that we are indwelled and sealed by the Holy Spirit of God. We don’t know all that there is to know about God but we have His library(The Holy Spirit) within us acting to teach us and to lead us where God would have us to go. That’s what makes us saints!

How does the Holy Spirit work to cause us to obey God? He works by supernatural unction to bring our minds in line with the mind of Christ and He causes us not only to want to do what is right, but He empowers us to truly do that which is right. (See Philippians 2:13). We are not saved today and left beside the road as God watches to see if we will sink or swim, live, or die. God never leaves one who is truly saved alone. We are never alone!

In the words of one of my favorite hymns I’ve seen the lightning flashing and heard the thunder roll, I’ve felt sin’s breakers dashing, Which tried to conquer my soul; I’ve heard the voice of my Savior, He bid me still fight on. He promised never to leave me, Never to leave me alone. No, never alone, No never alone, He promised never to leave me, never to leave me alone.

What peace that experiential assurance is to the soul of one who finds himself wading in this sinful world! No matter what the problem, no matter how critical our position and even in what seems like the end of life for us, we can face that because we know that we are never alone. God is always there, in the person of the Holy Spirit and His leading, and Jesus Christ and His intercession, and the Father who sits upon His throne but is always watching over us. That’s the way that we live out our lives here on the earth, these lives that we live in the flesh, and yet we do not say proudly “Oh, I’m just a sinner saved by Grace”. Our cry should rather be, Thank you Lord for putting that old creature to death on your cross, and raising that new creature that is a saint. (See Romans chapter 6:1-14).

Some may ask, “Bro. Bob, why are you so high on Grace, What’s so special about Grace” Listen to me now. I am high on Grace because Grace is of God and Grace is all and in all in our salvation, that is if we are truly saved! You may say, well sin is powerful; and I say to you that Grace is all-powerful, (see Romans 5:20-21). You say, well, the devil is powerful and he is always causing us to sin, and I say to you, God has Satan on a short chain and Satan has absolutely no power that God does not allow him to exercise, (See Job 1:6-12; Revelation 20:1-3, 7-10).

Grace saves us when God grants us His faith (Ephesians 2:8-9). Then Grace becomes our teacher and teaches us how to live in such a way as to glorify God (Titus 2:11-14). Grace is at work daily as those who know God through Christ Jesus and live for His glory. (See Psalms 68:19-20; Exodus 16:11-15; Job 38:41;

Matthew 6:25-33; 1st John 3:1; Psalms 103:3,8; Ephesians 3:20). Grace is not an attribute of God for the New Testament alone. No indeed, Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord in the antediluvian period(before the universal flood). God is not only Gracious, He has always been gracious and will always be gracious, but we dare not forget that God is also Holy and Just and He will not overlook any sin.

God paid the price that He demanded for sin by going to the cross but He demands one thing from us to claim that redemption and that is repentance and obedience. The flesh has never been able to keep the law of God, but those who are saved, are created “in Christ” and the Holy Spirit and Christ can and does keep the law (See Romans 8:1-4). Are we sinners saved by Grace?

We are saved by Grace and where once we had been sinners, we are now Saints. How can anyone possibly think that the God who spoke and all that we know, the world, universes, sun, moon and stars, all of the beautiful order that sustains life for human and animals, would send His Son, in fact, come himself, and die for a disobedient creature, to rescue that creature from hell; and yet let that creature remain a sinner? That does not make good sense, does it?

It doesn’t have to because God does not do anything, especially Salvation, half-way.2nd Chronicles 30:9 tells us that, “The Lord your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn away His face from you if you return to Him. That’s Grace and there is more and more grace for those who truly would know and serve God. The Prophet Isaiah speaks of God’s grace when he says, “Thou hast, in love to my soul, delivered it from the pit of corruption: for Thou hast cast all my sins behind Thy back (Isaiah 38:17). Then in Isaiah 44:22, God speaks through the Prophet and says”.”I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee”.

Grace is highlighted in Romans 5:8, where we read, “But God demonstrates His love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us”. Because God is Gracious, He was willing to send His Son to die for us, while we were His enemies. Now those who submit to God through Christ can sing?.”Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound That saved a wretch like me, I once was lost but now am found, Was blind, but now I see”.

God’s grace is amazing but unless we become aware of our need for it and its availability to us; and we truly repent in Godly sorrow and plunge into that fountain filled with Christ’s blood and take up a newness of life, it does absolutely nothing eternal for us.

Are you tired of playing games with your life? Wouldn’t you like to know that there is peace between you and your creator? Wouldn’t you rather spend your eternity in heavenly peace and joy, than in hell?s eternal flames?

There is no mechanical formula that can grant those things, but it begins with the first step that you take toward your Creator. Begin to read your Bible, start in the gospel of John and read until you begin to form questions that God will answer for you in His own time. Wake up and become aware of the fact that you are walking the wrong path, and turn to God and cry out to Him to rescue you. He is Gracious and He will save those who come to Him with broken and contrite hearts, seeking to know Him.

Until next time,

may God bless and keep you

This is Bro. Bob