Salvation By Grace Through Jesus Christ

grace: Favour, favourable or benignant regard or its manifestation (now only on the part of a superior); favour or goodwill, in contradistinction to right or obligation, as the ground of a concession.

I. The Biblical description of God is awe-inspiring. A. God is holy (free from all contamination of sin and evil, morally and spiritually perfect and unsullied). DEU 32:4; LEV 11:44. B. God is purely consistent. JAM 1:17. C. God hates sin and sinners. HAB 1:13; PSA 5:4-5. D. God must punish sin. EXO 34:7; ROM 6:23. E. God is sovereign: His will and purpose is never frustrated. DAN 4:34-35; ISA 14:27.

II. By contrast, the Biblical description of man under sin is not very flattering. ROM 3:9-19; EPH 2:1-3.

III. When fallen man honestly comes to grips with the holiness and justice of God, he abandons confidence in himself. JOB 42:5-6; ISA 6:1-5.

IV. The corrupt nature and state of man under sin makes all his remedies towards God futile. A. His speech and dialectic are corrupt. ROM 3:13-14. B. His prayers are abomination. PRO 28:9. C. His thoughts are abomination. PRO 15:26; GEN 8:21. D. His heart is corrupt. JER 17:9. E. His religion fails to bridge the gap. JOS 24:19. 1. His sacrifices are abomination. PRO 21:27. 2. Pagan sacrifices certainly could not cure sin. 1CO 10:20. 3. Ordained Jewish sacrifices failed also (and the prophets in spirit knew this was so). HEB 10:1-4; MIC 6:6-8; 1PE 1:9-11. F. His good efforts are so stained as to make them unacceptable. ISA 64:6; ROM 7:21. G. No matter what man does, he comes up short. ROM 3:23. H. The problem is not just sins (commission) but SIN (the principle) in the nature. EPH 2:3. 1. The sin of Adam runs in the blood. ROM 5:12; PSA 51:5. 2. If an heir of Adam’s sin never actually committed a sin, yet he would still be under the condemnation of sin in the nature. ROM 9:11. 3. That which is unclean cannot produce an undefiled product. JOB 14:4. I. Deep down inside, an honest man knows there is no hope in himself, but only in the mercies of God. LUK 18:13.

V. God chose the nation of Israel and gave them His law. ROM 3:2; 9:4. A. Many believed that the law was a ticket to righteousness unto life, since the law was a “do and live” proposition. ROM 10:5. B. But the law was a “do and live FLAWLESSLY” proposition of righteousness. GAL 3:10; 5:3; JAM 2:10. C. The most that the law could do was exacerbate fallen man's dilemma. ROM 3:20. D. The answer to men's inadequacy was not their keeping of the law, but a holy daysman (umpire, arbitrator, mediator) to do it for them. This is grace! ROM 8:3. E. But people have continued to look to law and sinners’ works for righteousness unto life. 1. Some, like the Jews, clung tenaciously to the law and circumcision as the means of righteousness. ROM 10:3. 2. Some, like the Galatians, tried to wed law and grace, but this cannot work. MAR 2:21-22; ROM 11:6. 3. To this day, many hold that saving grace depends upon the keeping of the law which demanded faith in God. MAT 23:23. a. The sinner’s faith is that which he does; it is a righteous work. b. work: Something that is or was done; what a person does or did. c. God’s mercy in salvation is not by works of righteousness sinners perform. TIT 3:5.

VI. God had foreseen the helpless estate of fallen man and his futile works from before the world began and therefore planned relief and eternal life for a chosen group through His faithfulness, not their works. TIT 1:1-2; 2TI 1:9. A. God, at that time, predestinated His elect to be represented IN Christ by His will to make them accepted with Himself. EPH 1:3-6 c/w 1CO 1:30. B. God Himself became flesh in the form of His Son to represent the elect before His law. Christ would be the perfect daysman. HEB 2:14; GAL 4:4-5. C. Christ came to save His people which the Father had already chosen and committed to Him for deliverance. MAT 1:21; JOH 6:37-39 c/w JOH 17:2-3. D. Christ assumed the sin of the elect, exchanging His righteousness for their curse. ROM 4:25; GAL 3:13; 2CO 5:21. E. Christ came not to offer Himself TO men, but to offer Himself as a spotless sacrifice TO God FOR men (those the Father had given Him). EPH 5:2; HEB 9:14, 24-26. F. This would bring the elect into favor with God. 1PE 3:18; HEB 2:10. G. Scripture presents this eternal salvation from sin as a completed transaction by one Man’s work: Jesus Christ. There is nothing more to be added to it. JOH 17:4; ROM 5:19; HEB 1:3; 9:12; 10:14, 18. H. God's love towards us in reconciling us unto Himself was not when we were loving Him, but just the opposite. This is salvation by grace! 1JO 4:10; ROM 5:6, 8, 10; EPH 2:4-5.

VII. The gospel of grace is the glad tidings/good news of sin and death’s conquest by the righteousness of Jesus Christ unto death, guaranteed to believers by His resurrection. ROM 4:22-25. A. It calls men by love, thankfulness and duty to abandon sin and self to commit themselves to Him in truth, since He is judge of all. ACT 2:38; 17:30-31. B. Their sinfulness should die even as Christ died and rose again. ROM 6:1-4, 10-11. C. Their sinfulness finds an Answer; their confidence shifts from themselves to Christ, their hope shifts from the vanity of this world to the purity of the next, and they patiently await their Deliverer’s return for them. 1TH 1:9-10.

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