The Controversial Gospel of the Grace of God
A survey of 3,500 Christian ministers (by Bobby Clinton) revealed only 1/3 finished well. Many have a moral failure, many burn out and have emotional failure. Out of 49 leaders in the Bible only 13 of them finished well! Any idea why?
Alice shared Acts 20 Sunday morning during offering about one man who finished well; Listen to Apostle Paul’s own words:
Now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what shall befall me there, except that the Holy Spirit testifies to me in every city that imprisonment and afflictions await me. Acts 20:-23
What would compel a man to proceed on such a journey knowing by HS that ahead of him lie afflictions and prison?
But none of these things deter me. Nor do I count my life to value myself, so that I may joyfully finish my course and the ministry which I have received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the GOSPEL OF THE GRACE OF GOD. Acts 20:24
What got Paul in so much trouble especially with the religious leaders in every city he went to?
The gospel of the GRACE of God.
If he testified about the Law of God he would not have had all the trouble. The devil is not opposed to religion and legalism. He uses them to hurt innocent people and keep them away from God. But it was the GRACE of God that was the trouble maker among the religious leaders and Paul.
What is the gospel of the grace of God?
The good news that God wants to treat you as though you never sinned!
Remember Paul was a highly trained man in the Law of God. He was a Pharisee and a Rabbi. When he first heard about the gospel of grace he concluded it was heresy and blasphemy! He set out on a mission to be the high sheriff and arrest all these people who were preaching/teaching or even believing such things.
You might be a Pharisee if you like to point out people’s sins to others and condemn them and put them down rather than lift them up.
Ill. I love how Jesus treated the woman caught in adultery. She was guilty and knew it. People with a sordid past, already struggle with condemnation, guilt, and rejection from churches usually. Unfortunately, this can be one of the reasons they stay in the cycle of addiction. Pharisees will put you down but grace will lift you up. Scripture reveals they were not really after this woman. They were trying to get dirt on Jesus to accuse Him. “What do You say?”
He w/o sin cast first stone.
“Woman where are your accusers? Does not one condemn you?”
She said, “No one, Lord.” Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.” John 8:10-11
Every time, I read this I realize I still have a long way to go in understanding the grace of God. The grace of God is the most mysterious and yet the greatest doctrine of the Bible.
Jesus did not condemn this woman in her sin because John 3:17 “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:17
Condemnation should have no place in our lives, whether toward ourselves or others.
What did Jesus give this woman? He was giving her the gospel of the grace of God. He was fulfilling His kingdom assignment.
“For the law was given through Moses; but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” John 1:17
Religion says, “Go and sin no more and we won’t condemn you.”
Jesus says, “I don’t condemn you, go and sin no more.”
(He knew only the power of love can transform a human heart.)
“When you preach grace, unless your conscience accuses you of license you haven’t preached grace.” Martin Lloyd Jones
Our mission purpose statement: Presenting Jesus, the revelation of grace and truth that transforms lives.
Ill. WE don’t know for sure what happened to this unnamed woman caught in adultery. Some theologians believe she is the same woman with the alabaster box who washed Jesus’ feet with her tears. If so then would you say Jesus method of confronting sin with love worked well? This woman followed Jesus faithfully the rest of her life.
Listen to preachers on TV and at churches. Either they are preaching grace or sin management through behavior modification.
We have to decide what we believe about grace. Either Jesus paid it that we might be made the righteousness of God, or He did most of it and now we have to do our part?
My Bible tells me that righteousness with God is a gift not based on my performance.
God made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Cor. 5:21
For by one man’s sin death reigned through him, then how much more will those who receive abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness reign in life through the ONE, Jesus Christ. Rom. 5:17
How many of your sins did Jesus die for before you were born?
How many of your sins did Jesus pay for at the cross?
How many of them was He referring to when He said, “IT IS FINISHED”?
At the time you were saved, how many of your sins did He forgive?
The answer to of these questions is, ALL OF THEM.
There are only 2 kinds of righteousness:
1. Righteousness of man – self righteous
2. Righteousness of God – a gift from God through Jesus paying for all your sin and God crediting your account righteous.
Ill. Part of the Armor of God we are told to wear is the Breastplate of Righteousness. So the devil cannot get condemnation into our hearts.
You may ask then what is the motivation to stop going back into sin?
The only proper motivation – love for God and what He has done for me. That is why we sing – amazing grace.