...if you want to do your own thing and go and be whatever you are, grace is no longer there, because He doesn’t give you grace if you don’t want it. You have to ask and desire to be like His Son Jesus. If that takes place then He first comes and gives you truth which will set you free, but He also gives you grace to get there. What an awesome God we have.
How do we know we are saved? I want to start in John 1:14, And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory… When a person hangs around the living God there is a glory that’s upon them. You can’t find that glory any other place because He’s the Creator and the One that has done all things and knows all things. …the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,)… Angels were not birthed through God the Father, they were created. God gave authority to the human race over this world that He created through His Son. Jesus came through a human being down on the earth. He was fully God and fully human. Therefore Christ has the right to walk in authority on the earth like we do because He came as a human but then we will be like Him (except we will not be omnipresent) in eternity in a place that there is no sin, no irritation of the enemy, but everything will be peace and quiet and love and the thoughts of this world will be gone. …full of grace and truth. Sometimes this grace and truth is not understood like it should be. God is truth and He can’t depart from truth. If He did, everything He created and caused to be a certain way would not be certain anymore. Truth is absolute and when absolute goes away everything falls apart. That’s what is happening in this country today, and unless something changes it’s going to fall apart because truth is being destroyed. Truth is what holds everything together and it sets you free from satan’s torment and deceptions. Grace is like a mother with a little child. I’m amazed at how a mother takes a small child and changes their diaper, feeds them, cleans them up, and basically does everything for them, yet the little baby doesn’t really appreciate it. If it doesn’t get what it wants it will cry and cry. The mother doesn’t give up on that little baby. That’s grace. Not always will the baby be that way. If that child will grow up and honor their parents they will grow up to be something of great value upon the earth. God looks at every person how He created them to be: that when they were born in this world they could be born again and His grace would change that person and clean up their messes. Nobody was born without sin. We were born with sin in us and we had to be changed. That’s an individual choice. As you see a parent taking care of a small child and watching it grow, like when a child that is learning to walk falls down, does the parent go get the whip and spank it? No, they say, you took a step! The next week they take more steps and within a month they are running. If it wouldn’t have been for the grace of their parents they would not have learned to walk like that. So it is with our heavenly Father. Grace is given to us if we want to be His son. If not, then you’ll just have to make it on your own. But He’s given every person the opportunity. Verse 15, John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me. And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace. John the Baptist recognized Jesus as being one that is giving grace to this mistake, to this mistake, and this mistake, and He’s not condemning us as long as we are trying to do the right thing. That’s grace. But if you want to do your own thing and go and be whatever you are, grace is no longer there, because He doesn’t give you grace if you don’t want it. You have to ask and desire to be like His Son Jesus. If that takes place then He first comes and gives you truth which will set you free, but He also gives you grace to get there. What an awesome God we have.
1 Corinthians 15:9, For I am least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. Paul was one of the greatest apostles in the Bible. There are a lot of people that don’t like him because he speaks truth. He persecuted the church and did a lot of things that weren’t right but God stopped him in his tracks one day and said why are you persecuting Me and My church? And just like that grace came on him and he was changed. God taught him. Paul wasn’t around Jesus when He was on the earth, but God taught him who His Son was. He had a background of God but he was doing the wrong thing. Verse 10, But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was in me. Here we see that Paul admits the reason he was here was because of God’s grace. I don’t deserve to be here because of what I did, but because He chose me and I wanted His truth, He gave me His grace, and I stand here today because of that. I have a friend and I watched God move in her life. She needed some moving. It was slow to begin with, but one day not too long ago she said, Pastor, you have no idea how much I’ve changed. That tells me she wanted truth, and grace came on her to change. Therefore, she’s saved. When we want truth, grace comes on us to change and we are saved.
Galatians 5:3, For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. Christ is become of no effect unto you… If you do everything by law you don’t have grace. …whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. That tells me that the way you have grace is to want Him and begin to have a relationship just like a mother does with a little child. They get a relationship as soon as they are born. They begin to grow and to know their mother and father and then others. They wouldn’t call it grace, but they feel that grace from their parents so that they are not fearful. As they grow up they will trust them to even jump off of something and let their parents catch them. That’s having faith in the grace of those that watch over them. Verse 5, For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love. As grace comes on us, we begin to have a love affair with the One that has shielded us from the outside world and we fellowship with the Creator that lives forever. These are eternal promises; building gold and silver and precious gems in eternity..
Romans 8:24, For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it. My hope in God is that I will be able to receive the promises He has in this Bible, and grace is going to get me to where the word has called me to go because I’ve let His truth come in me. The greatest picture of grace we can look at is Jesus hanging on the cross. Jesus died and His blood was shed to break the power of sin in us so we can be free from sin. A lot of people forget that not just blood came out, but water. Water is meant to cleanse our being in baptism. That’s why we use water. It represents the water from Jesus side being poured out upon us to cleanse us from the filth of this world. When Jesus was on the cross He had two thieves hanging on crosses on either side of Him. One of the thieves was cursing. He probably cursed Jesus, He probably cursed the people around him, and who knows what all he cursed. He rejected everything because he couldn’t get his way. He was selfish, self-centered, and all he wanted was for him to have his flesh satisfied. He died and went to hell. But the other one on the other side said, Lord, You don’t deserve to die because You did nothing wrong. I deserve to die because I was wrong. I did things that were against not only the Bible but society. He turned to Jesus and said, Remember me. Do you know what that says? He didn’t go to the crowds around, he didn’t say, save me, save me! No, he turned to the One he could put his hope in. And that hope saved that man because when he said to Jesus, remember me, Jesus turned and gave him grace. He was a sinner but he put his trust in Jesus therefore Jesus put His grace upon him and said, this day you will be with Me in paradise. That’s what Jesus is all about. So when someone dies that has salvation I don’t feel sorry for them at all, because they are in a good place.
There’s a time for everything. Never give up. If you have your hope in God you’ll be saved, because He will put His grace upon you like a small child. Even when you get to know some things and start running and fall down and make a mistake, He’s not going to come and knock you over the head. He’s going to pick you up and say, wait a minute. This isn’t quite the way I want it to be. I was before the Lord one day and I said, Lord, how am I doing? Am I doing it right for You? At that time I didn’t understand it but He said, you’ve stayed within the bounds of My grace. Do you know what I said? Wow. I still have some work to do. I’ve just stayed within the bounds. He didn’t say I was a superman. He said I stayed within the bounds of His grace. That means He hasn’t thrown me out but I’m not perfect yet in any way. Therefore I have to keep going until truth perfects me. May God bless each one of you.