Salvation By The Grace Of God
Sometimes my friends and I get accused of trying to shove our religion down people’s throats. We get accused of this because we do stand on the street corner and call people to repent and to trust Jesus as their Lord and Savior. We believe the Bible. We believe Jesus. We are doing as Jesus commanded us to do – to preach the Gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15).
We Cannot Save You
But we cannot save you. We cannot force you to become a Christian. Oh don’t get me wrong, we could lead you in a little prayer that might make you feel better and may even make us think we’ve really done something, but even getting you to repeat the sinner’s prayer will not save you. We can’t save you because salvation is of the Lord (Jonah 2:9).
Titus 2:11-15 says: For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.
Salvation is of the Lord
Salvation is of the Lord. Salvation is by the grace of God. Titus 2:11 states that by God’s grace salvation has appeared to all men. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17). You must hear the truth before you recognize it. You must hear God’s truth before the Holy Spirit convicts you over your sins. Salvation has appeared to you tonight. What will you do with this truth? Will you mock it? Will you scorn it? Will you deny it? Will you reject it? Or will you receive it? What will you, personally you, individually you, what will you do with the salvation that is offered freely by God to you by His grace alone?
Salvation is the free gift from God. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast (Ephesians 2:8-9). But you must receive this gift and you can only receive it through repentance and faith. You are to have repentance toward God and faith in Jesus Christ our Lord (Acts 20:21).
You Need To Repent
You need to repent because we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). We have all sinned. None of us are righteous. None of us are right with God on our own. We have all gone astray or in other words we’ve all gone away from God. The Bible says that we go away from God as soon as we leave the womb (Psalm 58:3). We are born with a sinful nature. Adam and Eve sinned in the garden of Eden and all of us have sinned since then.
God cannot tolerate sin. It must be punished. Because He is righteous, Holy and just, God must punish sin and He does. If He didn’t, He would no longer be the One True God. But He is God, so He has punished sin, He continues to punish sin and He will punish sin for all of eternity. You owe a sin debt tonight that you cannot pay.
You Could Be Perfect From This Day Forward And Still…
You could be absolutely perfect from this day forward for the rest of your life and you would still die and go to Hell if you are counting on your own righteousness, your own goodness to make you right with God. The problem is you have sinned since the womb up to this point. You have sinned many times and you can’t undo one little sin, let alone all of your sins.
Because we have all sinned, because none of us can make ourselves right with God, He made a way for us to be in a right relationship with Him. That way is The Way, the only way, which is Jesus Christ alone. Jesus left His throne in Heaven a little over 2,000 years ago and He was born of the virgin Mary and the Holy Spirit. Jesus did what you I could never do. He never sinned one time. Not one single time. He perfectly kept the 10 Commandments not just in the letter of the Law, but even the spirit of the Law. He held it to a higher standard. Jesus never lied or stole anything. Never lusted, never coveted and always obeyed the will of God the Father.
Then He willingly laid His life down as a ransom for many. He was beaten beyond recognition for sinners like you and me. He was nailed to the old rugged cross. He endured Gods’ wrath over sinful man while He hung there six long, grueling hours. Jesus died on the cross. He was buried and rose victoriously from the grave three days later. God offers eternal life to each and every person who repents and puts their trust in Jesus.
Reject, Ignore Or Receive?
What are you going to do with such a great of salvation? Are you going to reject it? Ignore it? Think about it? Or are you going to receive it? Are you going to turn from your sins and turn to Jesus? Are you going to confess and forsake your sins? Are you going to submit your life to the Lordship of Jesus the Christ? Oh this great salvation is only available by God’s grace alone.
Is the Holy Spirit calling you tonight? Is God convicting you over your sins and revealing His Holiness to you? Do you recognize and admit that you are a sinner? Or are you going to continue thinking that you are just as good as everyone else? This kind of thinking is vanity. If you are measuring yourself against everyone else, you are using the wrong measuring stick. You must measure yourself to Jesus Christ and none of us measure up to the perfect One.
If the Holy Spirit is convicting you, please don’t resist the Spirit. Confess and forsake your sins. Repent and put your faith in Jesus. When God saves you, He changes you. God takes away your fleshly desires and gives you His desires. Titus 2:12 states: Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.
Power of The Holy Spirit
Through the power of the Holy Spirit, God convicts you of ungodliness and worldly lusts. When you are truly saved; you are to live soberly, righteously and godly. This does not mean Christians are perfect. Our spirit fights against the flesh until the day we die. But the difference between a saved and a lost person is that it grieves those of us who are saved when we sin against God. Sin bothers you when you are truly a child of God.
You should immediately be convicted when you stray, confess your sin, then forsake it. Don’t keep running back to the mud and mire of the same sin, day after day. It’s not through your own power that you overcome sin, it’s through the power of the Holy Spirit that you can be victorious. You overcome sin by focusing on Jesus Christ and not on yourself. You continually look for Jesus to come again. If you’re thinking about, praying and looking for Jesus’ Second Coming, you shouldn’t be focused on the pleasures of the flesh.
More Than Conquerors
We are more than conquerors through Jesus Christ our Lord. Not only did Jesus save us from Hell; He saved us from our iniquities – from our sins. Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works (Titus 2:13-14).
Jesus gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity. Jesus overcame sin, death, Hell and Satan. We can be victorious too through Him. Not of our own righteousness, but through Jesus’ righteousness alone. Jesus is the mighty One. He is the King of kings and the Lord of lords. When you are truly saved, you are bought with a great price – the precious blood of Jesus.
Again, salvation is by the grace of God, through the sacrifice of Jesus. This most costly gift is freely given, but you must receive it. Once you repent and trust Jesus as your Lord and Savior, then you are to be set apart. Paul says we are a peculiar people. If you share your faith in Jesus at all, you know that you will be mocked. You will look foolish. But you are no longer of this world. We are in the world, but we are not of the world. We are servants of our Lord Jesus. People making fun of us shouldn’t bother us. They mocked Jesus. In fact, they mocked him until He died on the cross.
Being mocked for Christ shouldn’t bother you. If you are not being mocked, you should really examine yourself to see if you are truly in the faith. If you are saved and not being mocked, you should ask yourself why am I not being mocked? You shouldn’t expect to be treated by the world better than Jesus was treated. If you are not suffering rejection or mocking, what is wrong with your faith in Christ? Why are non-believers going easy on you? Is it because you look and act like the rest of the culture?
So professing Christian, are you really saved? Have you turned your back on the world and your face toward Jesus? Have you been to the foot of the cross? Jesus nails your sins to the cross when you are one of His followers. Have your sins been nailed to the cross? Have you cried out to our Lord for mercy? Have you begged God for forgiveness for your sins? Have you confessed and forsaken your sins?
Are You A Changed Person?
Are you truly a new creature in Christ? Have you put off your old ways, forsaken the pleasures of the flesh? Or are you still the same old dirty, rotten sinner that you’ve always been? If there’s been no change in your life since you met the risen Savior, then you did not meet Him in a saving way. You did not receive salvation by the grace of God. Somehow you missed such a great of salvation.
There’s nothing more important than where you will spend eternity. If the Holy Spirit is convicting you tonight over your sins and God is graciously giving you a glimpse of His Holiness, do not harden your heart. Do not reject such a great of salvation. Turn from your sins and turn to Jesus. Repent and believe the Gospel. Cry out for Jesus to save you.
Give thanks unto the Lord, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people. Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him, talk ye of all his wondrous works. Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord. Seek the Lord and his strength, seek his face continually (1 Chronicles 16:8-11). Call upon the name of the Lord and be saved. Be saved tonight. Repent and surrender your life to Jesus Christ our Lord and receive everlasting salvation by the grace of God.
(This message was proclaimed in downtown Springfield, MO on December 2, 2016)