(NOTE: This sermon series and devotional series is based on a book by Randy Frazee entitled, “BELIEVE.”
You may choose to download or purchase the book as a supplement to your worship and devotional emails.)
Satan loves to lie to us about grace.
He knows how powerful and eternal the reality of God’s grace is…and he knows he’s missed out on it forever. So he tries to ruin it for the rest of us.
Satan is the father of lies, and lying about grace simply falls in his standard operating procedure.
Lie 1: You have to earn grace.
We looked at this yesterday, so I won’t spend much time on it. When I work to gain something, what I receive is a wage, not a gift. Grace is ALWAYS a gift. If it were by works, it would no longer be grace. Remember this passage from yesterday, “And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace (Romans 11:6).
Lie 2: You have to choose grace.
This one is a little dicey as so much of evangelical Christianity focuses a person on a moment of decision. The picture I often see is God holding out the “offer” of grace. As God is holding it, you are invited to reach out and get it. In this “moment of decision” you now receive God’s love and forgiveness, i.e. grace.
Why is this a deception? There are two very important reasons. First it assumes that we have the spiritual ability to reach out to God for grace and forgiveness. (But remember Ephesians 2:1, “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sin…”) By nature we are DEAD in sin and objects of WRATH. We have no ability in our natural selves, our sinful nature to make a move toward God. The second reason this is a dangerous deception is that it puts responsibility on my shoulders for reaching out to gain God’s grace. This becomes a work which my sinful nature loves to take credit for and thus credit for my salvation.
Satan loves to add to and twist the truth. He wants to feed our desire to in some way great or small take some credit for our salvation.
The power of our salvation is the Gospel:
Romans 1:16-17 I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”
Faith to believe the Gospel is worked by God through the Word
Romans 10:17 “Faith comes from hearing the message and the message is heard through the Word of Christ.”
The fact that we confess Jesus as our Savior and Lord is the power of the Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 12:3 Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.
Here’s the bottom line. Satan wants you to think you can in some way, even a small way, take credit for your salvation and eternity in heaven. As soon as we buy into that lie I jeopardize grace. Someone once said it’s like having a strong rope in Jesus to span 99 feet of a 100’ chasm, yet I try and tie off the last foot with a piece of dental floss I had in my pocket. This 1% of weakness weakens the WHOLE rope. Any attempt on my part to connect my effort to God’s grace weakens and jeopardizes all of God’s grace.
Don’t do it. By the power of God’s Spirit receive and believe grace as it is…100% God’s gift to you and certainty for you.
Apply: How does Satan lead you to question God’s gift of grace for you? What leads you to think you don’t have God’s grace? Is what you are thinking true based on God’s promises?
Prayer: Lord God, thank you for giving me grace through Jesus. Let me never lessen the reality or impact of grace in my life, but always appreciate, as it is, a 100% gift from you! AMEN
3rd Article of the Apostles’ Creed “I believe that I cannot by my own thinking or choosing believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to him. But the Holy Spirit has called me by the gospel…and kept me in the true faith.”