PHBC March 19, 2000
Series: First Peter, Sermon #92
STANDING IN THE TRUE GRACE OF GOD
GRACE IS CHANNELED THROUGH JESUS CHRIST
TEXT: 1 Peter 5:12-14 By Silvanus, a faithful brother unto you, as I suppose, I have written briefly, exhorting, and testifying that this is the true grace of God wherein ye stand. 13 The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son. 14 Greet ye one another with a kiss of charity. Peace be with you all that are in Christ Jesus. Amen.
INTRO: This morning, as we continue studying the subject of Standing in True Grace, I want us to focus our attention on one main thought. That is that all the blessings of grace come to us through one person, the Lord Jesus Christ. God has determined that we will be blessed with all spiritual blessings in Christ. Ephesians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.
As a matter of fact, in his eternal purpose which he has purposed in Christ Jesus we have already been blessed with all spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus. And, what God has purposed in eternity does most surely come to pass in time. He delivered up his only Son to purchase these blessings for us and he will surely give them to his elect people. Romans 8:32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
It is always of his fulness that we receive these spiritual blessings. John 1:16 And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. It has pleased God to give all things into the hands of his Son and if we ever receive them, it will be through Christ. John 3:35 The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand. As I have prepared this introduction, the chorus of a song has been coursing through my mind. It goes, "O what a Saviour, O hallelujah!"
I. STANDING IN THE TRUE GRACE OF GOD REQUIRES THAT WE LOOK TO CHRIST AS THE CHANNEL THROUGH WHOM WE RECEIVE GRACE
A. He is the eternal Word who was made flesh who was full of grace and truth. John 1:14-17 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
B. From this fulness of grace we receive grace for grace. John 1:16 And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.
C. He is the one through whom men have always received grace and all its benefits.
1. All the prophets preached to their hearers that salvation was and is in Jesus Christ. Acts 10:43 To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.
2. The same apostle who declared that the prophets preached the remission of sins through faith in Christ, also declared that the name of Jesus is the only name under heaven by which men are saved. Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
3. This same apostle declared that the hearts of Jews and Gentiles had been purified by believing the gospel of Jesus Christ. Acts 15:6-11 And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter. 7 And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe. 8 And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; 9 And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. 10 Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? 11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.
a. It is interesting that this man, who was saved during the ministry of John the Baptist, before the death of Christ, would believe that his heart had been purified in exactly the same manner as the heart of the Gentiles in the house of Cornelius and in Antioch.
b. It is further interesting that this salvation which Peter enjoyed before the cross and before Pentecost was through the grace of Christ just as the salvation of the Gentiles in the house of Cornelius and in Antioch and any where else God might save sinners. Acts 15:11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.
4. Another witness to the fact that grace through Christ has always been the way of our salvation is another Jew, the Apostle Paul.
a. This man who knew the law from his days at the feet of one Gamaliel, did not hesitate to declare that the gospel of Christ had been preached to Abraham. Galatians 3:8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.
b. Paul tells us in another place that Abraham believed this gospel preached to him and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Romans 4:3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.
c. Even in the two verses preceding the one in which Paul tells us that the gospel was preached to Abraham, we are told that his believing that gospel preached to him by God himself was counted to him for righteousness. Galatians 3:6-7 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. 7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.
5. Let me add yet another witness to this truth that grace and salvation have always been through Christ; his name is John and he was an apostle taught by our Lord Jesus Christ.
a. This Christ-taught apostle wrote that Jesus was the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Revelation 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
b. Let me call back the apostle Paul to join Jesus Christ for he sets forth in Hebrews that if the one death and suffering of Christ were not enough to save for eternity, he would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world. Hebrews 9:26 For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. .
c. This Christ-taught apostle wrote that the names of the elect were inscribed in the Lambís book of life from the foundation of the world. Revelation 17:8 The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.
d. This same apostle who was especially close to our Lord Jesus Christ wrote that all those in heaven will praise Jesus Christ, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, because he has redeemed them all by his blood. Revelation 5:1-10 And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals. 2 And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? 3 And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon. 4 And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon. 5 And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. 6 And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. 7 And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne. 8 And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. 9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; 10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.
(1) No man could be found to open this book.
(a) Noah, the man who found grace and built an ark to saving of his house when it had never rained, was there and he could not open the book.
(b) Enoch, the man who had walked so closely with God that God translated him that he should not see death, was there but he could not open the book.
(c) Abraham, the father of the faithful, was there but he could not open it.
(d) Moses, the receiver and administrator of the Law, was there and he could not open it.
(e) Many faithful prophets were there, even Elijah who had appeared on the mount of transfiguration, the man who had prayed and it did not rain for 3 Ĺ years, was there and he could not open it.
(f) But, wait, a man is found who can open it; the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the root of David, has prevailed to take the book and loose the seals thereof.
(g) The twenty-four elders, who represent the twelve tribes of Israel and the church with its twelve apostles fall down before him and worship and sing this new song that can be sung by every descendant of Adam who is there and who will ever be there. Revelation 5:9 Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.
1) Can you visualize that amazing scene; all the saints in glory composing one choir in perfect harmony singing the same song?
2) Can you imagine that marvelous sound as all the glorified elect of God from the foundation of the world to the end of time, all singing praise to Christ for his redeeming blood?
6. I would add another witness, one who has been called the true and faithful witness, the one who has washed us from our sins in his own blood, the Lord Jesus Christ.
a. He told some unbelieving Jews that had they believed Moses they would have believed him for Moses wrote of him. John 5:46 For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me.
b. Jesus told some other unbelieving Jews that their unbelief was evidence they did not have Godís word dwelling in them for they were rejecting his words of whom the Old Testament Scriptures bore testimony. John 5:37-40 And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape. 38 And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not. 39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. 40 And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.
c. Of the faith of Abraham being in Christ, Jesus also testified. John 8:56-58 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. 57 Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? 58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.
7. Hear also the testimony of that faithful old saint, Simeon. Luke 2:25-32 And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. 26 And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lordís Christ. 27 And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law, 28 Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, 29 Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: 30 For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, 31 Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; 32 A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.
a. This elderly saint of God was saved before the birth of John the Baptist or Jesus and he was saved because he saw Christ as Godís salvation. "Mine eyes have seen thy salvation."
b. This elderly saint of God who was saved before John and Jesus were born had seen the day of Christ by faith and also saw him as a light to lighten the Gentiles and as the glory of Israel.
8. The eighth witness I will call to affirm that grace and salvation have always come to men through Christ is the Law of Moses. Galatians 3:24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
a. Men have always been justified by faith. Galatians 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
b. Both the law and the prophets testified of justifying faith being faith in Christ. Romans 3:20-22 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. 21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; 22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference.
c. Justifying faith is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ whether the believer be Abraham, Moses, Paul, Simeon, or Wayne Camp.
II. THE EFFECTS OF GRACE ARE READILY EVIDENT IN THE LIVES OF THOSE WHO ARE STANDING IN THE TRUE GRACE OF GOD Acts 11:23 Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord.
A. When Paul and Barnabas admonished folks to continue in the grace of God they doubtless had in mind standing in the true grace of God. Acts 13:43 Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.
B. Those standing in the true grace of God will teach that those who have believed on Christ have believed through grace. Acts 18:27 And when he was disposed to pass into Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him: who, when he was come, helped them much which had believed through grace.
C. Those standing in the true grace of God will preach a gospel that can correctly be labeled the gospel of grace. Acts 20:24 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.
D. Those standing in the true grace of God will teach a justification that is freely of grace. Romans 3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.
E. Those standing in the true grace of God know that the only sure way of salvation is by grace through faith. Romans 4:16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all. Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
F. Those standing in the true grace of God will teach an election that is of grace. Romans 11:5-6 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. 6 And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.
G. Those who are standing in the true grace of God will declare that Godís call to salvation is a call that is of grace. Galatians 1:15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my motherís womb, and called me by his grace.
H. Those standing in the true grace of God do not teach a salvation that is obtained through a mixture of works and grace knowing that such teaching frustrates the grace of God. Galatians 2:21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.
I. Those who are standing in the true grace of God know that those who are seeking justification before God through works are actually standing off from grace. Galatians 5:4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.
J. Those who are standing in the true grace of God know that all spiritual blessings in Christ are ours because of the exceeding riches of Godís grace. Ephesians 1:3-7 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: 4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. 7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace. Ephesians 2:5-7 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
K. Those standing in the grace of God know and affirm that our salvation and calling thereunto are all of grace that and was given us in Christ before the foundation of the world. 2 Timothy 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.
L. Those standing in the true grace of God will seek to be good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 1 Peter 4:10 As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
M. Those standing in the true grace of God will not hesitate to attribute all they are that is godly to his grace. 1 Corinthians 15:10 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 laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
CONC: All that we are as Christians, all that we do in the Lordís service, and all that has been done for us and in us is of grace. Our election to salvation is of grace. Our predestination to being conformed to the image of Godís Son is of grace. Our regeneration is of grace. Our calling is of grace. Our redemption by the blood of Christ is by grace. Our justification before God is of grace. Our repentance toward God is of grace. Our faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ is of grace. Our sanctification in all its aspects is of grace. The imputation of our sins to Christ is of grace. The imputation of Christís righteousness to us is of grace. Our preservation in Christ is of grace. Our perseverance in the faith is of grace. Christ propitiating for our sins is of grace. Our reconciliation to God is of grace. Our pardon and forgiveness for sin is of grace. Our adoption as sons is of grace. Our being made accepted in the beloved is of grace.
May God give us all individually and as a body of Christ the grace to stand in true grace. Let us never be guilty of frustrating grace by adding things to it that is of man. Let us never frustrate grace by mixing things with it that are of man. Let us stand in true and pure unadulterated grace as were these saints to whom Peter has written this epistle.
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