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Sermon No: 1322-Grace



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SERMON TOPIC: Grace

Speaker: Ken Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 5 November 2013

Topic Groups: GRACE, FIVE SOLAS

Sermon synopsis: Do you know the Jesus who stands with arms open to embrace those broken and enslaved by sin, if not, which Jesus are you trusting in?

God’s grace accepts us as we are, but it does not leave us as we are.

Titus 2:11-12 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.

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Grace.

AGF Conference ministry on Grace of God.

Prison pastor who murdered 4 people and his co-Pastor who murdered 32 people.

Grace.

Edward Salazar.

After killing a man during an armed robbery, Edward Salazar Mauricio knew he might face the electric chair in Texas, a state that often wields the sword of justice with finality. By God’s grace he received a life sentence, but he hated and even viciously attacked Christians who attempted to witness to him in his prison cell. Eventually, however, the power of God’s Word penetrated his heart and brought changes he could never have imagined. Before he was six-years-old, his parents separated due to his father’s alcohol-fuelled rages that resulted in the physical battering of his mother. To survive, his mother fled the marriage and went to work washing and ironing clothing. A few months after the break-up, Mauricio took to the streets of San Antonio selling pop bottles, old newspapers and cardboard. He also shined shoes near the military base. He began to identify with other street children about his age. Soon, he joined them when they stole toys from department stores. His shoplifting and failure to attend school landed him in a school for delinquent boys on three separate occasions.

Grace.

But a couple years after he left the service he made a horrible mistake. He got involved in a robbery that resulted in murder. In May 1966 he sat in a jail cell in the Bexar County Jail. He couldn’t get the words of the prosecutor out of his mind: Your Honour, The State of Texas files notice that it will seek the death penalty (by electric chair). He was arraigned for robbery and murder with malice aforethought. By the grace and mercy of God I was sentenced to life imprisonment, he said. A few days later he was on a bus headed for prison, handcuffed and impaired by heavy chains on his feet. Prison life was harsh. Guards directed racial slurs in his direction such as “nigger, wetback, and Mexican. Physical beatings were not infrequent. Mauricio was required to do manual agricultural labour. Guards kicked at us and lashed out at us with bullwhips from their horses as we picked cotton, corn, beans, potatoes and other vegetables in the hot sun, he said. He found himself on the wrong side of several disciplinary actions that resulted in solitary confinement. In these circumstances, he slept on a concrete block in a dark, windowless cell without food for extended periods. Mauricio stated that inadequate medical care within the prison resulted in the loss of his left eye, which had to be removed completely.

Grace.

Despite this personal animus toward God, during his somewhat frequent trips to solitary confinement the guards left a Bible in his cell. I started reading the Bible to pass the time, he noted. Little did he realized that God, in His great love, was slowly planting His Word in Mauricio’s heart. Years later, in 1978, he attended a prison evangelistic meeting for the first time. A black minister preached on Saul of Tarsus persecuting Christians and about his subsequent conversion, he recounted. That word went straight into my heart. After leaving the meeting I went to my prison cell, got on my knees, and said God, I know I am a sinner and that I have destroyed my life through sin, but if you can use my life in anyway I surrender my life to You right now. Mauricio had suffered from an infection in his throat for over a year. The infection produced a sore full of hardened white pus, which had lodged itself in his throat. Only surgery could remove it, an ear, nose, and throat specialist had informed him. As I invited Jesus into my life all of a sudden all my breath left my body for a few moments and I felt an urge to vomit and when I did I vomited a white ball of hardened pus the size of an egg out of my mouth. Startled, Mauricio looked in a mirror and saw an open wound in his throat. Forty minutes later he looked in the mirror again and the wound had disappeared.

Grace.

I was completely healed by the resurrected and glorified Christ, he realized. Mauricio was baptized in the prison, filled with the Spirit, and began to serve the Lord among the inmates. Four years later, by God’s grace, he received a reprieve. I was paroled to Joe Fauss, Director and Founder of Calvary Commission. I was permitted to return to Leavenworth Federal Prison and the Texas Prison System as a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In 1983 I was sent by my Calvary Commission leaders to the Texas-Mexico border to pastor the Calvary Commission church there. A few years later, the Lord led Mauricio to launch a church in Mexico City. As a result of his contact with several tribal groups under his pastoral care, he began to travel with Joe Fauss to Belize and Guatemala, Central America, to Romania, and to tribal groups in the country of India. I know from personal experience that God can take a murderer and turn him into a missionary. My question to you would be, What does God want to turn you into? If God can change me He can change anyone.

Did Mannaseh deserve God’s grace?

2 Kings 21:1-6 & 16-18.

Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-five years. His mother’s name was Hephzibah. He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, following the detestable practices of the nations the Lord had driven out before the Israelites. He rebuilt the high places his father Hezekiah had destroyed; he also erected altars to Baal and made an Asherah pole, as Ahab king of Israel had done. He bowed down to all the starry hosts and worshiped them. He built altars in the temple of the Lord, of which the Lord had said, In Jerusalem I will put my Name. In the two courts of the temple of the Lord, he built altars to all the starry hosts. He sacrificed his own son in the fire, practiced divination, sought omens, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the eyes of the Lord, arousing his anger.

Did Mannaseh deserve God’s grace?

2 Kings 21:1-6 & 16-18 (continued)

Moreover, Manasseh also shed so much innocent blood that he filled Jerusalem from end to end besides the sin that he had caused Judah to commit, so that they did evil in the eyes of the Lord. As for the other events of Manasseh’s reign, and all he did, including the sin he committed, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah? Manasseh rested with his ancestors and was buried in his palace garden, the garden of Uzza. And Amon his son succeeded him as king.

Did Mannaseh deserve God’s grace?

2 Chronicles 33:1-16.

Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-five years. He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, following the detestable practices of the nations the Lord had driven out before the Israelites. He rebuilt the high places his father Hezekiah had demolished; he also erected altars to the Baals and made Asherah poles.

He bowed down to all the starry hosts and worshiped them. He built altars in the temple of the Lord, of which the Lord had said, My Name will remain in Jerusalem forever. In both courts of the temple of the Lord, he built altars to all the starry hosts.

Did Mannaseh deserve God’s grace?

2 Chronicles 33:1-16.

He sacrificed his children in the fire in the Valley of Ben Hinnom, practiced divination and witchcraft, sought omens, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the eyes of the Lord, arousing his anger.

He took the image he had made and put it in God’s temple, of which God had said to David and to his son Solomon, In this temple and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, I will put my Name forever. I will not again make the feet of the Israelites leave the land I assigned to your ancestors, if only they will be careful to do everything I commanded them concerning all the laws, decrees and regulations given through Moses.

Did Mannaseh deserve God’s grace?

2 Chronicles 33:1-16 (continued)

But Manasseh led Judah and the people of Jerusalem astray, so that they did more evil than the nations the Lord had destroyed before the Israelites.

The Lord spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they paid no attention. So the Lord brought against them the army commanders of the king of Assyria, who took Manasseh prisoner, put a hook in his nose, bound him with bronze shackles and took him to Babylon. In his distress he sought the favour of the Lord his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his ancestors. And when he prayed to him, the Lord was moved by his entreaty and listened to his plea; so he brought him back to Jerusalem and to his kingdom.

Did Mannaseh deserve God’s grace?

2 Chronicles 33:1-16 (continued)

Then Manasseh knew that the Lord is God. Afterward he rebuilt the outer wall of the City of David, west of the Gihon spring in the valley, as far as the entrance of the Fish Gate and encircling the hill of Ophel; he also made it much higher. He stationed military commanders in all the fortified cities in Judah. He got rid of the foreign gods and removed the image from the temple of the Lord, as well as all the altars he had built on the temple hill and in Jerusalem; and he threw them out of the city. Then he restored the altar of the Lord and sacrificed fellowship offerings and thank offerings on it, and told Judah to serve the Lord, the God of Israel.

Do you deserve God’s grace?

Which of these prayers do you pray?

Luke 18:9-14.

To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable:

Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: God, I thank you that I am not like other people robbers, evildoers, adulterers or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get. But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, God, have mercy on me, a sinner. I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

Grace.

The Lord dealt with my self-righteousness during the difficult time I went through 10 years ago.

The Jesus I never knew & What’s so amazing about Grace (Philip Yancy)

Do you know the Jesus who stands with arms open to embrace those broken and enslaved by sin, if not, which Jesus are you trusting in?

Grace.

Luke 7:36-48.

When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them. When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is that she is a sinner.

Grace.

Luke 7:36-48.

Jesus answered him, Simon, I have something to tell you. Tell me, teacher, he said. Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty . Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more? Simon replied, I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven. You have judged correctly, Jesus said. Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little. Then Jesus said to her, Your sins are forgiven.

Grace.

Butterfly story:

One day, a small opening appeared on a chrysallis (butterflies make a chrysallis and moths make a cocoon); a person sat and watched for the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole. Sometimes the struggle has a purpose.. Then, it stopped and did not appear to be making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could and it could not go any further. So the person decided to help the butterfly: With a pair of scissors, the person opened the chrysallis. The butterfly then emerged easily. But it had a withered body, it was tiny and had shrivelled wings.

Grace.

Butterfly story:

The person continued to watch, expecting that, at any moment, the wings would open, enlarge and expand, to be able to support the butterfly's body, and become firm. It never happened! In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a withered body and shrivelled wings. It never was able to fly. What the person, in sincere kindness and goodwill, did not understand was that the restricting chrysallis and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening, were the One's way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings, so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the chrysallis. Sometimes, struggles are exactly what we need in our life.

Grace.

Our struggle with God’s righteous Law brings us to Christ and His Grace.

At Salvation it is not God’s Law that ceases to exist, but us.. When preachers try to free us from God’s law by using grace as a license to sin, they prevent us from the freedom of rising above our sinful nature.

Romans 8:1-4.

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

Grace.

The downward pull of sin and the upward lift of God’s indwelling Spirit.

Our sinful nature can be compared to the law of gravity.

The law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus can be compared to the law of aerodynamics which enables us to break free and overcome the law of gravity.

Grace.

God’s grace accepts us as we are, but it does not leave us as we are.

2 Peter 3:9.

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

Titus 2:11-12.

For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.

God’s grace can be missed.

Matthew 21:23 &31-32.

Jesus entered the temple courts, and while he was teaching, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him….

Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him.

Hebrews 12:15. (Amplified)

Exercise foresight and be on the watch to look [after one another], to see that no one falls back from and fails to secure God’s grace.

God’s grace can be missed.

James 4:6-8. (Amplified) Pride will keep you from God’s grace..

But He gives us more and more grace (power of the Holy Spirit, to meet this evil tendency and all others fully). That is why He says, God sets Himself against the proud and haughty, but gives grace [continually] to the lowly (those who are humble enough to receive it). So be subject to God. Resist the devil [stand firm against him], and he will flee from you. Come close to God and He will come close to you. [Recognize that you are] sinners, get your soiled hands clean; [realize that you have been disloyal] wavering individuals with divided interests, and purify your hearts [of your spiritual adultery].

God’s grace can be missed.

The son of Manasseh serves as a warning.

2 Chronicles 33:20-24.

Amon was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem two years. He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, as his father Manasseh had done. Amon worshiped and offered sacrifices to all the idols Manasseh had made. But unlike his father Manasseh, he did not humble himself before the Lord; Amon increased his guilt. Amon’s officials conspired against him and assassinated him in his palace.

God’s grace is for the truly sorrowful.

2 Corinthians 7:8-11.

Even if I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it. Though I did regret it I see that my letter hurt you, but only for a little while yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us. Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern.

Grace.

Grace sets us free from the slavery of sin and makes us slaves of righteousness.

Romans 6:14-18. For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace. What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. v18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.

Grace.

Grace sets us free from the slavery of the law.

Galatians 5:1-4.

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.

Grace.

Grace sets us free from trying to earn our Salvation.

Romans 4:1-5.

What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, discovered in this matter? If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about but not before God. What does Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation. However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness.

Grace.

Grace teaches us to live Godly lives.

Titus 2:11-15.

For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope the appearing of the glory of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.

Grace.

Grace enables us to stand. (Against Satan’s accusations)

Romans 5:1-2.

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

Grace.

Grace enables us to minister.

Galatians 2:9.

James, Cephas and John, those esteemed as pillars, gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship when they recognized the grace given to me. They agreed that we should go to the Gentiles, and they to the circumcised.

Ephesians 3:7-8.

I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his power. Although I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ.

Grace.

Grace enables us to endure trials and tests.

2 Corinthians 12:7-10.

because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

From God’s amazing grace.(pg298)

Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering. Col. 3: 12. Let the law of kindness be upon your lips and the oil of grace in your heart. This will produce wonderful results. You will be tender, sympathetic, courteous. You need all these graces. The Holy Spirit must be received and brought into your character; then it will be as holy fire, giving forth incense which will rise up to God, not from lips that condemn, but as a healer of the souls of men. Your countenance will express the image of the divine. . . By beholding the character of Christ you will become changed into His likeness. The grace of Christ alone can change your heart and then you will reflect the image of the Lord Jesus. God calls upon us to be like Him-- pure, holy, and undefiled. We are to bear the divine image. . . .

From God’s amazing grace.(pg298)

The Lord Jesus is our only helper. Through His grace we shall learn to cultivate love, to educate ourselves to speak kindly and tenderly. Through His grace our cold, harsh manners will be transformed. The law of kindness will be upon our lips, and those who are under the precious influences of the Holy Spirit, will not feel that it is an evidence of weakness to weep with those who weep, to rejoice with them that rejoice. We are to cultivate heavenly excellences of character. We are to learn what it means to have good- will toward all men, a sincere desire to be as sunshine and not as shadow in the lives of others. Seize every opportunity to contribute to the happiness of those around you, sharing with them your affection. Words of kindness, looks of sympathy, expressions of appreciation, would to many a struggling, lonely one be as a cup of cold water to a thirsty soul. Live in the sunshine of the Saviour's love. Then your influence will bless the world. Let the Spirit of Christ control you. Let the law of kindness be ever on your lips. Forbearance and unselfishness mark the words and actions of those who are born again, to live the new life in Christ.

Ellen G White




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