Message Recap – 1/14/11 – Grace & Consequences: Part 1

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The long awaited day has finally arrived – that's right, Pastor Dan has taken the pulpit once again! Okay, okay... you can stop applauding. Let's get into the message.

We'll get started in Ephesians 2:8-10:

God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

We are saved by His Grace. We can't take credit for it; it has nothing to do with what we've done or haven't done, can do or can't do.

We are saved by Grace! Not by works, by our parents, reading the Bible, going to church, wearing the right clothes, or anything else.

Nothing you do, good or bad, makes you any less needful or deserving of Grace. You can't earn it or deserve it – it's a gift from God to each of us!

Take a look at Romans 9:16:

So it is God who decides to show mercy. We can neither choose it nor work for it.

You are not more saved if you're a pastor or if you watch Superbook. Salvation does not depend on man's design or effort; it is by Grace alone!

Salvation is ours because of what God has done, not because of what we've done. That's good news! You don't have to live perfectly to earn it; it's available!

So... wait... why do I need to do anything differently than anyone else? Why do what's right? Why not just live however I want and enjoy life? Forget church, the Bible, morality, anything I don't feel like doing! It doesn't depend on me anyway, since it's all by Grace! Don't judge me! Jesus loves me, how dare you tell me I should stop smoking crack!

That is one, rather exaggerated, extreme. On the other side are those who say that unless you follow certain rules, you aren't really a Christian. There's the too much grace side and the too much works side. Neither is right.

Let's see what God says about it, in Galatians 6:7-9:

Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.

Thinking that you can somehow earn salvation is mocking the justice of God. And living like you have a free pass through life is mocking the justice of God. Don't do either one.

God wouldn't say “don't get tired” if it wasn't a temptation to get tired. Consistency is important. Reading a chapter of the Bible every day all year is better than reading the entire Old Testament in one day and then never picking it up again. Don't give up!

Galatians 6 talks about planting and harvesting. So, what are we planting? Well, there are two types of seed we can sow:

Seed to please yourself

Seed to please the Spirit

What does this mean? Your actions are seeds. Everything you do is a seed being planted in the soil of your life. Some are big seeds, some are small. But everything you do has consequences. In every situation we have a choice of what kind of seed we will sow. Seeds to please ourselves or seeds to please the Spirit. Which will you sow?

Emotions are not sins. It's what you do, how you act on those emotions that can be sin. You can be angry and not sin. But if you take that anger and punch somebody out, well that's a sin. It's sowing to please yourself.

What seeds are you planting in your life?

When things get tough, stressful, emotional; what seed will you sow? When you're tired and you don't feel like doing the right thing, what seed will you sow? In those moments, stop and think; what kind of seed is this? Is it seed to please myself or seed to please the Spirit? Don't be misled—that seed will reap a harvest. What kind of harvest will you have? Sow to please the Spirit.

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