Participants: Oliver Archer
Series Code: FC
Program Code: FC000078
00:32 Good day,
00:34 we enter into God's Word,
00:37 to discover just a little bit more about His wonderful,
00:42 incredible, amazing grace.
00:45 Our journey through God's Word, we're entitling
00:49 "Safe and secure
00:51 Living in the grace of God. "
00:55 Before we begin to study, let's bow our heads and pray.
01:00 Gracious Heavenly Father, we pray that we might
01:03 comprehend just were we are, so that we might understand
01:09 where you want us to be.
01:12 In Jesus' name.
01:17 I'm reading from Romans
01:22 chapter 5 starting at verse 6
02:26 How bad is it?
02:29 You can tell a lot about a society by it's humor
02:32 the things that we find funny the things that tickle our
02:36 funny bone
02:37 resonate deep within.
02:40 In humor, there is always an element of truth.
02:43 Something has been exaggerated or minimized, or somehow
02:48 and in so doing, the tension between the truth of it and
02:53 the ridiculousness of it makes us smile.
02:58 And if that's true there seems to be something awry with
03:04 human society, because there is a dark side
03:09 to our humor.
03:11 From Tom and Jerry to Jerry Seinfeld
03:15 you take a look at the things that we laugh at, you'll find
03:19 that there is a hint of pain.
03:22 Even little children enjoy watching cartoons that are very
03:28 How bad is it?
03:32 The psalmist says
03:34 In Psalm 51
03:38 and verse 5
03:48 In Jeremiah 17: 9, Jeremiah says:
04:01 Is this true?
04:03 Are we desperately wicked?
04:07 How bad is it?
04:10 It reminds me of an old story.
04:14 This story is told of
04:15 two brothers that terrorize the community,
04:19 they were gangsters, horrible, cruel men,
04:23 and they were so good at their trade, that they were able to
04:29 illude the police and really do much damage in their
04:34 Well, the story goes that one of these two brothers died.
04:38 Maybe in some altercation, as he was doing his deeds,
04:44 and the other brother came to the priest in the town, and sais
04:48 to the priest "Father, I'Id like you to do the funeral for
04:53 my brother, and I don't care really what you do, but some
04:57 time in that funeral I want you to call my brother a saint.
05:01 " So, the priest thinks about it for a little while and he sais:
05:07 "All right, I think I can do that" and so the day comes,
05:10 lo and behold there are many people there at the funeral
05:14 and the priest begins his message.
05:18 He says the man in the casket was a vicious and cruel man,
05:24 he was heartless and had no pity, in fact, this community
05:28 is better of without him,
05:31 but compared to his brother,
05:35 he is a saint.
05:37 Well, you know, the humor in that story
05:42 is that we all want to be saints,
05:48 but none of us are.
05:51 The Bible is clear,
05:54 in God' description, of who we are, it simply says: all have
05:59 sinned and and fallen short
06:02 of the glory of God.
06:03 We're all sinners, all of us, there's a seed of evil that
06:07 lurks within us, it is there from the time we have been born.
06:13 There's nothing we can do to remove it, in and of ourselves.
06:16 It is part of our genetic makeup, we inherited it from
06:20 our first parents and it remains with us.
06:24 We need someone else, to remove this from us.
06:30 Sometimes we think,
06:33 that the worst criminals, the child molesters,
06:37 the prostitutes, the alcoholics and the drug addicts, the serial
06:41 killers, the rapers, and all of those other hateless crimes,
06:46 those are really terrible, but, indeed we all have a hint
06:51 of that same evil.
06:53 Matter of fact, we don't have to look to such exotic crimes.
06:59 Lying, gossip, pride,
07:02 these will do.
07:05 If we are honest with ourselves, then we must admit
07:11 that the prophet Jeremiah is right.
07:13 The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked.
07:19 Even in the things that we laugh at, even in the things that we
07:22 find humor in.
07:24 It betrays the fact that there's something within,
07:28 something, something very dark within.
07:32 How bad is it?
07:36 How bad is sin and sinfulness?
07:40 For unless we understand the horror of sin, we can never
07:43 fully understand the beauty of God' grace.
07:48 And assurance that we have
07:51 in God, that He will not wait until we are good to save us.
07:58 But He will save us just as we are.
08:02 In order to understand God's grace, we must take a good look
08:06 at ourselves and our own sinfulness, so here's a first
08:11 What is sin?
08:13 The Bible tells us in
08:16 1st John
08:20 1st John chapter 3 and verse 4
08:35 Sin is totally against the Law,
08:39 it's disregarding or braking the Law.
08:45 Yet, sometimes, when we think about sin, we think that sin is
08:50 only a set of rules.
08:53 Rules that are only sometimes strictly enforced.
08:59 I remember I was speaking at Camp Meeting and they sent a
09:03 letter to all the pastors reminding them that the speed
09:06 limit of 25 mph through town was strictly enforced.
09:11 And I think sometimes, we imagine that God's Law is like
09:15 the speed limit sign.
09:18 We can brake God's law, if only we can get away with it
09:23 if only no one's looking or no one's watching us.
09:28 However, God's law is not like a speed limit sign.
09:33 God's Laws are real, they cannot easily be broken.
09:39 I remember a story that a professor once told me when
09:42 I was in school.
09:45 About a group of missionaries that came to a particular
09:48 group of islands in the Pacific and it just so happened
09:51 that the people of this island, the women would walk around
09:55 without any tops.
09:58 And so, the missionary wives did not think this was such a
10:02 good thing.
10:03 And so they decided that they would buy some shirts
10:07 and give them to the entire community.
10:11 The native women wanted to enjoy these gifts.
10:17 But, they really weren't used to such restrictions as
10:21 these shirts.
10:22 And so, on the day appointed they all arrived in church
10:26 to hear the preacher preach.
10:27 But all the women of the community down their shirts
10:31 but they cut large holes in the front of the shirts.
10:37 So here it was that these women were trying to follow the rules,
10:44 but yet did not fit into exactly what the missionary wives had
10:50 It's interesting because in that particular culture the lower leg
10:56 was a very sensual part of the body
10:59 and they didn't care about the top part of the body, but the
11:03 lower legs, were very sensual part of the body, and that time
11:06 just happens to be a time that women were wearing miniskirts
11:10 and short skirts, and even the missionary wives were wearing
11:14 short skirts.
11:15 And these women couldn't understand how these missionary
11:19 wives could be talking about such a great God and yet,
11:23 dress so immorally.
11:25 And so here we have two different rules, about modesty.
11:32 Is God's law like that?
11:34 Laws that can be altered and changed or maybe different in
11:39 different cultures and settings?
11:42 Or is God's law quite different?
11:46 The Bible says in Romans 6 it says:
12:02 You see, the Bible says: "when we were without strength"
12:06 it means that we were without the power to keep God's law.
12:10 And sometimes we think we have the power to keep God's law,
12:13 if we can just figure it out.
12:14 But that's not the case, we are without strength
12:18 we can not keep God's Law, because God's Law is real and
12:21 not arbitrary.
12:24 It's real like the law of magnetism that allows
12:28 the needle to always point towards the pole.
12:32 Like the law of gravity, that causes objects to come to this
12:37 You cannot ignore the needle and still find your way home.
12:42 You cannot walk off the premices, and still remain
12:46 in the air.
12:47 Those laws are real, and so are God's laws.
12:52 Sometimes we are giving the impression that God's laws are
12:56 like men's rules.
12:59 And so, you can brake God's law.
13:02 And God says I don't like that and what are you guys doing
13:06 and so, I'm gonna get you.
13:08 I'm gonna destroy you.
13:09 Because I don't like you braking my rules.
13:14 But God's law is not like that at all.
13:18 Listen to what the Scripture says in Galatians chapter 6
13:25 Galatians chapter 6 and verse 7:
13:28 Listen to what the scripture says about sin and sinfulness:
13:51 The one who sows in his sinful nature, he's gonna reap
13:56 And the one who sows in the spirit, he will reap everlasting
14:02 Let us read on:
14:03 The Bible says more in James chapter 1, this is what it says
14:06 in verse 15:
14:22 And we also know what Romans says, take a look at Romans
14:25 Romans chapter 8: 13
14:30 This is what Romans says:
14:48 You see, sin kills.
14:52 Sin is like poison.
14:55 God is not being arbitrary, you will die if you commit sin.
15:01 Of course we're all familiar with that verse in Romans 6: 23
15:07 Let me read it to you in J. P. Philips translation, this is
15:10 what it says:
15:16 Sin, my friends, kills, and we are powerless to do anything
15:19 about it.
15:20 Why, because God's laws are real, they are not arbitrary.
15:27 And braking God's laws always has real consequences,
15:32 like being bitten by that poisoned serpent,
15:38 The poison will rush through your body, and there's nothing
15:42 that you can do to stop it from going through your body
15:46 and doing It's destructive work.
15:49 What makes sin so terrible
15:53 is that we have chosen it.
15:55 We have chosen our own demise.
15:59 Sin is not so much God's fault at all,
16:03 but, it is our choice, it is moral and spiritual suicide.
16:07 Look around you, all the pain, destruction, all the death,
16:12 this things that you see, we have caused them.
16:15 The world and all of those? stand from our own misdeeds.
16:22 This is the nature of sin,
16:25 and it works within the heart of man.
16:29 We must see grace in light of our own wickedness.
16:32 God did not come to this planet
16:35 to save us because He had done something wrong.
16:40 He came here because we had chosen death.
16:47 We are savage and cruel,
16:52 and left to our own,
16:55 we would destroy ourselves.
16:58 But the beauty and the wonder and the majesty of God's grace
17:02 is that while we were without strength, while we were His
17:06 enemies, Christ died for us.
17:10 Romans 5 doesn't only imply that we were damaging ourselves,
17:16 it also implies that we have done damage to God.
17:20 Let's take a look to Romans 5 one more time, Romans 5: 10
17:24 it says:
17:36 We were God's enemies,
17:39 not only is the law real,
17:41 but when we brake God's Law we brake a love relationship
17:47 with God.
17:48 We become His enemies.
17:50 We becomes the ones not only hurting ourselves.
17:54 We are hurting the one who loves us the most.
17:58 God's grace reaches down to us while we were His enemies.
18:03 Notice please, we are God's enemies and God is not ours.
18:09 God's love for us
18:11 is demonstrated, that while we were still sinners,
18:17 Christ died for us.
18:18 A very powerful illustration of God's grace
18:24 comes from a film called "The Mission".
18:29 In this story,
18:31 the protagonist is a mercenary.
18:35 His name is Mendosa.
18:37 It is in the time of the colonization of the New World.
18:41 It is in South America where this story takes place.
18:44 And this mercenary is going through the jungles
18:48 of South America capturing the native people and taking them
18:52 back to the colony to be sold as slaves.
18:55 This is the kind of man he is.
18:57 At the very beginning of the film he gets into an altercation
19:01 with his brother and he kills his own brother.
19:03 And it snaps something in him and he realizes just how
19:07 terrible a person he is.
19:10 Well, the priests come through the little colony and they
19:14 find out about this man.
19:16 And they go to him and they say that he can be forgiven
19:20 and restored.
19:22 But the man must choose his own penance, and so this is
19:25 what he decides that he will do.
19:28 He decides that he will follow these missionaries,
19:31 these priests, through the jungles of South America.
19:37 And become their servant
19:41 he would do this while he had a heavy burden
19:46 strapped to his back.
19:48 A burden of armor, that old Spanish, conquistadorian armor.
19:54 And so, the scene is
19:57 this man struggling through the jungles,
20:00 following these priests to go to a mission village
20:04 where they had built a church and these priests were
20:07 ministering to the native people.
20:10 To get to this mission, you had to climb the face of this
20:17 that was the only way to get up and so in a very dramatic moment
20:21 this man is tethered to the other missionaries, but he's
20:25 climbing with this heavy burden on his back and he climbs
20:29 so high and then falls, and batters his body against
20:37 the rocks and bruises his body against the jagged edges of
20:40 the rocks, and he begins to climb again a little higher
20:43 he never falls all the way because he's tethered to this
20:46 other missionaries, but he falls again, just a little ways,
20:50 and he crushes his body against the rocks some more, and his
20:53 body is becoming bloody,
20:56 he is just exhausted as he climbs this face of this
21:02 waterfall. The water is just cascading down and the rocks are
21:05 very slippery, he climbs a little way and he falls, and he
21:10 falls, and this continues for a long time.
21:13 The missionaries actually get to the very-top and are welcomed
21:16 by the villagers and it's like a celebration, this man is still
21:20 making his way up, finally he gets to the very-top,
21:23 And he crawls over the edge,
21:26 and the water is cascading on one side of him, and he is
21:29 thoroughly exhausted.
21:30 His hair is mudded with blood and sweat and water,
21:36 and his whole body is shaking from exhaustion.
21:42 And at that moment everything stops.
21:47 The son of the chief of this village,
21:51 grabs a knife, that's laying on a rock and runs out to this man.
21:58 He grabs him by the hair and holds the knife under his
22:05 throat. And then he begins to speak on his own native
22:07 language. You don't know what he's saying, but you can imagine
22:11 what he's saying.
22:12 He is saying this is the man who has made us afraid to walk
22:15 in our country.
22:16 This is the man who is coming to our country and stole away
22:20 our fathers and our sons.
22:22 This is the man who has made us afraid to walk around and live
22:27 as we once have.
22:28 This is the man who has ruined our lives.
22:32 And so you can see him there with the knife underneath
22:35 Mendoza's throat.
22:36 And, in a very dramatic moment in the scene
22:43 he reaches behind,
22:47 and cuts the straps that hold this man's burden and this
22:51 big, heavy satchel of armor rolls off this man's back
22:55 and falls over the waterfall, and then the entire village
22:59 comes in, and they begin to laugh, and they begin to welcome
23:02 this man, and this man begins to cry.
23:06 And his life from that moment has been changed.
23:12 It is an incredible picture of grace.
23:19 For grace is when the weapon that should've been used
23:23 to take your life,
23:25 is used to set you free.
23:30 Oh, my friend,
23:33 we need to understand just how bad it is.
23:38 The Bible says that while we were God's enemies, while we
23:43 were sinful, that's when he came
23:46 to rescue us.
23:48 To die for us.
23:50 And the beauty of grace is that if God would come to rescue us
23:55 while we were His enemies
23:58 certainly we can be assured that He will take us to the kingdom
24:03 to live with him forever.
24:06 We can be safe and secure.
24:12 One more thing.
24:15 The Bible says in Romans 10-11:
24:34 We have been reconciled while we were enemies.
24:38 The word there, in the Greek, that's translated reconciled
24:43 is "catalaso".
24:45 And it means to exchange one thing for another.
24:50 The Bible is saying we can rejoice because the exchange
24:55 has already been made.
24:58 We don't have to wait to shout.
25:01 We can shout right now because the exchange has already
25:06 been made.
25:07 Christ's righteousness for our sinfulness.
25:11 Christ's life, for our death.
25:14 Christ's glory for our ignomy.
25:17 the exchange has already been made.
25:21 And because we have been reconciled, while we were
25:27 We need not fear,
25:30 to think that maybe, possibly, God wouldn't love us enough,
25:35 to keep us in that saving relationship with Him.
25:41 We can be safe and secure.
25:46 How bad is it?
25:50 It is never bad enough.
25:54 But that God's grace, can reach us where we are.
25:59 There is no need to fear,
26:03 there is no need to worry whether we're in the kingdom
26:07 or not, whether I'm good enough or not, the exchange has already
26:12 been made, Halleluiah.
26:14 While we were helpless, while we were powerless, fully sold
26:19 out to sin,
26:21 that's when Christ came.
26:25 That's when He died.
26:27 That's when He gave His life for us.
26:32 Grace is ours while we are God's enemies.
26:40 And if He accepts us, while we're His enemies,
26:44 Certainly, when we have entered into a love relationship
26:48 with Him,
26:49 He will keep us, his promise never to leave us nor to forsake
26:55 We can be sure,
26:58 we can be confident,
27:02 that we are safe and secure.
27:05 The love of God, the grace of God,
27:10 abounds far beyond our sinfulness,
27:15 Thrust God, thrust Him today,
27:20 and live a life at peace, with Him.
27:24 Because, you have been reconciled by the blood
27:27 of Christ.
27:30 Let's pray.
27:32 Gracious heavenly Father,
27:34 we recognize our own sinfulness.
27:37 We are born in sin, shapen in iniquity, but now you have come
27:41 to free us from sin,
27:43 even when we're stained and bloodied in sin.
27:46 We thank you for this, Lord we thank you.
27:49 We pray this in Jesus' name.