Adventist Virtual Global Camp Meeting

Grace Vs Legalism

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript



Series Code: AVGC

Program Code: AVGC210015S

00:01 Music...
00:04 Hello, I'm Jill Morikone
00:06 and I'm so glad that you have tuned in
00:08 to the Adventist Virtual Global Camp Meeting.
00:11 My message for this keynote Presentation is entitled:
00:14 Grace versus Legalism.
00:16 I want to start with three questions for you.
00:19 Are we saved by who we are or by what we do?
00:23 Are you saved by who you are or by what you do?
00:27 Or... maybe it's neither.
00:29 If "works" don't save us,
00:31 what role do they play in the life of a Christian?
00:35 And how do I know if I have become legalistic?
00:39 You see, Work says, "What I do has bearing on who I am... "
00:45 Grace says, "Who I am has bearing on what I do. "
00:49 Works say, "Actions are more important than motive. "
00:53 Grace says, "Motive informs my actions. "
00:57 Works say, "I am what other people perceive me to be. "
01:03 Grace says, "I am who God says I am. "
01:07 We're talking today about the seven dangers of legalism
01:11 and then, we're going to counter-balance that
01:14 with the seven developments of grace.
01:17 Let's pray,
01:19 "Holy Father, we come before You in the name of Jesus
01:22 and I thank you for Your Word and that Your Word is anointed
01:25 and then it comes alive
01:26 and I ask right now for the anointing of Your Holy Spirit
01:30 that You would give us ears to hear
01:33 and a heart to receive the message from Your Word
01:37 and we ask this in Jesus' name, amen. "
01:41 It was a Monday night
01:43 and Monday nights for probably five or six years of my life...
01:47 Monday nights were spent at our local jail
01:50 giving Bible Studies to the women there.
01:52 We always went in a small block... cell block room
01:56 and there were no chairs there.
01:58 The girls would sit four across on the desk...
02:00 they would line the wall...
02:02 they would sit cross-legged on the floor
02:04 and this particular night, I asked them a question.
02:06 I said, "What one word would someone else use
02:10 to describe you?"
02:11 And so, the girl on my left... she was always given to talking,
02:15 and she'd be the first one... if you asked a question,
02:17 she'd be the first one to speak and she said,
02:19 oh she said, "My friends would call me 'mouthy... '"
02:22 and she definitely was mouthy.
02:23 So, they laughed and we went around the circle.
02:25 Fun loving... loud... quiet... pretty... boisterous...
02:30 funny... sweet... nice.
02:33 Then all of a sudden, I said, "This is Question Number Two. "
02:38 "What one word would you use to describe yourself?"
02:43 Instantly, the atmosphere in the room changed.
02:46 I looked at the girl who had been so eager to talk before...
02:49 the one who said... her friends would describe her as "mouthy"
02:52 and she looked up at me
02:55 and I was surprised at the pain in her eyes...
02:57 I hadn't even seen that before.
02:59 She said, "Depressed... "
03:01 and then she dropped her eyes and looked at the floor.
03:04 We went around the circle again
03:07 but this time, the words were vastly different.
03:11 "Confused... " "Lonely... "
03:13 "Afraid... "
03:15 "Angry... "
03:17 "Broken. "
03:18 I discovered that night that the girls in jail
03:23 are not very different from you and I.
03:26 You know why?
03:28 Many times as Christians, we put on a mask.
03:33 We put on a mask of righteousness
03:36 or a mask of self-righteousness.
03:38 We put on a mask of,
03:39 "This is the way a Seventh-day Adventist Christian
03:43 is supposed to live or eat or dress or act.
03:47 This is what I am supposed to do.
03:50 This is how I am supposed to live...
03:53 this is who I am supposed to be... "
03:56 and we wear a mask
03:58 and other people perceive us a certain way.
04:01 But we might not be that way inside.
04:04 We might be broken...
04:06 we might be lonely...
04:07 we might be afraid...
04:09 we might be feeling empty inside.
04:12 I'm so grateful that our Father never looks at us
04:16 through the lens of someone else.
04:18 He never looks at us through the lens
04:20 through which we view ourselves.
04:22 After all, our Father's opinion of us
04:24 is the only thing that really matters.
04:26 Jeremiah 31 verse 3, He says, "I've loved you
04:29 with an everlasting love:
04:31 therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you. "
04:35 God looks at us with love.
04:37 John 6:37... He says, "Whoever comes to Me,
04:39 I will never cast out. "
04:42 God looks at you with acceptance.
04:45 Romans 8:15...
04:47 "You have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear;
04:51 but you received the Spirit of adoption,
04:54 by which we cry out, 'Abba... daddy... '
04:57 Father... "
04:58 God looks at you as His son or His daughter.
05:03 You know, legalism is really a trap
05:06 I think for many different denominations
05:08 especially for the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
05:11 Could we be thinking that we are saved by grace
05:15 yet we still cling to works for salvation?
05:17 You know, in Jeremiah 17:9 says this...
05:20 tells us that the heart is deceitful above all things,
05:24 and desperately wicked:
05:26 who can know it?
05:28 How can we even know our own hearts?
05:32 I think of the letter...
05:35 the epistle to the Galatian believers...
05:37 this is Paul writing the book of Galatians
05:38 and if you read Galatians,
05:40 much of the controversy in the Galatian church...
05:43 the early Christian church
05:45 was over whether Gentile Christians
05:47 needed to be circumcised in order to be saved.
05:51 Now, you and I look at that and say,
05:53 "What does that have anything to do with us today?"
05:55 but the principle remains the same.
05:57 Do "works" add something to our salvation before Christ?
06:03 Are we saved by grace...
06:05 then we have to add "works" to it
06:07 or are we just saved by grace?
06:09 In Galatians 3 verse 1, Paul says,
06:12 "Oh, foolish Galatians... "
06:13 now... in Greek, "foolish" is kind of a strong word
06:16 but in... in English its kind of a strong word
06:19 but in Greek, it's really strong.
06:20 It says: mindless or stupid.
06:22 "Oh stupid or mindless Galatians... "
06:25 verse 3, "having begun in the Spirit,
06:28 are you now made perfect in the flesh?"
06:32 meaning... you understood
06:34 and you knew that you were saved by grace through faith
06:37 and now, all of a sudden, do you think you need works
06:40 to augment that salvation?
06:43 Galatians 5 verse 4, to me is very sad.
06:47 It says, "You have become estranged from Christ. "
06:50 What is that word?
06:51 That word means: separated.
06:53 We have become separated from Christ...
06:56 who? "You who attempt to be justified by law...
07:00 you have fallen from grace. "
07:03 You know, we are all in need of divine grace.
07:06 Isaiah 64 tells us that all our righteousness
07:10 is as filthy rags.
07:12 My nephew, Caleb, when he was only two years old,
07:16 I remember he threw a full-blown temper tantrum
07:19 which was amazing.
07:20 He was on the floor
07:21 and you've seen a toddler with a temper tantrum, I'm sure.
07:24 His little arms flailing out
07:28 and tears running down his cheeks...
07:30 his legs kicking
07:32 and in the midst of all of this temper tantrum,
07:34 I could hear him screaming, "Jesus, help me be good...
07:38 Jesus... help me be good. "
07:41 You see, even a two-year old child
07:44 recognizes that we can't do it on our own.
07:48 We grit our teeth and try harder to be good
07:52 but our righteousness is as filthy rags.
07:56 Before we get to the seven dangers of legalism,
07:59 I want to just set up a couple of definitions
08:02 for legalism for you.
08:03 First of all, legalism is not obedience.
08:07 I want to be very clear at that from the outset
08:09 because you might be thinking, "Okay, Jill's saying we throw
08:12 works out... we throw that out...
08:14 we don't need that. " No...
08:16 Legalism is not obedience...
08:18 we will get to obedience later
08:19 but it really has nothing to do with legalism.
08:22 Legalism is works-based salvation.
08:25 It's being concerned with keeping the law
08:28 as an end in itself
08:29 or as a means to salvation.
08:31 Legalism is Christless law keeping.
08:35 It is separating the law from the Lawgiver.
08:38 It's not concerned with obedience to God
08:40 or honoring Christ.
08:41 It simply seeks to obey rules devoid of any relationship.
08:47 Legalism is externally motivated.
08:50 It is externally driven.
08:52 It's concerned with an external obedience
08:55 instead of an inward change.
08:57 It's concerned about the letter of the law
08:59 while it violates the spirit of the law entirely.
09:03 Legalism is adding our own rules to the law of God
09:07 and treating those rules as divine.
09:10 Jesus said in Matthew 15 verse 7, 8 and 9...
09:14 Matthew 15:8 and 9,
09:15 "These people... they draw near me with their mouth,
09:18 and honor me with their lips;
09:21 but their heart... it's far from me.
09:24 In vain do they worship me,
09:26 teaching as doctrines the commandments of men. "
09:30 The Legalist takes a commandment of man...
09:34 a man-made rule
09:36 and elevates it to the level of divine.
09:40 Legalism is an attempt to gain favor with God
09:43 or to impress other people by doing certain things
09:47 or avoiding other behaviors
09:50 without regard to the condition of our own heart before God.
09:54 Legalism is rooted in pride.
09:57 So, what are the seven dangers of legalism?
10:00 I'm going to give you the seven
10:01 and then we'll go back and unpack each one of them.
10:03 Number 1: The Danger of an Unconverted Heart.
10:06 Number 2: The Danger of a False Assurance of Salvation.
10:10 Number 3: The Danger of Pride.
10:13 Number 4: The Danger of Judging or a Judgmental Spirit.
10:19 Number 5: The Danger of Hard-Heartedness.
10:23 Number 6: The Danger of Hindering
10:27 Someone Else's Salvation.
10:29 Number 7: The Danger of Inconsistency.
10:33 So, let's unpack them.
10:35 Danger Number 1... the seven dangers of legalism,
10:38 Number 1: The Danger of an Unconverted Heart.
10:41 Turn with me to the book of Luke chapter 11.
10:44 When you read Luke 11, you find a whole passage here
10:47 called: Woes to the Scribes and Pharisees
10:50 and if you were to look in Jesus' day
10:53 at who the legalists were,
10:54 they were most certainly the Scribes and Pharisees.
10:57 So, we're in Luke 11...
10:59 let's pick it up in verses 37 through 40.
11:02 "As He spoke... " that's as Jesus spoke...
11:04 "A certain Pharisee asked Him to dine with him.
11:08 So He went in and sat down to eat.
11:10 When the Pharisee saw it,
11:12 he marveled that He had not first washed before dinner. "
11:16 Now, this is not the washing you and I would do
11:18 to make sure our hands are clean...
11:20 this is a ceremonial washing...
11:22 it's not physical cleanliness.
11:24 "Then the Lord said to him, 'Now you Pharisees make
11:26 the outside of the cup and dish clean,
11:29 but the inward part is full of greed and wickedness.
11:33 Foolish ones!
11:34 Did not He who make the outside make the inside also?"
11:39 You see, we can look clean but still be dirty.
11:43 We can look holy but still be sinful.
11:47 We can look righteous while still being unconverted.
11:51 I believe that Jesus had conflict with the legalists
11:55 more than any other group when He walked this earth.
11:58 You see, it wasn't the murderers who put Him on the cross.
12:01 It wasn't the robbers who put Him on the cross.
12:03 It wasn't the adulterers or the thieves
12:06 who put Him on the cross.
12:07 It was the Legalists.
12:09 Now, I want to be clear here...
12:10 all our sins brought Jesus to the cross.
12:14 So, in that sense, yes...
12:15 everyone's sin put Jesus on the cross.
12:18 I get that...
12:20 but the ones who were shouting "Crucify Him... "
12:22 the ones who wanted Him to die... it was the Legalists.
12:29 Why did Jesus deliberately do things
12:33 while He walked this earth
12:35 to expose the Legalists?
12:37 You know, when I look at it and when I study it,
12:39 you see that He healed on the Sabbath.
12:41 Well, He clearly could have healed on a different day
12:43 and it wouldn't have made the Legalists so upset.
12:46 You see that in this case,
12:47 He ignored their ceremonial hand washing and purification
12:51 while He could have just gone along with the crowd, but no...
12:54 He blasted them for their hypocrisy.
12:57 I think He deliberately did things
12:59 because He wanted to save them too
13:02 because He came to seek and to save the lost
13:06 and that is not just the adulterers...
13:08 that is not just the thieves...
13:10 that is not just the murderers...
13:12 that is the Legalists.
13:14 So, Danger Number 1 is the danger an unconverted heart.
13:16 Danger Number 2 is the danger of a false assurance
13:20 of salvation.
13:21 This is believing that your works
13:25 will somehow merit or earn favor
13:28 or salvation with God.
13:30 You know, I grew up in a Christian home.
13:33 I grew up in a Seventh-day Adventist home.
13:35 I was born into a Seventh-day Adventist home
13:38 and I was baptized as a Seventh-day Adventist.
13:41 What is amazing to me... and I have Godly parents...
13:45 the reason I'm a Christian today is because of my parents
13:47 so, this is not a criticism but when I was young,
13:51 my parents... my home... was legalistic.
13:55 My parents at that time had not fully met Jesus...
13:58 that's why my home was legalistic.
13:59 I remember I was 19 years old
14:02 back from a Seventh-day Adventist school...
14:04 19 years old
14:06 in church... closing hymn...
14:09 everybody is standing... the organ is playing...
14:12 and the hymn was: My life of scarlet...
14:15 my sin and woe...
14:17 cover with His life...
14:19 whiter than snow
14:22 and I still remember it to this day
14:24 stopping singing...
14:25 holding the hymnal looking up and saying,
14:27 "You mean it's not on me...
14:29 you mean that Jesus can cover me?
14:33 That His righteousness will cover my sin?"
14:38 I had spent 19 years of my life
14:41 believing that I had to be better...
14:44 I had to become good...
14:46 I had to somehow keep the commandments
14:49 and somehow earn favor with God
14:52 that He would look at me kindly
14:56 and want to save me.
14:58 Danger Number 2 is the danger of a false assurance
15:01 of salvation.
15:02 We know... Ephesians 2... I love this...
15:05 Paul's treaties on salvation Ephesians 2:8 through 10.
15:09 "By grace you have been saved through faith,
15:12 and that not of yourselves;
15:14 it is the gift of God,
15:15 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
15:18 We are His workmanship,
15:20 created in Christ Jesus for good works,
15:23 which God prepared beforehand
15:25 that we should walk in them. "
15:27 Did you catch that?
15:28 Grace is a gift...
15:30 faith is a gift...
15:31 salvation is a gift
15:33 and yes, even works... good works...
15:36 they are a gift from God.
15:38 Danger Number 3... The Danger of Pride...
15:40 we're still in Luke... we're jumping over to Luke chapter 18.
15:43 So, turn over there to Luke 18.
15:45 This is a parable... and you notice that most of the parables
15:49 that Jesus told answered a question
15:51 and dealt with an attitude.
15:53 Luke 18 verse 9.
15:55 He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves
15:58 that they were righteous
16:00 yet they despised others.
16:03 Jump down to verse 11,
16:05 "The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself,
16:08 'God, I thank You that I am not like other men...
16:12 extortioners, unjust, adulterers,
16:14 or even as a tax collector. "
16:16 I fast twice a week;
16:18 I give tithes of everything I possess. '"
16:21 It reminds me actually... the danger of pride
16:24 of my sister and I when we were very young in church
16:27 in those frilly dresses and ribbons in our hair.
16:30 I remember church members walking in
16:32 and they would look at my sister and I
16:34 sitting in the pew so demurely and they would say,
16:36 "And how are the Penny angels doing today?"
16:40 You see "Penny" was our maiden name
16:42 and we would smile sweetly and say,
16:45 "We're doing well... Happy Sabbath... "
16:48 and then as soon as the person turned away,
16:50 my sister would kick me underneath the pew
16:53 or I would elbow her in the ribs
16:55 and we would continue our own private war
16:58 until the next person walked up and would say,
17:01 "How are the Penny angels today?"
17:02 And we would say, "We are fine... Happy Sabbath"
17:05 and they would turn around
17:07 and then, my sister and I would continue whatever argument
17:10 we had going on that morning.
17:12 The danger of pride.
17:14 Danger Number 4: The Danger of Judging.
17:19 Remember John chapter 8,
17:21 the woman who was caught in the very act of adultery.
17:25 She was dragged and thrown at the feet of Jesus.
17:28 Now, the Scribes and the Pharisees
17:30 and all of those people
17:32 who thought that they were better than her
17:36 had thrown her at Jesus' feet
17:39 to make a public spectacle of her.
17:42 You see, we have little tolerance for people
17:45 who sin differently than we do.
17:49 2nd Corinthians 10:12,
17:50 Paul puts it this way,
17:52 "But they, measuring themselves among themselves,
17:55 and comparing themselves by themselves, are not wise. "
18:00 The danger of judging.
18:02 Danger Number 5: The Danger of Hard-Heartedness.
18:06 We're in Luke... let's look at Luke chapter 10.
18:10 Luke chapter 10...
18:11 this is of course the parable of the good Samaritan
18:13 and we see the attitude...
18:15 remember parables answer a question
18:17 and deal with an attitude.
18:19 The attitude here is self-righteousness
18:21 and it's also hard heartedness.
18:24 Remember the lawyer said,
18:26 "What shall I do to inherit eternal life?"
18:28 And Jesus gave this thing.
18:29 "And then the lawyer said... " verse 29...
18:32 we're in Luke 10 verse 29...
18:34 "But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus,
18:38 'And who is my neighbor?'
18:40 And Jesus answered... "
18:42 now, in English it's very tame but in Greek, it's not so tame,
18:44 it says, "took up"
18:46 so, Jesus took up the challenge
18:48 that the lawyer laid down to Him.
18:51 And He said, "A certain man
18:53 went down from Jerusalem to Jericho. "
18:55 If you've ever been to the Middle East...
18:57 ever been to Israel,
18:58 you will know that clearly you go down
19:00 from Jerusalem to Jericho.
19:03 It's a distance of 18 miles but it drops in elevation
19:07 3,000 feet from Jerusalem all the way down to Jericho
19:12 and what happened?
19:13 He fell among thieves
19:14 and they stripped him of his clothing... wounded him
19:16 and departed... leaving him half dead.
19:18 "Now, by chance, a certain priest came down that road.
19:23 And when he saw him,
19:24 he passed by on the other side. "
19:27 The danger of hard-heartedness.
19:30 The priest passed by on the other side
19:35 and did not have compassion.
19:36 "Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place,
19:39 came and looked, and passed by on the other side. "
19:42 Hard-heartedness...
19:44 let's see this man... "Okay... "
19:46 passed by on the other side.
19:48 "But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed,
19:52 came where he was.
19:53 And when he saw him, he had compassion. "
19:55 Now, the Samaritans were looked down on by the Jews.
19:58 The Priest and the Levite would be the upper echelons
20:01 of the Jewish society.
20:03 They were the good guys.
20:04 They were the ones in power...
20:06 they were the ones who knew the law of God.
20:09 They were the ones who were supposed to represent Jesus...
20:12 represent the Law and what happened?
20:15 They had hard-heartedness because they were legalistic
20:20 and it was a Samaritan...
20:21 it was the outcast.
20:23 It was the one that they turned their noses down at...
20:26 he was the one who demonstrated compassion.
20:29 Danger Number 6:
20:31 This one, to me, is the saddest of all the dangers.
20:33 Number 6:
20:35 The Danger of Hindering Someone Else's Salvation.
20:39 Turn over one chapter to Luke chapter 11...
20:42 we were in 10... just turn over to Luke 11 verse 52,
20:45 "Woe to you lawyers!
20:48 For you have taken away the key of knowledge. "
20:50 Or the key of salvation...
20:52 "You did not enter in yourselves,
20:55 and those who were entering in you hindered. "
20:59 You see, this concept of Legalism will not...
21:02 if... if you hold on to Legalism in your heart,
21:06 it will not just cost you your salvation...
21:09 it could be the means of causing one of your brothers
21:14 or sisters to stumble
21:16 or causing them... or keeping them back
21:19 from entering into the kingdom of God.
21:22 Your example... my example...
21:25 my legalistic spirit and attitude
21:28 can be the means of costing someone else's salvation.
21:33 The danger of hindering someone else's salvation.
21:36 Finally, Danger number 7.
21:38 The danger of Inconsistency.
21:41 Luke 11 verse 46,
21:44 "And He said, 'Woe to you also, lawyers!
21:47 For you load men with burdens hard to bear,
21:50 and yet, you yourselves do not touch those burdens
21:53 with even one of your little finger. "
21:56 It's a double standard saying, "Okay, do what I do...
21:59 do what I say but don't do what I do. "
22:04 I'm so grateful that this message doesn't end here.
22:09 I'm so grateful that we're not shown our hearts
22:13 from the Word of God
22:15 and then God says, "Okay, you're a Legalistic...
22:17 go walk off and do it. "
22:18 No... I'm so grateful
22:20 that Romans 5:20... turn to Romans...
22:23 we're going to spend most of the rest of our time
22:25 in the book of Romans... Romans 5:20...
22:27 I'm grateful that where sin abounded...
22:30 yes, this is the sin of the adulterer
22:32 and the sin of the murderer
22:33 and the sin of the homosexual...
22:35 yes... but this is also the sin of the Legalist.
22:38 "Where sin abounded, grace abounded much more,
22:41 so that as sin reigned in death,
22:44 even so grace might reign through righteousness
22:48 to eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. "
22:52 So, what does grace lead us to?
22:54 It leads us to the seven developments of grace.
22:58 I'm going to tell you what they are and then we'll unpack them.
23:00 Seven developments of grace.
23:02 Number 1: Repentance...
23:04 Number 2: Forgiveness and Justification...
23:07 Number 3: Salvation...
23:09 Number 4: Growth...
23:12 Number 5: Holiness and Obedience...
23:16 Number 6: Love and forgiveness for Others...
23:19 Number 7: Motivation for Service...
23:22 so let's look at that.
23:23 The freedom in grace...
23:25 Grace leads us to Number 1: Repentance.
23:28 Romans 2... we were in Romans 5, jump back a couple of chapters,
23:32 to Romans 2 verse 4,
23:34 "Do you despise the riches of His goodness,
23:37 forbearance, and longsuffering,
23:39 not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?"
23:44 You see, when you and I were steeped in sin...
23:48 when you and I were wallowing in our mud in filth and junk,
23:53 we had our back turned to the Father.
23:56 What happened?
23:58 God demonstrated His own love for us.
24:02 This is Romans 5 verse 8.
24:03 "In that while we were still sinners... "
24:07 the Greek says: yet even now.
24:10 While we were still walking in sin,
24:11 Christ... He died for you...
24:16 while we were still in sin, He died for us.
24:20 You see, grace leads us to repentance.
24:24 We can't conjure up repentance ourselves.
24:28 We can't make that happen.
24:30 We can't create repentance.
24:33 What happens?
24:34 It is a gift of God.
24:36 It is the first gift of grace that He extends to us
24:40 is the gift of repentance
24:42 but it doesn't stop there.
24:44 It leads to Number 2: Grace leads to forgiveness
24:47 and justification.
24:49 1st John 1:9, If we confess our sins,
24:52 He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins
24:56 and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. "
25:00 Cleanse us from unrighteousness.
25:03 Romans 3... I love this...
25:06 Ephesians 2 is the great treaties of salvation
25:09 but Romans 3 is... is the next best one...
25:11 they're both equal in my opinion.
25:13 Romans 3 verses 23 to 26,
25:15 "For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God,
25:21 being justified freely by His grace. "
25:25 How are we justified?
25:27 "Freely by His grace... " so, let's stop a moment.
25:30 You notice that passage started with, "All have sinned
25:33 and fallen short of the glory of God.
25:35 Romans chapter 1 deals with the sins of the Gentiles.
25:41 These would be the sins of the heathen...
25:43 the sins of the pagans...
25:45 those who do not know God...
25:47 those who worship the creature instead of the Creator.
25:50 You see, this entire list of sins in Romans 1
25:53 and they get worse and worse.
25:55 It's like a degenerate list and you can see
25:57 humanity really lives in Romans chapter 1.
26:00 Now, Paul... in hoping that the Jews would not feel left out,
26:06 in Romans chapter 2, he brings it to the church...
26:08 in that case... the Jews
26:09 but you and I would be brought down to the church
26:11 and say, "Wait a minute... "
26:13 you're not left out from this and here specifically
26:16 are your sins...
26:17 by the time we get to Romans 3,
26:20 Paul is very clear that all have sinned
26:22 and fallen short of the glory of God.
26:24 We are all in need of a Savior.
26:26 Every single one of us
26:28 have committed sin against the Father.
26:30 We are all in need of a Savior.
26:31 We are justified freely by His grace.
26:35 We're in Romans 3:23...
26:37 "through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,
26:41 whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood. "
26:45 So, let's stop just a second here,
26:47 that word "propitiation" literally means Mercy Seat.
26:50 If you're familiar at all with the sanctuary service,
26:54 you know in the Most Holy Place is... what?
26:56 The Ark of the Covenant.
26:58 In the Ark is the Ten Commandments.
27:01 This is God's Law...
27:03 His Law is holy, just and good.
27:04 His Law is righteous.
27:06 His Law is perfect.
27:07 His Law is pure.
27:09 Wow! Can I live up to that?
27:12 His Law is perfect... it is in the Ark
27:15 and over the Ark... the lid of that Ark of the Covenant
27:20 is what they call the Mercy Seat.
27:22 And remember the would come in once a year
27:26 and sprinkle the blood over the Mercy Seat.
27:28 What does that represent?
27:30 We see the holiness... the perfection...
27:33 the character of God in that Ark... this is His Law
27:36 and yet the blood of Jesus covers that
27:40 and it's like that buffer between us and the Law.
27:44 So, when you read this again and you understand that,
27:47 it makes such a difference to me in this passage.
27:50 "We are justified freely by His grace
27:53 through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. "
27:55 That's talking about the blood of Jesus
27:57 "whom God set forth. "
27:59 Who did God set forth? Jesus.
28:01 So, Jesus is to be the propitiation...
28:04 literally it means: Mercy Seat.
28:05 Jesus is the Mercy Seat by His blood
28:08 through faith for you and I.
28:10 In other words, here is God in His holiness...
28:14 this is the Law... or this is that perfection
28:15 and here is you and I as sinners on this side.
28:17 Jesus... as the Mercy Seat
28:20 comes between the Law and you and I
28:23 and He says, "My blood would justify...
28:26 My blood will forgive...
28:29 My blood will cleanse...
28:31 My blood will bring you back into right relationship with me
28:36 so that you can come in the presence of the Father
28:40 as if you have never sinned.
28:42 That is justification.
28:44 Grace leads to Number 3: Salvation.
28:47 We already read this, let's read it again,
28:50 Ephesians 2:8 through 10,
28:51 "For by grace you have been saved through faith...
28:52 that not of yourselves; it's the gift of God,
28:55 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
28:59 For we are His workmanship,
29:01 created in Christ Jesus...
29:03 which God prepared beforehand
29:05 that we... we should walk in them. "
29:07 So, grace leads to repentance.
29:09 Grace leads to forgiveness and justification.
29:12 Grace leads to salvation.
29:13 Now, grace does not stop there,
29:15 you see, I think we have two ditches in the church.
29:19 We have one ditch where people say, "I need to work harder...
29:23 I need to be better...
29:25 I need to do something... act some way... "
29:27 whatever... you fill in the blank...
29:30 this is the Legalist over here in order to earn God's favor...
29:35 in order to earn salvation.
29:37 On the other side, we have people here
29:39 who say, "Grace... it covers everything...
29:42 Grace will cover my sin... " and yes it does.
29:45 Grace will save me... and yes it does.
29:48 But they stop there
29:50 and they don't get to the other developments of grace.
29:53 They say, "Grace brings repentance. "
29:56 Praise the Lord,
29:57 grace brings forgiveness and justification...
30:00 praise the Lord.
30:01 Grace... it brings salvation.
30:04 Absolutely...
30:05 but outgrowth Number 4...
30:07 Grace... it leads to growth.
30:10 If you are truly walking in grace...
30:13 if you have experienced Jesus for yourself...
30:17 if you are saved... you are going to grow.
30:20 You cannot help it... you are going to grow.
30:23 We're in 2nd Peter 3 verse 18...
30:26 "But grow in grace
30:27 and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
30:30 Now, did you catch that?
30:31 There are two areas that we are to grow in.
30:34 Some Christians only grow in knowledge.
30:36 Have you met a Christian like that?
30:38 "Oh... they bother me. "
30:40 "Oh, well the Word of God says this... "
30:42 "Oh, well this is what the Greek says... "
30:44 "Oh, well... the Hebrew says this... "
30:46 "Oh, but you'd better be following what the Word says. "
30:48 And yes, we are to grow in knowledge.
30:51 Absolutely.
30:53 Those people... I call: Cerebral Infidels...
30:56 meaning... their mind works well
30:59 and they can understand the Word of God
31:01 but they have never experienced Jesus.
31:04 They have never met Him.
31:06 They don't know what it's like to walk with Him
31:10 and to talk with Him
31:12 and to love Him.
31:14 We need to grow in knowledge, yes,
31:16 but we are also called to grow in grace.
31:22 Grace leads to growth
31:24 both in grace... in character development
31:27 and in knowledge.
31:29 Grace also leads to holiness.
31:32 I love this... Romans 6...
31:35 let's look at Romans 6 verses 1 and 2,
31:38 "What shall we say then?
31:40 Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?
31:43 Certainly not...
31:45 King James says, "God forbid. "
31:46 Now, many times, we might not like to read that passage,
31:50 we say, "Well, Paul says that we're all in grace. "
31:52 Absolutely... we are in grace.
31:54 But grace does not give us a license for sin.
31:58 "Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?
32:01 Certainly not!
32:03 How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?"
32:09 So, how in the world are we supposed to walk in holiness?
32:12 How do you walk in holiness?
32:14 This is always the challenge in my life.
32:16 How do you walk in holiness
32:18 without it degenerating back into legalism?
32:21 I don't want to walk in legalism,
32:23 I don't want to go there
32:24 and yet, God calls me to walk in holiness...
32:28 to grow in grace.
32:30 How am I supposed to do that?
32:33 I think the difference is in the Master
32:37 that we choose to serve.
32:38 That makes all the difference.
32:40 Let's look at Romans chapter 6.
32:42 I think this is a really powerful passage.
32:44 Romans chapter 6
32:46 verse 16...
32:50 "Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves
32:52 slaves to obey,
32:53 you are that one's slaves whom you obey,
32:56 whether of sin leading to death
32:59 or of obedience leading to righteousness?"
33:02 Did you catch that?
33:04 That means, in the morning, when you wake up,
33:06 you can say, "Yes God, I want to follow You.
33:07 I want to give You my heart. "
33:09 Or you can say, "No, I'm doing my own thing,
33:11 I'm going my own way...
33:13 I don't want to walk with You just yet. "
33:17 And when we make a choice,
33:19 "Yes God, I want You to live in Me... "
33:21 what happens?
33:23 If you flip over one chapter, Romans chapter 7 is amazing.
33:25 This is that whole conflict in the Christian's life
33:28 and what is that conflict?
33:29 That conflict is: Okay, I know I'm supposed to do this,
33:32 this is righteous,
33:33 but I don't want to do it, I want to do this over here...
33:35 and what I know I am not supposed to do...
33:38 those are the things that I'm doing.
33:39 This is the conflict... the struggle in the Christian's life
33:43 between the flesh and the spirit
33:45 and Romans 7:17 says,
33:48 "It is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. "
33:53 Did you catch that?
33:54 It's not me doing the sinful acts,
33:56 it's because sin has taken up residence in my heart.
34:01 By contrast, we look at Galatians 2 verse 20.
34:04 "I have been crucified with Christ;
34:07 and it's not I who live, but Christ who lives in me. "
34:12 And then it goes on...
34:13 "the life I now live... I live by faith in the Son of God,
34:16 who loved me and gave Himself for me. "
34:18 But did you catch it?
34:20 It's not me who's doing the good works,
34:22 it's because Christ has taken up residence in me.
34:25 I believe that is the difference between the legalist
34:28 and those who walk in grace.
34:30 We open up our heart and when Christ lives in you,
34:33 you cannot help but grow in grace.
34:37 You cannot help but become more like Jesus.
34:41 Number 6: Grace leads to love and forgiveness for others.
34:47 Colossians 3:12...
34:48 "as the elect of God, holy and beloved,
34:51 put on tender mercies,
34:52 kindness, humility, meekness, long suffering;
34:55 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another,
34:58 if anyone has a complaint against another;
35:01 even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. "
35:06 Have you met a Seventh-day Adventist Christian
35:10 who does not live this verse?
35:12 I've been a Christian who does not live this verse.
35:17 I want to tell you today,
35:18 if you claim the name of Jesus
35:21 and you claim to be a Christian and you walk into church
35:25 and yet, you do not love your brother,
35:27 you do not extend mercy and grace and forgiveness...
35:31 if you do not... if you hold on to bitterness and resentment,
35:35 you are not walking in grace.
35:38 You need to go back to God and say,
35:41 "God, I want the first step of grace and that is repentance.
35:44 would you take me on a journey with You?"
35:47 Number 7: Grace leads to motivation for service.
35:50 1 Corinthians 15 verse 10.
35:52 "but I labored more abundantly than they all,
35:55 yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. "
35:58 Did you catch that?
35:59 It's not us saying, "Well, we need to evangelize,
36:02 well, I guess we need to go reach out
36:04 and help someone else. "
36:05 No, it is grace that gives us a passion for the lost.
36:10 It is grace that leads us...
36:12 it leads us to evangelism.
36:15 Grace leads to repentance and forgiveness and justification,
36:19 salvation, growth, holiness, love and forgiveness for others
36:23 and motivation for service.
36:25 It was another Monday night
36:27 and I was at the jail with my sisters
36:30 and I asked them,
36:31 "How many of you have heard of the story
36:33 of Daniel in... in the Lions' Den?"
36:35 And not one hand went up.
36:37 Just as I launched into the story,
36:40 I heard a cry... there was a woman screaming down the hall
36:43 and I didn't know what was wrong and I asked the girls
36:45 and they said, "Oh, that's Amber... "
36:48 that's not her real name, by the way.
36:50 "She's crazy... she's been in and out of jail
36:53 and she's in solitary confinement down the hall...
36:56 and the study continued and all I could think about
37:00 was... I want to go pray with Amber...
37:03 why? Because Amber... Amber needs Jesus
37:06 and we finished the Study and I walked down the hall
37:11 and as I walked up to Solitary Confinement,
37:13 in this jail, there's a glass window
37:15 and then the little slot...
37:17 the tray where they put the food
37:18 and she saw me coming and she said,
37:20 "Hey Lady, come over here, I want to talk to you... "
37:23 and I walked right up to the glass and I said,
37:25 "Hey Amber, my name is Jill, I want to talk to you... "
37:28 and so we began to talk and then I said,
37:32 "Amber, I'd really like to pray for you.
37:34 Would you let me pray for you?"
37:36 And she began to get agitated
37:39 and she said, "I don't need prayer...
37:40 I don't want prayer... oh Lady,
37:43 look at your teeth... you have pretty teeth...
37:47 that's what I want... teeth like that. "
37:49 And I said, "Amber, I'm so sorry I can't give you my teeth
37:52 but we can talk to the God of the universe
37:54 who can help you here in Solitary Confinement.
37:57 He can make a difference in your life. "
38:00 And she said, "All I want is your teeth. "
38:03 And so, in sorrow, I turned away.
38:06 We could have talked to the Creator God...
38:08 the God who can do anything
38:10 and all she cared about was my teeth
38:13 and as I drove home,
38:15 God reminded me in the recesses of my heart
38:18 that I too have been like Amber.
38:21 I have prayed for teeth.
38:24 When have I faced a situation where I needed to forgive...
38:28 where I needed to walk out of my own prison house of addiction
38:33 or my own prison house of sin...
38:35 where I needed victory over something in my life
38:38 and I thought if I only try harder...
38:39 if I only do it myself, I can gain the victory
38:44 not knowing that the eternal Creator God was there
38:48 waiting with open arms to help me.
38:52 I don't know what invisible prison you are carrying today
38:56 that could be a prison of doubt...
38:59 a prison of shame... fear... guilt...
39:02 legalism...
39:03 whatever it is, come to Him just now.
39:08 He says, "Whoever the Son sets free... is free indeed. "
39:12 Give Him your heart.
39:15 As a sinner who is saved by grace.
39:19 Piano...
39:27 If you could see
39:30 what I once was
39:32 If you could go with me
39:38 Back to where I started from
39:43 Then I know you would see
39:48 A miracle of love that took me in its sweet embrace
39:58 And made me what I am today
40:07 A sinner saved
40:11 by grace.
40:16 I'm just a sinner
40:24 saved by grace
40:30 When I stood condemned to death
40:36 He took my place
40:43 Now I live and breathe in freedom
40:50 With each breath of life I take
40:56 I'm loved and forgiven,
41:01 backed with a living
41:07 I'm just a sinner
41:13 saved by grace
41:21 Piano...
41:25 How could I boast of anything
41:32 I've ever seen or done?
41:39 How could I dare to claim as mine
41:47 The victories God has won?
41:55 Where would I be
41:58 Had God not brought me
42:03 Gently to this place?
42:08 I'm here to say
42:12 I'm nothing but
42:16 a sinner saved
42:22 by grace
42:27 I'm just a sinner
42:34 saved by grace
42:40 When I stood condemned to death
42:47 He took my place
42:52 Now I live and breathe in freedom
42:59 With each breath of life I take
43:05 I'm loved and forgiven
43:10 backed with a living
43:16 I'm just a sinner
43:21 saved by grace
43:28 Now I grow and breathe in freedom
43:36 With each breath of life I take
43:41 I'm loved and forgiven
43:46 backed with a living
43:52 I'm just a sinner
43:57 saved
44:02 by grace
44:08 Saved by grace.
44:17 Jill: Amen, thank you so much Tim and Ryan.
44:21 Are you grateful today
44:23 that you are a sinner saved by grace?
44:27 Maybe you have walked your whole life
44:30 not knowing if He would accept you...
44:32 not knowing if you could be good enough...
44:35 not knowing if you were truly His child.
44:37 I want you to know right now that the Lord Jesus loves you...
44:41 that He has arms open for you
44:44 and He says, "Would you come home just now?
44:47 I will receive... I will forgive...
44:50 I will cleanse...
44:52 I will empower you to be my child. "


Revised 2021-10-13