The Unbreakable Chain of Grace

Sin condemns us all and disqualifies us from attaining salvation. The glory of God resides in the gospel of grace in which God foreknew us, predestined us, called us, justified us, and glorified us.  (Romans 8:28-32)

Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller
Sermon # 11365
11:00 AM on 11/12/2017

 

P. Schaller

(Rom. 8) One simple truth written in the Scripture. Something like a cliff, a ledge there, a man there. A common view people have regarding sin is we have sinned and fallen off an edge and landed on a ledge. And that if we are really sincere, we can make our way back up maybe with some effort, good intentions, sincerity. This is very common. People that don’t know the Bible, the Gospel, don’t know what it means to be a sinner would think this way. I’ve made some mistakes, not so good every day, but I’m quite good. Generally man believes some are good and some are bad. The Bible teaches all of us are. We have not fallen just to a ledge but a total fall, all of us.

Pastor, I work with a doctor, and he is such a great guy, – self-sacrificing, and such honor is put on that man. You cannot say he is so bad. But in fact, we are all this way. 100%. If you have a drum of drinking water and put a little drop of something unclean in the drinking water, would you drink it? Maybe you would. I remember I was in Cypress eating a sandwich with a group of people. Before the man ordered, he got in an argument with the waiter. The waiter brought his sandwich and he’d look at the top roll and put it back and sit for more than an hour. I asked why he didn’t eat his sandwich. Because of the argument. He believed the waiter spit in his sandwich and wouldn’t eat it. Would you? I would if I paid for it. I got the idea maybe he had worked in a restaurant and spit in a sandwich and it’s coming back on him now. That doctor at the hospital as honorable as he is, has a nature that is totally fallen. We are all like an unclean thing. In the eyes of God, he knows all about us. Adam and Eve didn’t fall off a cliff, but by illustration they sinned and the fall was complete and great. There is no way you can make it back up. You cannot save yourself, or redeem yourself or restore yourself. This is in the context of God. I am an enemy of God. Pastor, I know these people believe in God. Yes, I understand that but the Scripture is clear. If you take away from people their money, food, water, housing, bed, their wife or children; if you hurt them or put people under pressure something comes out. We understand that. We’re human beings. In the eyes of God we are all an unclean thing. No way could any of us make it to heaven. None of us could be justified or R before a holy God. Just like if you had a bucket of water with something unclean in it. You’re not going to drink it.

God couldn’t relate to us this way so he had to do something about it. He brought us higher than Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve in the garden. Christ went all the way to the Father. Adam and Eve had mortal bodies. Christ was glorified. Christ ascended up glorified at the right hand of the Father. When we believe, we have been made righteous. Amazing gift of grace. One hundred percent righteous. He who knew no sin became sin that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. This assurance is important for us. Assurance has an effect on you and me. It reveals the nature of our God. The only Gospel.

Other messages are more you have fallen, landed on the ledge, and you make your way back. In Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and in the Christian faith you can go to a church and hear that kind of teaching where you pull yourself up by your bootstraps and make your way back. This is not the Gospel.

In civil law, when a man murders someone and is 20 years old but is never caught, and 40 years he lived as a good man. Maybe he became a religious man. He’s now 60 years old and is found out. He could say yes I did this but 40 years I have been a good man. Does the 40 years cancel out what he did at 20? No. He will go to jail.

Your goodness will not cancel out your problem of sin. It must be a totally different system. Totally different message. A work of the Cross. This is the difference. God became a man that we would be justified. So his blood would wash our sin away. Christ came so we would be saved by grace, not by anything we do. When you believe, you’re just believing. It’s an attitude. I put my daughter on top of the car when she was little and said jump. She’d look at me. Come on. She did it. What was that? What did it mean to me as a dad? My daughter, I’m having fun with her. What do I enjoy about it? Relationships. I want her to feel like she can trust me. If I had her fall, that would be a tragic thing in my relationship with her. She’d be on the ground crying and daddy why did you do that. Hug her, kiss her and put her up again. She starts doing flips off the back…You as a dad or mom or friend are enjoying the relationship. You enjoy it. You want to catch her. You want her to love you. God is saying, you got problems. I am God. I am the one you need. I’m not like other gods. Nor am I thinking the way you are.

Is 55:8, your thoughts are I’m a little bad and try to get back. Your thoughts are if I go to church long enough, work hard enough, read self-help books maybe I’ll make progress. This is a lot better. It’s called the Gospel. It’s the Gospel of Christ. The message of grace. It’s the work of God. It’s the forgiveness of Christ. It’s the ministry that is shockingly important. It saved and changes a man or woman. We were soul winning and we met this man who said thanks for sharing. We shook hands. That’s really good you’re out here telling people. He said ten years ago I was a heroin addict. I went to Ocean City. I went to a worship center, a church there and got free. Jesus Christ changed my life. Ten years and now I’m back in Baltimore and I’m looking for a church. He said I can’t come tomorrow but maybe the next time. God works by the Gospel. The Gospel is the Gospel of grace.

Rom 8. We’re going to look at a great promise. vs. 28. How about shouting! Praise God. The Gospel! Wow! What is this? Greatest thing anybody – look at verse 28 (AMP). I want to make a point all of us should know that everything happens in our life is by the sovereign hand of God who allows the good and the bad. He allows it and we are also guilty of making bad decisions and finding ourselves in trouble. This verse is the overall end game. Everything works together for good for us that are redeemed. You are saved, sanctified and made righteous. Sometimes we see the good. I drive up 95 and make it to my destination. I say at the end of the day that was amazing. All things work for good. I can see it in the circumstances. Next week I drive up 95 and am in a car accident, make the wrong phone call, talk to the wrong person and end up in jail. All things don’t work for good. I can’t see that. What’s the point? This is working for good. Is it bad? It is. How did it happen? I don’t really know. I made some bad decisions, met the wrong people, and made the wrong statement. I can’t believe this happened to me and things do not work for good according to me, my eyes, and my experience. Work on this in your heart and mind. The Bible is saying it but I want you to hear it from Gd. Grow in your relationship with God in your own Bible that you become a believer in what God is saying. Sometimes we just go to the refrigerator. What is on top of the frig is what my mom brought home and doesn’t want me to get. I’m 13 and when I reach, I push it back. I can’t see it. Mama came home and put the goodies up there. I cannot see it or get at it. That’s where you want to live. You want to live by faith. You want to live for the things you can’t get your hand on. You want to believe this will work together for good though I can’t see it. I might not see it in this life time.

vs. 29. For those he foreknew. Let’s draw a circle. Foreknow or foreknowledge. What does it mean? Before you were made, God knew everything. No surprises. You ended up in jail and innocent or guilty, God knows all details about every life. There is no question about it. He knows you from eternity past. He makes a link, a chain, read vs. 29. End game, you’re going to be like Christ. That’s what he foreknows and has planned. Ever get in trouble and there is a bigger game going on. Ever get in a situation and the thing is so little compared to the big thing. Your dad comes home and says I have a surprise for you and it’s a big game changer. You failed and then something came into the picture. A big game changer. Something heavy duty happening. Sitting in prison and saying, how does this work together for good? I don’t want to be in that or welcoming it. There is a promise, a mindset, a mentality you must learn. It’s just beyond your reach but is yours. God wants you to have it but he can’t give it to you without living by faith. God reveals by his Spirit his mind when you live by faith. By faith. You live by faith. You’re here on good solid ground. Got saved and I want to live by faith. We start going to church. Your mother says what are you doing going to church? I thought you went last week? I go all the time now. Why? I live by faith. I’m praying by faith, new friends by faith, making decisions by faith. I’m not stopping. I started by faith and want to live by faith. I’m going to forgive people by faith. I’m going to learn to live this life by faith. God has planned I would be conformed to his image. I’m going to take it. If I don’t take it, it’s still guaranteed I will be conformed to the image of his Son. Can you know God by faith? The way to know God is by faith. Without faith it is impossible to please him. My daughter is on the car at 2 years old. Bethany, jump. Come on. We go to work with her. She doesn’t jump. It’s not any fun for her or me. So I take her down. Maybe she will learn. God is not forcing us. It must be free will. He is not making it a condition for salvation. He decided to save us. Belief or unbelief doesn’t change the grace of God that went all the way to the Cross. That could not change what he decided in eternity past for you and I. Why wouldn’t we trust in a living God that has more for us than we can ever imagine.

vs. 32. vs. 30. I need you to call out the word. Link of five words here. We’ll make a chain on our sketch here. Foreknowing. What’s the next word? Predestined. We can use the KJ. Who predestinated us? God did. What’s the next word? Called. Who did it? God called us. Justified. What’s the next one? Glorified. Who did that? God. God did all of these, five. Grace is five letters in English. None of them were done by man. Man doesn’t foreknow. He didn’t predestinate. He didn’t justify, call or glorify. Only God can do these, these actions of God. Why is this important? We are to be people with assurance. Have confidence about God and his nature. This is about the nature of God. He is the God of grace. He wants us to know it. If I don’t know it, and my salvation is secure, how can I evangelize so well? I know I could. They would answer back to me. Are you saved? You say I hope so. You hope so? Are you sure. I hope I am. You better behave. The guy says I don’t behave well. Maybe this won’t work for me. I need something powerful and extraordinary. We have something extraordinary. Only God does it. He saves you, keeps you and the end game is you are conformed to the image of his Son. Are you sure? Yes. As sure as the reality of the Incarnation. God so loved the world he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him would not perish but have everlasting life. Not to condemn us but save us. Once saved, we would realize the Gospel. It happened by the grace of God. He reached all the way. Am I really that bad? You are. You can’t believe how bad you are.

Knocking on doors in Baltimore one woman opened the door. She said I’m not that bad. You can ask my neighbors. I went to the next door and said this woman said she’s not that bad. I said do the police have her records. It was lighthearted and I had a good time with her. I said you are a good woman and your neighbor says so and I’m tending to believe you are. You’re one of those good ones. She goes I’m glad you recognize that! I got to ask you a question. If God was here, what would he say about you? Are you good, really? Every thought. In the eyes of the police department you are #1 citizen but in the eyes of God you aren’t. Life is tragic and the only answer is the glorious Gospel…gift of God, salvation, work of grace. Let’s not fool ourselves. Once we have that, we have the greatest thing anyone could have, a relationship with a holy God. Prayers that can move mountains. Fellowship with a living Christ. A relationship where God says I’m your Father. Though you go through the valley of the shadow of death…dwell in house of Lord forever. Great error lurking in our country side, streets, city. People don’t know this Gospel. It’s all by grace.

We have P. Ray here. He’s been going into the woods along route 40. More than 600 homeless live in the woods. We see them come out and panhandle on the streets. He’s gone in with his team and 60 have come to this church in one year. 32 have gotten saved. 12 are out of the woods and live in homes. 16 have overdosed and died.

I was thinking the Gospel. That’s the answer. Christ preached. Prayers. Love. Faith. How do you go into the woods? By faith. How do you share the message on college campuses? By prayer, love, wisdom, faith. This is what it means. There are people walking the earth today God foreknows them, predestined them, calls them, justified them and God glorifies them and it’s all sure. It’s done. When God’s Son died on the Cross he did all of this so we would be reconciled to a living and holy God and so he would be in our life on a daily basis. He would anoint us with the Holy Spirit and we would love him and relate to him. He goes jump and we jump. It’s his delight we live by faith and we feel him, his mind, his heart, his presence.

vs. 31. Here I am. I got a good week, day, good year, and good ten years. I have a bad day, bad month, and bad ten years. I don’t have a bad ten years if God is for me. Who can be against me? H.S. is saying I am with you. I am with you in prison. Interpret the dream. If you give me the interpretation you are God. You’re prison cell is not a big deal to me. I have a day I’ll bring you out. Joseph is one of those stories can see all the things happened for him worked for good. We can’t always see it. We can know it. Where’s God. I got the cookies. If God is for me, who can be against me. I got it. I got it in the church, in the H.S. It happened to me. I live by faith. I got it in the prayer meeting. Gather together and encourage. Give phone calls to each other. Learn how to use your gifts and be edifying. Help each other out in the life of faith. Read books. Have fellowship with Christ. Stir up your heart and faith. Don’t beat up yourself but be edified in the faith.

If our God is for us, who can be against us. One time I wondered has the blessing left me. This kind of came upon me in this past months. Is the blessing gone? No, it’s not. I want the blessing of God but think about it. Is the blessing gone? I thought that would be horrible if the blessing was gone. The only thing I have is that. Who cares if you have this or that? The things people look for in life like a great wife, healthy children, good job. I’m thankful for what I have. I have to go to the other place. Is the blessing of God on my life? That is irreplaceable. No matter how great your wife is, if you don’t have the blessing of God on my life. If I’m a single man and blessed of God, I’m blessed of God. Blessed of God Almighty. You see what I mean? And you are and I am. I did some praying and checked my attitude. Lord whatever you do don’t take that from me. It’s the only thing that matters at the end of the day. Seek not the things of the world. Seek the things in heaven. Seek the things that make a profound difference.

That chain cannot be broken. None of those links deal with men. They are not from men. From the beginning to the end, from foreordination to glorification, it’s all done. Aorist tense in the Greek. It’s a state not a time sensitive tense. Like that door is closed. Not it will close or has been closed but it’s closed. Nothing to do with time. Not you will be predestined, etc. but it’s all done. It’s finished. When God received his Son he also received you. It’s all done and finished. God says come up and sit at my right hand. You and I have been justified by a living God through the blood of his Son. If God is for us, who can be against us?

 


Please enjoy these sermon notes from the messages preached at Greater Grace Church in Baltimore. These notes are provided to aid in your study and understanding of the Word. Note that these notes do not represent complete, word-for-word transcriptions. Also, they may contain omissions as well as some errors in spelling and structure, etc., as we attempt to provide them as soon as possible. Our hope is that these notes serve as a way to help you search and connect with messages on related subjects and passages. Thank you for your interest in the ministry of Greater Grace.

 

 

 

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