Reports on what God is doing through Bible believing evangelical Christians in Honduras, Nicaragua, Peru, India and Ecuador. Jesus said, "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you" (John 15:7).
SELAH! Pause - reflect- just think of that!
I am convinced the most important message we can ever proclaim is the free grace of God that forgives us of all our sins and gives us a perfect relationship with God. We are justified by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ (Rom. 3:21-28; 4:5).
Let’s examine a simple acrostic of the word G-R-A-C-E.
GOD in holy love
RECONCILES ruined and rebellious sinners by His
ABUNDANT grace and
CHANGES ruined men from the inside out and gives
ETERNAL LIFE to all who believe on Jesus Christ.
GOD—is the Creator of the universe. His personal name is Jehovah or Yahweh. Most modern English translations use the name LORD, written with four small capital letters to translate the Hebrew word JHVH.
The Bible tells us He is the creator and sustainer of the universe (Gen. 1:1, 27; Psalm 14:1). He did not wind up the universe like a clock and then walk away. He is personally involved in His creation (Ps. 139).
He is holy and righteous (Isaiah 6:1; Rev. 4:8; 1 Timothy 6:15-18). The Hebrew prophet Isaiah saw Him in a vision, sitting on His throne, lofty and exalted. He heard the Seraphim chanting, “Holy, Holy, Holy is the LORD of hosts, the whole world is full of His glory” (Isa. 6:3).
The LORD God loves His creation and is patient with mankind. He first loved us and expects us to love Him with all our heart (1 John 4:10, 19). “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind” (Matt. 27:37; Deut. 6:5). Jesus said, “Seek first His [God’s] kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you” (Matt. 6:33).
The LORD God is good to us all the time, and He alone is worthy of our praise (Rev. 4:11).
Isaiah experienced the thrice holiness of God and fell to his knees and cried out, “Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts” (Isa 6:5).
GOD RECONCILES and rescues rebellious ruined mankind (Isa. 1:18). We have a ruined relationship with God (Eph. 2:1). By nature, we are all rebels at heart and like sheep that have gone astray (Isaiah 53:6).
The LORD is holy and He expects us to be holy (Lev. 19:2), but our sinfulness separates us from God. The prophet wrote, “Your iniquities have made a separation between you and God, and your sins have hid His face from you, so that He does not hear” (Isa. 59:2). Sin destroys our relationship with a holy God, and as a result there is a barrier between God and us. We need to be reconciled to God. “For while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life” (Rom. 5:10).
We have all sinned and fall short of God’s expectations of us (Rom. 3:23), and the consequence of our sins is death. “The wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23). If we say we are not sinners, we only deceive ourselves and prove ourselves to be liars (1 John 1:8; Rom. 5:12).
There is a judgment day coming when we shall each stand before God and give an account of what we have chosen to do with Jesus Christ (Heb. 9:22; Matt. 25:31-36; 2 Thess. 1:7-9; Acts 17:31).
GOD’S ABUNDANT GRACE accomplishes everything the sinner needs to receive a right standing before God. Jesus went to the cross and paid in full our debt to sin. The Bible says, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16). That is how much a holy God loves you! “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world; but that the world should be saved through Him” (v. 17).
How can a guilty sinner have a right relationship with God? There is only one way. Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me” John 14:6). “God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself” (2 Cor. 5:19). God reconciles the sinner to Himself through Christ (v. 18).
Jesus is the sinless Lamb of God who died for us as our substitute on the cross (John 1:29; Rom. 5:8; 1 Peter 3:18; 2:24; 2 Cor. 5:21). “For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. . . God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:6, 8).
God has restored man’s relationship to Himself by the atoning death of His Son, Jesus Christ. We can now have peace with God because Jesus Christ died on our behalf. The wages of sin is death, and Jesus died in our place. All of our sins were credited to Jesus when He died on the cross, and all His perfect righteousness was credited to us when we repented and believed on Him as our savior.
God says, “Sinner, I can make you righteous through Jesus Christ. It is righteousness by imputation. I will credit His righteousness to you” (2 Cor. 5:21).
GOD CHANGES ruined persons from the inside out. He demands that sinful man have a new heart (2 Cor. 5:17). Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (John 3:3).
The Bible tells us to repent and believe on Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “I tell you . . . unless you repent, you shall likewise perish” (Luke 13:3). We need a radical change in our lives. That is what repentance is. It is to be walking in sin and unbelief and to have a 180-degree change in our thinking about God and Jesus Christ. That change in our thinking will change the way we live.
Acts 4:12 tells us there is only one person who can save us. He is the same one who died for our sins on the cross. “There is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved.”
The important question becomes, what will you do with Jesus Christ? “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved, you and your household” (Acts 16:31). Why your household? Because when God saves you, you will want them to believe on Christ, too.
Salvation is by the abundant, free grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ (Eph. 2:8-9). The moment you believe on Christ you receive reconciliation and peace with God (Rom. 5:1).
GOD GIVES ETERNAL LIFE to everyone who will receive His salvation as a gift. Eternal life is yours right now if you will believe on Christ. “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey (believe) the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him” (John 3:36).
You can enjoy the abundant life in Christ now and eternal life in heaven with God by believing on Jesus Christ as your savior (John 1:12; Rom. 10:9-10). Moreover, you can have assurance of eternal life today (John 5:24; 1 John 5:12-13; Phil. 1:6; Rom. 8:31-39; John 10:27-30).
God promises eternal life to everyone who will repent of his or her sins and place their faith in Jesus Christ alone as their savior.
Salvation is all God’s work from beginning to end that it may be by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone. Believe on Jesus Christ who died for you and be saved today.
Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006
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Unless otherwise noted "Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.""Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE" © Copyright 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission." (www.Lockman.org)
Scripture quoted by permission. Quotations designated (NET) are from the NET Bible copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://www.bible.org/. All rights reserved.
Wil is a graduate of William Carey University, B. A.; New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Th. M.; and Azusa Pacific University, M. A. He has pastored in Panama, Ecuador and the U. S, and served for over 20 years as missionary in Ecuador and Honduras. He had a daily expository Bible teaching ministry head in over 100 countries from 1972-2005. He continues to seek opportunities to be personally involved in world missions. Wil and his wife Ann have three grown daughters. He currently serves as a Baptist pastor and teaches seminary extension courses in Ecuador.
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