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1) The Need for God’s Grace
We make purchases all the time. We might buy some vegetables or a book. Before buying an object, though, there is a point of selection. We must make a decision as to what we will buy. While looking over the product, we consider the quality, usefulness, and costs. In some cases we actually purchase the item.
Salvation is like this, but it has its differences. We had no inherent value of our own. Even though all of mankind was made in God’s image, we had sinned against Him. The only thing that we really deserved from Him was to be judged. “All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way” (Isaiah 53:6). He later says, “Your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God” (Isaiah 59:2). A few good works or even a lot of them is not going to eliminate our sins. No one is an exception. We all need God’s grace.
2) Restraining Grace
The Lord shows a general love to all. He provides food and rain. Through governments and cultures He restrains our tendency to sin. Note how the Lord holds us back from sinning even more. “Except the Lord of Hosts had left to us a posterity, we would have become as Sodom, and would have resembled Gommorrah” (Romans 9:29). By God’s grace we are not as bad as we would otherwise be.
3) Special Grace
The Lord in His marvelous kindness decided to rescue a great host of people from their sins. He would restore their relationship with Him. He did not have to do this. He chose to do this. This is the reason it is a dishonor to think that one deserves to be saved. Once it is deserved, then it is no longer grace but works, something worked for and earned.
“So then it does not not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy” (Romans 9:16).
“You did not choose Me, but I chose you, and appointed you, that you should go and bear fruit” (John 15:16).
We are humbled by this truth. He chose us (elected us) in Christ not because we were better or greater but only because He wanted to bring His favor into our lives. We were selected. From eternity He chose us in Christ to be His own. “And He did so in order that He might make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which he prepared beforehand for glory” (Romans 9:23).
Reflection: For over a year my sons would run up and down the streets looking under cars and behind trees for any empty can that others threw away. They treasured what others rejected. An elderly man would come by with his truck and collect all the gathered cans. The proceeds from the unwanted cans would help out medical research. God likewise chooses the rejected.
Application: We don’t deserve to be chosen by God for His special work, but as His people we are. Quiet your heart and give thanks to God for choosing you to be His special child forever and ever.
A strategic basic discipleship series designed to help Christians grow not only in their relationship with God but also with other people. Each section uses a familiar relationship to bring out basic but very practical Biblical teaching.
We highly recommend getting the BFF Discipleship #1 Digital Library which not only includes the Relationship Discipleship book, but slides, summaries, user guide, teacher's reference, etc. This D#1 Library also contains all our other Christian training resources for new believers.
These Christian media-enriched resources can also be purchased in the BFF Resource Center.
Scriptures typically quoted from the New American Standard Bible unless noted:
(C) Copyright The Lockman Foundation 1988