GRACE: God's Riches At Christ's Expense
This weekend we are celebrating Easter. We are celebrating Christ’s victory over death on the cross, because he didn’t stay dead. He rose again. He defeated it. He is still alive today. So, now if we are “in Christ” to too can have victory over death and sin and have a relationship with God.
But, why JUST through Jesus Christ? Why is Jesus Christ the only way to heaven? Why not any of the 4,199 other religions in the world? Why Jesus Christ?
John 1:17 “For the law was given through Moses, but God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ.”
Because He paid the price of admission. He was an eternal God who paid for an eternal debt. Nobody else has done that. Not only is he the only one who has done that for you, he is the only one that could do that for you, and the debt be truly paid, because he was perfect. On the cross Christ paid for your sins.
Grace is free, no doubt about that. But it is not cheap. It cost Jesus Christ His life. He paid for your ticket.
Romans 5:15b “But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of forgiveness to many through this other man, Jesus Christ.”
In the Bible, the favorite description for someone who has grace, who's accepted God's grace, the favorite description for a believer, is the term "in Christ." That phrase, "in Christ", is used over 120 times in the New Testament. It refers to somebody who has found salvation through the grace of God, being in Christ.
In my life there are a lot of things I've done wrong, that disqualify me to live in a perfect place like heaven. The things that I have done wrong, the things that I'm ashamed of. Sins that I've committed, thoughts I've thought, actions that have been hurtful to other people. In many ways I've ripped up my life and allowed others to rip it up too. I look at that messed up, broken, damaged, scared life and I think, "There's no chance of this getting into heaven. It's certainly not perfect."
But Jesus Christ takes my life with all the scars, with all the tatters, with all the mistakes, with all the guilty things in my life and the Bible says that when I come to Jesus Christ and I say, "Jesus Christ, I open my life up to You and I want to accept Your free gift of salvation" then God puts me in Christ.
When I'm in Christ, can you see my imperfections? Can you see the things that I'm ashamed of? Can you see the things that have ripped up my life and other people? All you can see when I'm in Christ, is Christ. When God takes my life and all the pieces of it that are kind of messed up -- really messed up -- and He puts me in the life of Christ. I get into heaven on Christ's ticket. When He looks at me with eyes of grace He only sees the perfection of Jesus Christ.
That’s good news for me, and that’s good news for you.
Galatians 2:21 “I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless. For if keeping the law could make us right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die.”
If we could be saved and could get into heaven on our own merits, the cross was a waste. If we could have gotten to heaven without any help from God, Jesus wouldn't have come and died on the cross for us. He wouldn't waste Himself like that. But there was no other way. We're either going to get into heaven in Christ, or we're not going.
GRACE is God's Riches At Christ's Expense. It comes through Christ and only through Christ.