"SAVED BY MERCY, JUSTIFIED BY GRACE"
I. WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE SAVED?
Romans 1:18 Paul tells us that the wrath of God will be revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who hold the truth of God in unrighteousness. He then tells of the things that have provoked the wrath of God.
1. Ungodliness is a wrong relationship with God. These issues were covered in the first four commandments.
2. Unrighteousness is a wrong relationship with fellowman. These issues were covered in the second table of the law, the last six commandments.
3. Paul lists the things that man was doing against God.
a. When they knew God, they glorified Him not as God neither were they thankful.
b. The changed the glory of an uncorruptible God image made like unto corruptible man. That is rather than being conformed into the image of God, they sought to conform God into the image of man.
c. They changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator.
4. Paul then tells of the things they were doing with and to fellowman.
a. He tops the list with lesbianism.
b. Then homosexuality.
c. The list goes on from there,
5. God has pronounced the sentence of death upon them.
a. The soul that sinneth shall surely die.
b. The wages of sin is death.
Romans 5:9 Paul speaks about being saved from wrath.
C. John the Baptist asked the people, "Who has warned you to flee from the wrath to come?"
1. Paul said to the Thessalonians that Jesus has delivered us from the wrath to come.
2. The day of wrath in the scriptures is usually a reference to the period known as the great tribulation, when the wrath of God will be poured out on the earth. In
Revelation 6 at the beginning of the great tribulation we are told that,
3. The prophet Zephaniah writing concerning this time said,
D. We are saved from the eternal consequences of sin.
1. The wages of sin is death.
2. Sin separates a man from God and if you die in sin, you will be eternally separated from God.
E. The antonym to saved is lost. From a biblical sense to be lost is to be damned.
1. What a horrible thing it would be to be lost or damned forever, but such is the fate to those who are not saved.
2. To save you from being lost is the purpose for the coming of Jesus to this earth.
3. He said that the Son of Man had come to seek and to save those who were lost.
4. Man was lost already, what he needed was to be saved.
II. HOW ARE WE SAVED?
A. Neg. Not by the works of righteousness that we have done.
1. There is no way that you can save yourself.
2. All of the good deeds that you could ever do could ever atone for your sins.
3. There are many people today who are hoping that by their being good moral people that God will somehow save them.
B. We are saved by His mercy.
1. The justice of God demands that we be punished for our sin.
2. The mercy of God has overruled his justice.
3. The children of Israel had come to the place where they deserved to be destroyed because of their rebellion against God in their worship of the golden calf, Moses interceded for them and though justice demanded that they be destroyed, God retreated into His sovereignty and said to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion."
4. Peter gives thanks unto God for the abundant mercy whereby we have been born again.
C. Justice is getting what we deserve, mercy is not getting what we deserve.
1. When David cried out to God after his sin with Bathsheba he began his prayer, "Have mercy upon me O God, according to Thy loving kindness, according to abundance of Your tender mercies blot out my transgression."
2. David was not calling for the justice of God, but the mercy of God.
a. Justice demanded David's death for adultery and murder.
b. David was saved from death by the mercy of God.
III. WE ARE JUSTIFIED BY HIS GRACE.
A. Justified is one step beyond saved. To be justified is to have the charges against us dismissed. It is giving us a clean slate.
1. Whereas justice is getting what we deserve, and mercy is not getting what we deserve, grace is getting what we do not deserve.
2. I deserve death, God gives me life.
3. I deserve hell, God opens heaven's doors to me.
B. As God looks at you today He sees you innocent.
1. After David's great sin and his prayer for mercy, he wrote, "O how happy is the man whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sin is covered. Oh how happy is the man to whom God does not impute iniquity."
2. That last thought, "To whom God does not impute iniquity."
a. The forgiveness of sins is mercy.
b. Not imputing iniquity is grace.
c. God goes one step further, He imputes to us righteousness.
C. How are we justified?
1. God's part,
a. Through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.
b. Jesus paid the price for our sin. Paul speaks of being justified by His blood.
c. He took our sins upon Himself and died in our place.
2. Our part is faith, just believing the promises of God. The just shall live by faith.
D. What are the results of being justified?
a. Peace with God.
b. Saved from wrath.
c. We are made heirs, according to the hope of the eternal promises.