First Baptist Church of Cherokee

Exalting His Name, Exulting in His Son,
Equipping His people, Evangelizing His world

The Gospel of Grace

How does a person experience salvation? The world abounds with answers to that question and, even the church is stained with confusion and contradictions. What does God say in His word—the Bible—about this eternal issue? In Romans 1:16 Paul writes, “...I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes...” The gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ coming to save His people from their sins, is the power of God for salvation.

The gospel message to sinners, condemned under the strong arm of justice, is not one of human effort and self improvement to earn heaven. Instead, it is a God centered message of grace. It is a message of God taking the initiative in Jesus Christ to rescue a people who cannot rescue themselves! The word of God proclaims, in Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” What is the grace that saves sinners? How is it made a reality in a person’s life? In order to help you better understand the grace that saves, the following acrostic GRACE has been designed.

G is for God’s Glory

God is an infinite Being who is holy, good, loving, and the source of all things.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1

God created us in His image for His own glory, and He rules over us for our good.

Bring My sons from afar, and My daughters from the ends of the earth, everyone who is called by My name, and whom I have created for My glory, whom I have formed, even whom I have made. Isaiah 43:6-8

As our Creator and Ruler, God has given us His law to govern us and to more fully reveal His glory, truth, and love to us.

This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; Joshua 1:8

We glorify God by honoring Him, obeying His law, and treasuring Him above all else.

What does the Lord your God require from you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him, and to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the Lord’s commandments and His statutes which I am commanding you today for your good? Deuteronomy 10:12-13

When an inventor creates something, he has patent rights (owns) and writes instructions (biblical rules) for his creation.

R is for Rebellion

Instead of loving, honoring, and obeying God, we have loved ourselves, rebelled against God’s rule, and disobeyed God’s Law. As proof, ask yourself, “Have I kept the 10 commandments perfectly?”

For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all. James 2:10

The Bible calls this rebellion Sin. All of us are sinners by nature and by choice. In sin, we all fall short of God’s perfect standard of holiness and we all fail to glorify Him.

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God Rom 3:23

Our sin and rebellion separates us from God, and in accordance with His justice, we become objects of judgment and wrath.

But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He does not hear. Isaiah 59:2

Ultimately, our sin leads to death and suffering in a literal place called hell, where sinners are eternally separated from God’s glory.

And these will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, II Thessalonians 1:9

Would you drink a cup of water with only 1 drop of sewage in it? No, you would throw it out!

A is for Atonement

It is impossible to save ourselves from death and wrath. So for His own glory, God sent His Son to make atonement for sin. Jesus Christ died on the cross in the sinner’s place, thereby reconciling us to a right relationship with God.

Yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach Colossians 1:22

Through His perfect obedience and sinless life, Jesus attained righteousness on the sinner’s behalf.

For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous. Romans 5:19

Through His sacrificial death on the cross, Jesus paid the penalty that sinners owed.

For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, in order that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; 1 Peter 3:18

Through His resurrection, Jesus defeated death and provided eternal life for all who believe in Him.

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

It is humanly impossible to swim from California to Hawaii. You must be carried there.

C is for Conversion

First, Admit that you cannot save yourself and that Christ alone is the only way to be forgiven and reconciled to God.

And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment Isaiah 64:6

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me. John 14:6

And 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. Acts 4:12

Second, you must Repent. Repentance is turning away from your love of self and sin and turning toward God and His gracious love displayed through Christ.

Repent therefore and return, that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord Acts 3:19

Third, you must Believe whole-heartedly in Jesus Christ, surrendering completely to His Lordship over you.

That if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved; for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. Romans 10:9-10

If God has changed your heart, and you now believe these things to be true, express your faith in God through Prayer:

  • Admit your sin and failure to glorify Him
  • Affirm that you now rely on Him to save and forgive you based on Christ’s work
  • Commit to cast off sin and to love, obey, and glorify Him as your Lord

E is for Eternal Life

If you have truly believed and been born again, you have Eternal Life in Christ.

Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life. John 5:24

How will you know that you have indeed received Eternal Life in Christ?

1. The Bible, and especially the promises of God therein, will become personal to you. You will sense that God is speaking to you through it, and you will have a spiritual hunger and heartfelt desire to study it.

Like newborn babes, long for the pure milk of the word, that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord. 1 Peter2:2-3

2. You will have an inner sense of forgiveness, peace, and purpose as a beloved child of God. The presence of the Holy Spirit in you will give you the sense that you have truly come home.

For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God Romans 8:14, 16

3. You will glorify God through changed actions and attitudes. You will sense a revulsion toward sin in your life, you will have a sincere love for God and other Christians, you will share Christ with others, and your life will be characterized by obedience to God and active church involvement.

Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 2 Corinthians 5:17