1. We want to welcome you to a new series of messages.
2. We are calling this the awesomeness of God’s grace.
3. And I want to begin by telling you a story about a famous composer.
4. He wrote a hymn about the grace of God that very few people have ever heard.
5. Listen to the first verse.
6. Praise the grace whose threats alarm thee.
7. Rouse thee from thy fatal ease.
8. Praise the grace whose promise warmed thee.
9. Praise the grace that whispered peace.
10. Today more than any other time in history.
11. The word grace is no longer amazing or challenging.
12. In this age where people stay busy with too many activities many people find grace to be boring.
13. In this age of human rights and animal rights and all kinds of rights.
14. Grace is neither considered necessary or appreciated.
15. When people whether they are believers or unbelievers alike think that they can be good without God.
16. Grace no longer enthralls us.
17. In a time when the gospel of anything goes is reigning supreme.
18. Many people don’t comprehend their need for grace.
19. Whether you are a person who takes grace for granted as many Christians do.
20. Or you are a person who never understood the power of grace.
21. This brand new radio series on grace is designed to challenge you and to change you for good.
22. This series of broadcasts on the grace of God is designed to heighten your appreciation to the incredible and indescribable greatness of grace.
23. This series of broadcasts on grace is designed to challenge you to never take grace for granted.
24. This series of broadcasts on grace is designed that you will experience grace as a way of life and not as a license to sin.
25. The grace that we will be talking about in the next few broadcasts.
26. is that grace that God gives to followers of his son the Lord Jesus Christ.
27. There are two kinds of grace.
28. There is what theologians call “common grace”.
第一种就是神学家所说的 - 普世恩典。
29. This kind of Grace God gives to everybody.
30. This kind of grace is more accurately called mercy.
31. For example:
32. The sun shines upon the righteous . . . and the unrighteous.
33. The rain pours on the righteous and the unrighteous.
34. The many blessings of life come to the righteous and the unrighteous.
35. The beauty of God’s creation is given to be enjoyed by everyone whether they are believers or not.
36. But “The grace of God” of which I will be speaking is different from “mercy.”
37. This grace is exclusively given to those who belong to God’s Son.
38. This grace is uniquely lavished upon those . . . who have received Jesus Christ . . . as their Savior and Lord,
39. This grace is unmerited favor and undeserved kindness.
40. This grace is irresistible and inexhaustible.
41. In introducing this subject, I want to tell you something about the God of grace and the grace of God.
42. And my listening friends, there is an important distinction between the two.
43. God is infinite, but His grace is not.
44. God has no end, but His grace one day will come to an end.
45. God is eternal but His grace is not.
46. There is a time coming when God’s grace will come to an end,
47. and the judgement will take over.
48. There is a time coming,
49. when God’s grace will no longer be extended to humanity,
50. and justice will occupy the center stage.
51. There is a time coming,
52. when God’s grace will cease to operate in the world and raw judgment will be the order of the day.
53. in the scripture, there are many exhortations for us to receive the grace of God while it can be found.
54. Keep this distinction between the God of Grace and the Grace of God.
55. Let’s look first at the God of grace.
56. One of the hardest concepts to convey is the graciousness of God.
57. Those who always believe that their way is the only way can’t understand the graciousness of God.
58. Those who believe that they alone have the truth have a hard time comprehending the graciousness of God.
59. On the other hand, others take God’s grace for granted.
60. Still others have stopped marveling at anything.
61. As a communicator of God’s awesome truth, I am only too aware of the challenge.
62. Nonetheless, to constantly revel in the God of grace and the grace of God is the most important part of the Christian life.
63. To understand the God of grace and the grace of God is to live your life above mediocrity.
64. To comprehend the God of grace and the grace of God is to live above the humdrum of life.
65. Let’s look at the first encounter with the grace of God.
66. The first encounter the grace of God is in the Garden of Eden.
67. Adam and Eve were given the perfect job.
68. Adam and Eve were given the perfect job environment.
69. Adam and Eve were given loving co-workers.
70. All they were told was that there was only one tree in the middle of the garden from which they were not to eat.
71. If you have a Bible handy, turn to Genesis chapter 3 beginning at verse 1.
72. Let’s read it.
73. Everything in the world was theirs except the fruit from one tree.
74. Let this be a warning to all of us who say: “If I could only have this or that I’ll be happy.”
75. We could have the whole world and if there was only one thing that you couldn’t have you wouldn’t rest until you got it.
76. So, what did Adam and Eve do?
77. They ate from that one tree!
78. The bottom line is this:
79. Adam and Eve were offended by this command of God.
80. They did not like to be told what to do.
81. My listening friends, DOES THIS SOUND FAMILIAR?
82. Adam and Eve were offended just as millions of people today are offended by a Holy God.
83. Adam and Eve were offended just as millions of people today are offended by the thought that God died on a cross to pay for our sin.
84. Adam and Eve were offended just as millions of people today are offended that there is only one way to salvation.
85. Here is what Adam and Eve were saying in their hearts:
86. “God, what do you mean we can’t eat from that tree?”
87. “God, I thought that this is MY garden and I am in charge of it.”
88. “This is MY garden and I want everything that is in it.”
89. This is not unlike the thinking of many people today.
90. where people say: “What do you mean, there is only salvation through no other than Jesus Christ?”
91. “What do you mean, there is only one way to Heaven?”
92. “What do you mean, Jesus is the only way?”
93. “What do you mean, that there are absolutes and rights and wrongs?”
94. “What do you mean, that only the followers of Jesus are going to Heaven?”
95. “I will decide for myself what is right and what is wrong.”
96. So Adam and Eve ate the fruit of the forbidden tree!!
97. My friend, here is the crux of the problem.
98. God said: “If you eat from the tree, you will die.”
99. The devil said: “If you eat from the tree, you will live.”
100. Who should have Eve believed?
101. Well, she decided to submit the matter to her own judgement.
102. She decided to decide for herself.
103. This is a very modern idea is it not?
104. My listening friends, let me tell you something right up front that is very important.
105. On the issues that are clearly spelled out in the scripture.
106. concerning the things of which God has called wrong.
107. if you take things into your own hands and try to see things for yourself.
108. 10 times out of 10 you will go the wrong way.
109. If you decide to examine the tree for yourself.
110. 10 out of 10 times you will eat from it.
111. Eve decided to put the fruit under a pragmatic test.
112. “I just want to check its nutritional value.”
113. Eve decided to put the fruit under an aesthetic test.
114. “Would it look nice in the living room?”
115. Eve decided to put that fruit under an intellectual test.
116. “Would I learn a new lesson or a new experience from eating it?”
117. Needless to say, the fruit passed all of these tests.
118. Eve decided that the Devil was right all along.
119. And now she needs to share the good news with her husband who also ate.
120. From that time on:
121. these same temptations are repeated with precision millions of times each day.
122. and I want you to join us next time when I will tell you how the amazing grace of God can release us from these temptations.
123. until then, I wish you God’s richest.