Pastor Rodney Zedicher ~ Ephraim Church of the Bible ~
Grace and Salvation; Audio
available at: http://www.ephraimbible.org/Sermons/20200511_grace.mp3
Grace in Salvation
is Foundations; the basics of what Christians believe. We have
looked at what we believe about the Bible, about God, about Jesus,
and about ourselves as his creation.
Necessity of Salvation
time we talked about humanity, man as created by God, good, with the
purpose of glorifying God by imaging
out to all of his creation his invisible
attributes; love and goodness, care, provision and protection. Being
shepherded by God, we were meant to shepherd God’s good
creation under him.
we rebelled. We doubted his goodness, questioned his truthfulness,
his wisdom and authority. We chose to step out from under his good
authority and compete with him as
the supreme authority. We wanted to be gods. We failed to give him
the glory that is his due, and instead pursued our own glory. We
committed high treason.
we became slaves to sin. We forfeited our ability to do good, to
please God. Created in God’s image, we became twisted, a
grotesque distortion of God’s holy character. No part of our
humanity was unaffected; our thinking, our feeling and our
have all been skewed and distorted. Our sense of justice is out of
focus. What seems right in our eyes is not necessarily what is truly
just or good. We ought not to trust ourselves, but instead to submit
to God’s truth in his word.
we are going to look at the glorious truth of God’s grace in
salvation. Up front we ought to remember that we created the need
for our rescue. Mankind
Creator. We inherited a sin nature from Adam, and we sin because we
are sinners. Our wills are twisted so that we
to go our own way and please ourselves rather than God. We are
responsible for our desperate condition.
Freedom of God
is important for us to start this study of grace and salvation by
affirming the freedom of God. God is God. He is free to do what he
wants to do. He was not obligated or compelled by any necessity
outside himself to save us.
Peter 2:4 For if God did not spare angels when they sinned,
but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy
darkness to be kept until the judgment;
2:16 For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps
the offspring of Abraham.
salvation is not necessary, in the sense that God was free to leave
us under his just and holy wrath. It was not necessary for God to
save any. He didn’t rescue the angels who rebelled against his
authority. He didn’t have to rescue us. This is what grace
means. He was under no obligation. Grace is a good gift freely
given. God freely chooses to rescue us. He did not have to. But he
should cause us to be amazed and to worship.
Cause of Grace
might rightly ask ‘Why? Why did God choose to rescue us?’
That is a very good question.
Display His Own Glory
answer the Bible gives is to display his own glory. It was for the
sake of his great name, or reputation. It was to demonstrate his
25:11 For your name's sake, O LORD, pardon my guilt, for it
79:8 Do not remember against us our former iniquities; let your
compassion come speedily to meet us, for we are brought very low. 9
Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of your name;
deliver us, and atone for our sins, for your name's sake!
106:8 Yet he saved them for his name's sake, that he might
make known his mighty power.
be clear that this is not an idea restricted to the Old Testament,
1:5 through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring
about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among
all the nations,
John 2:12 I am writing to you, little children, because your sins
are forgiven for his name's sake.
1 tells us we were blessed, chosen, predestined for adoption
1:6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has
blessed us in the Beloved.
him we have redemption, forgiveness according to the riches of his
grace, an inheritance
1:12 so that we ...might be to the praise of his glory.
heard the gospel, believed, and were sealed with the Holy Spirit
the praise of his glory.
2 says that God made us alive and raised us up with Christ by grace,
the coming ages he
might show the immeasurable riches of his grace
kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
To display the greatness of his grace, to the praise of his glorious
grace, for the sake of his own great name.
of His Great Love
answer the Bible gives us is because of his great love
15:13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay
down his life for his friends.
2:1 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once
walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of
the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of
disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions
of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and
were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4 But
God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he
loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us
alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved—
5:2 And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up
for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
5:7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though
perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8 but
God shows his love for us in that while we were still
sinners, Christ died for us.
3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only
Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal
John 3:16 By this we know love, that he laid down his
life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.
was out of his great love for us that he rescued us.
Mystery of His Love
why? Why did he love us? The answers we find to this question are
7:6 ...The LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for his
treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of
the earth. 7 It was not because you were more in number than
any other people that the LORD set his love on you and chose you,
for you were the fewest of all peoples, 8 but it is because the
LORD loves you and is keeping the oath that he swore to your
10:14 Behold, to the LORD your God belong heaven and the heaven of
heavens, the earth with all that is in it. 15 Yet the LORD set
his heart in love on your fathers and chose their
offspring after them, you above all peoples, as you are this day.
loves you not because of some superior quality in you; rather he
loves you because he loves you. Ephesians 2 and Romans 5 make it
clear that there was nothing attractive about us; we were dead in
sins, disobedient, children of wrath just like everyone else. We
were weak, ungodly, sinners, his enemies. It was no good in us. He
loved us because he loved us. Beyond this mystery we cannot push,
but we can wonder and we can worship.
Did God Save Us? The Essential Means:
it was not necessary for God to save us, because he chose to save
us, he is bound by his own character in how he must save us.
3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and
are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is
in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his
blood, to be received by faith. This
was to show God's righteousness,
because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26
It was to show his righteousness
the present time, so
that he might be just
the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
God to save sinners and remain who he is, he must save in a way that
upholds his own righteous character. He cannot lie. He cannot
declare that the wages of sin is death and then let sin slide or
look the other way.
Genesis 2, he warned:
2:17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not
eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
the day they ate, death entered into the world. They became mortal,
their bodies which had been taken from the dust would one day return
to dust. Death is separation, and that day their sweet and intimate
fellowship with God was broken. The were cast out of God’s
something else happened that day.
3:21 And the LORD God made for Adam and for his wife garments of
skins and clothed them.
else died that day. God promised that the head of the serpent would
one day be crushed by one of their own descendants, but he would
himself be crushed. God gave them a picture. They had attempted to
cover their own shame with leaves. God himself clothed them with
skins. Skins come from animals. And for the skin of an animal to be
used for clothing, the animal has give up its life. God was showing
how he would cover our sin and shame – through sacrifice.
1:29 The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold,
the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
was God’s long promised Lamb who would die to take away our
sin and clothe us in his own perfect righteousness. Jesus was the
one who would finally crush the head of the serpent, but who would
himself be crushed in our place.
we saw when we looked at who Jesus is, for him to save us he had to
be both fully God and fully man. A savior not quite God is a bridge
broken at the far end; a savior not quite man is a bridge broken at
the near end.
1:21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he
will save his people from their sins.”
2:17 Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every
respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest
in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the
10:4 For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to
take away sins. 5 Consequently, when Christ came into the
world, he said, “Sacrifices and offerings you have not
desired, but a body have you prepared for me;
had to be fully God for his sacrifice to be sufficient to save. And
he had to be fully human for his sacrifice to count as a legitimate
substitute for mankind. This is why Jesus came.
16:21 From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he
must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the
elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the
third day be raised.
24:25-26 And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of
heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not
necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter
into his glory?”
must suffer. It was necessary that the Christ should suffer these
things, be killed, and on the third day be raised. There was no
other way. When Jesus prayed out of his agony in the garden:
26:39 ...“My Father, if it be possible, let this cup
pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”
42 ...“My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink
it, your will be done.”
silence of his
Father and the angel sent to strengthen him for what lay ahead was
answer enough. There was no other way.
Jesus’ death save? There is
a concept we need to understand called imputation. We might think of
it in terms of a balance transfer. If I have a huge debt, I could
pay off that debt with a credit card. Now the one I paid is no
longer after me to pay my debt, but my
debt has been transferred to a
different company or a different card. But if someone else assumed
that debt, if someone else paid off my debt with their card, now I
am free and the debt belongs to them. In Isaiah 53, it says
53:4 Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; ... 5
But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our
iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and
with his wounds we are healed. 6 ...and the LORD has laid on him the
iniquity of us all.
took our debt on himself. The Lord laid on him the iniquity of us
3:13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a
curse for us––for it is written, “Cursed is
everyone who is hanged on a tree”––
a balance transfer can work both
ways. It can be negative or
positive. Someone could transfer their
positive balance into
53:11 Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied;
by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to
be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities. 12
...because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the
transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession
for the transgressors.
see both sides of this exchange in 2 Corinthians 5:21
Corinthians 5:21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew
no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Father made Jesus the sinless one to be sin; my sin was placed on
him. And I become the righteousness of God; Christ’s perfect
righteousness is transferred to my account.
4:4 Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift
but as his due. 5 And to the one who does not work but believes in
him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as
righteousness, 6 just as David also speaks of the blessing of the
one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works:
7 “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven,
and whose sins are covered; 8 blessed is the man against
whom the Lord will not count his sin.”
counts or credits me as righteous, even though I haven’t been
righteous a day in my life. He no longer counts my sin against me,
because it has been transferred to Jesus and he paid my debt in
3:7 But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of
Christ. 8 ...in order that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him,
having a righteousness of my own
that comes from the law, but that
which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God
that depends on faith—
New Testament uses several different metaphors to describe the
salvation that Jesus secures. It uses a legal metaphor, a
sacrificial metaphor, a relational metaphor, a
metaphor, and a birth metaphor. Each of these emphasizes a different
aspect of our salvation and give us a different perspective to
deepen our appreciation for the amazing grace of God.
Legal Picture: Justification
law establishes legal demands. Justice must be satisfied. As
lawbreakers we deserve to die as the penalty for our sin. Justice
will not be served until the penalty is paid. Justification is the
legal verdict of not guilty. We are legally declared to be
3:26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that
he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith
5:9 Since, therefore, we have now been justified
by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of
Sacrificial Picture: Propitiation
have angered and offended a holy God, and the full fury of his wrath
be poured out. Propitiation is a sacrifice that
turns away or absorbs the wrath of God and thereby makes God
propitious (favorable) toward us.
3:25-26 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood,
to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness,
because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It
was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might
be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
2:17 Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect,
so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the
service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the
John 2:2 He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for
ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.
John 4:10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he
loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our
righteous wrath was poured out on Jesus. Jesus drank the cup of
God’s wrath and fury in our place on the cross.
Relational Picture: Reconciliation
are separated from God by our sins
59:2 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
relationship with God has been torn apart by our sin. There is
hostility, enmity and separation.
5:1 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace
with God through
our Lord Jesus Christ.
Corinthians 5:18-19 All this is from God, who through Christ
reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of
reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the
world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them,
and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.
Peter 3:18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for
the unrighteous, that
he might bring us to God,
being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit,
Slavery Picture: Redemption
sold ourselves into slavery and are in bondage to sin. We belong to
the kingdom of Satan.
John 5:19 the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.
10:45 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve,
and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
2:14 Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he
himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he
might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the
devil, 15 and deliver all those who through fear of death
were subject to lifelong slavery.
1:13-14 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness
and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom
we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
6:6 We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that
the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no
longer be enslaved to sin. 7 For one who has died has been set
free from sin.
For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law
but under grace. ...17 But thanks be to God, that you who were once
slaves of sin
have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to
which you were committed,
Birth Picture: Regeneration
were the living dead, walking around in our sins. We need a total
transformation, a new heart, new life, new desires. The Old
Testament or Covenant pointed to a New Covenant where God promised
36:26 And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit
I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone
from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put
my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and
be careful to obey my rules.
is why Jesus said:
3:3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless
one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
...7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born
Peter 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!
According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again
to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the
dead, ...23 since you have been born again, not of perishable
seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of
Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a
The old has passed away; behold, the
new has come.
is mighty to save! What an amazing thing God has done, to save the
likes of us. He didn’t have to. It was infinitely costly to
him. But he so loved that he gave that which was most precious to
him. He is rich in grace and loves to give freely what we do not
deserve and could never earn. He took
what we deserve so that we could have what he deserves. We must
simply take him at his word, believe him, trust him, depend on him
completely. Whoever believes has eternal life!
17:3 And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God,
and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.
Rodney Zedicher ~ Ephraim Church of the Bible ~ www.ephraimbible.org