CHEAP GRACE through OUR Faith
[Preached at Community Bible Chapel. Hico, Texas-8/2001]
Now today we have a cheap grace preached. We have a lot of professing Christians who have just enough knowledge of God to send them to hell.
If you were to ask these individuals if they believed they were going to heaven they would say "Yes, certainly." Why? Why they made a decision for Christ that's why. They responded to an altar call. They were led through the A, B, and Cs of salvation. ACCEPT, BELIEVE, and CONFESS and then they were given assurance that they were saved.
But no man can give you assurance. No man can give you an assurance because no man really knows your heart. Only the Holy Spirit can give you the conviction that you have been delivered from the wrath to come- that you have indeed experienced a true repentance and that this repentance is evidenced by a saving faith manifested by good works.
You see faith is not the cause of our salvation. When a person is told to put his faith in Christ it is pre-supposed that he has faith to trust in Christ; to lay hold on Christ; and this faith is actually the faith of the Lord Jesus Christ, which is a gift.
"By grace are you saved through faith and that not of yourselves. It is the gift of God not of works lest any man should boast." Ephesians 2:8,9\
We are saved by grace through faith, and THAT-that WHAT? That Faith that is not of ourselves. It is not OUR FAITH
Grace is the cause of our salvation. Faith is the means of our salvation. Many people have this backwards and say that we are saved because of our faith. Wait a minute. Where did this faith come from? Did it come from our old man, i.e. our old nature? No! We were DEAD IN TRESPASSES AND SINS. We had NO FAITH of ourselves.
Eph 2:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
If God didn't give faith to us, we would not be capable of saving faith. If we get down to real understanding , we can say that salvation isn't by our faith."
These things are not taught in the churches. These things are not taught in the seminaries and THAT is why they are not taught in the churches. This IS taught by those that STUDY the Word of God for themselves and are willing to be taught by the Holy Spirit.
We have a BIG problem in the churches today, and this problem has been around for a LONG time. It is not something NEW, but the problem is broadening. It is GROWING.
The problem we have today is that people don't really believe that God must punish sin. They respond to a salvation message often times based on an emotional appeal. The preacher or the evangelist or the crusade leader happens to be charismatic, very personable, very dynamic, very eloquent and very persuasive.
In fact this is all the things that make up a good salesman.
The kind of "faith" these people proclaim is the kind that goes with their "sinner's prayer" in which the person is told to "repeat after me" and "REALLY MEAN IT". So, people are "really meaning" it "real hard", as they "pray hard". You see, such a kind of "faith" is actually works. They are "working hard" to have this faith, and they hope they have "enough faith to persuade God of their sincerity. They tell the person that, in order to be saved, they must "pray". And people "go forward" time after time to "pray". But they keep doing so repeatedly because it's not real faith. It is their faith and NOT the faith of Christ. They have never met Christ face to face and responded to His confrontation of them and their sinful heart. When you meet Christ, you know you've met Him! There is no question on the matter! Your heart is CUT TO THE QUICK with your guilt. (Acts2: 36-37)
The fact of the matter is that the sinner has not come to know his sin. He hasn't really come to know himself. Oh yes, he knows his marriage is failing. He knows that his finances have sunk low and so he's told Jesus can help him.. Jesus is the answer to all your problems. But the one problem that we have is the sin problem and we can't answer that problem of ourselves. Christ came to answer that problem. What we need is a vital living union with the Son of God.
Christ is the Lord of all of life. He is our Creator to whom we have to do and therefore, we must trust Him and believe His word. Now some only believe for a time and then go their own way despising the Holy One of Israel. To these individuals Christ will say at the sentencing of judgment on the last day, John 12 "Depart from me ye workers of iniquity (Matt. 7:23 for not everyone who says Lord, lord shall enter into the kingdom of God. (Matt.7: 21)
When Jesus asked his disciples will you also forsake me because there were many of his disciples who said, after they had heard him teach that they must eat his flesh and drink his blood. "This is a hard saying. Who can receive it" they said. Later after being offended by Jesus' words that no man can come to me except it were given unto me of my father many of his disciples went back and walked no more with him.(John chapter 6)
"Will you also go away" asked Jesus. Then Simon Peter answered him, "Lord to whom shall we go. (John chapter 6) Thou hast the words of eternal life. When a person comes to the point where he knows this Jesus Christ is in fact the Son of God and he knows that he is a sinner, and when he knows too, that he's broken God's most Holy law and that God is a righteous judge who will and must punish sin because he is holy and we are unholy. When a person can say I am abiding in Christ and his doctrine and shows the fruit of the Spirit that is love, joy, peace, goodness, meekness, etc. THEN we can say there is evidence and reason testifies that such a one may be saved from the wrath of God and eternal damnation that results from their sin of unbelief.
If preachers would preach on hell and the justice of God once in a while they might empty their churches over night. That's right! Hell is not a pleasant or popular subject, and yet most church people flatter themselves saying that they will not go to this terrible place of torment. The liberals have tossed out this doctrine of hell long ago and many so-called conservative churches are departing from the gospel and the whole counsel of God and are making this same fatal error.
People are being saved we are told, but they don't know what they are saved from. They're told to come to Jesus, but they don't know who this Jesus is. Our Lord asked a vital and pertinent question of his disciples. "Whom do men say that I am?' Some say you are John the Baptist and others Elijah prophet. But WHOM DO YOU SAY THAT I' AM? (Matt 13:13-16)
Can you hear Peter proclaim, "Thou art the Christ the Son of the living God."
Peter knew Jesus was not just an ordinary man. Not just any prophet but
Jesus was the Messiah, THE ANNOINTED ONE- no less than deity incarnate/in the flesh.
Before we call people to Christ we must make certain they know what the Bible teaches about God, about Jesus Christ, and about man, sin and redemption. For Christ did not come to save us IN our sin, BUT he came to save us FROM our sin, and to deliver us from this present evil world and from the evil one Satan.
Christ came to save us while we were YET sinners to save us FROM our sins, not IN our sins. Our OLD SELF must be crucified. We must die to SIN and SELF if we are to be IN Christ. Our OLD self and our OLD sinful habits, and our OLD lusts MUST be extradited/eliminated from the consciousness or sense of right and wrong, of our spirit. We must walk after the SPIRIT and not after the FLESH. The OLD MAN walked CONSTANTLY after the flesh. If we STILL walk CONSTANTLY after the FLESH we are STILL the OLD MAN and we are not a BORN AGAIN NEW CREATURE.
If this kind of teaching is unimportant or offensive, WHY THEN are SO MANY called but FEW chosen. WHY are SO MANY saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us. We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets.
Folks, these are church people speaking here, and how does Christ respond to their plea?
I know you not whence ye are: I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out. (Luke 13:24-28)