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During the past week we had folks returning grandkids to their home out of the state, one teen attending Camp JOY, and people enjoying family reunions. Over the next few weeks we will have people going off on vacations and family visits out of state. Soon summer activities will give way to school activities and Bethany Baptist folks will start looking forward to the Mission Conference in September.
Darlene and Sally Sorensen sang a special song, Sunday morning. Pastor Bob Sorensen brought a message from Ephesians 2:8-9, “It’s All Grace.”
Grace enables God’s love to work on behalf of mankind. The Old Testament pronounced a death sentence for all sin. James 1:15 says: “The soul that sinneth it shall die.” God’s justice demands that the penalty be paid. However we find in Colossians 2:14 that our sins were nailed to the cross in the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and the record of our sins was blotted out. Hebrews 4:16 says that we may now come boldly before the throne of grace.
Grace restrains God’s wrath. God is holy and can not enter into the presence of sin. The earth was cursed by the sin of Adam. Sin takes it toll and God will punish sin. It is only by the grace of God that our sins are pardoned and we are freed from the punishment due.
Grace is a gift from God through Jesus Christ. How great is that grace. It is grace that puts us in the number of the redeemed. Jesus was perfect in his life. He never sinned or made an error, yet he died for all sinners. Jesus, who never even had an evil thought, became sin for all people. Our sin was laid upon him and Jesus willingly bore it all.
Grace is for all who believe and is not limited to an elect few, chosen in advance. Romans 10:13 and John 3:16 opens grace to “Whosoever will.” Hebrews 2:9 says that Jesus tasted death for every man.
Grace must be received by faith by believing the gospel that Jesus was indeed the Son of God and that he died for our sins and arose again. According to John 3:18 those who do not believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior are condemned already because they have not believed. We are born sinners, condemned to die. Death has reigned over the human race since Adams’ sin. When we by faith accept the fact that Jesus died for us, we enter that grace and by God’s grace we have eternal life. It’s all grace.