10 December 2017

YOU ≠ ME


Eph 2:11-22

It is part of our sinful human nature to build barriers that shut out other people. That’s why it’s hard for me, being a Leaf fan, to love you Senator Fans as equals. This is what I was influenced by the most as a child growing up. I was raised to bleed blue and to look at others as they are the ones with the problem. That’s why it’s hard for me to love someone who can sit and watch grown men with brooms yell at each other for an hour or two. Ok let’s get serious now! Though I’m only joking and love each and every one of you here this morning, because Paul is addressing the Local Church.

We live in a world that filled with rivalries….
Conservatives versus Liberal
Coke versus Pepsi
Nike versus Reebok
Doctors versus doctors
Schools versus schools
Dads versus dads
Leafs versus Sens

This is a major problem as it pertains to the “New birth” in Christ through the gospel. This was a problem during the time of the early church and Paul in his letter to the church in Ephesus address this issue with reminding of who we once were…but not as we should be now! It’s the grace and mercy of Christ as John Newton said “…I can truly say, I am not what I once was; a slave to sin and Satan; and I can heartily join with the apostle, and acknowledge, "By the grace of God I am what I am.” During the times of the New Testament disunity was one of the greatest barriers to the church. Paul in this portion describes a deep, complex, hostility between Jews and Gentiles. The Jews had ceremonies, feasts, rituals and distinguished themselves from other nations. The Jews boasted about having the blood line of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and superior to the Gentiles as they considered them lower than second class people……Jonah was a prime example of that hatred. The Jews even considered them so unworthy they would even walk on the other side of the road to avoid such a person even if they lay their dying. 

Remember the example Jesus made “And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, "Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" He said to him, "What is written in the Law? How do you read it?" And he answered, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself." And he said to him, "You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live." But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?" Jesus replied, "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, 'Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.' Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?" He said, "The one who showed him mercy." And Jesus said to him, "You go, and do likewise." Luke 10:24-37
This was a major problem, especially when you put them under the same roof, but that wasn’t the only problem

What do I mean by that?
Slaves and slave owners had their own set of problems to address. Many slaves looked on their masters with contempt and resentment. Slave owners looked at their slaves as being inferior, slightly above animals. This was a problem because we naturally build barriers around our hearts and our greatest desire is for people to conform to you and me. See, one of the greatest problems of the early church was in getting Christian slave owners and Christian slaves to treat each other as spiritual equals. Not just slaves and slave owners had this problem but husbands often treated their wives little better than they did their slaves. When a wife became a Christian her entire life, outlook and value system changed. Sadly though, unbelieving husbands would likely divorce her simply because she made such a radical decision without his consent. Disunity has plagued marriages, families, those who are closest and distant from us.

Why? We have a sinful and bent perception in how we look at one another. And to top it off the Greeks were so proud of their culture and supposed racial superiority that they considered everyone else to be barbarian. Paul wrote about this issue and addressed biblically “I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish.”
 Rom 1:14 

Col 3:11 we read “Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.” Col 3:11

As the Greeks say “All men are divided into two classes, Greeks and barbarians.”
History tells us that ancient Roman, wrote that Greeks constantly waged a truceless war against people of other races, all of whom they held to be barbarians.

We need to understand ….
Because of this playing out in the lives of the people at that time that church life was hard work and sometimes old habits, traditions and sinful men are hard to change. The early church faced continuing barriers not only between believing Gentiles and Jews but between believing Greeks and other Gentile believers.

Disunity amoung God’s people has always been a special heartache to God.
Jesus says three times they would walk in harmony in the same prayer “And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.” John 17:11
John 17:21 says “that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.”
And in John 17:22 ”The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one,”

What is amazing about this prayer in John is…. This prayer of Jesus has come to fulfillment because everyone in Christ we are one………….…positionallyFrom every tribe, tongue or age, we are (who are saved) positionally in Christ through the precious gospel. Practically though is very different then our position in Christ, and sadly it’s often tragic and hurts not just one person but the whole body of Christ. Paul addressed this behavior with the Church at Corinth “But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way?” 1 Cor 3:1-3. Paul sent this church two letters of rebuke because of this very thing Paul is reminding us about in the book of Ephesians. We naturally are sinful by nature and for many of us that nature has been the focus of most of our lives, and when Christ came into our lives all that changed for the better but their still much work to do.

As the old saying “Garbage in, garbage out.” It’s hard to get rid of garbage when it’s always been a part of you. Especially when you’ve been placed in a building that filled with people like yourself. This was the problem the churched faced then and to be honest still faces today. John MacArthur said in one of his messages “I’ve lived long enough to know that you can go to many, many churches, and you will find, if not sort of smoldering below the surface, hostility, you’ll find open hostility. And it comes down to the fact, not that people were offended, but that when they were offended they refused to forgive. It splits churches. It harms the testimony of the gospel. “By this shall all men know that you’re My disciples, if you have love one for another. Love forgives.”

Look what disunity does to the life of a Christian and the church as a body. I want to look at four things that bring disunity to the church before we tackle this portion of Pauls’ letter. We need to understand the dangers before we can see what Paul is really trying to tell us this morning.

Disunity Happens when We make everything About You.

The church doesn’t exist to make you (or me) happy; it exists to glorify God. We argue and fight in the church over some really dumb things. We argue about things that, from a heavenly perspective, don’t really matter all that much. We come from different backgrounds, family life…some broken , some not broken, some from saved families to you being the only one saved, we come from different places; we have different desires and issues that plague each of us differently. And God takes you and me and tells us to love one another as Jesus loved us. This is what the church is filled with! Sinners saved by grace and we have one mandate and that is to love one another and encourage one another to live our lives for the glory of His name. “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” Heb 10:24-25

Disunity Happens When Gossip Destroys The People Around You.

There’s a reason James said the tongue is a fire. “And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell.” James 3:6. On many occasions….Church members talk about one another instead of talking to one another. Paul calls church members who gossip people "filled with all unrighteousness" Paul said “They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips,” Rom 1:29. Consider the damage it can do to a church. Gossip and other sins of the tongue have absolutely no place in the body of Christ. None. Gossip is a cancer in the body of Christ that, if not removed, will destroy the fellowship. The problem of gossip is a problem of the heart, and so the correction needs to happen in the deepest recesses of the heart.

Disunity Happens When We Refusing To Forgive.

Bitterness and resentment are poisons. Unforgiveness poisons the soul and it poisons the body of Christ. The church is, by nature, a fellowship rooted in forgiveness. The problem with not forgiving is that unforgiveness imprisons people in their past, and in their present. As long as you refuse to forgive offenses and the offenders, you are chained to the offense of unforgiveness. What does that mean, practically speaking? “17th-century Puritan Thomas Watson said forgiveness looks like this “You don’t seek revenge when someone offends you, you wish him well, you grieve at his calamities, you pray for him, you seek reconciliation, and show yourself willing to come to his aid. That’s what forgiveness looks like, and that’s what it takes to maintain unity.”

To forgive is to turn the key, open the cell door, and let the prisoner walk free.
To forgive is to write in large letters across a debt “nothing owed.”
To forgive is to pound the gavel in a courtroom and declare “not guilty.”
To forgive is to shoot an arrow so high, so far, it can never be found again.
To forgive is to take out the garbage and dispose of it, leaving the house full of cleanliness and sweet-smelling fresh air.
To forgive is to loose the anchor that holds the ship, and set it free to sail.
To forgive is to grant a full pardon to a condemned and sentenced criminal.
To forgive is to loosen a strangle-hold on a wrestling opponent.
To forgive is to sandblast a wall of graffiti, leaving it looking brand new.
To forgive is to smash a clay pot into a thousand pieces so it can never be put together again.

Those are biblical metaphors of forgiveness.

Disunity Happens when We Take Our Eyes Off Of Jesus.

The above three only happen when we fail ignore or to look to Jesus, and this happens when we take our eyes off the prize that is in Christ Jesus. Because we forget the rock from which he found us under.

Look what Paul says (v11-v12) Have you forgotten about the promises of God Church to who you were before Christ entered into your heart and life?

We were separated from the people of God
We were alienated and strangers to the promised of God.
We had no eternal hope

But that all changed when God displayed His extending love to sinners who are by nature hostile people……you and me (v13-15) Let Paul remind us of this wonderful sustaining and amazing grace. (v18-v22).

We are reconciled
We have access together
We are family and no longer strangers
We are fellow citizens
We are built on the foundation of scripture.

God has saved us and put us together with other sinners saved by the same grace that took your wretched soul and gave it new life. Jesus became our curse for all people groups and He has placed His children in this place so that we can worship together and sing and hear His word about His might work. The church is wonderful thing to be a part of and we must never squander this blessing as so many do then and still do today. We must walk in harmony and as a unified family under His grace and mercy. Paul urges the church to “remember” these things so they may live with a greater sense of gratitude to God and a greater love for one another. It is by the beauty and the power of the Cross that has reconciled us back into His loving arms and not only that but to one another as we worship together in one Spirit under God’s grace.

Disunity doesn’t have any eternal value to the church all it says is “I want to be stone apart from a building or a son or daughter separated from my family.” Disunity treats the church that is something unnecessary, unimportant or even a hindrance to doing great things for God. That’s the bird’s eye view and next week we will land and see what Paul is telling us from worms eye view.

03 December 2017

I MUST HAVE DONE SOMETHING GOOD


Eph 2:7-11

I’ve taken this title from lyrics of a song that has been mentioned a few times these past few weeks here at church from the “Sounds Of Music”. The first time was during our Reformation Service and the second time mentioned in Adult Sunday School. It’s a title that many in the church believe this statement to why they are saved. It’s a title that many in the church perceive that we played a part in our salvation because we are by nature good.

The song goes like this…..

“Nothing comes from nothing, nothing ever could,
So somewhere in my youth or childhood,
I must have done something good,
For here you are, standing there loving me,
Whether or not you should,
So somewhere in my youth or childhood,
I must have done something good.”

There is a danger to lyrics like this because what it tells the listener “I must have been pretty good for you chose me.” But sadly! It’s just not grace and this is the complete opposite to what Paul is telling us this morning through the written Word. If you want to see what grace truly means then look to Jesus that is where it’s been expressed…in His birth, life, death, His resurrection and ascension into glory. Our response in salvation is faith, but even that is not of ourselves but is the gift of God. Faith is nothing that we do in our own power or by our own resources. If it were so then salvation would be in part by our own works.

Faith is a gift from God!

“Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:” 2 Pet 1:1

“For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake,” Phil 1:29

“And his name—by faith in his name—has made this man strong whom you see and know, and the faith that is through Jesus has given the man this perfect health in the presence of you all.” Acts 3:16

Because grace is defined as unearned act of God and salvation is the sole work of God alone then everything about our lives whether its grace or faith is a gift from a holy God who looked at your dead spiritual state and said “I want him or her in my family and I will do whatever it takes to get that person in my family.”

God gives us the gift and resources we need to attain eternal life.

There is a story told of a man who was eagerly but very late to a revival meeting and found the workmen tearing down the tent in which the meetings had been held. Frantic at missing the evangelist, he decided to ask one of the workers what he could do to be saved. The workman, who was a Christian, replied “You can’t do anything. It’s to late.” Horrified, the man said “what do you mean? How can it be too late?” “The work has already been accomplished,” he was told. “There is nothing you need to do but believe it.”

See every person lives by faith….even the atheist to the Satanist.

When we go to a restaurant for dinner.
When you put your money in the bank.
When you purchase something online.
When we get into our car/trucks and head out somewhere.
When you board a plane.
When you watch the Leafs thinking this is the year.

Life is a constant series of acts of faith, no human being could live a day without exercising faith. When we accept the finished work of Christ on our behalf, we act by the faith supplied by God’s grace. The supreme act of human faith, the act which, though it is ours, is primarily God’s. Again think about that for a moment! When a person chokes or drowns and stops breathing, there is nothing he/she can do. If he/she ever breathes again it will be because someone else starts him/her breathing. A person who is spiritually dead cannot even make a decision of faith unless God first breaths into him/her the breath of spiritual life. A dead person has nothing to offer. Hence the fact they are “DEAD” See, faith simply breathing the breath that God’s grace supplies. That’s why it’s important to look at this portion in its proper context and the verses that go before it before we can understand what God is a saying to the reader.

Is it grace or faith? No it’s both and they are both a gift of God. After reading Ephesians chapter 2, do you still think you must have done something good?” I can tell you the only thing I’ve done right in my salvation is recognize my sin and what it cost a loving Savior who died for my sin. I was alive to this world and dead to the things of God before grace came into my life and tore my world apart by His great love. Now that we understand that…. Paul turns our attention to a foundational and fundamental truth to the gospel.

“By grace alone and not by my works”

Attaining salvation isn’t a bunch of do’s and don’ts as Pastor Agnew said “Is your religion a two letter word or a four letter word?” Is your Christian life a life “Do” do all you can to obey God, do your best and His grace will hopefully see you through. Or is your Christian life “Done” meaning it’s finished as Christ said on the cross. Nothing more to pay. Nothing more to do to be saved! Finished and completed in Christ alone. See, it’s the difference between Gospel plus to the Gospel of grace alone.
  
WE ARE NOT SAVED BY GOOD WORKS

Paul says that grace comes through faith! This is the human response….Belief as we have read in chapter 1:13. Faith is the instrument by which we lay hold of Christ, but faith is not a work. It is a gift as I’ve previously said as Paul wrote to the church in (v8) it is God’s gift and that also includes “faith”. The grammar indicates that the whole of salvation is to be viewed as a gift.

Grace, faith and salvation is a gift.

We should never think of salvation as a transaction in which God provided grace and we provide faith. Now as I’ve said previously! You and I do not deserve salvation. There is nothing you can do that will make you worthy of it. You cannot be saved by keeping the Ten Commandments, for the Scripture clearly shows that you have not kept them. Romans 3:20 says "Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin." The same thing is told in Galatians 3:11 which says "But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith." Many, many Scriptures repeat again and again that there is no salvation through human goodness. "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost." Titus 3:5. "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." Eph. 2:8-9. It’s not of works; it is not something a person can earn through supposedly meritorious deeds. 

It cannot be earned, for instance by……

Conformation
Baptism
Church membership
Communion
Trying to keep the Ten Commandments
Living by the Sermon On the Mount
Giving to charity
Being a good neighbor
Living a moral and respectful life.


The minute you think you are saved by your goodness or works, it truly diminishes the beauty and the power of the gospel. The minute you think I must have done something good, it destroys the beauty of the Cross and its meaning.

We are not saved because….
We are smarter than others,
Prettier than others
More gifted than others.

Our salvation was the work of God and through that work God showed us astonishing grace when His only Son look our punishment on that old rugged cross. We had as well admit, then, that no man deserves saving and no man can save himself. Salvation must be free or the sinner could never get it. In fact, it takes blood to pay for sin, for the Scripture says "Without shedding of blood is no remission." Hebrews 9:22. 

"For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly."—Romans 5:6.
  
"All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all."—Isa. 53:6.

Peter tells us that all of us are bought by the blood of Christ "Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot." I Peter 1:18-19.

Every lamb, heifer, goat, turtle dove and pigeon offered in the Old Testament times on the altar pictured this:….. That man, a guilty sinner, must have some innocent one to shed his blood to pay for one man's sins. Jesus died for our sins, and, thank God, salvation is bought for every man in the world, if he will have it, as the free gift of God.

"For the wages of sin is death; but the GIFT of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."—Rom. 6:23.

If man could be saved by his own good works then the death of Christ was unnecessary.

“I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.” Gal 2:21. What Paul says before this verse is music to my ears when I think about the Cross and the implication it brings to my life. “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Gal 2:20

We all need to be rescued from the dark rebellion of our own hearts. There is only one hope for us…and that is the amazing, forgiving, rescuing transforming and delivering grace of Jesus Christ. Take what Paul is telling us this morning and throw away your wrong Theology if you are a person of your does because it is doneRemember that church membership will not save you. If you have been baptized, that cannot save you. Baptism does not save, does not keep anybody saved. It is only an act of duty for those who have already been found by Christ. A moral life or membership or good citizenship—these must all fail to bring salvation, for it is "not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us" (Titus 3:5). Don't depend, then, on what you do, but on what Jesus did and promises to do for you. Our lives hang by a string of sovereign grace and in that grace God breathed into your lungs the gift of eternal life, not because you’re good or could find Heaven on your own, but because you were lost and dead living a life without hope.

We all stand before God deserving of His anger.

How grateful we ought to be that Christ bore our penalty so that we could bask in God’s grace. Grace that Paul says that …….You have been saved (past tense), you are being saved (present tense), and you will be saved (future tense).

Think about that!

Dead in trespasses and sins…..Alive together in Christ.
Sons of disobedience…..Raised up with Christ.
Children of wrath….seated with Christ.
Children of wrath….recipients of generous mercy.
Children of wrath….recipients of great love.
Children of wrath….recipients of rich grace.

His kindness towards us
His grace in His kindness towards us
The riches of His grace in His kindness towards us
The exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness towards us.

Do you see the progression of Paul’s letter from the beginning of chapter two? Paul is building words upon words to drive home the point of our salvation it’s all because of God and His unmerited grace He lavishes upon sinners like you and me.
  
Do you know this grace? 

If so then you can identify with John Newton when he said ….“I am not what I ought to be — ah, how imperfect and deficient! I am not what I wish to be — I abhor what is evil, and I would cleave to what is good! I am not what I hope to be — soon, soon shall I put off mortality, and with mortality all sin and imperfection. Yet, though I am not what I ought to be, nor what I wish to be, nor what I hope to be, I can truly say, I am not what I once was; a slave to sin and Satan; and I can heartily join with the apostle, and acknowledge, "By the grace of God I am what I am.”


That’s grace…… that’s off the charts grace

26 November 2017

FROM THE MORGUE TO A MANSION PART 2


Eph 2:1-10

I want to start this morning with two words that changed my life forever. Two words that completely changed everything for you and for me. Two words that took my dead spiritual state and made it alive and secured forever through mercy and grace. Two words that are still mystery and have no value or meaning to a lost and broke world. Two words that at times brings tears to my eyes because what Paul previously said leading up to this…..because that was me. Two words that I think are two of the most beautiful words in scripture.

“But God” we need to thank God for these two words. Paul said, “But God”! These words teach us about God’s marvelous intervention in our lives. As D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones said, “These two words, in and of themselves, in a sense contain the whole of the gospel.” James Montgomery Boice said, “They tell what God has done, how God has intervened in what otherwise was an utterly hopeless situation.” Thank God for that word “But” in the Bible it’s always fascinating; this word always centers on which great issues turn. Paul has painted for us a dark and vivid picture in the opening statement of his letter. He has painted a picture of who we were in our spiritual state….deadHe has painted a picture of what I love the most and it was not God. He has painted a picture of human depravity and inability to the gospel apart from Christ and the leading of the Spirit. He has painted a picture of God’s wrath and His justice over the sons of disobedience. But! Paul now paints a picture that draws our attention to God’s immeasurable mercy and grace. With Christ, we are spiritually alive and that’s all because of these two words. “But God”

God is rich in mercy that is attached by a great love. (v4-v5)

To tell us that God is rich is a no brainer but to add that before the word mercy has great significance to the sinner who is seen as dead. “Rich” is an expression that God is overabounding, without measure, unlimited. Mercy is a perfection of the divine nature, and is essential to God. The problem with reconciliation is not on the Lord’s side. The two words “but God” show where the initiative was providing the power of salvation. The rebellion and rejection is on man’s side. That’s why we get to taste and savor the riches of His mercy. Because they never run out or need a rain check. He is rich in wisdom, rich in majesty and might, rich in His glory and rich in mercy. God lavishes the immense treasures of His mercy on us when we what? Answer: When…”you were dead in the trespasses and sins.” We will never know how fully rich He is until we arrive at our Heavenly home. But we can know that our salvation and our eternal promise hinges on this wonderful truth with these two words “But God”

The Bible describes God as rich in mercy ……

“Who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,” Psalm 103:3-4

“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,” 1 Peter 1:3

“Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!” 1 Chron 16:34


Bible also describes His great love…..

Titus 3:3-7 tell us “For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

“but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.” Rom 5:8-9

These are but a couple of the riches of His mercies and love that we taste every day when He raised your dead corpse as R C Sproul from the bottom of the Ocean. As R C Sproul said “God just doesn't throw a life preserver to a drowning person. He goes to the bottom of the sea, and pulls a corpse from the bottom of the sea, takes him up on the bank, breathes into him the breath of life and makes him alive.” Salvation for God’s glory is by the motivation and power of God’s great love In this love He lavishes or extends to vile, sinful, rebellious, depraved, impoverished and condemned human beings and offers them salvation and all the eternal blessings it brings. Apart from this mercy and love a person may be present and walking amoung us, but they are dead until God gives them life. That’s what makes it special to you and me! The unfavorable became favorable, not because of what we did, but because of what God did/done through the gospel of His love. Think about that for a moment! That God would choose to extend this mercy to a rebellious sinner who by nature was a child of wrath.
  
This mercy is also sovereign distributed “As it is written, "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated." What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God's part? By no means! For he says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion." then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth." So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.” Rom 9:13-18

This mercy is a place where we find boldness and strength to enter in “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Heb 4:16

Not only He lavishes mercy upon us, but He also lavishes us with His merciful, loving unmerited favor……His grace

But God saved us by His grace (v5-v7)
  
Grace according to the bible is defined and explained this way……Grace is an essential part of God’s character. Grace is closely related to God’s benevolence, love, and mercy. Grace can be variously defined as “God’s favor toward the unworthy” or “God’s benevolence on the undeserving.” In His grace, God is willing to forgive us and bless us abundantly, in spite of the fact that we don’t deserve to be treated so well or dealt with so generously.”

God is the source of this grace….. “For the LORD God is a sun and shield; The LORD will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold From those who walk uprightly.” Psalm 84:11

It’s the source of our election…..”But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and who called me by his grace,” Gal 1:15

It’s the declaration to the gospel….” But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.” Acts 20:24

See!

Grace does just not stop once we are saved. God is gracious to us for the rest of our lives, working within and upon us. The Bible encourages us with many additional benefits that grace secures for every believer:

This is what God’s lavishing graces does and produce in our lives today tomorrow and forever. 
Grace justifies us before a holy God (Romans 3:24; Ephesians 1:6; Titus 3:7). 
Grace provides us access to God to communicate and fellowship with Him (Ephesians 1:6; Hebrews 4:16). 
Grace triumphs for us a new relationship of intimacy with God (Exodus 33:17). 
Grace disciplines and trains us to live in a way that honors God (Titus 2:11–14; 2 Corinthians 8:7). 
Grace grants us immeasurable spiritual riches (Proverbs 10:22; Eph 2:7). 
Grace is the reason behind our every deliverance (Psalm 44:3–8; Heb 4:16). 
Grace preserves us and comforts, encourages, and strengthens us (2 Cor 13:14; 2 Thess 2:16–17; 2 Tim 2:1). 

If you want to understand Reform Theology, keep reading this verse a thousand times. This is what the gospel is centralized by “His grace”. It reveals and breaks the heart of a sinner who once was dead but now is alive by sovereign grace. What does that look like to a person who is dead? A story is told regarding the ministry of the eighteenth-century evangelist George Whitefield, who reportedly preached thousands of times on John 3. He was pouring out his heart one day during a Great Awakening sermon. A man with pockets stuffed with rocks came to physically attack the famous evangelist once the sermon ended. But after Whitefield’s powerful message, the man made his way up to the preacher, emptied his pockets, and said, “I came to hear you with my pocket full of stones to break your head, but your sermon got the better of me and broke my heart” (From Dunn, Evangelical Awakening, 17).

God gave this angry, hostile man new life through the gospel. This story wonderfully illustrates what happens when God saves sinners. Before we were Christians, we were by nature hostile and opposed to God. That is because we were “dead in the trespasses and sins in which [we] once walked” Eph 2:1Before we came to know the grace of God in our lives, we were all – every one of us – in a hopeless, helpless condition before God. Listen again to how the Apostle Paul described every one of us “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 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 – 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.” Eph 2:1-3. We as Christians should never look at the unsaved with contempt. Our attitudes should always be “But if it wasn’t for the grace of God I…” Our only boast is in Him for saving us…

A person who isn’t better than anyone in this sanctuary or outside this sanctuary. 
A person who isn’t saved due to my intelligence or ability to get right with God. 
A person who nothing to boast about as it pertains to life and godliness. 
A person who was once dead and need saving and resurrection to eternal life.

My boast is in Him and it’s all because of two words “But God”

Why? (v6) “He raised us up to seat with Him…” When Paul writes that Christ is seated, he means that Jesus is on the Throne and has dominion over all thingsBut…. Paul also is saying that we have dominion over this world, not that we have power and are equal as our Lord, but that we are co-heirs with Christ. This is an eternal promise by God that we will be with Christ and may forever be blessed by His power throughout eternity because of His saving power. From the time of salvation to the ages to come we never stop receiving the grace and kindness of God. And one day we will receive that inheritance that God has promised from long ago. As Peter said “to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you,” 1 Peter 1:4. This place is where our union is with Christ, as death and judgement are behind Him, so they are also behind us. A God who delivered me from a morgue by His glorious mercy and grace to a Mansion where we will spend an eternity with Him.