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THE MAJESTY OF SAVING GRACE
Intro: Without question, one of the greatest Christians who ever lived was a man by the name of Paul. Paul suffered for the cause of Christ. He abandoned a life of luxury and prestige to preach the Gospel of grace. He walked away from friends, family and fortune to go with Jesus and tell others about the Lord. Paul was a faithful believer, a powerful preacher, and a man used more than any other in his generation, or in any generation since. But, Paul knew better than anyone that without Jesus Christ he was none of those things. Listen to his own testimony in 1 Cor. 15:10, “But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. Paul knew that his life, and everything that had come from his life, was the result of God’s grace working in him and through him.
Our text records the day when Paul was apprehended by grace. Grace had been after him for quite some time, but on the day described in these verses, Paul was captured once and for all by the marvelous, matchless, glorious grace of God. He was saved, secured and sent out to serve a new Master. I want to look into these verses for a few minutes today. I want to try to preach about The Majesty Of Saving Grace. I want to show what grace does in every life it touches. May the Lord help us to understand The Majesty Of Saving Grace.
I. GRACE CLAIMED HIS LIFE
v. 1-2 In Spite Of His Deeds
This is the essence of grace. It affords us God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense. Grace has been described as “the unmerited love and favor of God for undeserving lost sinners.” In spite of all we are and all we have done, God still extends grace to lost sinners.
Here are the facts:
1. We are all sinners – Rom. 3:10-23; Gal. 3:22
2. We all deserve to go to Hell – Rom. 3:23; Psa. 9:17
3. We are dead in our sins and cannot get to God – Eph. 2:1
Yet, God comes to where we are and He extends His saving grace into our
lives – Eph. 2:1 (
B. v. 5 In Spite Of His Desires Paul had no thoughts of being saved. In fact, he was doing everything in his power to destroy the Gospel. Despite what he wanted, God came to him anyway! In fact, Paul had been part of God’s plan from eternity past. Look at what the Lord tells Ananias in verse 15. God had determined save Paul before the world was ever formed, and He worked out that plan in time. By the way, the name “Saul means Desired.” Just as Ancient Israel had “desired the have the first biblical Saul as their king; God desired to have this Saul as His son!
C. v. 5 In Spite Of His Defiance The word pricks in verse 5 means “to sting and it refers to a goad, which is a stick with an iron point used to prod stubborn animals along. Paul was doing his own thing, and God was goading his heart. God was making life uncomfortable for Paul and he was fighting what God was doing in his heart and life. But, God ignored the defiance of Paul and continued to goad him until he was ready to surrender to the will of God.
D. v. 1 In Spite Of His Devotion Paul was a man who was absolutely committed to his way of life. He possessed all the right credentials and he lived life on his terms, Phil. 3:4-6. But, God was able to turn Paul’s heart toward glory and bring him to faith in Jesus.
Regardless of where a person finds themselves today, God can reach into their life by grace. He can claim them and save them. That is the majesty of God’s grace! )
II. GRACE CHANGED HIS LIFE
A. The Direction Of His Life Was Changed Saul of Tarsus was a man totally devoted to practicing, defending and expanding Judaism. Paul, on the other hand, was a man who looked on all the achievements of his past life as nothing and who wanted nothing more than to be totally sold out to and for Jesus Christ, Phil. 3:7-11. He forsook everything and went after Jesus!
Rev. John Bradford, who was a minister in
The Devotion Of His Life Was
Changed At one point, the Law of God had been the central focus of
Pauls life. But, when he met Jesus, the
Lord became the centerpiece of Paul’s life.
He became devoted to following and serving the Lord
is the essence of the salvation grace provides.
It changes everything! It makes
the redeemed individual a “new creature, 2 Cor. 5:17. It allows them
to die out to the old life of sin and to come alive to a new life in
The Destination Of His Life
Was Changed Paul was sure that his devotion to the Jewish religious
system would result in him going to Heaven when he died. However, Paul would never have believed it if
you had told him that he was actually headed to Hell. But, when he met Jesus on the road to
III. GRACE COMPLETED HIS LIFE
A. Grace Provided All That He Lacked Paul possessed many things in his life. He has power, prestige, position, prosperity, popularity and promise. But, he lacked the most important things of all. When he found himself in the grip of grace, he found out that grace could give him everything he lacked.
1. He Had Religion, But He Lacked Redemption Paul kept the Law as perfectly as a man could do it, Phil. 3:6, but he was not saved. In fact, he referred to himself as “the chief of sinners,” 1 Tim. 1:15. But, when he met Jesus, he could claim as his all the things that his religion had not been able to provide, 1 Cor. 1:18; he could boldly say that he was “saved.”
Friends, being religious and doing religious things will never save your soul! Religion will not get it done! You must have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. You must come to Him through faith in His shed blood, 1 Pet. 1:18-19. You see, it is not about what you can do,; it is all about what He did when He died for you and rose again from the dead!
2. He Had Service, But He Lacked Salvation Paul was doing his best to serve God. He thought that he was doing all the right things. He was a hard worker and he was active, Phil. 3:4-6, but he was still a lost sinner until he met Jesus! But, when he met Jesus, he received all the things he had never been able to earn by all his hard, religious effort.
The same is true in your life and mine. We can never “earn or deserve salvation by our good deeds. We are saved through “by grace through faith alone, Eph. 2:8-9. We could never work hard enough or be good enough to accomplish our own salvation. The standard is too high, Matt. 5:20. When we come to Jesus by faith, we can receive freely through grace that which we could never earn by our works, Rev. 22:17; John 7:37.
3. He Had
Honor, But He Lacked Hope Saul was the rising star of Judaism. He was the apple of every Jew’s eye. But, deep within his heart, he knew something
was missing, verse 5. His response was to try harder; to attack the
church and to try and eliminate the name of Jesus. He had no real hope in his life. But, when he met Jesus that day, everything
changed. He was made the partaker of a “living
hope,” 1 Pet. 1:3. (
You may have everything this world can give a person, but if you do not know Jesus, then you have no hope beyond this life. But, if you do know Him, then you have a hope that can never fade! You have the hope of a home in glory and of an eternity spent in the presence of the Lord. If you know Jesus, you may not have much in this world, but you have hope. And hope is worth more than money and all money can by! Do you have hope?)
B. Grace Provided All That He Had Longed For Everything Paul was striving for a religious sinner was given to him in abundance when he became a partaker of Gods great grace.
1. Grace Provided Faith Before, Paul had believed in the power of the Law to save him. Now, he has faith in Jesus. (Ill. Friend, faith in Jesus alone is what brings salvation, 1 John 5:12.)
Grace Provided Fellowship Paul
believed that his religious works would somehow make him closer to God. But, in reality, his activates were driving
him farther away from God because he was fighting against God. When he met Jesus, everything changed! He became a child of God and was brought to a
place of closeness and fellowship, 1
John 1:7; 1 John 3:1-3;
Grace Proved Fulfillment In
spite of all he had done to satisfy his soul, Paul still had a spiritual itch
that he could not scratch. All the
things he had done and was doing left him empty and unfulfilled spiritually. But, when he met Jesus, he was forever satisfied. Before he was saved, Paul tried everything to
find happiness, satisfaction and contentment for his soul. After he met Jesus, he was satisfied just to
know Him, Phil. 3:7-9, and to know
that he would be with Jesus when this life ended, Phil. 1:23; 2 Tim. 1:12. (
Conc: Thank God for grace! Thank God for saving grace; for keeping grace; for sustaining grace. Thank God that I know what grace is all about. I do not understand grace. I do not know how God can take a lost sinner, love them and save them by His grace, but I have experienced it for myself. I know something about marvelous, matchless, majestic, wonderful, precious, glorious grace. Do you?
you have never experienced grace and you sense the Lord is calling you to come
to Him, then I invite you to answer that call today. Come to Jesus and experience the majesty of
His grace. If you have experienced
grace, and you can remember the day when God confronted you on your own