God ultimately wants a church that enjoys and testifies God’s grace. Why? Because God is alive. God is leading our lives so when we have that assurance, we’re not shaken. We’re standing strong and that’s the kind of faith that God wants us to have. Where does it begin? It begins when we realize God’s grace. Knowing God’s grace is God’s great blessing. When I go out into the field and evangelize, especially in colleges, there are two responses I get when I share the gospel. There are people who say “No, I don’t need Jesus. Jesus is not my Christ”, but there are also people who say “Jesus is my Christ”. Why is that? Is it because we’re better than people who don’t accept it? No, it’s by God’s grace that we could believe that Jesus is the Christ.
So, when we look at Paul, we can see Paul’s life confession here today. We don’t just go to church.
We’re not religious. We’re people of the gospel, and God is alive. He is with us. Paul realized this amazing grace. We all know the song “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now am found”. This was John Newton’s confession, and I think he really knew God’s grace. That’s the question I wanna ask you here today: Do you really know God’s grace? We have no other choice but to make this confession today. Paul said the gospel was more valuable than his life. We start and end with God’s grace. Everything starts with grace in Christ and he’s gonna carry us till the end.
Before the gospel, my life was miserable. Especially when I was growing up, I grew up without a father. He passed away when I was 7. We came to America and my mom raised me and my brother, working two jobs a day. She would come home at 10 o’clock at night, and my brother and I, we were home all by ourselves. Can you imagine a 7 year old kid taking care of his 5 year old younger brother? I would feed him, clean up, living that kind of American lifestyle. I grew up in the projects. It wasn’t easy and I thought, living in this poverty and losing my father, “This must be my fate”. But by God’s grace after meeting Christ, I told my mom, because she would always preach to us every night before going to sleep. “God is good”. To serve God, you need money, so my mom would always sit us down and preach to us at night saying, “You don’t have to be rich, just be a doctor, or be a lawyer”. And we would hear that all the time and my mom would say “I’m working all this for you. I’m living for you guys”. So when I told my mom I was gonna be a pastor, she was really devastated, because she knew pastors can’t make a lot of money. And my younger brother also received God’s grace and said “I’m gonna be a pastor”, so my mom was like “Great, we’re gonna have a hard time”. But, my brother and I, we received God’s grace, and that can’t be changed with money. Even me, I am so thankful. I thought my life was miserable, but I realized by God’s grace that I am a child of God. I don’t have a real father but I have a Heavenly Father who is close to us, leading us, and guiding us. So we have to realize that everything is God’s grace. If we see from the lens of God’s grace, everything changes, even the problems we see today such as racism, and coronavirus. If we see those problems from the lens of God’s grace, we can accept them and give the answer of Jesus Christ.
Three things to hold onto this week. We are saved by God’s grace so the only thing we need to do is...
1. Do not be deceived
Know our enemy. Satan’s scheme is to deceive us, but Christ has crushed his head. We see Satan deceiving us, so we have to overcome him. How? When Satan works to deceive, he makes us only see the problem and not see God’s plan. In Ephesians chapter 6, we put on the full armor of God, so do not be deceived. You are the most blessed child of God.
2. Receive the filling of God’s grace daily
Not just Sunday, not just once a year or when I have problems, but every day, we must be filled with God’s grace. What does that really mean? How can we be filled with God’s grace? Through success in worship. When we really stand before God, when we really hear God’s voice through God’s word, when we worship Him, we are filled with God’s grace. Thus, success of worship is holding onto God’s word. Everything is in God’s word. Then, how can we hold on to it? Not by memorizing or quoting, but the word of God has to be my answer, my strength, my guidance, and my assurance. Do you have this kind of time daily in your life? We have to realize, when we are truly filled with God and success in worship, we discover our true selves. “I am a child of God. I am a remnant. Immanuel: God is with me”. Then, like Paul, we can realize our calling; why we are living. I didn’t know why I had to come to America. I thought I came to America because my mom’s side of the family was living in Virginia, so we lived in Virginia. I thought we came to be with my mom, immigrating to America. But after realizing the Gospel, I realized that God sent me to be a missionary. God has brought us together, for world evangelism. If we look at Paul, he knew that he was called to be a light for the Gentiles. To save all nations and the future generations, God has given us the calling of the gospel, not just so we can believe in Jesus and go to heaven, but God has called you and I as missionaries for the gospel.
3. Then, when nonbelievers see us, they will see two things:
First, they will see Immanuel. God is alive in that person, and he is guiding them. I pray that through the SOLC members, people will know that God is alive. When we see Christians today, they’re so powerless because they are losing to the devil’s lies. No more losing to the devil. God is with us and the nonbelievers will see that.
Second, they will see that we are the workers of Christ with the mystery of Christ. That’s the greatest blessing. What does that mean? It means God will give us the strength to lead and save the world. When nonbelievers meet us, they are strengthened and will receive answers to their lives.
In Conclusion, It’s not just about making a big happy church but raising the next generation and saving the world. How? By becoming united in the covenant of Christ and prayer. I pray that all the SOLC members may be filled with the grace of Christ and receive the realistic answer of saving all nations.