The G.R.A.C.E. Outline
ETERNAL LIFE IS A FREE GIFT"Hey Joe, could I ask you a personal question?"
"Yes, what is it?"
"Within your spiritual life, have you reached the point where you know for a certainty that you will go to Heaven when you die?"
"Well Jim, I really don't know!"
"Could I ask you another question, Joe?"
"Since it is God's heaven to which we want to go, what do you think we have to do to get there?"
"Well, I think we have to live a good life but I am not sure that anyone can really KNOW for sure that they are going to heaven."
"You know Joe, I used to think the same thing until I learned what the Bible says. In 1 John 5:13 it says "These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may KNOW that ye have eternal life,". Could I share with you how I KNOW that I have eternal life?"
"Yes Jim, I would really like to know that."
"You see Joe, the answer to eternal life is the GRACE of God. GRACE means that it is a gift. I would like to explain it using the letters of G-R-A-C-E as an outline!"
Eternal life (spending eternity with God) is a GIFT.
Rom 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
Eph 2:8-9 "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast."
God offers this GIFT of eternal life to all people.
Suppose someone bought you a very expensive gift. When they gave it to you, you offered to pay for it. If you did that it would not be a gift. Suppose then you offered to wash their car to earn it. That would be earning it. Next, suppose they left this gift on the table for you but you never opened it. The gift would never really become yours, even though someone may have paid a lot of money for it. Eternal life is like this. It cannot be bought or earned. It is free but the GIFT must be received.
Where there is a gift and a giver there has to be a RECIPIENT or receiver of that gift. We the human race, are the RECIPIENTS of this gift of eternal life. There is a reason why we need that gift. It is because of our sin.
Rom 5:12 "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:"
Rom 3:23 "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;"
Yes, it is true, we have all sinned. This is why we need this gift of eternal life. There is one thing that keeps us out of God's presence and that is our sin. This last verse says we "come short of the glory of God". Suppose we stood on the brink of the Grand Canyon and discussed jumping across it. Then we each made an attempt to jump from one side to the other. I might jump ten feet, whereas you jump fifteen. However, we both come short of getting across. This illustrates how our sin causes us to fall short of God's perfect holiness and keeps us out of His presence for all eternity.
Mat 5:48 "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect."
Yes, we cannot attain to God's perfect holiness, so we need God's gift of eternal life. Since I have a sin problem, there is a debt against my record before God, that has to be paid.
Yes, we have an ACCOUNT before God that has to be paid somehow.
Heb 4:13 "Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do."
We may hide our sin from other people but none of it is hidden from God. "With whom we have to do" means "who holds our ACCOUNT".
1 Pet 4:5 "Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead."
There will be a day when all of our sin will be brought to ACCOUNT before God. Somehow, it has to be paid for.
I could volunteer to pay for your sin but I have my own to pay for. You could volunteer to pay for my sin but you have your own ACCOUNT. Somehow, this debt has to be paid. There are two ways sin can be paid for. I can determine to pay for my own sins by spending eternity separated from God or I can find someone else to pay for them. This person would have to be absolutely perfect, without sin. Can someone like this be found? Yes! This is where Jesus Christ comes into the picture. In love, God sent Jesus Christ, who was absolutely without sin, to pay for that sin.
John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
Jesus Christ came, lived, died and rose again to become our substitute. He is the perfect gift of God, our sinless substitute.
JESUS CHRIST paid our debt, took our place and is the only access we have to spend eternity with God.
Acts 4:12 "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."
God in His love provided JESUS CHRIST to be the acceptable sacrifice for our sins.
1 John 2:2 "And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world."
"Propitiation" means acceptable sacrifice. God accepted the sacrifice of JESUS CHRIST on the cross of Calvary as the payment for our sins. This is where the gift comes in. God paid for our account and offers this gift of eternal life to us.
Let's suppose that we read an add in the paper that a millionaire will pay anyone's bills if they bring them to a certain address. One person says "I have always paid my own bills, I will keep paying". I say "I don't believe that there is such a person at that address who will pay my bills". But you say "I believe him, I am going to take my bills to him". Sure enough, you go there with your bills and he pays them all.
This illustrates what JESUS CHRIST did for us. JESUS CHRIST offers to pay our sin debt but if we don't believe it and accept what he did, we will not have the wonderful gift of eternal life.
HOW DO I GET THIS GIFT?
We ENTER eternal life through the door of faith.
Eph 2:8 "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:"
By FAITH we take this gift of eternal life through trusting Jesus Christ as savior.
John 14:6 "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."
Many people know this truth intellectually but have never trusted Christ personally by inviting Him into their life. Trusting Christ is a personal decision. Even the demons believe in God.
James 2:19 "Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble."
The demons aren't going to spend eternity with God and yet they believe He exists. (James 2:19) There must be a point when we trust Christ to be our Savior and accept Him as the substitute who paid our sin account. An intellectual belief in God is not enough.
Suppose we drive out into the country and come across an old wooden bridge. We stop and look it over. I ask you if you think it will hold us up if we attempt to cross. You respond with "yes, I think so". Then I say, "let's get in the car and drive across". At that point you say "I am not sure I TRUST it that far". To cross that bridge you have to TRUST it to hold you up. To have this gift of eternal life is to put you TRUST in Jesus Christ as your substitute. You TRUST Christ to pay your account. You TRUST Him to get you to heaven.
HOW CAN I GET THIS GIFT OF ETERNAL LIFE?
If you prayed this prayer or you desire further help, please contact Logos Communication at this email address.