Grace in Three Time Zones
Intro: One of the hassles of travel are the time zones. Pretty well every trip we’ve ever made to visit my wife’s family has been from the Central into the Eastern time zone so we always “lost” an hour. Of course, when you head home, you “gain” the hour back but it can be a “pain” in traveling. Did you know that there are 40 times zones around the world? However, to narrow things down a bit, really all of time is divided into Three Time Zones: Past, Present, Future.
So let’s take a look at Grace in Three Time Zones.
I. Grace in the Past
“The grace of God that bringeth salvation HATH appeared to all men...”
In Eden man was separated from God by sin. When Adam and Eve sinned, they realized they were naked (they lost their clothing of light and innocence) so they tried to cover themselves by sewing fig leaves together. When God arrived on the scene, he sacrificed animals and used their skins to cover the nakedness that sin had caused, but the human race inherited a nature that was Depraved and Contaminated with sin.
There was NOTHING man could do to Reconcile himself to God; there was NOTHING man could do to change his sinful nature; to rid himself of sin.
God was absolutely HOLY- Man was altogether Sinful;
Thank God- God took the initiative to reconcile man to himself!
Yes, a Price had to be Paid for sin; it could not just be over looked or ignored; AND the price had to be a PERFECT sacrifice; one not depraved and contaminated by sin like the rest of the human race.
God so loved the World that he Gave his only begotten Son; Jesus was born of a virgin and came to be the Sinless Lamb of God who would take away the sins of the whole world.
Jesus took our punishment upon himself; he was tortured and Crucified; his blood was shed to pay for our sin; He was wounded for OUR transgressions and bruised for our iniquities; chastised for our peace; and took stripes for Our Healing.
Thank God for Grace in the Past- Grace that brought Salvation!
II. Grace in the Present
“The grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men... Teaching US that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world.”
Grace in the Present brings Sanctification and Holiness to our lives.
Teaching US— right now; in the present.
Many in our day use God’s Grace as an EXCUSE for worldliness and ungodliness. They claim that since we are “under grace” we have no obligations in regard to our conduct or how we live. They usually say to anyone who believes in holiness of life, “You are under the law; but we are under Grace.”
How ridiculous is that?!!! Anyone who is saved is under grace; no one can be saved without God’s Grace. AND the same Grace that saves us also teaches us; the same grace that saves us also works to sanctify us.
Jeremiah faced the same attitude in his ancient day: Jer. 7:9,10 Will ye steal, murder, & commit adultery & swear falsely, & offer incense to baal & walk after other gods AND come and stand before me in the house which is called by my name and Say, “we are delivered to do all these abominations?”
How tragic that people will use God’s grace as an excuse to disobey God’s Word; to disrespect God’s House; to deny God’s holiness.
I live a life of holiness, not because I am under the law, but because I AM under Grace!
Grace teaches us to have a PURE MIND- grace will not allow the mind to feed on filth- on pornography; on indecency; on the perversion of homosexuality; on fornication, adultery, and immorality.
If you watch shows and videos that portray these things you are not listening to the teaching of Grace. If you are listening to music that promotes these things you are not listening to the teaching of Grace.
Some people evidently need to stop all use of the internet; on the home computer, the lap top and the cell phone because they clearly cannot control what sites they frequent. By some of the pictures people post for the whole world to see they are making it evident that they are NOT listening to the teaching of Grace.
At least this seems to be the case when when they are on “Vacation” or at Halloween. Can you imagine? Does anyone remember like I do when halloween was a KIDS day to dress up like a cowboy or princess and get a little candy in the neighborhood? Now adults have taken it over and made it the Ultimate Dress Up Holiday; of course many of them take the opportunity to “dress up” in costumes that are Not Modest and often include Cross Dressing. Grace will teach us to have our emotions and feelings under the control of the Word of God and the Holy Ghost.
Grace will teach us to have our Body submitted to the truths and principles of God’s word.
Grace will teach us to Dress Modestly, not revealing the body either by lack of clothing or by clothing that is form fitting and tight.
Grace will teach us to maintain gender distinction and we will dress appropriately. Men will dress and behave as men; women will dress and behave as ladies.
Remember, modest dress is Not Traditional; it is Biblical!
Grace in the present teaches us to live Holy.
Are you denying ungodliness and worldly lusts?
Are you living soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world?
III. Grace in the Future
“The grace of God that bringeth salvation Hath appeared to all men; Teaching Us to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world; LOOKING for that Blessed Hope, the Glorious Appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ.”
Grace in the future takes us from this earth to heaven when Jesus comes in the clouds.
1 Thess.4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, with the trump of God; the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
The same grace that brought salvation in the past is the same grace that teaches us to live holy in the present and that same grace keeps us Looking for the blessed hope of the Rapture. It’s by God’s Grace that we will be caught up to be with the Lord and enjoy the glories of heaven while living forever in the presence of the Lord!
Thank God for His Marvelous Grace!
Bro. Dwain Galiher
Pastor of JHPC