All that I know and have experienced of God, his mercy, love, and grace, his salvation, his gospel and his Son, causes me to live day by day with three, great, heavy burdens, three overwhelming concerns. There are three things I desire more than anything in this world, three things I seek above all other things. Yet, these three things, I know, I shall never enjoy as long as I live in this world. The three great desires of my heart before God are…
- Perfect, total, uninterrupted communion with Christ.
- Perfect, total uninterrupted consecration to Christ.
- Perfect, total, uninterrupted conformity to Christ.
By the grace of God, I have a good hope that these things shall soon be mine, but not until I have dropped this robe of flesh. In the meanwhile, I want to live in this world for the honor of him who has given me such hope.
My subject today is – Living Under Grace. The implication of this subject is clearly the doctrine of the Holy Scriptures. – In Christ God’s people are totally free from the law. There is absolutely no sense in which it may be said that believers are under the law, obliged to the law, or live by the law.
Today, I am calling upon you who know God to devote yourselves to Christ, to live in this world for the glory of God. In keeping with the entire New Testament, I make my appeal upon the basis of the fact that in Christ, we live by grace, live under grace, and live because of grace, and we are entirely free from the constraint and principle of legal bondage.
- Romans 7:4
- Romans 10:4
- Galatians 3:24
- Galatians 5:1-4
Let’s begin in Romans 6:11-17. In chapters 3-5, Paul has shown us how that the Lord God reckons his people righteous, dead to sin, completely justified in Christ. In the opening verses of chapter 6, he meets the objection raised by self-righteous men, that such teaching will lead to a life of licentiousness. He says, in verses 1 and 2…
(Romans 6:1-2) "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?  God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?"
Then, in verses 4-10, the Holy Spirit reminds us that in our baptism as believers, we have publicly confessed that we are now dead to sin and alive to God, and that we are now living in the newness of life in Christ and with Christ unto the glory of God. Let’s pick up in verse 11 (Rom. 6:11-18)
(Romans 6:11-18) "Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.  Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.  For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.  What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.  Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?  But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.  Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness."
Illustration: Boston’s Illustration of the Servant
Knowing that I am dead to sin, freed from the law, and saved by the grace of God, I have one question that constantly weighs heavily upon my heart, one question which has been a constant driving force in my life for 33 years. It is this one thing that motives me, as the governing principle of my life, in every relationship I have on this earth and in every aspect of my life. At the same time, this is the thing that most troubles me every day. – How can I live in this world for the glory of God? Nothing is of greater concern to me. This is the question I want to answer in this message. Yet, I know that when I am done preaching, the question will be as weighty and burdensome as when I started. Indeed, I hope it is for us all more weighty and burdensome.
Proposition: There is nothing in the life of a believer of such great importance as the will and glory of God. – How can I live in this world for the glory of God?
(1 Corinthians 10:31) "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God."
(Colossians 3:17) "And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him."
(1 Peter 4:11) "If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen."
When I am done, there will be plenty of room for more to be said. I know that this message will not solve all our problems. I only hope to inspire our hearts in the pursuit of the will and glory of God. I want to show you five answers to this question from the Book of God. – How can I live in this world for the glory of God?
- We must begin at the beginning. If we would live for the glory of God, we must live by faith in Christ (Col. 2:6).
(Colossians 2:6) "As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him."
"Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh." – "Be ye filled with the Spirit."
How did you receive Christ? We did not receive Christ by the works of the flesh, or by the hearing of the law, but by faith (Gal. 3:1-3). That is how we must live, if we would honor God. We honor God, fulfill the law, and magnify our Savior, only by faith in him (Rom. 3:31).
- How did you receive Christ? If you have received him, you received him by faith.
- You came to him as a sinner, trusting him as your Savior (1 Cor. 1:30-31).
- You bowed to him as a servant, receiving him as your Lord. – A Bondslave to Christ!
- You came to him as a Bride, like Gomer, conquered by his love, embracing him as your husband.
- As you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him.
- Trusting Christ alone for all things.
- Trusting God’s providence in all things (Ps. 23:1)
(Proverbs 3:5-6) "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."
- Walk in faith, following Christ.
- Worship Him.
- In everything give thanks.
- Sing praise to Him.
- Follow the Master’s Example.
(John 13:15) "For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you."
(1 Peter 2:20-24) "For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.  For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:  Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:  Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:  Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed."
(Ephesians 2:8-10) "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.  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them."
Illustration: The Straying Sheep
- If we would live in this world for the glory of God, we must ever strive to remember what the Lord God has done for us by his grace in Christ (1 Cor. 6:19-20; Rom. 12:1-2).
(Romans 12:1-2) "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."
(1 Corinthians 6:19-20) "What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?  For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."
Illustrations: Remembrance Room
My Daddy died for me.
The Cherokee Chief
- If we would live in this world for the glory of God, we must seek the will and glory of God in all things, and above all things.
I do not mean that we should endeavor to show people that we love the Lord (Matt. 6). I do mean that we ought to be consumed with love for Christ, utterly consumed with love for Christ.
"Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness." – "Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth."
Illustration: "Don’t ever lose your sweetheart love for Christ.’
- The secret to satisfaction in this world is serving God, doing his will (John 4:31-34).
(John 4:31-34) "In the mean while his disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat.  But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of.  Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat?  Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work."
- Surrender all things to Christ.
Call everything but dung in comparison to him. Take up your cross daily, and follow him. Lose your life to Christ, and you will save it.
Illustration: Mephibosheth to David – "Let Ziba have all!"
The Pearl Merchant
(John 2:5) "His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it."
(Galatians 1:15-17) "But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace,  To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood:  Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus."
(Philippians 3:7-10) "But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.  Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,  And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:  That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death."
- If we would live in this world for the glory of our God, we must deal honestly with ourselves about ourselves (1 John 1:8-10; Isa. 64:6; Rom. 7:14-23).
(1 John 1:8-10) "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us."
(Isaiah 64:6) "But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away."
(Romans 7:14-23) "For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.  For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.  If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.  Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.  For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.  For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.  Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.  I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.  For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:  But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members."
- If we would live in this world for the glory of God, we must walk in love (Eph. 4:32-5:2).
(Ephesians 4:32) "And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."
(Ephesians 5:1-2) "Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;  And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour."
Application: This is what I am saying, my brothers and sisters in Christ, Do what you can for Christ.
- Faith’s Dandelions
- "She hath done what she could."
- The Preacher and the Businessman
- "Don’t ever forget who you are and whose you are."
(1 Corinthians 10:31) "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God."
- Big Jake -- "I need Thee, oh, I need Thee!"