Risky Grace

Worship Service for August 29, 2021

WELCOME

Good day, welcome and thanks for joining CrossPointe Community Church’s online Word worship presentation. Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. May They bless you this day as a result of your choosing to worship them.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Our Church Leaders have made a decision to join a Greater Medina County Prayer Initiative titled, “Awaken.” Participants will receive the names of 10 households to pray for beginning September 12 for one month. You are all invited to participate. To do so visit awakenmedinaco.org

You can read about the program, register your name and download the free materials. One of the latter is a 30 day prayer guide that will assist you in how and what to pray for your households. Once you register, you will receive your names. When I talked to the point person, I asked about praying for the people in our mission field and when I received my names, I noticed they all do live in Chippewa Lake.

SCRIPTURAL CALL TO WORSHIP

Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love.

When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, He will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of His Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of His Son. So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.

Romans 5:1-11

OPENING WORSHIP SONGS

I’m Amazed

David, Jeffery

I stand in awe at the way that You love me.
Yet with my faults…You say that You love me.
How can it be that someone so pure could love me?
How can it be that something this good is free?

I’m amazed, I am humbled,
At the way, You look at me.
I’m amazed, I am speechless,
At the way, You look at me.

I’m amazed, I am humbled,
At the way, You look at me.
I’m amazed, I am speechless,
At the way You look at me.

© 2002 ‘n touch music.
CCLI License No. 1843349

For All You’ve Done

Morgan, Reuben

My Savior….Redeemer
Lifted me from the miry clay
Almighty…forever…
I’ll never be the same
Cause You came near
From the everlasting to the world we live
The Father’s only Son

And You lived and You died
And You rose again on high
And You opened the way
For the world to live again
Hallelujah…for all You’ve done.

My Savior….Redeemer
Lifted me from the miry clay
Almighty…forever…
I’ll never be the same
Cause You came near
From the everlasting to the world we live
The Father’s only Son

And You lived and You died
And You rose again on high
And You opened the way
For the world to live again
Hallelujah… for all You’ve done.

And You lived and You died
And You rose again on high
And You opened the way
For the world to live again
Hallelujah…

Cause You came near
From the everlasting
to the world we live
The Father’s only Son

Cause You came near
From the everlasting
to the world we live
The Father’s only Son

And You lived and You died
And You rose again on high
And You opened the way
For the world to live again

And You lived and You died
And You rose again on high
And You opened the way
For the world to live again

Hallelujah…Hallelujah…Hallelujah…
For all You’ve done.

This arrangement ©2008 Reuben Morgan and Hillsong Publishing
(admin in the US and Canada by Integrity’s Hosanna! Music/ASCAP)
CCLI License No. 1843349

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

Lemmel, Helen H.

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth
Will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace.

©Public Domain
CCLI License No. 1843349

OPENING PRAYER

Our Gracious and Ever-Loving God, as we turn our eyes upon You, we praise Your Holy name for coming to our rescue despite our propensity to want to live our lives the way we want to. We are amazed that You could love us so much more that we can even comprehend. We humbly ask that You would pour out Your Spirit upon us that we might continue to learn to love You with all of our heart, mind, soul and strength. In the name of our Savior and Lord, Jesus, amen.

OFFERING

I want to thank you for your faithfulness in worshipping and honoring God in this tangible way.

If you would like to send your offering through the mail, our mailing address is:

P O Box 126
Chippewa Lake, OH 44215

OFFERING/PRAYER SONG

Give Thanks

Smith, Henry

Give thanks with a grateful heart,
Give thanks to the Holy One;
Give thanks because He’s given
Jesus Christ, His Son.

Give thanks with a grateful heart,
Give thanks to the Holy One;
Give thanks because He’s given
Jesus Christ, His Son.

And now let the weak say,
‘I am strong.’
Let the poor say, ‘I am rich’
Because of what the Lord
Has done for us.

And now let the weak say,
‘I am strong.’
Let the poor say, ‘I am rich’
Because of what the Lord
Has done for us.

Give thanks.
Give thanks.
Give thanks.

©1978 Integrity’s Hosanna! Music
CCLI License No. 1843349

MORNING PRAYER

SCRIPTURE

You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.

“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.

Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not even the smallest detail of God’s law will disappear until its purpose is achieved. So if you ignore the least commandment and teach others to do the same, you will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But anyone who obeys God’s laws and teaches them will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. But I warn you—unless your righteousness is better than the righteousness of the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven!

Matthew 5:13-20

God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were. But as people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful grace became more abundant. So just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God’s wonderful grace rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of His wonderful grace? Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.

Since we have been united with Him in His death, we will also be raised to life as he was. We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with Him. We are sure of this because Christ was raised from the dead, and He will never die again. Death no longer has any power over Him. When He died, He died once to break the power of sin. But now that He lives, He lives for the glory of God. So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus.

Romans 5:20-6:11

MESSAGE

Risky Grace

Randy K’Meyer

In Las Vegas, a preacher is sitting in his office laboring over Sunday’s sermon when his phone rings. When he answers the person calling says, “I’m coming for a weekend in Vegas and was wondering what time Sunday morning worship service begins?”
The preacher says, “Wow! I’m impressed; most people who come to Las Vegas don’t come to worship God.”
“Oh, I’m not coming to worship God; I’m coming for the booze, the parties, the gambling and the wild women! And if I have half as much fun as I hope to, by Sunday morning, I’ll need a place to confess.”

I didn’t tell you that joke simply to tickle your funny-bone, but to introduce a serious subject. For even though that joke is fictitious, I’m sure that scenario has been played out many, many times in Las Vegas. In fact, I am sure that the various churches in and around Las Vegas benefit from a fair amount of out-of-town visitors on Sunday mornings, looking to get right with God after a wild weekend of partying by people whom are presuming upon the grace of God. And truth be told, that kind of dynamic most likely occurs in other communities all over the world.

A convict sentenced to life imprisonment in a maximum-security prison on an island off the coast of Australia turned on a fellow prisoner and beat him senseless. Authorities shipped him back to the mainland to stand trial; whereupon, he gave a straightforward, passionless account of the crime. He showed no sign of remorse and denied having any grudge against the victim.
“Why then?” asked the Judge, “What was your motive?”
The prisoner replied that he was sick and tired of life in that prison, a notoriously brutal place, and saw no reason to keep on living.
“Yes, yes, I understand all that,” said the Judge, “I can see why you might drown yourself in the ocean, but murder? Why did you have to kill that man?”
“Well, it’s like this,” said the prisoner, “I’m a Catholic; we believe if you commit suicide, you’ll go straight to hell. But if I murder someone, I can confess my sin, God will have to forgive me and I’ll go to heaven.” 1

Las Vegas, Australia; wherever and whenever the love, mercy and grace of God is taught, there is risk involved.

After talking about the extraordinary love, mercy and grace of God the last two weeks, it would be very easy for any of us to conclude, “Well, if God has me covered with His grace; such that all my sins, past, present and future are forgiven then why not ?! We are free to do anything we wish because, after all, God is going to forgive us.”

Grace is risky because people, people like you and I, will always be tempted to presume upon the grace of God.

Were any of you wondering about that on either of the last two Sundays? Not about yourself, of course, but that other people might listen to what I was saying and run with it; run wild with it?

Perhaps you thought it was risky for me to read Phil Yancey’s quote:

Grace means there is nothing we can do to make God love us more; no amount of spiritual calisthenics and renunciations, no amount of knowledge gained from seminaries, and divinity school, no amount of crusading for righteous causes. And grace means (put on your safety belts now) there is nothing we can do to make God love us less; no amount of racism or pride or hatred or pornography or adultery or even murder. Grace means God already loves us as much as an infinite God can possibly love. 2

I don’t mind if you questioned my sanity in reading that because David Martyn Lloyd-Jones, one of the most respected preachers and Bible teachers of all time once preached:

There is no better test as to whether a preacher is really preaching the NT gospel of salvation than this, that some people might misunderstand it and misinterpret it to mean that because you are saved by grace alone it does not matter at all what you do; you can go on sinning as much as you like because it will abound all the more to the glory of grace. That is a very good test of gospel preaching. … If your preaching of salvation has not been misunderstood in that way, then you had better examine your sermons again, and you had better make sure that you are really preaching the salvation that is offered in the New Testament to the ungodly, the sinner, to those who are dead in trespasses and sins, to those who are enemies of God. There is this kind of dangerous element about the true presentation of the doctrine of salvation.” 3

And my favorite preacher, Chuck Swindoll, adds this note in his book, The Grace Awakening: “If you claim to be a messenger of grace, if you think you are really preaching grace, yet no one is taking advantage of it, maybe you haven’t preached it hard enough or strong enough.” 4

Grace is risky because people can and do take advantage of it.

As Solomon once said, “There’s nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9). And 2,000 years ago Paul was addressing the same concern. In fact, what Paul had to deal with went beyond what we are talking today.

According to Randolph Yeager, Paul was dealing with a group of people who reasoned like this:

If, as Paul has just argued in chapter 5, God is determined to demonstrate the superabundance of grace over sin, then the greater the sin, the greater must be the grace. Now, since God is glorified by His grace, we should perform for Him the service of sinning more, thus to give Him an even greater opportunity to demonstrate His even greater grace. Thus, it was concluded, that sin in the life of the Christian glorifies God.” 5

I don’t believe there are any Christian churches out there still promoting that ideology (I know what you are thinking; if there was, it would probably be the fastest growing church around). But who among us has not been tempted or yielded to the temptation to use God’s grace as a free pass to do whatever?

With either camp, Paul reasons, “Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of His wonderful grace?” And the answer is “Μη γονοιτο!” the strongest adversative phrase in Greek; meaning, ‘by no means,’ ‘absolutely not,’ ‘no way;’ translated by the NLT as “Of course not!

In other words, Paul wants us to emphatically know that the proper way we respond to God’s grace is by living up to our potential not dumbing down to our depravity!

Thus, he writes his colleague, Titus, “For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say, ‘No,’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age” (Titus 2:11-12).

In other words, to live our lives as Jesus lived His.

Toward the beginning of His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus calls His followers to be salt and light for the world by being a reflection of God’s moral law.

In his highly regarded, Studies in the Sermon on the Mount, the same Martyn Lloyd Jones whom I quoted earlier about the wonders of free grace, writes:

Is it not true to say of many of us that in actual practice our view of the doctrine of grace is such that we scarcely ever take the plain teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ seriously? We have so emphasized the teaching that all is of grace, that we are virtually in the position of ignoring His ethical teaching altogether and of saying that it has nothing to do with us because we are under grace. 6

Later, he explains: “We are not ‘under the law’ but we are still meant to keep it.” 7

Not out of duty, not out of obligation, not as a way to earn God’s approval, but out of appreciation for what God has done for us in Christ when He gave Himself for us on the cross, ‘Hallelujah for All You’ve Done!’

Phil Yancey writes, in his book What’s So Amazing About Grace? “If I had to summarize the primary New Testament motivation for ‘being good’ in one word, I would choose ‘gratitude.’” 8

That’s it, that’s the key. We at CrossPointe love and cherish free grace, without it we are lost. And our appreciation for it is what motivates us to live up to a higher standard; not out of obedience but out of gratitude for what’s been done for us!

In Ernest Gordon’s WWII novel, Miracle on the River Kwai, Scottish soldiers, forced by their Japanese captors to labor on a jungle railroad, had degenerated to barbarous behavior, including stealing food from one another. And then something profound happened. At a tool check point, a shovel had come up missing. The Japanese officer in charge became enraged. He demanded that the missing shovel be produced or else. When none of the prisoners budged, the officer pulled out his pistol and threatened to kill them all on the spot! It was obvious the officer meant what he had said. After a few moments, one man stepped forward. The officer put away his gun, picked up a shovel, and beat the man to death. Later, when they came to a second tool check point, no shovel was missing. Indeed, there had been a miscount at the first check point. The word spread like wildfire through the whole camp. An innocent man had been willing to die to save the others!

The incident had a profound effect. The men began to treat each other with love and respect again, like the band of brothers they were. When the victorious Allies swept in, the survivors, mere human skeletons, were given an opportunity to dole out punishments to their captors. But instead of attacking them, they insisted, “No more hatred, no more killing; what we all need is forgiveness.” 9

The sacrifice of one man motivated the rest to live up to a higher standard.

In that case, it was one human being who sacrificed himself on behalf of the others; in our case, it was the Son of God who gave Himself for us.

One way that can be very helpful in living up to our high calling is imagining Jesus looking down upon us from the cross as we are about to do something stupid and think, wow, He is suffering there for me; maybe I can suffer, in resisting this sin, for Him. Not out of guilt, but out of a tremendous sense of appreciation for what He has done for me!

For as we come to truly grasp the wonder of God’s love and grace given through Christ the thought of exploiting it diminishes more and more.

I once read about a husband and wife, neither of whom really loved each other. The man was very demanding, so much so that he prepared a list of rules and regulations for his wife to follow. He insisted that she read them over every day and obey them to the letter. Among other things, his “do’s and don’ts” indicated such details as what time she must get up in the morning, when breakfast should be served, and how the housework should be done. After several long years, the husband died.

As time passed, the woman fell in love with another man, one who dearly loved her and soon they were married. This husband did everything he could to show his love for her. One day as she was cleaning house, she found tucked away in a drawer the list of commands her first husband had drawn up for her. As she looked it over, it dawned on her that even though her present husband hadn’t given her any kind of list, she was doing everything her first husband’s list required anyway. She realized she was so devoted to this man that her deepest desire was to please him, not out of duty or obligation, but out of love. 10

Augustine was the great preacher of grace during the fourth and fifth centuries. He said that the doctrine of justification by grace alone, apart from works, led him to the maxim, “Love God and do as you please.” 11

At first glance, Augustine’s statement looks like a license to do whatever one pleases, but when we reflect upon it, if we really do love God with everything we’ve got, our pleasure will be His.

The more we come to fully comprehend and appreciate what Christ has done for us, the more we will surely strive to live lives worthy of such great love. We will strive to live well not to make God love us, but because He already does!

The Irish people can remember well the terrible potato famine that wiped out a million people around 150 years ago. You can read the graphic story in Leon Uris’ blockbuster novel, Trinity. Many hundreds of thousands left Ireland for the New World, or Australia and New Zealand searching for a new life.

One of these was a penniless boy who hid as a stowaway on an immigrant ship bound for America. In the middle of the Atlantic, the ship hit an iceberg and began to slowly sink, so there was enough time to get everybody into lifeboats. Deep down in the bowels of the ship the boy wondered why the ship had stopped and as he emerged from his hiding place there was no one around. He came up on deck just as the captain was about to step into the last seat of the last lifeboat. In the highest tradition of the sea, the captain stepped back and allowed the boy to take his place. As the lifeboat was pushed off, he said to the lad: ‘Never forget what has been done for you today.’

As the lifeboat pulled away, the lad could see the captain standing on the deck, and that vision never left him. He became a successful businessman in the New World, and when people asked him about the secret of his achievement he always told the story of the captain giving his life for him and how he was urged to never forget what had been done for him.

“Whenever I get discouraged and feel negatively about myself,” he said, “I recall the vision of what has been done for me; it gives me courage to keep on keeping on to be worthy of such a price.” 12

“We stand amazed at God’s awesomeness
That He would love and guide us
That He has taken all our sorrows
And promised us a beautiful tomorrow.

What can we say to tell Him ‘Thank You’?
What can we do to show our heart?
For what He’s done and who He is,
Oh, Lord, I give You me.” 13

CLOSING PRAYER

[I encourage you to pray as you feel led by the Spirit of God].

CLOSING SONG

I Give You Me

Mula, Candace

I stand amazed at Your awesomeness
That You would love and guide me
That You have taken all my sorrows
And promised me a beautiful tomorrow.
What can I say to tell You ‘Thank You’?
What can I do to show my heart?
For what You’ve done and who You are,
Oh, Lord, I give You me.

I give You me…all that I have
Not holding back…but every part.
All that I am…and hope to be,
Lord I am blessed when I give You me.

Take me all the way…until the day
We embrace…for eternity.
Take me all the way…until the day
We embrace…for eternity.

I give You me…all that I have
Not holding back…but every part.
All that I am…and hope to be,
Lord I am blessed when I give You me.

I give You me…all that I have
Not holding back…but every part.
All that I am…and hope to be,
Lord I am blessed when I give You me.

Lord I am blessed
When I give You me.

©2002 Candace Mula/Healing Place Music
CCLI License No. 1843349

BENEDICTION II

Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.

Thessalonians 2:16-17

1 Phillip Yancey, What’s So Amazing About Grace, [Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing, ©1997], page 177.

2 Ibid, page 70.

3 An excerpt from Lloyd-Jones’ sermon, “The Faithfulness of God without Effect?”
https://www.puritanboard.com/threads/lloyd-jones-on-the-gospel-and-the-charge-of-antinomianism.106379/

4 Charles Swindoll, The Grace Awakening, [Dallas, Texas: Word Publishing, © 1990] page 40.

5 Randolph Yeager, The Renaissance New Testament, Volume 11, [Gretna, Louisiana: Pelican Publishing, © 1983], page 447).

6 Sir Martyn David-Lloyd Jones, Studies in the Sermon on the Mount, Volume 1, [Grand Rapids: W. B. Eerdmans Publishing, © 1959], page 12.

7 Ibid, page 26.

8 Phillip Yancey, What’s So Amazing About Grace, [Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing, ©1997], page

9 From Ernest Gordon, Miracle On The River Kwai, adapted by Don Ratzlaff in Christian Leader.
http://www.sermonillustrations.com/a-z/s/substitution.htm

10 Unknown.
www.Sermon Illustrations.com/a-z/g/grace.html

11 Michael Horton, The Agony of Deceit, [Chicago, Illinois: Moody Press,
© 1990], pages 143-144.

12 Remembering by Ron Clarke
https://sermonillustrator.org/1998/06/07/remembering/

13 Lyrics from I Give You Me

Randy K'Meyer

Leave a Reply Text