God's Golden Keys

Chapter 66 - Grace

I really feel that this message God's Golden Key. We've gone into doors that God's Golden Key opens. The power that has been made available to us through One, Jesus. He is the Key. "If He is already given us the best that heaven had, Jesus, will He not with Him also freely give us all things?" Jesus then becomes the key who opens the various doors, the doors of our need.


We've talked about the need for protection that believers have and how that the Holy Spirit was brought to us by Jesus to give us that protection against the enemy. The Spirit is on the job constantly monitoring our needs and has given us this help. We've talked about the authority, those times when we need something that we can use to ourselves to bring strength and hope and comfort. Something that we can use to others, to share with others, something that we can use as a weapon against the enemy and something that we can use as we approach the throne of God. And that is the name of Jesus. That was another great key, the need of authority that is released.


We talked about the times when we felt we just needed somebody with us to give us courage. In those hours of loneliness someone to tell us I am with you. Others have failed, they have run, but I will never leave you. There was the power of His presence, another door that was opened because of Jesus. We talked about the need that every individual life has for identity. The sense of knowing that we're worth something, that He has touched us, the power of His touch. We talked about the need of life in a world that smells of death all around but a source of life. And we found His word, the power of His Word, the entrance of His Word into our lives brings life, it taps the very resources of heaven.


We did talk about the need of every believer for assurance. That need of knowing that the promises that God has made that there is a place prepared that if our faith is in Him that the promise is still good. He has given us a key that opens up that door of assurance called the blood of Jesus, the blood that opens the door of heaven. The Word tells us that Jesus entered in by His own blood the blood that opened the door of His heart. When He saw it He says, "I'll accept you." All of these doors have been opened by the key that God has given to us, a key to all that God is and all that He has.


But there are times, there are some here this morning, you're under pressure. It seems as though you've knocked and the door hasn't opened. You've turned keys but there are some things in your life that just don't somehow seem to be covered. You've heard the conditions of turning the key but you failed. And so many of the promises of God seem to be for somebody else because those people had been able to meet the conditions, fulfill the demands and they were receiving but not you and you stand at the side. You feel lonely and rejected and the stream of God's grace goes by. Some may say well that must be a very small majority of people who haven't been able to have taken advantage of all of these things that God has done. But surprisingly it's not the small minority that fits into this category. There are times when every believer feels alone and cut off and the sky seems like its brass and it seems that your prayer isn't getting through and nobody really understands. I know because I love people and I deal with people. I hear the calls that come over the telephone everyday. People who are reaching, searching and they've heard that God has moved in a special way and they feel possibly there might be a little bit of hope here, they've tried everything else.


And the people I've ministered to right here, I find the same thing. "God why isn't there an answer somewhere?" But God has taken that beautiful Golden Key, His Son, and has asked us now to turn our eyes to a great big door, the biggest package of His love that He has yet made and He says, "it is for those people in their hour of need, when they haven't met the conditions, when all they have to offer Me is failure, when it seems as though faith is at a low ebb. And I look down at them and I have to say they don't deserve a thing." When it comes right down to it, if all we got was what we deserved we would sure be paupers. That's why David could say, "I'm glad He didn't deal with us according to our iniquities. God has another thing in mind.


Down through the past 50 years theologies have been put together placing the responsibility of the work of God into the hands of man. But God is saying, "You've got things a little bit wrong." I am certainly glad that God didn't say, "Ok because you wanted to take it into your hands you could have it." Wouldn't we be in a mess? Aren't you glad this morning that your salvation doesn't depend on what you've been able to do? God has given us work to do but the key to divine help is not based on what we're able to do. You ought to shout hallelujah for that.


God is smiling because He said, "I know man's weakness and I'll let them link arms with me and give them the first right to move with Me and get a job done but I'm certainly am not going to put as something as important as the key to My great big storehouse here in the hands of failing man." God has it. And that key is spelled GRACE. 1 Corinthians 15:10. Now the Apostle Paul here is making a statement. He says, "I am what I am by the grace of God." You wonder how I got where I am Paul said, he did plenty of things but he said even the things he did was the grace of God at work in his life. "But by the grace of God I am what I am and His grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain."


God is bestowing grace and with some people it is in vain and he says to see that you receive not the grace of God in vain. He also said, "I do not frustrate the grace of God." God has great power that is working; great force at work and he said, "don't frustrate every effort that God has trying to help you." Don't frustrate, let him work. Recognize that God is at work. But I labored more abundantly than they all, he started to boast a little bit now. God gave me some grace but look what I did through this then, all of a sudden nudged him and said woops you better add a word here. And he said, "Not I but the grace of God, which was in me."


God was doing something, stirring up all of those capabilities, the drives, the powers within me, I didn't accomplish this, yet not I but the grace of God. This takes the ability to brag away from people. Hey look, I'm going to hang up a shingle, I prayed for somebody and they got healed, now folks you come to me I have the gift of healing. You better watch out, you better say not I, the grace of God. Because God doesn't mind if He lets you fall on your face once in awhile. I'll never forget this man that the Lord blessed and he went out and prayed for a few folk and the Lord healed them and he gave the Lord the credit. He got to thinking one day and some people said this is great; you're the one to do the praying, when I get sick I'll call on you. And so he asked me if he could make an announcement. I didn't know what it was going to be. He stood up here and said, "Now folks if any of you are sick I want you to come and let me pray for you because God has given me special anointing to pray for you." God didn't seem to pay much attention to him. And the people that came went away like they were before. He was discouraged; he wondered what was a matter. He came and asked me about it. So I said, "Recognize where it comes from." Let them know that it isn't your ability to pray it has to be God's kindness and grace towards us. So there are times when we are able to push the right button and get something to happen. But about 95% of the time when anything happens supernatural it is the grace of God at work and not because we've earned a solitary thing. That takes the bulk of us and it takes that small little group that says I've met all of the conditions, and it puts you all right out in the middle of God's great big funnel of love. So Paul made that statement. He said of what I did, it's what God did. 1 Corinthians 1:4-8. And Paul is saying now "you are what you are by the grace of God."


I trust that the Lord is speaking to your heart, letting you see that you're not excluded even in those times when you feel like you can't get through. You have a power working for you. There's a door that God holds the key on. We've used some of these other keys but God's Golden key says you've kind of missed the boat and there's no way but I'm not going to let you hurt if I can help it. And that grace comes through, mercy for the sinner, help in the hardest place, everything for nothing. That is grace; God has the key to it. So I am what I am, and you are what you are by God's grace.


"I thank my God always on your behalf for the grace of God that is given to you by Jesus Christ. That in everything you are enriched by Him in all utterance." God helped you to testify and witness for Him. In all knowledge, He even let you understand some things that you didn't know before. It wasn't that you were so smart it was just the grace of God again. Then he said, "even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you so that you came behind in no gift waiting the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ who shall also confirm you until the end that you may be blameless," here it is justification. All the way through God's going to confirm that state of innocence because your faith is in what He has done and not in what you have done. He will confirm you until the end that you might be blameless in the day of the Lord Jesus Christ. He wants you to know that if your faith is in what He has done in His performance and not in yours, you can quit sweating in waiting for the return of the Lord Jesus Christ.


Ephesians 1:3-7. "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places according as he has chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world." You see before the world was started you really hadn't accomplished very much yet had you? Just stop and think about it. You were chosen; God's grace chose you before the world started. "That we should be holy and without blame before Him in love. Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself according to the good pleasure of His will. To the praise of the glory of His grace." That force from heaven that's so strong and big that nothing can stop. "Wherein He has made us accepted in the beloved."


I want you to notice that little word here wherein, it's in this grace you see, you've been accepted. Then He helps you to stand because of His grace as you walk with Him. You have been accepted in Jesus because of something that you didn't earn. We've been accepted by something we didn't do because there's a force in action. We have been accepted by His grace because of this grace. Then he goes on to say some of the other benefits of this grace of whom we have redemption. That grace was valuable enough to take care of buying us back, paying our dept. We have redemption through His blood and the forgiveness of sins, everything wiped out according to the riches of His grace. Talk about rich.


This is a key that God has given, God maintains, but a door that He opens with it for every human being in this whole wide world. His grace, his grace. Because if it was only for those who've earned it we'd all be left out but it's by his grace. You that have excluded yourself from these other things, this is for you. Then he goes on to say the forgiveness of sins and then also it's abounding towards us in wisdom and prudence and so on and then he goes on to say that his plans as we read on here in verse 10 they include sharing with Him the joys of heaven, a beautiful future that He has provided for us. We're justified, we're made innocent through His grace.


In Romans 5:15-17. "But not is the offence so also is the free gift. For through the offence of one many are dead. Much moe the grace of God and the gift by grace which is by one man Jesus Christ has abounded unto many. Not as if it was by one that sinned so is the gift. For the judgment was by one to condemnation but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. All of those offences erased so that you're declared innocent and righteous unto justification. For by one man's offence death reigned much more they which receive the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one Jesus Christ."


Paul is saying God wants to put you in the driver's seat. You know that we're so often moved by circumstances and other things, we're not in control, somebody pushes down on one end of the teeter-totter and we go up. They let go and we come down. We're not really reigning. Somebody does something and we hit the reaction. There's a domino effect constantly going on. But he said instead of you just being taken by every little whim of this life you can steer. Because you've been tapped into Him, the river of His grace, you can reign in this life. There are a lot of people that say that they can't help themselves, they say I was born Irish can I help that. I've had people come in and tell me that and I tell them that's a bunch of nonsense. We don't have to be ruled by these things that are negative things of this life. We don't have to be ruled by disturbances that people feel, the moods that come our way.


The psychologists have kind of tied our hands and have said you can't help yourself, you fit into a pattern and you got to stay in that pattern, when that bad thing happens you have to go down, all your life you have to look forward to being defeated, every little bit. Thank God that the Lord came, it's kind of like an Olympic swimming pool that they have with those ropes running down, the psychologists say you've to stay in your line but the Lord said not so and He took all of the cords out of the way. And you want to get over there where that person is swimming in victory; He says you can move there from any spot. Hallelujah.


Don't accept defeat that easily, don't accept it at all. Not as long as Jesus is alive, not as long as He still has the key to that big storehouse of Grace. You can reign in this life. Some of you that are bound by smoking, it's true you've created a habit and your cells scream for that tobacco. But that cigarette doesn't jump out of the package and build some wings and fly up there to your mouth. And it doesn't come up there already lit. We cannot literally say we're taking advantage of God's grace when we're frustrating His grace by doing the very things. And the Lord is going to prove Himself to many of you by liberating you and letting you know there's a river of grace there. I'm going to reign in this life; I'm not going to allow these things to call the shots. There are many people who have found that God has a plan where you can reign in this life. What we're seeing is God at work.


I love that verse of Scripture where He tells us it is God at work in you both to will and to do, this is in Philippians 2:13. Since God is holding this particular key you can expect some help. He has the key. And the Word tells us this grace that's at work there by His grace; He's giving you the will, which means that desire. There are a lot of people that have good desires but they say I just can't do it. But if God has given you a desire to serve Him, a desire to be free. The other part of that gift is the power to do. He's given you the will; He's given you the go-power. What strings do I pull? You can't pull any; it's God's grace. So he said those who accept, say oh God I just have to admit I can't do it I want your grace, they reach out and they take the free gift. Those who accept the abundance of His grace will reign in this life. Isn't that a beautiful message, God's grace? It comes to it's highest meaning here, in Hebrews 2:9, God allowed me to see afresh and anew the scenes that He's allowed me to see before that Jesus Christ by the grace of God, here it is, God's grace now, what He's given to us reaches it's highest purpose and meaning when all of mankind in the whole world had to face damnation, eternal damnation, God's great plan said they don't deserve it and there's nobody that has earned it but I'm giving my Son free, I'm giving Him that He should taste death for every man. Not just physical death, if He tasted physical death for every person his plan isn't working because people are still dying.


What was it that He came to do? It was to taste that agonizing separation from God. That's why He cried out on the cross as He began to feel the bite of that second death, "Oh God why have you forsaken Me?" And God turned His back on Jesus and when He did the whole world tasted a little bit of that darkness that Christ was tasting, when darkness filled the whole world for several hours there. Listen, there's a fear, mankind, even believers fear that terrible punishment that God had planned for satan and his angels and that mankind brought upon himself in sinning. The soul that sins shall die, but Jesus by God's grace, that free unmerited favor smiled on us but turned his back on Jesus and Jesus went out into the darkness of an eternal night. He tasted that agonizing cry of a damned soul with no chance, no hope, the futility, the emptiness, the lost-ness, never a ray of light, not a nightmare that would end, not a bad dream, not the agonizing pain of an affliction that can be cured but the eternal damnation of a damned soul. Why did He do it? Because of the grace of God, that kindness of God. He did it so that not one person in this whole world would actually have to face the judgment of God. Now there's a lot of people who are going to be in that place because they have received the grace of God in vain but God wants the world to know and He cried out to them, "Why will you die, why will you die? I've already died for you, why will you suffer hell when I've already suffered it for you? He didn't have to go for Himself. That's why the Word tells us that the sins of the whole world were placed upon Him. Can you see, can you feel that agony of soul that He felt for you? It was by the grace of God that He tasted. That key that God holds in His hands where God said man has no way of making it so I'm going to provide the way. All of man's efforts to somehow build a ladder to get into God's presence wouldn't work. So God said I'm going to build the approach from my heart down to man. And Jesus became the road. Can you see this key today?


The other keys we've talked about that God has placed in our hands to take advantage, the thing that He has asked us to do here, our part in this activating His grace is receiving. Accepting. God I can't do it. It doesn't hurt for you to cry out, "God help, I can't do it." It doesn't hurt. In fact God would like to have you say that He's looking for an opportunity to help you. I wonder today while we're taking this communion service if you would just cry out, "Lord I need your help." Thank Him for His goodness, all that He has done but remember all of these things that the Lord has done for you bringing salvation, redemption, justification, bringing you victory in this life. And then finally, victory over all time from the damnation, the eternal separation from God. That's something we all ought to thank God for. While we're participating with this communion service, God has made it possible for us to have a reminder of what He did. And what you have here in this communion, when you look at that bread your saying, "I put my faith in what He has done." Your actually saying to God, "God I'm accepting your grace."