The Possibility of Unclaimed Grace
2 Cor 6:1-2 NASB

And working together with Him, we also urge you to receive the grace of God in vain --  For He says, "AT THE ACCEPTABLE TIME I LISTENED TO YOU, AND ON THE DAY OF SALVATION I HELPED YOU"; behold, now is "THE ACCEPTABLE TIME," behold, now is "THE DAY OF SALVATION"--

Eph 2:6-10 NASB) For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves,
it is the gift of God; {9} not as a result of works, that no one should boast. {10} For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
 

INTRODUCTION
Recently a person made me aware of a site that list unclaimed money. The organization is called Found Money. They claim:
Each year Billions of Dollars become lost and unclaimed when banks and governments lose track of the true owner of the money they hold, due to: post office mistakes, misspelled names, business and banks that go bankrupt (ie. S&L's), unplanned changes of address, marriage breakup, unexpected job relocation, and relatives and friends dying without a will...in all of the above examples the government holds onto the money until it is claimed. The catch? You have to join up at a price of $29.95 for 2 searches.

The person who told me about it got $138.00. But most of the money just sits there and you might say it is "unclaimed" money until somebody claims it. Today I want to preach on the possibility of Unclaimed Grace.

1.    The Possibility of Unclaimed Grace by the . . .Christian.
2.    The Possibility of Unclaimed Grace by the. . .Non-Christian.
 
 

1.    The Possibility of Unclaimed Grace by the. . .Christian. v 1


        And working together with Him, we also urge you not to receive the grace of God in vain;

Intro:
The word translated VAIN is also translated with the word EMPTY.

Notice in this verse the word "vain" is used twice.      1 Cor 15:14 and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain. (NAS)

A.    The Possibility of Unclaimed Grace in. . .Serving.

1 Cor 15:10 NASB) But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me
did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me.
 

B.    The Possibility of Unclaimed . . Shortcomings.   (Heb 12:15 NASB)
See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled;
 

C.    The Possibility of Unclaimed Grace in. . Stewardship.   1 Pet 4:10 NASB) As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
 

Illustration
When some of you hear the word "stewardship" you think oh no, here we go another talk about money. But stewardship refers to the total Christian life. It is every expression of our personality our time, our talent, our possessions, any way that we can express ourselves.

That is stewardship and this verse of scripture is saying we need to be people who employ the gifts that God has given us into the service of the Lord. You can be one who has grace available to you and God's gifts in your life, but you are not claiming it. Therefore, there is unclaimed Grace in Stewardship.
 

D.    The Possibility of Unclaimed Grace in . . Sanctification.
(Titus 2:11-12 NASB) For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, {12} instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously, and godly in the present age.
 

ILLUSTRATION
Many times in discussions with preachers or other persons who are versed in scripture they will accuse me, as a Baptist, of not believing in sanctification or they will emphasize sanctification and say that Baptists do not emphasize it. I say you are making an improper judgment of our belief. Where you are, you emphasize sanctification as a work that you must do. Baptists emphasize sanctification as a work only God can do. Now I also believe the scriptures teach us that we are sanctified by the Grace of God in salvation. We do also participate with the grace of God in what this verse is talking about. Look at verse 11 it says Grace, but jump immediately down to verse 12 and it says instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and live sensibly, righteously, and godly in the present age.

Recently, I had a discussion with Frank Reagan, our director of the Heaven's Gates & Hell's Flames Drama. We were talking about this very matter and I told him that I on many occasions have said to someone, I do not mean to be braggadocios, but I would say this, I will match the holiness of my life with the holiness of your life. The difference in my life is I do not do certain things not because I think they are going to make me holy, I do them because of the grace of God already in my life making me holy. There is a grace to claim in the area of sanctification. Are you claiming it?
 

Application

There is a grace that can abound to us as Christians. Jesus said, "I've come to give life and give it more abundantly." How is that abundant life possible? It is possible first of all in salvation but then to the Christian there is abundant grace available we need to claim that abundant grace.

There is the Possibility of Unclaimed Grace by the. . .Christian.
 
 
 
 

2.    The Possibility of Unclaimed Grace by the. . .Non-Christian.   v 2


2} for He says, "AT THE ACCEPTABLE TIME I LISTENED TO YOU, AND ON
THE DAY OF SALVATION I HELPED YOU"; behold, now is "THE ACCEPTABLE TIME." behold, now is "THE DAY OF SALVATION"--
 

A.    The Possibility of Unclaimed Grace by. . .Nullifying it.
(Gal 2:21) "I do not nullify the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly."
 

B.    The Possibility of Unclaimed Grace by. . .Neglecting it.
(Heb 2:3) how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? After it was at the first spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who heard,
 

Illustration
Walter L. Wilson used an illustration he tells about in his book "The Romance of a Doctor's Visits." One time while he was preaching, Wilson took a vase in his hand, held it up, and said, "Let's imagine that this is a bottle of medicine, proven unmistakably to be a sure cure for coughing. I, therefore, could give you my word that it is able to rid you of your cough."

Dr. Wilson then asked his audience, "What do you think? Could that medicine do you any good?" He paused, waiting for an answer. Several moments passed. The silence at last was broken by the voice of a little boy who cried out, "Not unless you take it!" He was right. As effective as the cough medicine might be, its benefits would never be enjoyed unless you took it.
 

APPLICATION

The same is true of salvation--being forgiven and going to heaven. Although Jesus has provided it for us through His death on the cross, what He accomplished there will do us no good unless we take what He is Offering.
 

C.    The Possibility of Wasted Grace by. . .Non conforming to it.
( Basketball player Rodman an example of ridiculous non conforming)

John 3:7 "Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.'

John 3:14 "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up;

Acts 4:12 "And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved."
 

ILLUSTRATION
During our recent Drama Heaven's Gates & Hell's Flames, at invitation time, there were persons sitting in the audience that I had talked to privately about Jesus. I was trying to decide if the Lord was impressing me to go talk to them. But in both cases where I was particularly prompted about someone, persons in our church went and talked to them gently and kindly. Both of them shook their heads. Now both of these men will tell you, I believe, sometime in their life they are going to make that decision but they are tremendous examples right now of people who are not claiming the grace of God.

APPLICATION

Wasted Grace by the. . .Christian.

Wasted Grace by the. . .Non-Christian.
 


Conclusion

A blind man once stood on a corner at a busy intersection reading aloud Acts 4 from a portion of a Braille Bible. A gentleman on his way home stopped at the edge of the crowd that had gathered to listen. At that very moment, the sightless man lost his place. While trying to find it, he kept repeating the last three words he had just read: "No other name. . .No other name. . .No other name. . ."

Many smiled, but the inquisitive bystander went away impressed. He had been searching for inner peace and therefore was ready to be influenced by a few words spoken "in season." He had heard the verse before, but that one phrase haunted him. Before morning he surrendered to the Holy Spirit's wooing and accepted the Savior. "I see it all now," he cried. "I've been trying to be saved by my own works and prayers. But Jesus alone can help me. He is my mediator. There is no other name whereby I must be saved." Thus a blind man's witness, given in a stumbling manner, was used to lead a seeking soul to Christ.


 
 


 
 


 

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