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God’s Grace

May 30, 2012

Gods-Grace“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

It is no small wonder these two verses are frequently memorized. They sum up the gospel of grace. Every heart’s desire is grace. We surely don’t want justice. If we got what we deserved for our sin, we would all be condemned. We want what we don’t deserve and that is grace.

Ephesians 2:8-9 teaches our salvation has nothing to do with our works. It is a free gift from God which we receive by faith. Salvation is not something we work up or even work on. Works have nothing to do with it. If that were the case, we could boast, “I did this,” or “I did that.” But only God can say, “I did this: I provided what all these sinners need through My Son.” Even the faith to believe comes from God, so it is grace from start to finish!

Paul knew about boasting. In Philippians 3, he referred to his past. It was quite an impressive past too! Talk about religious credentials! He was impeccably religious. He was “circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless” (vv. 5-6). If anyone could boast or have confidence in the flesh, it was him. But he looked at his impressive past and counted it all rubbish: “I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord…” (v. 8).

According to Romans 3:23, none of us deserve salvation: “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” But God’s grace is greater than our sin. All we need to do is confess our sin and trust Christ. If we think any of our works add anything to the Cross, we insult God.

Have you ever looked at your circumstances and thought, I would love to have a chance to do that again? Or If I could just change that, I would. I need another chance. That is what grace is all about. I don’t mean after we die, we get another chance to receive the Lord Jesus as Savior. The Bible does not teach that. I mean in this lifetime God lavishes His forgiving love on us after we have thoroughly blown it. We are never outside God’s grace!

Most people hear the gospel many times before they receive the Lord. That is grace. God does not give up on wooing us to Himself. He is the God of second chances – and oftentimes a thousand chances. He sends someone our way to tell us of the Savior. We reject the truth. But because He is the God of grace, He sends another. We reject the truth again. Because He is the God of grace, He sends yet another. Sometimes, this process goes on for years until finally one day – because of pursuant grace – we become children of God.

This should encourage us to pray for unsaved people. This should encourage the Christian wife who has prayed for years for her unsaved husband. God’s grace is pursuing him. This should encourage parents who have been praying for their unsaved child. God’s grace is pursuing that son or daughter. We may give up. God does not.

Some of us were saved early in life and some were saved late in life. But the wonderful fact is it takes the same amount of grace to save a five-year-old boy as it does a sixty-year-old man. Grace is abundant, no matter the age.

God is beyond time. It’s like being in a helicopter and seeing all of a parade at one time. That’s the way God sees time. He sees everything, from the beginning to the end. When God forgave Adam and Eve for their sin, He did so based on what was already in His mind accomplished – the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ. His substitutionary death makes our salvation possible. God says to us, “I’m going to give you another chance.”

Many struggling Christians understand they have been saved by grace, but they still want to pay God back with good works. Some even think this is necessary to remain saved. The Bible teaches neither. God’s love for us flows from His character, not ours; it is not dependent on anything we have done or will do. In fact, if we do nothing to serve Him for the rest of our life, He will not love us any less.

I have a friend who reacted negatively when I told him he could not earn his way to heaven. He could not comprehend this kind of grace. He felt he had to earn God’s love and acceptance. In time, however, he was able to accept God’s unconditional grace and an enormous burden lifted off his back. After accepting this truth, he found that he still wanted to serve God, but his motivation was different. He served God because he loved Him, not to earn His approval.

This is certainly a liberating truth! God isn’t keeping score. We can’t pay Him back for His grace. No amount of good works can pay the debt we owe. It is only by God’s grace through faith in Christ that we are saved. We can’t do anything to make Him love us anymore (and we can’t do anything to make Him love us any less either!).

The book of Galatians was written to those who were adding law to grace. Paul wrote, “Therefore the law was our tutor until Christ came that we might be justified by faith. Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor” (3:24-25). There is no way we could keep God’s moral code perfectly. We need a Savior. Even after we become Christians, God does not want us to add law to His grace. He wants obedience, of course, but the obedience is an overflow of a heart full of love, not legalism.

When Jesus tells us to keep His commandments, He emphasizes that obedience shows others we love Him. The moral law shows us our need for a Savior. The corresponding imperatives in the New Testament help us see we cannot obey the Lord Jesus, even after we are saved, without His help. It is not ought to, should, and must to gain His favor. Rather, it is children wanting to please their heavenly Father because they love Him.

This delivers us from legalism and keeps us on the ground of grace, not only for salvation, but also for living the Christian life. Grace brought us to the Savior, even after we spurned Him on many occasions. Grace brings us back to Him when we fail. Grace lavishes us with all the things we need to live for Him. Grace implores us to do good works out of sheer gratitude. Grace displaces us when we test the limits. Grace tells us we’re accepted. Grace is more than what we need when we suffer. Grace super-abounds where sin abounds. Grace invites us to God’s throne where we find help in times of need.

What about those who abuse God’s grace? Paul asked and answered this very question: “Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?” (Romans 6:1-2). The implication is that it is unthinkable a Christian would be comfortable continuing in sin. Sin does not stay dormant. It grows. It enslaves. If we are saved, sin cannot destroy our relationship with God, but it surely can damage our testimony and our fellowship.

If you are struggling to earn your salvation, please know God’s grace is all you need. We become Christians through God’s unmerited grace, not as the result of any effort, ability, intelligent choice, or act of service on our part.

Read more here: Back to the Basics: A Guide for Christian Living.

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105 Comments leave one →
  1. May 30, 2012 3:37 pm

    Amen to all that.

    It is significant that God so often uses marriage as the metaphor for our relationship with Him. I think we would pretty much all agree that in a marriage the husband and wife do things for each other out of love, not out of duty or trying to gain favour. In fact, when we see a marriage where, say, the wife is continually trying to earn her husband’s love, we feel sad and see it as less than a marriage. How odd then that we turn around and try to earn God’s love!

    • RebeccaAarup permalink
      May 30, 2012 6:33 pm

      Amen, thoughfulspirituality!

    • Joe Quatrone, Jr. permalink
      May 30, 2012 7:12 pm

      This is a keen insight! Thanks for sharing.

    • Tracy permalink
      June 1, 2012 5:58 am

      My very thoughts exactly! I’ve used this same comparison myself when describing why we do “works” – because we love, not to earn points.

  2. May 30, 2012 3:42 pm

    Amen. Amen.

    • Joe Quatrone, Jr. permalink
      May 30, 2012 7:14 pm

      Thanks, Terra!

  3. May 30, 2012 3:44 pm

    Great post on Grace!

    • Joe Quatrone, Jr. permalink
      May 30, 2012 7:14 pm

      Thank you, my brother. To God be the glory!

  4. May 30, 2012 3:45 pm

    Beautifully stated! Thanks for your insight, Joe. God loves each of us for who we are and what we are. There is nothing we can do to get Him to love us more than He already does! Blessings, Dave.

    • Joe Quatrone, Jr. permalink
      May 30, 2012 7:15 pm

      Thanks, Dave!

  5. RebeccaAarup permalink
    May 30, 2012 4:14 pm

    I am that “Christian wife” praying for her husband, thanks for mentioning that! I have to re-blog this because just this morning I was overwhelmed with frustration over Christians pointing fingers at the sins of others as evidence to doubt their salvation. Also, there seems to be a strong movement towards “works” as a part of justification, which again is erroneous. God needs nothing from me, and there is no work I could ever do to be worthy of salvation or “prove” my salvation. The problem is, there is a misunderstanding of grace. To the believer who truly understands the grace of God, they are compelled to act. The believer who has not appropriately understood grace strives to do good works because “the Bible says so” rather than being compelled to do them out of a heart that is in LOVE with God and His grace towards them. All of our Christian striving to “do good” would be eliminated if there was a desire to understand grace as God meant it.

    • May 30, 2012 6:08 pm

      very nicely stated, young lady!!!!!!!!

    • Joe Quatrone, Jr. permalink
      May 30, 2012 7:47 pm

      Thank you, Rebecca. I know it can be frustrating for your husband to “not see the Light” as you have. I encourage you to keep praying and be a light to him through your actions at home. God’s grace is powerful! One day, he just might become God’s child too! Thankfully, as you pointed out, we could never earn our salvation. Our righteousness is not our own, but that which has been given to us through Christ’s perfect sacrifice on the cross. My prayers are with you, Rebecca!

      • RebeccaAarup permalink
        May 30, 2012 11:57 pm

        Thanks for your prayers, and I’m always “hanging around”. :) My dad was a preacher, and we used to have many long theological talks so I learned how to study the Word at an early age. (Although I struggled for sometime to LIVE what I studied). Being in Gods family means I’ll be a student of truth until I’m perfected in His presence!

        • May 31, 2012 12:07 am

          hi rebecca,…my settings??? or yours??? won’t let me view your page??? any ideas???

  6. RebeccaAarup permalink
    May 30, 2012 4:19 pm

    Reblogged this on Living on the Mountaintop and commented:
    Understanding grace is imperative in the Christian life. This is an excellent post about God’s grace. I’ve been seeing a lot of posts about works being a part of our justification and that is not truth. Salvation is by grace, and the believer who appropriately understands grace will be compelled to “do good works”, not because they “owe” it to God, but because they LOVE God and are overwhelmed with receiving an underserved grace. Works come from the heart and relationship with God, works do not prove anything or justify anyone. (I recommend reading the entire book of Romans if you still doubt, especially Romans 4)

    • Joe Quatrone, Jr. permalink
      May 30, 2012 7:48 pm

      Thanks for reblogging my post, Rebecca. The more people who come to know God’s grace the better!

      • RebeccaAarup permalink
        May 30, 2012 7:56 pm

        My thoughts exactly!

      • Joe Quatrone, Jr. permalink
        July 23, 2012 11:53 pm

        Hi Rebecca, I hope you are well! I haven’t heard from you in a while. How are you doing?
        I no longer see a link to your blog on your name. Did you change the URL or something?
        Do you know I am editing/co-authoring a devotional book?

  7. May 30, 2012 4:45 pm

    Great article my brother. God’s grace goes beyond human thinking and reasoning. All we can offer as human is conditional love and grace. Only through a relationship with Jesus we can tap into the unconditional kind of grace and love.

    Have said all this we have to be aware that once saved does not mean always saved. Through constant disobedience and living a life which pleases the flesh rather than God will only show that that we are still of the world and as scripture says you cannot serve God and the world. Those who sin deliberately will become enemies of God even though they would have at one point in time accepted Jesus.

    “If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.” (Hebrews 10:26,27)

    • May 30, 2012 6:00 pm

      HHHHMMMMMMMM………the wheels are really turnin now!!!! lol

    • Joe Quatrone, Jr. permalink
      May 30, 2012 8:01 pm

      “Only through a relationship with Jesus we can tap into the unconditional kind of grace and love.” Amen! I don’t deserve God’s unconditional grace and love, but He gives it to me anyway. This is amazing!

  8. May 30, 2012 5:00 pm

    Thanks, Joe, for sharing this.

  9. May 30, 2012 6:12 pm

    lol joe!!!!! good stuff!!!!!,…….but now,….i have to wonder if the standard once saved always saved,..or not,…arguments are about to begin? i hope not. lol,….GOOOOOD MORNIN TO YA, JOE!!!!! AND THE REST OF YALL TOO!!!!!!!

    • RebeccaAarup permalink
      May 30, 2012 6:38 pm

      I’ve noticed that any Scripture taken out of context and in disregard for the audience intended by the original author can be used to twist and distort one’s beliefs about any number of things. There are many verses that “appear” to support loss of salvation, but when viewed in the entirety of Scripure, simply cannot be so. To say one can lose their salvation is to say the entire book of John is blasphemy. :)

      • May 30, 2012 7:19 pm

        Very true, Rebecca. Personally I think the problem of once-saved-always-saved or not is one of perspective. From God’s perspective it is probably true that those who are really saved are always saved, but from our partial perspective it doesn’t always look that way. Since we cannot see the heart (as God can) we must be gracious, and that means we must attribute salvation to those who appear to be saved. We don’t always get it right and so it can seem that some lose their salvation.

        A friend once put it: “The truth does not lie at one end, nor at the other. Neither does it lie in the middle. It lies at both ends at once.”

      • Joe Quatrone, Jr. permalink
        May 30, 2012 9:23 pm

        God’s grace is such a tough concept to wrap our minds around. It is so contrary to what we experience most of the time with other people. The most frequent objections I hear to the doctrine of eternal security are: (1) What about Christians who live an immoral lifestyle? (2) What about Christians who later reject the faith and deny Christ? However, I think a better question is, “Were they ever saved to begin with?”

        1 John 2:19
        “They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.”

        1 John 3:6
        “No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.”

        Any thoughts?

        • May 30, 2012 9:34 pm

          well howdy joe!!!!!! i have some thoughts, i have some thoughts!!!!!! can i throw em out here now!!!!???????………can i, huh??????!!!!

          by the way,….WHAT A SERIOUSLY GREAT BUNCH OF PEOPLE ARE COMMENTING ON HERE TODAY!!!!! HUH????????………much love to all of you!!!!! form someone who you will 99.9% chance,…..never ever meet!!!!!????? it’s a funny thing being a part of a worldwide spiritual body,….isn’t it!!!????????

          it’s kinda like when we can’t lick our own elbow,……….even then,….we are STILL PART OF THE BODY OF CHRIST,…………….that’s pretty cool when we look at it just right, huh????? yup,..the nose, never sees, the back of the head to which it is attached!!! we are all so different,….yet desiring the same. there is love here my bro joe!!!!

          where two or more are gathered in HIS NAME,…..HOW’S THE REST OF IT GO FOLKS??????

      • Tracy permalink
        June 1, 2012 6:03 am

        I hope this links correctly – I agree with what our host said below: Were they ever saved to begin with?

  10. May 30, 2012 6:38 pm

    ” He served God because he loved Him, not to earn His approval.” This statement is the key. Love generates the desire to serve. Thank you

    • Joe Quatrone, Jr. permalink
      May 30, 2012 8:03 pm

      Love for God is such a wonderful motivation!

    • May 30, 2012 8:43 pm

      perfectly said through an understanding of an all accepting loving true faith!!!!!!!!! also written by a very real human??????? nice! very nice……………….

  11. pjgracecommunity permalink
    May 30, 2012 7:23 pm

    Great post , great message and glory to God , thanks Joe.

    • Joe Quatrone, Jr. permalink
      May 30, 2012 7:52 pm

      Thanks, Pete!

      • RebeccaAarup permalink
        May 30, 2012 9:53 pm

        Joe, I was just reading 1 John this morning and agree with your assessment. Most likely (though we couldn’t know for certain) those people were never saved to begin with. I still believe, however, its not my place to “judge” a persons heart. My husband assures me he “believes in God” but his lifestyle says the opposite. I pray for him, and I serve him as his wife, but I don’t preach at him. I love 1 John 4:18-19 which tells us to love in DEEDS not just in words. That is the key and how people will be brought to Christ; when they see believers LIVING out their faith with love. We’ve got too many believers pointing out everyone’s faults instead of focusing on their own heart, and that type of attitude is a huge turn off to people like my husband who sees Christians as a bunch of judgmental hypocrites.

        • May 30, 2012 10:07 pm

          rebecca,….i hope that i “may” be saying what many others here are thinkin,….when i say,….PLEASE KEEP HANGING AROUND HERE!!!!!!!!!………your last comment that i just saw was a conversation i had with someone earlier!!!!! almost 100% too!!!!!!!………….very nice words.

          • RebeccaAarup permalink
            May 30, 2012 10:23 pm

            johnedoe, thank you for your encouragement, you can follow my blog at rebeccaaarup.com where I have re-blogged some of Joe’s other posts :)

            • May 30, 2012 10:44 pm

              lol,…i thought i already was following your blog???????? lol………..thanks much lady!

            • RebeccaAarup permalink
              May 30, 2012 10:47 pm

              Haha, well you MIGHT be, however I don’t know who all is following so I couldn’t tell you! :)

            • May 30, 2012 11:03 pm

              you know,….i just got a wild and crazy idea!!!! you follow me,…and i’ll follow you?????? huh??? huh??? pretty groovy idea, doncha think?????? lol

      • Joe Quatrone, Jr. permalink
        May 30, 2012 11:39 pm

        Rebecca, I second John’s motion: “PLEASE KEEP HANGING AROUND HERE!!!!!” Your insightful and biblical comments are always appreciated! :)

  12. May 30, 2012 9:50 pm

    God’s grace no matter how hard we try to explain it we always come up just a little short. God’s grace is just too high too deep, too long, too wide, with no beginning and no end. Pastor Joe you done one of the best jobs I have seen in a long time, thank-you. I love the part you wrote about praying for a lost love one. My father prayed many decades for me. My prayers go with you.

    • Joe Quatrone, Jr. permalink
      May 30, 2012 11:43 pm

      Thank you, my friend. I praise God for giving me a second chance!

  13. May 30, 2012 10:13 pm

    Grace — God’s unmerited favor and God’s unconditional love. I’m thankful that God never gave up on me even when I had a crisis of faith. God stood with me through depression, loss, physical challenges and emotional problems. God never judged me and was always there to lift me up. He sent many people from all faiths, beliefs, races and backgrounds to help me. When I realized God loved me so much that he was not giving up on me, my faith increased. I still have many emotional challenges to work on but God continues to be loving, forgiving and compassionate. He sees I’m trying as all weaker vessels are trying. Yes Lord I’m gonna Straighten up and Fly Right. God opened my eyes, changed my perspective and attitude. Thank you dear God for helping me to let go of the past and move forward towards the future. Thank you Lord for your Grace.

    • Joe Quatrone, Jr. permalink
      May 30, 2012 11:47 pm

      I have challenges too, so you’re not alone. Thank God for His amazing grace!

  14. May 31, 2012 1:54 am

    The gospel is so simple and it is completely summed up in the word GRACE. The hard thing is accepting it!

    • Joe Quatrone, Jr. permalink
      May 31, 2012 2:43 pm

      This is true!

  15. May 31, 2012 2:03 am

    Thank you for thinking of me. This is so right for my husband to hear. I am encouraged by how many times someone can hear The Word, then by His Grace finally really hear. I think of myself and others now found. I do continue to pray for all. I trust My Savior to do His Will not mine. At the least my husband and I are speaking to each other. That was something not thought of since Nov 2010. Thank you again. I am reposting in hopes he will read this or my daughter.

    • Joe Quatrone, Jr. permalink
      May 31, 2012 2:35 pm

      You’re welcome, my sister. My prayers are with you!

  16. May 31, 2012 2:04 am

    Reblogged this on bipolar1forever.

  17. May 31, 2012 2:04 am

    Thank you for the wonderful thoughts on grace!!! I am coming back tomorrow morning to read it again when I am more awake.

    • Joe Quatrone, Jr. permalink
      May 31, 2012 2:39 pm

      I understand. I look forward to hearing your thoughts!

  18. May 31, 2012 2:08 am

    OKAY JOE,….I ASKED IF I COULD SHARE AND COMMENT ABOUT MY “THOUGHTS” ON YOUR QUESTION OF,…”ANY THOUGHTS?????”,……but,…….picture me looking very, very, very, sad right now, ok??????…..You never answered me?……….So,…I can’t wait any longer (plus, I’m taking a break from drawing right now, so???) I’m doing the old copy and paste technique now…..you said,….

    (A)…God’s grace is such a tough concept to wrap our minds around.
    (B)…It is so contrary to what we experience most of the time with other people.
    (1) What about Christians who live an immoral lifestyle?
    (2) What about Christians who later reject the faith and deny Christ

    I’M GONNA COPY AND PASTE IN LIL’ CHUNKS, K???

    (A)….As newborn babies,…we know nothing. Then,…lil’ by lil’, we learn as we go. (and grow) GRACE,…the word itself,…can be too easily misconstrued, or, misunderstood. it has some broad definition areas to it, doncha think??? The first time that I remember hearing the word “grace”,…was in a song. Yup,…You got it! AMAZING GRACE.

    “Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,…That saved a wretch like me….
    I once was lost but now am found,…Was blind, but now, I see.

    T’was Grace that taught…my heart to fear. And Grace, my fears relieved.
    How precious did that Grace appear…the hour I first believed.

    Through many dangers, toils and snares…we have already come.
    T’was Grace that brought us safe thus far…and Grace will lead us home.

    The Lord has promised good to me…His word my hope secures.
    He will my shield and portion be…as long as life endures.

    Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail, and mortal life shall cease,
    I shall possess within the veil, a life of joy and peace.

    When we’ve been here ten thousand years…bright shining as the sun.
    We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise…then when we’ve first begun.

    “Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,…That saved a wretch like me….
    I once was lost but now am found,…Was blind, but now, I see.

    OKAY,….so there it is. It’s a nice song. I mean,…”who doesn’t just absolutely love the bagpipes??????” (I do,…at least until the end of the song!!!!! lol) I’m Scottish man, cut me some slack!!!! (well actually,…Scottish, Seminole indian, and Mexican!) And,…the words rhyme with each other, right? Easy to memorize,…for the most part anyway. As a little kid though??? What did I get out out of it??? For starters,…what is a “wretch?” I thought that’s what a dog does when it pukes. (as I said, I was just a little kid!!!)

    Other than that??? Well,….I memorized the first line, “uuuhhh uhhhhh UUHHH UH MAYYYY ZZZZING RACCCCCE….HUHOWWW SSSSWWEEEEEEETTT THUH SOUNDUH,….ETC….

    And the other thing??? I was permanently confused by this line,… “I, once, was “Lost???” but now, am “Found???” was “Blind???,…but “Now???”,…I “See???” Other than those two things??? The bagpipes made me feel like I should be part of a salute at a policeman’s funeral……….

    The “other” time that I “heard” grace? Yup. At the dinner table. With the “always accompanying” question of, “who wants to say “grace???” (I honestly felt,…due to everyone’s hesitation, and trying to “pass” the saying of this “grace” to the “other” person, and so on,…that “grace” was something that i should fear!!!????) I gotta, also, say, “why do we call a “thanks” over our food,…as “being grace???” (i was more than a “tad” confused, ya know???) Then, when I would “mix” the two together in my “kid mind”,…????? What did I see??? Well, not much.

    It’s a nice song,…but the concise definition of grace isn’t necessarily defined clearly, is it???

    (B)…”It is so contrary to what we experience most of the time with other people?????”

    WOW,…this could be fun!!! a (60’s) song “I BEEN WORKIN MY WAY BACK TO YOU BABE (JESUS?) WITH A BURNIN LOVE INSIDE.”…….(70’s) “AND SHEEZZZ BUY IGH ING THE STAIR AIR WAYEEE,….TOOOO………HEH VEN”……(30’s) “I OWE, I OWE,…SO IT’S OFF TO “WORK” I GO,…lah dee dah dee dee doe doe,…I OWE, I OWE” good old, good deed based,…organized religion!!!! yeehaw!!!! The word religion basically means,…”a certain way of “doing things” (relating to “faith”,…but more accurately, more easily, “seen”, and “experienced”, and “shared” in, “worship” (rituals)…..a series of motions,….etc,…..WHAT WE “DO.”

    The (pride based???) instinctive/internal desire to “measure up”…..to be, “good enough”,…or to be, or “act” (ACTion…as a “verb”) as a, “good “Godly???” person”, “should”….act or behave…”especially when seen or witnessed by “others” (humans, not God) external and/or, outward “motions” and “actions”…..etc,…..movin on now…….

    (#1)… What about Christians who live an immoral lifestyle?

    (#2)… What about Christians who later reject the faith and deny Christ

    wwwooooooooeeeeeeee!!!!! Bold and brave questions right there!!!! Careful how we should even “dare” to touch those with a ten foot pole, huh???? lil’ lol……but,..in all seriousness. This is worth speaking about,…as long as it “can be done” in an encouraging (enlightening???) manner, FOR ALL INVOLVED!!!! And also, for “EVERYONE'”S BEST (IN AND THROUGH THE “EYES” OF FAITH) INTEREST! Simply put, “can and will” this topic, help others to grow???

    NOW,…I ASK,….”Do you, “feel, think, believe”, that it is “possible” to keep this all around,…”encouraging???” And “hopeful???” And “freeing???” etc, etc……..

    My answer??? Based on “each”, and “every”,…”individual” having freewill to,” think” and to “believe”, and to “reason”, as we, “so choose to”,…IS,….YES!!!! and,….NO!!!! We can’t please every one, right???

    ok, joe,…there is that much for now,……if you hate what i’m writing,….my usual motto is??? yup,….delete it,….with no hard feelings, ok???? But don’t jump to any too soon conclusions either, k???? back in a while…………

    • Joe Quatrone, Jr. permalink
      May 31, 2012 2:24 pm

      You always have my permission to share your thoughts, John! I value your comments and feedback! :)

  19. May 31, 2012 5:26 am

    awesome post!!

    • Joe Quatrone, Jr. permalink
      May 31, 2012 2:17 pm

      Thank you. God’s grace is amazing!

      I just noticed your screen name… now I need another cup of coffee! :)

  20. May 31, 2012 10:25 am

    such a good message to focus on as i’m in england sharing Christ with kids. they won’t always accept him the first time around, but God will continue seeking after them. so great!

    • Joe Quatrone, Jr. permalink
      May 31, 2012 2:14 pm

      Glad to hear! God’s grace is encouraging. Sometimes, we want people to make a decision for Christ the first time we present the gospel, but that does not always happen. God’s grace is so important for us to remember when sharing the good news with others. Press on, my brother!

  21. May 31, 2012 10:53 am

    Thanks for this great article. I’m really inspired. You know, sometimes when we give our hearts to Christ, I wish we could use these words ‘Dear Jesus, I take you to be my lawfully wedded husband, to love and to cherish, until death BRINGS US TOGETHER’. There’s nothing compared to the love of Christ in our lives if we yield all to Him.

  22. May 31, 2012 3:06 pm

    Thanks for this post. I believe that faith and works go together, but the works are not for earning salvation, they are just the natural result or “fruit” of the faith. I like what you said about ‘even if we do nothing to serve Him, He will still love us’. Even if we sin all the time, nothing we do can make Him not love us. But we do need to choose to accept His grace and love. I also like what you said about all the people involved in one person’s conversion. Our prayer is so powerful. Now I have a little joke with myself. If someone is rude to me about my faith, rather than arguing about it, I take revenge!!! My revenge is loving, forgiving, peaceful prayer for their conversion!!!

    • Joe Quatrone, Jr. permalink
      May 31, 2012 10:49 pm

      That’s funny! As you said, works are not a substitute for, but rather a verification of our faith in Christ. We cannot earn our salvation through good deeds, but such actions show that our commitment to God is real. James said, “Faith without deeds is dead.”

      • May 31, 2012 11:37 pm

        THERE ARE TWO REALLY GOD SCRIPTURE REFERENCES FOR BOTH OR THESE WORKS ANS FAITH THINGS,…….all of my years in church the by grace we are saved,…and the faith without works,….have been volleyed forth and back so, so, so, so many times!!! lol,…but no lol….(if ya know what i mean???)

        number one,…..as saved people,…..jesus is the vine,…and through our faith,….we are the branches.

        number two,…….how does it go,..???? if we continue in sin,…we crucify christ afresh, and put him to open shame????? is that correct?????

        where do we find the “knowledge of our sin????” (toss me some answers here folks!!! please!!!)

        i shall return to see what you have said,…..much love to ya!!!!!! have fun!!!!!

  23. May 31, 2012 4:29 pm

    joe,…i’ll be sendin you an email in a while, k??? aaaannnnnnddd,….my coffee ain’t kicked in yet,…but when it does,….i’ll finish my two cents worth that i began above………toksoon

  24. May 31, 2012 11:20 pm

    Hi Joe,

    Just checked out your site and I really do like it.
    I feel the spirit of God in your words. I know that God is a part of this blog site. His presence is felt here.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog site also.

    God bless you and your family.

    Debra

    • Joe Quatrone, Jr. permalink
      June 1, 2012 12:17 pm

      Thank you, Debra. God bless you always!

  25. LovedOne permalink
    June 1, 2012 1:37 am

    Thanks for the reminder Joe… God’s grace is sufficient and as such we should always extend the opportunity of salvation to others. God bless you!!

    • Joe Quatrone, Jr. permalink
      June 1, 2012 12:58 pm

      This is true! We must take God’s message of salvation to others so that they may respond to the Good News. How will they hear it unless someone tells them? (Romans 10:14-15)

  26. June 1, 2012 4:58 am

    This is wonderful Joe. I must reblog this. Thanks for visiting my blog as well.
    ~Sisbeejay

    • Joe Quatrone, Jr. permalink
      June 1, 2012 12:07 pm

      Thank you, Sisbeejay. God bless you always!

  27. June 1, 2012 4:59 am

    Reblogged this on sisbeejay.

  28. Tracy permalink
    June 1, 2012 6:10 am

    Hi Joe – I really enjoyed this post! It was a very balanced look at grace. Lots of very insightful comments as well. And thank you very much for stopping by my blog. :) Blessings, Tracy

    • Joe Quatrone, Jr. permalink
      June 1, 2012 12:19 pm

      Thank you, Tracy. I appreciate all the comments you are making. God bless you always!

  29. June 1, 2012 11:22 am

    Thanks for all your posts Joe! They are a blessing to me.

    Anthony Iovino
    Bibles and Barbells Ministry

    • Joe Quatrone, Jr. permalink
      June 1, 2012 12:05 pm

      Thank you, Anthony. God bless you!

  30. transitionscoachingcayman permalink
    July 24, 2012 4:24 am

    Hi Joe, I like this post, and I agree that we are saved by grace and nothing we can do can make God love us less or more. However, I find that many Christians judge others by saying “you believe you are justified by works, therefore you are not really a Christian”, without really understanding the quote from James 2:18: “But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.”
    All it means is that if you have faith, you will naturally want to serve God, in other words, as it says in Matthew’s Gospel: “By their fruits you shall know them.” I have heard people say “I am saved” but they continue living in as much sin as before, and “justify” it by saying they are saved by grace. We are all sinners (me most of all), but we at least should try to do God’s will.

    • Joe Quatrone, Jr. permalink
      July 24, 2012 5:54 pm

      Well said! I absolutely agree!

  31. ritap24 permalink
    October 23, 2013 3:18 pm

    Hi Joe, I pray that all is well with you.
    I was reading your post to me about the Catholic Religion and that I should use God’s Grace
    to possibly help her along in her learning. My sister and I have been discussing things like Atheists and why some people are evil and some are good. The Church does not teach
    parishioners and explain the bible as written. The church’s teachings are not biblical. I told her there are two factions or sets of people, the Saved and the Unsaved. I And that Jesus did not come for the righteous.(I did not say ..( Catholics..as they say they are the only true church and the only saved people.) according to their teachings.
    How can anyone explain anything biblical to them, when they only believe in themselves?
    I haven’t received an answer from my sister, but I feel she will say that what the church
    teaches is just general and they are free to believe what they want. God helps those
    who help themselves. We know that steps need to be taken, and good faith shown,for people
    to open up their minds and eyes, who are not inclined to see outside their circle of friends and religion.

    • ritap24 permalink
      October 23, 2013 5:50 pm

      I wanted to post what my sister said about my comment, that Catholics are
      the righteous and nobody else will go to heaven, but them.
      I agree with most of this..We as Catholics believe in Purgatory..And, if Purgatory could be the place that keeps a person from Hell..then, it must be a good place. We will not know the full extent of everything we are taught until we reach our Eternal reward.

  32. October 23, 2013 10:03 pm

    I see the person above is completely misinformed about what the Catholic Church teaches and believes. First of all there is no such thing as the Catholic Religion as separate from Christianity. It is simply the original Christian Church which preserved the Bible and brought the faith to the world. Other churches only started branching off after 1,500 years. Christianity did not start in the Reformation. The Catholic Church does not teach that only Catholics go to Heaven, nor does it teach that we can save ourselves by works, instead of relying on the grace of God.

    Before making judgments about what a church believes, try going to its Bible study classes, or reading what its theologians write – I recommend anything by Scott Hahn, who hated the Catholic Church so much that he decided to find out more about it, and as a result found himself called by the Holy Spirit to become a Catholic.

    • October 23, 2013 10:51 pm

      I’m sorry. Do I know you?
      I was leaving a comment for Joe.
      I was raised a Catholic and this is what we were taught. The people I know who have been
      Catholics for 76 years, all believe in purgatory and that the Catholic Church is the one true
      Church. I was speaking about my Sister. in my comments above.
      I was not speaking about myself.
      The Church teaches that you must go to purgatory if you die in sin. They teach that
      the priest has the only authority to forgive sins. I studied Catechism for 12 years. The
      churches hold bible study but many people do not learn what their own religion means.
      It should be the duty of the parish priest to read the complete set of laws the church
      teaches. I would never belong to any religious organization without know what that
      organization teaches. Anything taught outside of the bible is false teaching.

      Sorry Joe. Hope all is well with you and your family.

  33. October 23, 2013 11:09 pm

    We are all God’s children. We are called according to the will of God. We believe in one savior,
    Jesus Christ, and by faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ we are saved.
    The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches this:
    I have posted the link for anyone interested. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/__P33.HTM

  34. October 24, 2013 12:12 pm

    Yes, this excerpt from the Catholic Catechism is about the grace of God being conferred in the sacraments, which are absolutely Biblical. It states:
    the sacrament is not wrought by the righteousness of either the celebrant or the recipient, but by the power of God.
    This is in complete agreement with this article that we rely not on our own merit but on the grace, mercy and power of God.

  35. October 24, 2013 2:24 pm

    I understand you are Catholic and so you would defend the Church. But I do study Theology
    and here is a definition of the Church:
    Roman Catholicism teaches that the Roman Catholic Church was estabilished by Christ through Peter as the first visible head. The authority was the authority that God gave Peter (even though Peter denied Christ 3 times) as the first visible head. The authority was the authority that God
    gave to Christ and that Christ in turn gave to the church. Non-Catholics would establish the beginning of the Roman Catholic Church in A.D. 590 with Gregory I,
    Through the history of the ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH a major point of emphasis has been that union with the Roman Catholic Church IS ESSENTIAL TO SALVATION. “There is only one universal church of the faithful, OUTSIDE – WHICH NONE WILL BE SAVED.” This was reaffirmed by Pope Bonifae Viii .
    IT IS TO BE HELD AS A MATTER OF FAITH – NO ONE CAN BE SAVED OUTSIDE THE APOSTOLIC ROMAN CHURCH. It is the only ark of salvation and anyone who does not enter it must sink in the flood.
    the church teaches that Christ is DIVINE. HE ALSO MUST HAVE A CHURCH OF SIMILAR DIVINE QUALITIES. The church has qualities which are both human and DIVINE. (BLASPHEMY)
    The Vatican II supplanted the idea of the church as the means of salvation with “the church
    as a mystery of sacrament” and the conception of the church as a hietrarchial institution was replaced by a view of the church as “the whole people of GoD. THIS TOO IS BLASPHEMY, AND FALSE DOCTORINE. The priests and bishops and the entire hierarchy set themselves up as Christ Like.

    ALL OF THE GRACES WHICH GOD ACCORDS US ON ACCOUNT OF CHRIST’S MERITS COME TO US DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY THROUGH MARY. Worshiping anyone other than God, The Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ is denying Christ and the Holy Trinity.
    APOSTLE PAUL STATES THAT THE FULNESS OF DEITY DWELLS IN CHRIST ONLY (Col. 2:9)
    THERE IS NO CHURCH THAT HAS DEITY, AS THE CATHOLIC CHURCH STATES IT HAS.
    Christ was and is absolute and perfect God. Christ exists in the form of God (Phil 2:6)
    SALVATION ONLY COMES BY BELIEF IN JESUS CHRIST AND HIS GOSPEL OF GRACE (ROMANS 10:10) In Romans 1:1, 7; 8:28, it speaks of the call of God. We are called by irresistible grace, CHRIST DIED FOR THE SINS OF THE WORLD SO MAN COULD BE SAVED. HE SHED HIS BLOOD SO MAN COULD HAVE SALVATION. (NO CHURCH CAN SAVE MANKIND)
    BECAUSE OF THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST, THE APOSTLES EYES WERE OPEN AND THEY WENT OUT TO PREACH SALVATION BY BELIEF IN JESUS CHRIST, NOT A CHURCH.
    We can only be forgiven by Jesus Christ, who died for forgiveness of sins. THERE IS NO MAN WHO CAN FORGIVE SINS, NO MAN WHO CAN SAVE OTHERS. We are under GRACE which means unless we receive Jesus Christ as our Savior, we are doomed eternally. It is a Free gift of God to have faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. There are no stipulations, no rules, laws, sacraments , council or anything else governing the work of Christ on the Cross.
    Christians do not worship Saints or false gods or idols or priests or popes or any other thing but God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. CHRISTIANS ONLY HAVE ONE GOD, ONE JESUS CHRIST AND ONE HOLY SPIRIT. Nothing on earth is worthy of the worship of mankind, but the HOLY TRINITY.
    The WORD CHURCH MEANS CHRISTIANS WHO BELIEVE IN JESUS CHRIST. IT DOES NOT MEAN A BUILDING. BAPTISM DOES NOT SAVE ANYONE. PAUL EMPHASES THE BAPTISM OF THE SPIRIT (HOLY) not the baptism by a person in a church. NO PERSON CAN BAPTIZE.The spirit baptizes the sinner, when he is saved and professes his belief in Jesus Christ as Savior, and believe Jesus Christ, Gospel, His Death, Burial and Resurrection.
    A CHURCH WHO TEACHES THE LAW OR HAS ITS OWN TRADITIONS AND ADDS SCRIPTURE TO THE BIBLE, IS A CULT RELIGION. IT IS A FALSE TEACHER.

    Finally 1TIM 1:9 “THE LAW IS NOT MADE FOR A RIGHTEOUS MAN, BUT FOR THE LAWLESS AND DISOBEDIENT….10 for liars, for perjured persons.”
    1TIM 4:2 “SPEAKING LIES IN HYPOCRISY; HAVING THEIR CONSCIENCE SEARED WITH
    A HOT IRON. Christians follow the New Testament, as the law was broken with the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. There are 67 Books in the Bible.
    REVELATION 22:18 “i warn every one who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: IF
    ANYONE TAKES AWAY FROM THE WORDS OF THE BOOK OF THIS PROPHECY; GOD WILL TAKE AWAY HIS SHARE IN THE TREE OF LIFE AND IN THE HOLY CITY, WHICH ARE DESCRIBED IN THIS BOOK.” Harper Study Bible, Revised Standard Version.
    The Catholic Church has its own traditions, scripture, revelation and standards by with
    Priests are given the same authority as God. There is no truth in a religion to teaches
    against the truth of the Bible as written by God.

  36. October 24, 2013 2:35 pm

    The first part is the Catholic Religion and their beliefs. The second part is from my bible and views and the Bible. The second part begins WORSHIPING ANY OTHER GOD…

  37. October 25, 2013 6:58 pm

    It is quite tempting to reply to every point you make, but as I dont believe in arguing about faith, I will simply say that the Catholic Church teaches everything that you have said you believe in, and would only disagree with the judgments you have made about it because of your misinterpreting of its beliefs. I pray that you and I, and all Christians, and all people are led by the Holy Spirit into a deeper truth and knowledge of the Holy Trinity that all we Christians worship exclusively.

    • October 25, 2013 7:38 pm

      I am a born again Christian, that by the grace of God,I am saved. The Holy Spirit lives in me and guides me every day. Perhaps you should read Ephesians 2:8, Joe’s sermons on the Holy Spirit, Salvation, and what being a Christian means. It would help to enlighten you in ways that the Catholic Church cannot. God calls those who love Him, and His Son. The simplicity of this is pure and true. There is nothing that must be done to be a saint and child of God. Once we receive Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit lives in us, and Jesus and the Holy Spirit become our advocates for prayers. There are no requirements or rules or traditions or sacraments that must be adhered to for this change in us, just faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. It is a free gift..which means no man can
      offer salvation, but one man, Jesus Christ. The Bible is clear on these scriptures and reading them on a daily basis, increases wisdom and knowledge in us, so we can go on to testify to others and help them in their journey. Blessings to you and your quest for knowledge.

  38. October 25, 2013 9:04 pm

    Let us at least show the verse that we ALL believe in:
    Ephesians 2:8
    New International Version (NIV)
    8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—
    Let us also look at:
    Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age’” (Matthew 28:18-20).

    • October 25, 2013 9:55 pm

      Matthew 28:19 The Christian Church has always been trinitarian. This means that God is one in essence, eternally subsisting in three persons. Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Here the word “NAME” is the singular, intimating that the three persons of the Trinity are one in substance and equality, yet three in person. Biblical evidence for the Trinity include Matthew, Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Cor, Eph, 1 Peter, Judge and Revelation 1,4,5. There is no other way of reconciling consistently all that the Bible says about God, except by understanding Him as a Trinity (rather than a mere Unity or as three separate Gods) All the members of the diety and each member has an office which He uniquely fulfils. God the Father sent God the Son. It was the Son WHO DIED ON CALVARY, It was the Father and the Son who sent the Holy Spirit who SEALS
      AND INDWELLS each believer. SALVATION IS THE WORK OF THE TRINITY, (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) as stated in Titus 3:4-6 and 2 Thess 2:13,14.
      Jesus was speaking to the Apostles whose eyes were opened at His command. They went forth to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Romans 10:9 “For with the heart, one believes and thus has righteousness, and with the mouth, one confesses and thus has salvation.” This is all that is necessary to be saved, a saint and a child of God. The blind are lost and the born again in Jesus Christ are redeemed and live to serve Jesus Christ, not man. May you be blessed by these words, and find salvation through faith in the only begotten Son, Jesus Christ.

  39. October 26, 2013 11:42 am

    Once again you are preaching to the converted.

    • October 26, 2013 1:55 pm

      I am sorry,Transitionstande,

      I thought you were Catholic. What does converted mean?
      One thing to remember, when we witness to Jesus Christ and His sacrifice
      and shed blood for us on the cross, it is always good!! The Angels sing
      every time a person WITNESSES TO OUR SAVIOR, JESUS CHRIST.
      When i write, it is not necessarily to reply to a comment in this blog.
      In the New Testament,… just as Paul was a messenger, a minister and a prophet,
      we too are messengers, ministers and prophets for Jesus Christ.

  40. October 26, 2013 4:18 pm

    When we talk about faith, it should be witnessing to our Saviour Jesus Christ. It should be full of love, humility, truth, wisdom, peace, faith and hope. See both I Corinthians 12 and 13 – too long to quote here.

    • October 26, 2013 4:41 pm

      Gosh, that is a big order! I am just kidding. A convert is someone who changes their mind,
      and goes from an unbeliever to becoming a believer in Jesus Christ. I looked it up! I love
      to witness no matter what form, words or verses I use.. And you do to! Oh, by the way
      do you know if Joe is still writing this blog? I haven’t heard from him for awhile. It
      concerns me greatly. He is a wonderful pastor and friend. And yes, I have written to
      him. Well, have a wonderful Thanksgiving and Christmas. Blessings to all

      • October 26, 2013 4:49 pm

        Hi, Im sorry I dont know anything about Joes whereabouts…Maybe hes just busy. Thanks for the good wishes and blessings.
        Wishing you a blessed Thanksgiving and Christmas too. :)

  41. March 13, 2014 1:10 am

    Hello Pastor Joe! Thanks for following my blog. I am knew to this arena. I’m happy to have found a place to share the gospel with people I will probably never meet in person, but to be able to still encourage their faith, or boost their lack of faith is what this blog is all about. Feel free to stop by once in awhile when you have spare moments to check out my posts and comment to keep me in check if necessary lol. God bless and once again thank you!

    Dave

  42. March 27, 2014 8:35 am

    Reblogged this on The Narrowing Path.

Trackbacks

  1. Love Lavished. | One Mans Opinion
  2. Worry « Joe Quatrone, Jr.
  3. Christian Life is a Journey « Joe Quatrone, Jr.
  4. How To Break the Habit of Worry « Joe Quatrone, Jr.

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