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Hopeless Sinner, or Saved by Grace?

by Julia M. Bruce, MSPC, Mental Health Coach,
CEO, Wellspring Christian Ministries

Grace and Mercy over Justice

Richard J. Needham said, “Many of those who cry so loudly for justice would soon beg for mercy if justice were done to them.” When it comes to standing before God, I don’t know about you, but it’s mercy that I want – not justice. The Bible is clear that every one of us are sinners (Romans 3:23) and that the justice we deserve for our sins is death (Romans 6:23). If God were only a God of justice – none of us would have any hope. It is only by His grace and mercy that the invitation of salvation was given to us and Ephesians 2:4-5 tells us that we sinners are made acceptable by God’s grace and because of His love for us.

Our hopeless situation

hopless sinner screen bean

As sinners, we each find ourselves in a hopeless situation. One where we are spiritually dead and enslaved in our sin as we walk among the disobedient and under Satan’s dominion. As such, we are objects of God’ wrath and justice demands payment and the payment is a debt we are not able pay. It is impossible for us to do enough good works to change our hopeless situation. There is no amount of money large enough to donate to the church to buy you way into eternal life. There is absolutely nothing we sinful humans can do on our own to change the justice we deserve. On our own, our situation is hopeless.

But God is a God who turns hopelessness into abundant life. Here’s how…

God is Rich in Mercy and Grace

Mercy is simply God’s compassion for our hopeless and helpless situation and spares us from the justice we deserve. Instead, He shows pity, compassion, and kindness in that He made it possible for us to trade in our hopelessness for His abundant life. However, we must understand that God does not owe us mercy. In fact, mercy cannot be owed because it is given to someone who doesn’t deserve it.

Another aspect of God’s mercy, is that He is rich in mercy – or in other words, He is very patient with us. If God handed out justice immediately upon our first sin, none of us would every get passed our toddler years. Instead the holy and righteous God chooses to hold off pronouncing judgement to a later time to give us the chance to experience His mercy, repent of our sins, and accept Christ as our Savior. William Farley wrote in Outrageous Mercy: Rediscovering the Radical Nature of the Cross, “The cross displays God’s mercy and grace, and justice, and does so with startling clarity.” Because God’s wrath and mercy met at the cross of Christ who paid our sin debt for us, we can become a new creation and a child of God.

Mercy triumphs over justice, but if we choose to refuse God’s mercy, our hopelessness remains and instead of abundant life, we face eternal damnation. Rejecting God’s mercy is choosing justice and judgement instead. But if we reject what He freely offers, then we can expect to receive the justice and wages of our sin – eternal separation from God and an eternity in hell.

God’s Love is Great

To see the greatness of God’s love, we only need to look at the cross. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave is only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Jesus, the sinless son of God, took our place. It should have been us on the cross – but Jesus bore all of our sins on himself and willingly went to the cross so that we could receive God’s forgiveness and accept His mercy. 2 Corinthians 5:21 says, “He made the One [Jesus] who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” As Jesus shed His blood for us, His blood covers all of our sins and God sees us as righteous.

God’s Love is Great, Even while we are still hopelessly lost sinners

Romans 5:8 says, “But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinner, Christ died for us.” We often hear stories but soldiers who throw themselves on a grenade to save the platoon or a parent or spouse who steps in front of a bullet. But how often do you hear a story where someone sacrifices their life for their enemy? This is exactly what Jesus did for us. As a lost sinner, we are God’s enemy, but even then Christ loved us enough to die in our place.

Because of God’s rich mercy and great love, He extends grace rather than justice

saved by grace screen bean

If mercy is God not giving us the punishment and justice we deserve, then grace is God giving us blessings we do not deserve. Instead of justice, God extends his favor towards us when we choose to accept his free gift of salvation by faith in Christ. It is only by His grace that we receive the blessing of salvation and eternal life. It is impossible to earn it.

If I should give you a gift, but you want to pay me for it, it ceases to be a gift. If you work for the gift’s value, it ceases to be a gift. And if you refuse and reject it, then it is no longer a gift. It is only a gift when you reach out and accept it. Christ already paid the price for the gift of salvation – with His life – so that once we accept the gift of salvation our sin debt is marked “paid in full” with the very blood that Jesus shed on the cross in our place. The grace God offers, is the unmerited gift of eternal life.

Justice = Dead in Sin or Grace = Alive in Christ

When we accept God’s generous and loving offer of mercy and grace, He makes us alive together with Christ and gives us abundant and eternal life. Instead of being spiritually dead in our sin, God’s grace and mercy makes us a new creation that is now spiritually alive and when we pass on into eternity, there is a place waiting for us in heaven where we will dwell with Christ.

The work of salvation cannot be accomplished by our works. We can’t earn it and we can’t buy it. The entire process of salvation is an act of God’s goodness and only by His unmerited favor and only for His glory. When we truly see ourselves as the sinners we are and the grace and love that God has for us despite our sinfulness, we must then choose to accept or reject His gift of salvation. Accepting it by faith leads to eternal life in heaven with Christ. Rejecting it leads to the justice we deserve – eternal separation from God in hell. What will you choose?

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Coming December 2021!

Pre-order for a 50% discount. You will get the complete set of downloadable self-care video-based course plus 10 group coaching sessions.

Pre-order now to receive a 50% discount! (Releasing December 2021)

You will get the complete downloadable self-care video-based course plus 10 group coaching sessions.

We know that ministry is hard! When you serve in ministry as staff or volunteer, you are on a spiritual battlefield 24/7. As you serve God, you fight for the Kingdom of God and our adversary is constantly attacking. He wants you to either lose your effectiveness in your ministry role or get you to quit. We must be sure we are reconnecting to the Vine (Jesus) so that we can refill, renew, and recharge. Then we can keep on pouring into others.

If you are feeling like you are losing the fight or struggling to stay in the fight, Jesus says to you, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” (Mark 6:31) Self-care is both Biblical and necessary, if you are going to stay in the fight and be effective in the Kingdom of God. Stress, burnout, and compassion fatigue are real weapons that the adversary uses against us.

Even if you do not serve in ministry, if you are a Christian, you too are in a spiritual battle. Every Christian fights the same adversary and our Biblical self-care principles are for every Christian.

What you get in this self-care course:

In Part 1 of this video-based course, you will learn about the spiritual dangers in ministry, discover if God is testing you or is Satan attacking you, understand that ministry is battlefield and how to be steadfast, immovable on the battlefield, learn how the devil uses his wiles and schemes against us, and remember how to use your Spiritual Armor. We will also breakdown stress, burnout, and compassion fatigue.

Part 2 is all about Preventing and Recovering from Burnout and Compassion Fatigue as we go through six areas that need self-care. In this part of the course we will provide you with practical ways that you can immediately begin practicing self-care. As you continue to serve God in whatever way He has called you, self-care is vital if you are not going to grow weary in doing good so you can reap at the proper time (Galatians 6:9).

Additionally, this packaged deal will provide 10 group coaching session where we will discuss the weekly assigned videos and do check-ins on where you are in each of the six areas of self-care that include: Spiritual, Sensory, Emotional, Social, Physical, and Intellectual.

Releasing in December 2021, this packaged deal will include the complete video-based course plus 10 group coaching sessions with the author, Julia Bruce. In the 10-week program you will complete weekly videos and assignments and then meet virtually for a group coaching session to help you apply self-care where you need it. 

But wait! That’s not all! Check out this Bonus to the self-care course and coaching program.

BONUS: While this course and group coaching is not releasing until December 2021, if you’re purchasing this material, we know you need help now. So, if you purchase before the release date, we’ll place you in our new private Facebook membership page for free through the end of 2021. In January, this group will require a monthly subscription of $19.99. But it will be yours free through the end of year when you purchase the pre-release of the course and group coaching sessions.  

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We’ve added a new canvas print to the Teespring Store. These prints make great gifts or for decor in your home.

When we ask Jesus to forgive us and save us from our sin, He takes our old, sinful self and makes us new in Him. This beautiful canvas is a great reminder of what Jesus has done for us.

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