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"TTR Program Transcription"

O Wretched Man That I Am
 
By: Trey Searcy


Isn't God's Grace awesome? Aren't you thankful? Don't you just wake up thanking Him for His grace? Oh, it's so good.

Today we are talking about Law and Grace. We've titled the program: "O Wretched Man That I Am"

For your bible questions and comments, you can phone us at 1-888-988-9562, email us from the website: TruthTimeRadio.com.

I was going over some mail right before coming on the air today, and I thought I would share a quick note from Kelly.

Kelly says, "Those that tell others that they have to ask God to forgive them are teaching a powerless message. Telling them they must 'turn from their sins and THEN trust Christ' is also just as powerless."

You're right, Kelly, it is. It's adding self effort to God's grace, and that won't work even part of the time. Those that teach this are acting as if faith grows out of the flesh. I guess we owe this to the god of this world - Satan. He's designed things to keep us displaced, shifting and wavering on a forever search for stability. Saints, this will only leave us searching for true love, peace, and joy and drive us crazy trying to find it. Satan, through his masterful manipulation and lies tries to hide the fact that the sins we cannot forget are the sins God cannot remember.

O wretched man that I am, Lord, rescue me from this body of death. The things I desire to do, I do not. And the things I wish to not do, those things I do.

Today, I want you to think about this: God does not accept progress. He accepts perfection.

He doesn't accept progress. He accepts perfection.

You know, I can look over my life and say, "Well, I'm certainly not as bad as I used to be..." As I told a listener the other day, "I'm not sinless, but I sin less."

Well, the problem is - God's Law is the standard, and not how much I've improved down through the years. Once we understand this, we begin to realize just how unattainable it is. It's then we can see ourselves for who we really are. It becomes quite clear once we know what to compare ourselves to.

God, in His Word, says it is not wise to compare ourselves to each other, to other people - no, try comparing yourselves to the expectation of God's Law. Do that if you want to be crushed. Compare how well you do at following it, to how well Christ did. Put His test score up against your own. -It's THEN that you and I realize that our best is never good enough.

Regardless of what popular teaching would have us to believe, God's Law is inflexible. It demands perfection, not progress.

Think of it this way: God's Law is like a mirror. A mirror that amplifies your imperfections. How's that working to help improve your test score, your progress report? This is precisely why you and I must be IN CHRIST to be saved. There's no hope in our progress. Being IN CHRIST is our only hope.

Let that marinate for a while. - There's no hope in your progress.
Being IN CHRIST is your only hope.

Now, that changes everything. You see, the Law is not the problem - I am. You are. The Law is righteous. It's perfect and holy. - I'm not. You're not.

The Law's purpose is to show us what a holy life looks like. But the problem is: it shows me, but it cannot change me. The Law is a mirror. A mirror to show me that I'm hopeless on my own. The Law is not the generator, Christ is. Christ is the Generator, and grace is the motivator.

Being in Christ is where I can find peace. There, is where I can grow and show love to others. Real love. True love. Unconditional love. The love that was shown to me.

Living under Law will only make me a miserable, unhappy, judgmental person enslaved to a systematic way of life with no room to have a positive impact on anyone around me. It's that "IN CHRIST freedom" that "IN CHRIST liberty" that allows that.

God's Law accuses us, but it cannot acquit us. It reveals our sin, but has no power to remove our sin. It makes us face our sin, but it cannot forgive our sin. The law can kill us, but it cannot make us alive. It can defeat us, but it cannot deliver us.

Paul says in chapter 1 of 1 Timothy that, "the law is good, if it's used lawfully."

The law wasn't made for saved people, and anyone telling you otherwise is attempting to place you under a curse.

"Oh, but brother so-and-so would never do that!"

Listen, brother so-and-so may not know what he is doing. He may be doing it out of ignorance, but the results are the same nonetheless. How do I know this? - Because I actually believe the bible. I believe it before the man in the pulpit. I believe it before the man on TV. And I even believe it before myself.

Listen to Galatians 3:10
For as many as are of the works of the law are under the - now what's that next word? - CURSE. For it is written, Cursed is every one who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.

So you're what? - You're CURSED.

Cursed if you do not do what? - ALL 613 points of the Law.

So, if you're a bible believer, anyone who is claiming that they are keeping the law must be keeping all 613 points of the Law, and if they're not - they're CURSED. Period. Exclamation point.

Isn't is simple when we just believe the bible? And just 3 verses later, we're told "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law."

You see, the law is not for the righteous man. And how do we become righteous? -By righteous living? No. Living right should be the goal of any saved person. But you never achieve righteousness by what you do or do not do. God made it clear when He said, (now listen closely so there's no mistake of how someone becomes righteous) "For as by one man's disobedience (this is Adam) many were made sinners. So by the obedience of one (the "one" here is Christ, not you) shall many be made righteous."

And if that's not enough, look at Ephesians 1:6. Listen to this: "To the praise of the glory of his grace wherein he hath MADE us accepted in the beloved."

-By the righteousness of one man's obedience. And there you are, boasting in your own obedience. But by Christ and HIS obedience, I have been declared righteous. I've been made accepted in the beloved. Praise God.

Folks, it couldn't be any more clear. "The Righteous" are those who are IN CHRIST.

1 Corinthians 15:22
"For as in Adam all die, but in Christ shall all be made alive."

It's just that simple.

So the question for salvation is not figuring out how to live righteous so that God will maybe accept me. No, the question is how to get IN CHRIST where I'm MADE accepted. And the answer is faith. Unadulterated faith in HE who was perfect. That's what places you IN CHRIST.

Now I don't know about anyone else, but to me - this was outstanding news. When I discovered that religion wasn't the answer, that religion had lied to me - whether intentional or unintentional - I felt a peace that is indescribable.

You see, the Law is for the lawless. It's for sinners. Now, don't get this twisted - this doesn't mean saved people don't sin. Saved people sin, but their identity in Christ is no longer a "sinner." It's no longer their title. "Sinner" is no longer a name you would use to describe a saved person after they're saved - even though a saved person may sin.

Now, if you want to get an understanding for your need for Christ and HIS righteousness, read Romans chapter 7 sometime. It will show you just how desperate you are for help. Paul says, "O wretched man that I am, I need help. Who will rescue me?" This is a perfect illustration of the Law doing exactly what it was designed to do. It shows you and I just how helpless we are, and how Christ defeated the Law on our behalf.

Wake up every morning and proclaim your freedom. With each new day. proclaim it!

It's finished.
It's done.
And it was done for me.
It was done for you.

You're free from the judgement of God. You're free from the judgement of others.
Hey, you're even free from the judgement of yourself.

IN CHRIST, there can never again be any condemnation against you. God says, "Don't ever let a condemning word have any effect on you ever again."

While the accuser may roar loudly, bringing up your past life in Adam - listen - there's now no condemnation to those of us who are IN CHRIST. Nothing can separate us from the love of God.

What does "nothing" mean? - NO THING. Nothing.

We say we believe God's Word, and it plainly says that nothing can separate us from God, but the first time that we fall short we begin condemning ourselves. If someone else doesn't, we do it to ourselves. The accuser brings up all sorts of bad thoughts, all our past failures, and then some of us cry out to God for forgiveness, as if that will bring us back to God's good graces...

Listen - we never LEFT!
We never LEAVE His good graces.
We're IN CHRIST.
We're sealed unto the day of redemption, and NOT until our next sin.

Grace is the seed that grows all things new. The law shows me what a holy life looks like, but the only problem is: the law can't make me holy. The law is the mirror, I see all my imperfections. I cannot be holy, so I'm DRAWN to the One who was holy. The One who IS holy. The One who was and is holy on my behalf.

The problem with most is that they have such a low view of God's Law. We Grace teachers are often accused of teaching cheap grace. Well, let me tell you something. The problem is not "cheap grace" - the problem is your cheap view of God's Law.

Some have such a cheap view of God's Law, they actually think they can keep it. No, what they do is keep a watered down version of it. No one had ever met all the holy conditions of the Law until Christ. Do you not get that? This is a good place for me to say, "Who do you think you are?"

You can't do it. Keep fooling yourself if you want to, but humanity is incapable and is why Christ came and fully satisfied God on our behalf. He did not come to abolish the Law. No, He came to fulfill the Law, and that's just what He did. He did it so that you don't have to. He did it because you can't. He did it so that you might get this grace message and not waste your time trying to (keep the law.) - But rather put your faith in HIM, let HIM live in and though you.

You see, some have been taught that the focus of their faith is how they live. Not so. How we live is how we live and how we're saved is how we're saved. And you can be saved by how you live. That would make salvation by works, by self effort, by performance.

Salvation IS about performance, it's just not about YOURS. Salvation hangs on Christ and HIS performance. The only part you play in salvation is a "faith" part. You put your faith in Him to save you, having no confidence in yourself, no confidence in your flesh. Salvation is about the flesh, it's just not your flesh. Salvation hangs on the holiness of Christ while He walked this earth in HIS flesh. He did so perfectly, and He did it on your behalf.

God's standard required perfection, a demand that neither you or I could meet. Christ met that demand and it pleased God.

The religious system teaches a "checklist" version of the Gospel.
It comes complete with a "Try Harder, Do More" instructional handbook that teaches you conditional love.

Do good - God loves you more.
Do bad - He loves you less.
Do REAL bad, and He stops loving you altogether.

When we feel this weight of judgement it doesn't motivate us to become a better person. It only encourages depressive thoughts. It brings on bondage. It's like driving a stake into the ground. Sooner or later, you're going under.

God's grace is the greater motivator, and it wins every time.

*****

This is Truth Time Radio and today we're talking about God's Law and His Grace.

His Law is about DO
Grace is about DONE

Things to DO vs.. Things that are DONE

Both are holy, but both cannot be followed at the same time.
They were both designed by God.
They both were designed to do very different things. And when failing to recognize their unique job descriptions, we will try to make the law do what only God's gospel of Grace can do.

Law says: Sinners mess up and get what they deserve.
Grace says: Sinners mess up, but Christ took what they deserve.

Law has nothing to do with the restorative work of Christ. -And the sooner you believe that, the sooner you can begin to reap the benefits.

You see, the problem is not "cheap grace" it's "cheap law." Nothing less than perfection will satisfy God.

James, when writing to the 12 tribes of Israel (not you - and I say that on the authority of James 1:1) - he said that if they could keep all the law, but failed in just one point, that one failure would make them guilty of disobeying ALL the Law.
James 2:10

God's Law was truly an "All or Nothing" program. The bible will back me up on this. And any teacher who is watering down God's holy Law, in his vain attempt to fit man's desires, is a teacher that you need to shun.

Many think that those of us who preach grace have a low view of the Law. That could not be further from the truth.

The reason I talk about grace is:
1. We're currently living in what God describes as the dispensation of God's grace. Ephesians 3:2
2. In studying scripture, I have developed a very high view of God's Law.

Listen - a low view of God's Law will lead to false teachings such as Lordship Salvation and legalistic denominations. And it does so because a low view of God's Law cheapens God's standards. -And it leaves you to think that you can do it.

God demands perfection, remember? "Be ye perfect" Matthew 5:48. How's that working for you? God's law requires perfection, while at the same time, exposes all your imperfections.

According to Law, guess what: You Lose.
The law served and untouchable Ace, game - set - and match: it's over.

This is why Paul says, "O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from this body of death?" And in the next verse, he expresses how thankful he is for Christ. Christ is the deliverer. Because with the mind, Paul says, "I myself serve the law of God but with the flesh, the law of sin."

A low view of God's Law gives us the false sense that we can actually pull it off.
A low view of His Law will lead you to believe it's do-able.

The more you understand about God's Law, the more you'll be drawn to His Grace. His Grace looks past our imperfections, past our worthiness, or our unworthiness. God's love for us is without condition.

Perhaps there's some listening today who think they're perfect, or at least close to it. If you want a nice clear picture of your imperfections, just take a look at the 10 commandments. An HONEST look.

We're just about out of time, but you know, I was thinking: There are those who proudly display the 10 Commandments in their office, house, or even their yard. They think we're under the Law. And on the flip side, there are those who don't want to see the 10 Commandments anywhere. "Take 'em down, they offend me."

Well, I say both groups are wrong. The 10 Commandments are holy, righteous, and given by a holy, righteous and just God. I say, put them up everywhere. It couldn't hurt to look at them every day.

But not because we're under the bondage of the Law - but as a wonderful reminder of what GRACE has delivered us from. We've been delivered from the rigorous demands of the Law, and by the way - I'm talking about the 10 Commandments, but there are actually 613 points of Jewish law, and not just the 10 Commandments.

But we need the law. We need it as a reminder of our need for the Gospel. - Our need for God's grace. A clear view of the law will bring us down off our righteous high horse, reminding us that we're failing to meet it's demands. It'll point us toward Christ and His finished crosswork where we can find rest.

You see, God's not grading us on a curve. He's grading us on perfection. If you've ever wondered how God sees you, in your mind picture this:
Just picture Jesus and you standing side by side. Now, if you're religious and lost, this is how you'll be graded. This is how God sees you. You'll be graded standing BESIDE Christ. So how do you measure up? Are you as righteous as that guy standing next to you? Are you perfect? Are you as perfect as He is? You see, the math don't add up.

This is why we must come to the end of ourselves, because that's where salvation begins. Salvation begins at the end of ourselves. Salvation starts where we stop. Instead of God seeing us standing NEXT to perfection. Through faith, He sees you standing IN perfection. IN CHRIST. Lose yourself and get IN HIM. IN CHRIST.

Then when your name is brought up, God will see you IN HIS SON and not standing BESIDE His Son.

Beside His Son = Game-set-match - you lose.
IN His Son = You win.

Okay, that'll do it.
Hey, remember: You only get two educations. The one you're given, and the one you give yourself.


Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yIaGksRqojo&feature=youtube_gdata_player



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