East Side Church
(Baptist - Disciples of Christ)
201 Spruce Ave.
Sharon, PA 16146
724-981-4223
office@eastsidechurchsharon.org
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July 28, 2013
"The Re-Call!"
Jonah 2:10 - 3:2

Intro : Jonah series reminds us what church is to be, do. God calls Jonah to cry out against Nineveh; (motivated by God's mercy, we call people to repent.) Jonah ran away; (guard our hearts from sin.) Storm, sailors scared, Jonah sleeping; (wake up to powerlessness of world under God's judgment.) Sailors ask Jonah questions; (listening is most effective strategy for witnessing.) Jonah swallowed by fish; (cross necessary for God to forgive sinners.) Jonah sings his thanksgiving from inside fish; (when you see how great God's grace is, can't help but thank Him!) Today, we ask the question, when God forgives us, does He remove all the consequences of our sinful choices?

What grace is! God's undeserved favor towards sinners, secured by Jesus' sacrificial death and applied to individual hearts by the Holy Spirit (Read Ephesians 1:2-14.) When God's grace invades our hearts, some things in our lives change, and some things don't!

What grace doesn't change!

Some consequences of sin! (Read Jonah 2:10.) Contrast Jonah's inner state, (salvation!) and outer state, (fish vomit!) For Christians? Death, injury, addictions, broken relationships, emotions. God's grace may quickly or slowly bring healing to some of these situations in this life, but no guarantee! Grace strengthens, sustains!

Our responsibility! (Read Jonah 3:1, "then!") Obvious,may miss it: Book of Jonah continues; doesn't end with Jonah's deliverance. Jonah disobeyed, yet God saved him. Why? To give Jonah a message. Message? Encouragement? "Good to have you back on My side!" Apologetic? "Sorry for any discomfort during your trip." Disapproval? "About time you came to your senses!" No! "Second time!" God repeats His original command. Jonah hasn't escaped his responsibility. God gives Jonah a second chance at life so that Jonah could share God's message with Nineveh.

God's message! (Read Jonah 3:1-2.) Jonah is responsible to declare only the message that God has given to him. Church's responsibility is same: We must accurately share God's message to the world.

God's grace doesn't change some things: some of sin's consequences, our responsibility to share God's eternal word! But His grace can strengthen and sustain us!

What grace changes!

Our standing before God . (Read Romans 5:1; Ephesians 1:7-8; I John 3:1.) Through Christ, no longer viewed as rebels, but as adopted children!

Removes some of the consequences of sin! (Read John 3:36; Matthew 25:41.) God's wrath, eternity in hell.

Our willingness to obey! Compare Jonah's actions in 3:3 with his reaction in ch. 1? Jonah obeys. (Imperfectly, at best! May be reluctant, resentful, but he obeys.) Gradual obedience is better than casual disobedience. Jonah knows that God, in His grace, has saved him to share God's message with Nineveh. If you are a Christian, you too will grow in obedience! (Read Titus 2:11-12.) Grace saves and sanctifies us!

God's grace changes the most important things: our relationship to God, the eternal consequences of our sin, and our willingness to obey Him!

When to receive God's grace: Now!

Where do you fit? Have you ever...disobeyed God's clear command, and now you fear you've blown it forever?...tried to follow God's plan but life has thrown you off track? ...bungled or resisted an opportunity to witness? ...allowed fear to keep your mouth closed? ...known the good you were supposed to do, but didn't do it? God's grace changes the most important things: our relationship to God, the eternal consequences of our sin, and our willingness to obey Him!

Maybe you're still struggling with some of sin's consequences which God hasn't changed yet. Painful waiting, grieving, struggling. God's grace doesn't change some things: some of sin's consequences, our responsibility to share God's eternal word! But his grace can strengthen and sustain us!

Don't know where you are, but for non-Christians, and for Christians, now is the time to experience God's life-changing grace! (Read 2 Corinthians 5:17- 6:2.)
(Benediction: 2 Corinthians 1:2-4)

Next Time! Is it easy or difficult for a person to place their faith in Jesus? What are some of the signs that God's Spirit is working in a person's heart?



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