But what does it mean to be saved?  Just what did God in His grace do for us and to us in salvation?  I want to go through several things that have changed in our lives because of God’s saving grace.  I want us all to realize and remember that none of these things would have happened except that He reached out to us in love.

     Without worrying about any particular order, let me begin with the fact that we were guilty of breaking the law of God.  The Scripture says:

James 2:10 ( NKJV ) For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all. 

     Anyone who has broken one of the Ten Commandments, just one of God’s laws, is just as guilty as someone who has broken all of them.  We were guilty of sin.  If we were to stand in a courtroom, there would be only one plea for us… guilty. 

     Yet, because of the grace of God, we are justified
Acts 13:39 ( NKJV ) and by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses. 
Romans 3:24 ( NKJV ) being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 

     That means that we are no longer guilty of sin.  Yes, we did those things, but the sentence has been served.  We are justified by the sacrifice of Jesus.  He died so that we could live and now we are no longer standing before the Lord in guilt.

     In fact, we are forgiven.  Before, we were fully accountable for our own sin.

Ezekiel 18:20 ( NKJV ) The soul who sins shall die.

     We were accountable for every idle word.
Matthew 12:36 ( NKJV ) But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. 

     Imagine being fully accountable for every wrong thing you have ever done!  Who could bear that?  We would stand before the Lord in the Day of Judgment and give account for every sin, no matter how small.  What would we say?

     Because of His grace, we don’t have to say anything.  We are no longer accountable because our sins have been forgiven.  There are no sins on our account because Jesus has forgiven us.

Colossians 2:13 ( NKJV ) And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, 

     Because of our sins, we were separated from the Lord.  There was nothing connecting us to Him.  In fact, we were unable to enjoy His presence in our lives.  Instead of the help and love that we feel from Him now, He could do nothing for us except allow us to go our own way and do our own things.  He continually “gave us over” to the sinfulness of our hearts so that sin was our master.  We belonged to the realm of sin.  As He gave us over to sin, we were doomed to serve sin and to increase in wickedness, just as the Scripture says:

Romans 1:24 ( NKJV ) Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 

     But because He loved us, He, through His grace, has redeemed us.  That means that He has purchased us.  We were formerly slaves of sin, but now we belong to Him.  He has redeemed us from the curse:
Galatians 3:13 ( NKJV ) Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), 

     That’s right, we were cursed and apart from the Lord, but He paid the price and bought us.  He redeemed us with His own blood.

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