SERMON TITLE: “Saved by Grace: The Calling of Grace”
SERMON TEXT: Ephesians 3:7-8 and 4:1-16
PREACHER: Rev. Kim James
OCCASION: August 28, 2022, at First UMC
During this month of August, we’re talking about grace. This glorious gift of God is so foundational to our Christian faith and salvation that you could think of it as a very serious topic. But maybe a little humor will help us too. Listen to this story:
A man dies and goes to heaven. Of course, St. Peter meets him at the pearly gates. St. Peter says, “Here’s how it works. You need 100 points to make it into heaven. You tell me all the good things you’ve done, and I give you a certain number of points for each item, depending on how good it was. When you reach 100 points, you get in.”
“Okay,” the man says, “I was married to the same woman for 50 years and never cheated on her, even in my heart.”
“That’s wonderful,” says St. Peter, “that’s worth three points!”
“Three points?” he says. “Well, I attended church all my life and supported its ministry with my tithe and service.”
“Terrific!” says St. Peter, “that’s certainly worth a point.”
“One point? Golly. How about this: I started a soup kitchen in my city and worked in a shelter for homeless veterans.”
“Fantastic, that’s good for two more points,” St. Peter says.
“TWO POINTS!!” the man cries, “At this rate the only way I get into heaven is by the grace of God!”
“Exactly!” [said St. Peter.] “Come on in!”1
Grace. We don’t deserve it, and we can’t earn it. It’s a glorious gift from God that has the amazing-grace power to forgive and cleanse us from sin and set us right spiritually. But God doesn’t leave us there. The grace of God also has the power to transform our lives and call us to be and do good—like the man who was talking to St. Peter. Today, we’re going to focus more on that transformation side of our salvation by grace. Using Ephesians 3 & 4 for our text, let’s see how God saves us through the calling of grace.