Taste of Glory – Pastor Ben Sanders

One very common conversation concerning salvation and your walk with God involves faith versus works. Are we simply saved by grace or are we saved by faith? We’re going to look at the fact that it is both according to Ephesians 2:8-9. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast.” It’s a partnership if you will because you have the faith to accept Him through the grace of God.

Another very important point we need to grasp is that faith and obedience are two sides of the same coin. Obedience is a byproduct of faith in Christ. We learned a few weeks back about repentance and that means not only asking forgiveness, but also allowing God to change you. All of us sin, but God made a way for us to repent and move away from sin.

Did you ever stop and think about the fact that none of us would be saved unless God looked down at you and said, “I want you to be saved!” He has done that for us all according to II Peter 3:9 which says, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” What exciting news that is! God doesn’t close His eyes and blindly point to who He wants! He wants us all!!

If you remember Abraham in the Old Testament, he was asked by God to move away from his homeland. He was told to take his entire family and all of his possessions and to go. Imagine how terrifying it would be? He, however, obeyed and that’s because God gave him the grace to have the faith that God would fulfill His promises to him. James 2:23 states, “and the scripture was fulfilled which saith, And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned unto him for righteousness; and he was called the friend of God.” Picture another coin that has grace on one side and the spirit on the other. In the Bible, God actually calls the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Grace.

Now, we will switch gears and talk about a story in the Old Testament in Genesis chapter 11. The story of the Tower of Babel is all about the people coming together to create a massive and tall tower. God didn’t like this because He wanted the Israelites to disperse all around the world and create nations for Him. When He saw what these people could do anything by working together, He knew that nothing could stop them. He caused all the languages to change so that everyone had to join groups of people that spoke their own language. So here we see that language was used to separate.

Over in Exodus 19 we have the story of Moses on Mount Sinai and the people who gathered to hear what God had spoken to Moses. This is when God gave Moses the Law and the plans for building the tabernacle. The scriptures say that as the people gathered around the base of the mountain there was smoke from fire and thunder. Thunder here means voices. Imagine standing at the foot of this mountain encompassed in smoke, thunderous voices and the sound of a trumpet. I don’t know about you, but it would have my full attention!

We’re about to bring all of this together, but first lets jump ahead to Acts 2:2-4, “Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” Sounds familiar right? This sounds like the Tower of Babel.

So first God used language to separate people, but here He takes language and brings all the world together. God sends down fire in the form of the Holy Spirit and God has a big rushing wind. God goes from writing His laws on stone tablets to writing His laws in the hearts of men.

Just as in the day of Pentecost, with the disciples, when we receive the Holy Spirit it causes us to do the work of the Lord. We began to do things that He is given us the strength and wisdom to do. The Holy Spirit can fill our hearts with joy and hope for an eternity with God.

If this is some thing that you have never done, all you have to do is pray, repent of your sins and for living your own way. Invite Jesus into your heart and ask for the Holy Spirit to guide you. You can begin to experience a touch of Heaven on earth and a vision of what’s to come.