Jump directly to the Content
Jump directly to the Content


Home > Sermons

Grace Alone

Only Christ’s grace, not our works, can give us the love, acceptance, and forgiveness we want.
This sermon is part of the sermon series "True North". See series.

True North Backstory

One reason I enjoyed preaching the sermons in this series was the contrast between a "head" message and a "heart" message.

The message on Scripture was a head message—didactic. We asked folks for questions about barriers to taking the Bible as authoritative, and there were so many good ones I had to rewrite the sermon on Thursday.

N.T. Wright's notion of the biblical story as a play with five acts was extremely helpful.
This enabled me to demonstrate how the nature of a story carries authority, and what it means to read the Bible literally.

The message on grace alone was aimed at the heart. One question I always try to keep in mind is, What are people talking about this week? That week, people were talking about the deaths of Steve Jobs and Al Davis. So the message was simple: How successful, tough, talented, attractive do you have to be? The stories of high "bar-setters" helped set the stage for grace.


This past week I have been reading a lot about the amazing life of Steve Jobs. Jobs' level of success was so high that writers have had a difficult time finding a standard of comparison. He has been compared to Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. He was a visionary genius who revolutionized at least six different industries. He dropped out of college to start a company called Apple. When he was about 30-years-old, he was publicly fired from it, but his resilience was breathtaking.

His legacy includes Mac computers, Apple stores, Pixar Studios, iPhone, iPod, iTunes, and iPad. He changed the way we think about computers, phones, music, movies, and retail stores. He made technology cool, intuitive, elegant, and easy to use. Aren't you glad there was a Steve Jobs? It is awesome we got to be alive ...

sermon Preview

This sermon is available to PreachingToday.com members only.

To continue reading:

John Ortberg is pastor of Menlo Park Presbyterian Church in Menlo Park, California.

Related sermons

Mike Riches

Generational Sins, Soul Ties, Curses

Breaking free from generational sins, soul ties, and curses enables us to realize the gifts, passions, and truth God has given us.

I Struggle With a Certain Sin Often. Will God Forgive Me?

A fresh look at God's response to habitual sin
Sermon Outline:


I. The nature of grace

II. The message of grace: Stop trying