Gods amazing grace

 

 

We sing that song so many times that I think we forget to focus in on what it is teaching. The man that wrote this song seems to have a good understanding of just how amazing Gods grace really is. Without the grace of God no one can be saved. So the morning we are going to explore God amazing Grace.

 

In every letter that Paul writes excluding the book of Hebrews if he even wrote that book he always writes something along the lines of Grace and peace be with you. He says this in both the beginning and the end of his letters. Grace is a word that Paul used often. But what exactly does Grace mean? Well let look at a couple of definitions

 

  1. properly, that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, loveliness:grace of speech
  2. the N. T. writers use grace pre-eminently of that kindness by which God bestow:favors even upon the ill-deserving, and grants to sinners the pardon of their offences, and bids them accept of eternal salvation through Christ:

 

I personally think that the Bible defines grace the best starting in:

 

Ephesians 2:4- But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

 

From the verse we can clearly understand why Grace is many times called unmerited favor. Even though you and I were hopelessly lost in sin God loved us enough to give us his son as perfect sacrifice so that we could be saved. There is absolutely nothing you or I could ever do to earn or merit Gods saving Grace that is why he had to give it to us and why his grace is so amazing. With out Gods grace none of would be saved because we are all sinners. Paul bears this out in his letter to the Romans

 

Romans 3:10 ††10 As it is written: "There is none righteous, no, not one;

Romans 3:2323 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

 

So as you can see every human is in desperate need of Gods grace or else we would never have the ability to step foot in heaven. The only human to every live a life free off sin was Jesus Christ and it only through him that we receive the grace of God.

 

 

 

Many people in the religious world today do not fully understand what the grace of is and what involves. In fact many of them would take the verses that we just looked at in Eph 2 and they would say that we are saved by grace alone. But, friends the Bible simply does not teach in way form or fashion. Now I have absolutely no problem with a person saying that they are saved by grace or even if someone says they are saved by faith because both of these statements are true. However you cannot say that you are saved by faith or by grace alone because the Word God does not teach that at all.

 

8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

 

In these verses we learn that are two parts to a person salvation. First of all there is Gods grace, which his part in which he gave us his son and the forgiveness of sin. Second of all we have our part which is our faith. Now this is not talking about us merely believing but instead is talking about an obedient active faith. In others words God has provided us with the gift of Grace but it is up to us to accept that gift by having a obedient faith. Notice verse 10 says that we created for good works and that we should walk in them. Again this describes action our part something that we must do.

 

Let me give you an example lets say that I have 20 dollar bill and tell you that is a free gift but that you have to walk up here to get it. Even though the gift is free and you did not earn or deserve it you still have you part because you have to get up and walk up here to receive the 20 dollars.

 

This is same principle that God has always had. We have several examples of where God offers a free gift but then demands an obedient faith. For instances notice the story of Joshua and the city of Jericho.

 

Joshua 6:1 Now Jericho was securely shut up because of the children of Israel; none went out, and none came in.2 And the LORD said to Joshua: "See! I have given Jericho into your hand, its king, and the mighty men of valor.

 

Here we see God grace or God free gift. He has given the city of Jericho to the children of Israel. But now we are about to see how God wants them to accept this gift.

 

3 "You shall march around the city, all you men of war; you shall go all around the city once. This you shall do six days.4 "And seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark. But the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets.5 "It shall come to pass, when they make a long blast with the ram's horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, that all the people shall shout with a great shout; then the wall of the city will fall down flat. And the people shall go up every man straight before him."

 

You God did his part by providing the gift but the children of Israel had to do their part by having an obedient faith. The gift would not be there until they followed Godís instructions. Another great example of this is found in the story of Naamen found 2 Kings 5. We find out that Naamen was a commander and very honorable man but had leprosy and he finds out that he can be healed of his disease and we find going to Elisha the prophet to be healed.

 

2 Kings 5:9 Then Naaman went with his horses and chariot, and he stood at the door of Elisha's house.10 And Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, "Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored to you, and you shall be clean."11 But Naaman became furious, and went away and said, "Indeed, I said to myself, 'He will surely come out to me, and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, and wave his hand over the place, and heal the leprosy.'12 "Are not the Abanah and the Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be clean?" So he turned and went away in a rage.

 

Here we see that Naaman was a many who was little bit prideful. I suppose he thought because he was so successful as a commander that he deserved to healed and that the Elisha should have came out to him but instead we see that Elisha simply sends a messenger to him to go dip in the Jordan 7 times. Well, this make Naaman mad and he didnít want to do what he asked to do because he thought it was ridiculous to go dip in the old dirty Jordan river when there were much clearer rivers than it. Basically Naaman was turning his back on the free gift of God because of his pride. Many today are like Naaman they are to proud to accept the grace of God because they donít want follow God plan of salvation they want to do it their way. But fortunately for Naaman his servant talks to some sense into him.

 

2 Kings 5:13 And his servants came near and spoke to him, and said, "My father, if the prophet had told you to do something great, would you not have done it? How much more then, when he says to you, 'Wash, and be clean'?"14 So he went down and dipped seven times in the Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God; and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.

 

So Naaman does the right thing and has obedient faith and goes and dips 7 times in the Jordan river and because of this his leprosy was gone. Again we see God doing his part in providing the gift and this man doing his part by accepting that gift by obeying Godís word.

The same thing is true today we do notreceive Gods free gift of grace until we obey his commands. The apostles understood this concept well.

 

Romans 1:5 ††Through Him we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations for His name,

 

 

Now lets take a look at what Paul says about grace in

 

Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men,

If we are saved by grace alone and since grace has appeared to everyone than that would mean that everysingle person no matter what the do would be saved but we know that not true. In fact Paul goes on tell us what Grace teaches us.

 

12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age,13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.

 

Paul is clearly teaching us that Gods grace and our obedient faith goes hand and hand. Now one thing that I want to make very clear is that when we obey Gods word and do things he hasasked to do we are in no way earning or meriting our salvation because there is nothing we can do as humans to every earn or deserve our salvation. Whenever we do what God has asked us to do we do so because we love him. I think Jesus explains this best in the story he tells his disciples in:

 

Luke 17:7 "And which of you, having a servant plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, 'Come at once and sit down to eat'?8 "But will he not rather say to him, 'Prepare something for my supper, and gird yourself and serve me till I have eaten and drunk, and afterward you will eat and drink'?9 "Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I think not.10 "So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, 'We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.' "

 

Whenever we become Christians and we accept Gods grace we become his servants and we are merely doing our duty when we obey Gods word. We should never get to the point in our Christian lives where we think God owes us something for the work we do in his kingdom. No, instead we should always say, we are unprofitable servants we have done what was or duty to do.

 

Some in the religious world would teach that Gods grace cannot be misused or exhausted but the Bible teaches us differently. For instance:

 

Gal 2:21 indicates that we can frustrate or nullify the grace of God.

 

2 Corinthians 6:1 We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain.

 

Jude 1:4 For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

 

Galatians 5:4 You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.

 

We can clearly see from the passages that Godís Grace canbe exhausted and abused. So let us never think otherwise.That is why Peter tells us 2 Peter 3:18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. As we grow Gods grace we learn that we can stand (Rom 5:1-2 and be strong in Gods grace 2 Tim 2:1.

 

Many in the religious world today try to view Gods Grace as something that takes care of every sin without effort on their part but Paul teaches us that Grace is not a license to sin.

 

Romans 6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?

 

One of the great things about Gods amazing grace is that when we do sin his grace can and will over our sins and we are told exactly how in:

 

1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

 

Notice the action word walk. A Christian that is walking in the light is one that is striving to serve God on a continual basis. When a Christians remains faithful to God and confesses their sins to him they continually be cleansed of their sinsby blood ofJesus Christ.

 

A great question to ask right is, when does a person began to walk in the light or when do they begin enjoying the grace of God? Paul gives us the answer in

 

Romans 6:1-What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

 

There is nothing confusing about what Paul has just taught us. It is very easy to see that when a person is baptized into Christ they baptized into his deathand just as Christ was raised from the dead when we are raised from the watery grave of baptism we begin or walk in newness of life. This is when accept God saving grace through our obedient faith in the working of God.

 

Now that we have learnedwhen a person begins there walk let us take look atsome scriptures that tell how we are to walk.

 

1 John 2:6 He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.

 

Hebrews 5:8 though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.9 And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him,

 

2 John 1:6 ††This is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it.

 

Ephesians 5:15 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise,16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

 

The last point I want to make about Gods amazing grace this morning is that we can know that we are saved. Sometimes Christians do not give Grace enough credit and they go though their whole lives wondering if they are saved. But this should not be the case because the word of God makes its very clear that we can know that we are saved and we can take great confidence in that.

 

1 John 5: 13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.

 

1 John 2:5 But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him

 

Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

 

2 Timothy 4: 6 For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand.7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.8 Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.

 

I hope this lesson has shed some light upon this topic of Grace and has shown you that the we are not now saved by Grace alone. We have also learned the Grace is Gods part and accepting that grace through and obedient faith is our part. We have learned that Grace and be abused and we can fall from grace and we even learned that you must obey Gods commands including being baptized into Christ for the remission of your sins before you access to God Grace and finally we learned that we can be confident in Gods grace and our salvation.