Summary: Message about God's grace from our Grace Living series through Ephesians. Illustrations gathered from various sources.
His name was John. He had deserted the Royal British Navy and was caught, flogged and demoted. After that he made up disrespectful songs about his ship’s captain and was demoted again. Furthermore, he prided himself in creative profanity and sharp-witted attacks on Christianity.
He was a truly degenerate man.
Then one day in the middle of a considerable storm at sea he thought it might be best to act as if the Good News about Jesus were true and he made a monumental decision to live for Christ.
After his conversion and naval career he became a pastor and was as deeply devoted to promoting the Good News as he had been in attacking it. To accompany his sermons he would often compose hymns to accentuate the truth of God’s Word he was going to preach.
On Sunday, January 1, 1773, John Newton first shared these words with his congregation:
"Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me."
"I once was lost but now I’m found, was blind but now I see."
• That song, his song, Amazing Grace, has stirred the hearts of millions upon millions upon millions ever since. Although God’s grace cannot be adequately described, the word amazing seems to be about the best we can do.
• In the Bible we find the ongoing narrative of God’s amazing grace. If the Bible is THE GRACE BOOK, which it is, then the book of Ephesians is the grace book within THE GRACE BOOK. For in it, the once religious, self righteous, totally lost in sin Saul, who was gloriously saved and transformed, now writes as the apostle Paul about this grace so amazing.
• Right after Paul reminds us in verses 1-3 of our past apart from Christ and the truths about our spiritual lives at that point and the spiritual lives of those who are still living life without a relationship with Jesus, Paul speaks one word… that bridges the gap between a sinner’s doomed past and their destined future after becoming a Christian…
• Knowing all that we were apart from Christ, dead, deceived, depraved, and doomed, Paul says at the beginning of verse 4… BUT….
• With that word Paul sings Amazing Grace for the first time ever… Just in a little different way…READ VERSES 4-9… PRAY…
The well-known preacher, A. T. Pierson, once said, “However poor a preacher, I can preach the gospel better than Gabriel can, because Gabriel cannot say what I can say, “I am a sinner saved by grace.”
• I want to focus on His Grace… There is a lot of really deep discussion and teaching that you could get into with this passage but the overwhelming emphasis that God reveals to our hearts is the splendor of His amazing Grace. Let’s talk about why it is so amazing…
1) Grace came to us in the right way.
• If the basis of God’s grace coming TO us was US then we would be in trouble! In fact, if God had said, “You just be good enough and I will be gracious enough!” then we would still be dead, deceived, and depraved in and doomed by our sins!!!
• Thankfully God’s grace came to us not on the basis of anything we had done or could ever do but it came to us on the basis of two things…
• In verse 4, after Paul speaks of the very things that motivated God to give us His grace… READ…
A. HIS MERCY
• We’ve learned that grace is simply us getting something that we don’t deserve and mercy is us not getting something we do deserve.
• Paul says that God is rich in mercy. Not only does God not give us what we do deserve, He makes a habit of it. He abounds with mercy! ?
• In His mercy, not giving us what we deserve, He gives us grace, this gift that we don’t deserve.
B. HIS GREAT LOVE
• This is the true source of mercy and grace. It is because of His overwhelming love for us that He demonstrates His Grace.
• It’s not because we are good enough, not because we are deserving, not because we have great potential, not because we have great intellect, not because He feels sorry for us, NO, grace is an outpouring of the unconditional love of God for a lost sinner.
• We don’t have to try to earn it, try to find it or try to keep it GOD JUST GIVES IT BECAUSE HE LOVES US! Apostle John in 1 John 4:8… “God is love….”
• I will never fully understand this concept but will also not spend my time trying to; I will simply choose to live knowing that it’s true, that His grace is so amazing because His love for me is so amazing!