Summary: Have you ever experienced grace in your life? Perhaps a policeman stoping you for speeding and just giving you a warning when you deserved a ticket. Perhaps a time when you said hurting words to a friend or spouse and they forgave you. Each one of us, at
1. I don’t know what came over me. I’m not a fighter - I’m not even built like one. But something he said or did just rubbed me the wrong way. Before I knew it I did something that I had never done before or have done since. It was not a very Christian thing to do, especially when most of the people there were from my youth group. It was not even smart - for he was much stronger than me, But I was so upset that I punched him right in the face. Before he could return the favour, a few others grabbed him and stopped him. I almost could see my life passing before my eyes. I knew that with one punch, it could all be over for me, but I wanted the thing settled and dealt with. And so, perhaps against my better judgement, I asked the others to let him go. I deserved to be punched back - it order to make things even. I was scared, but after they let Tom go, he said it was alright. He didn’t need to hit me back and he never held what I did against me. I had been spared. I did not get that which I deserved. I experienced something called grace.
2. A few years ago, my daughter had just finished a basketball game at CKSS. She backed up out of her parking spot and heard a bang as the car suddenly stopped. She had backed up into a corvette and took a chunk out of the bumper. Almost any other car would have been better. She called me and after I came, we tried to find the owner. We worried about the cost to repair the car. Bbut when the owner came out, she looked at the damage and said "don’t worry about it. My husband has a body shop and he was going to fix up the car anyway". We were relieved. Again I had experienced this thing called grace.
3. Have you ever experienced grace in your life? Perhaps a policeman stoping you for speeding and just giving you a warning when you deserved a ticket. Perhaps a time when you said hurting words to a friend or spouse and they forgave you. Each one of us, at certain times, experiences grace.
4. Grace is not getting what we deserve.
5. To be a born again Christian we must experience grace. In fact, as we saw in our look at the covenant, our relationship with God is based on grace.
6. But even as believers, we fail to comprehend the wonder, the incomparable riches of God’s grace.
7. This morning we consider the fullness and extent of God’s grace and how it should affect the way we live our lives.
1. The greatest blessing we receive as a result of God’s grace is our salvation.
a. Twice, in verses 5 and 8, Pauls tells us "It is by grace you have been saved." But this means little unless we understand what it is that we are saved from.
b. vs. 1 - you were dead in your sins. Sometimes we think of sin as a small problem that we need to get over. We fail but so does everyone else.What’s the big deal? he big deal is that we were dead in sin and still are unless you are saved. Dead, not sick. Not a case of taking a pill and feeling better in the morning, but dead with no life in us at all. Perhaps you say "I’m alive" - true but you are "as good as dead" since that will be your destiny.
c. That means that we acknowledge that the wages of sin is death, but also means that we take a deep look at self at see ourselves for what we are. Means, as HC# 60 says, that "my conscience accuses me of having grievously sinned against all God’s commandments and of never having kept any one of them" and that "I am still inclined toward all evil".
d. This is a tough thing to admit. We may even have lived our whole lives as a "Christian" - going through all the motions. But unless we know that we are sinful through and through, we cannot and will not experience the grace of God.
e. Toughest times I have had in life is when confronted with my own pride and selfishness and need to control. Spent weeks depressed at times. I didn’t like what I saw in mirror. But it is only then that I was able to rejoice in what God did for me in Christ.
f. vs. 5 says that God made us alive in Christ.
i. How? - vs. 6 says that God raised us up with Christ. In Romans 6, Paul says that if we died with Christ , we believe that we will also live with Him