Summary: God desires that we attain the fullness of His grace.
May 18, 2014
Text: Romans 4:13-17
Title: Beyond Cheap Grace
I want to talk to you about Grace this morning. I sense in my spirit man that there is something going on with grace in the church that has never been seen before in the history of the church. It seems that grace has been cheapened. And I mean that in a couple of different ways.
First, Grace is cheapened in that many today believe you can be saved by “Grace” and then continues to live any type of lifestyle you choose to live. When I think about that it makes me wonder, “does that cheapen the work of the cross?” I mean, did Jesus die so you could keep on living the way the world lives?
Secondly, Grace is cheapened by those who tell us that the only thing that happened
Through the atonement was salvation. Isaiah 53:4-6 describes the work of the cross and everything that was accomplished for us there. 4Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. 6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
If we look at some of the words Isaiah used in this passage we can learn more about the atonement of Christ. 1) infirmities; the word can mean malady, anxiety, or calamity. And Isaiah says that He not only took up our infirmities, but He carried them away… 2) sorrows means affliction… the same word used for physical sickness and disease in other OT passages.
Many will try to cheapen the grace spoken of by Isaiah by saying that this is only talking about spiritual healing… but, in Matthew 8 we see that Matthew, one of the twelve who walked with Jesus saw it as true physical healing, Matthew 8:16-17,
16 When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick. 17 This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: “He took up our infirmities and bore our diseases.”
Thirdly, cheap grace questions that healing, peace, blessings, provision, deliverance… all of God’s promises are for today.
However, we are not called to be a people of cheap grace, but a people of great faith to receive the great grace that has been poured out for us at the cross.
13It was not through law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith. 14For if those who live by law are heirs, faith has no value and the promise is worthless, 15because law brings wrath. And where there is no law there is no transgression.
16Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring—not only to those who are of the law but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all. 17As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.” He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed—the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were.
I believe this is God’s word…
I believe it is for me…
I accept it as mine…
And I appropriate it to my life today…
I. Grace Through Faith…13It was not through law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith. Here is an area of great disagreement between theological groups. Are we saved by grace alone, or is something required of us? Yes… and no. Grace has been poured out to all through the cross of Calvary. But we do have a part in receiving grace. We must accept it by faith. How does salvation come? Ephesians 2:8 (NIV2011) 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— Would you agree with me that salvation was provided for in the atonement? How does it come? Through Faith! Do you agree that healing, according to Isaiah 53, is also in the atonement? Then how would you receive it? Matthew 11:4-6 (NIV2011)
4 Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: