Summary: A funeral sermon on Grace and Comfort
Funeral Amazing Grace (revised)
The Apostle Paul begins the book of II Cor. with this greeting:
2 Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;
Two words – “Grace” and “Comfort”
This afternoon, in the only way I know how, I would like to offer some comfort for those who are here today. And that is by talking about the God of Grace and the God of all Comfort. They go together.
You see it is the grace of God that comforts us.
Christianity is all about “grace”. It’s all about God’s “Amazing Grace”.
But what is “Grace” and what does grace really mean.
I have found that Grace is much easier to illustrate than it is to define. It would take volumes to do the definition justice but here are some common definitions.
Grace is – Gods Riches At Christ’s Expense
Grace is – God’s love taking the initiative to meet man’s need, whatever that need may be.
Grace is – Love stooping (bending) down.
Grace is – Getting what you don’t deserve.
The best single sentence definition of Grace that I have run across is this:
“Grace is God’s freely given, unmerited favor toward the sinful and failing, the expression of forgiving, redeeming, restoring love toward the unworthy.”
In John Newton’s Hymn – “Amazing Grace” – We can also find a definition of Grace.
This afternoon I want us to go through the six verses of Amazing Grace as John Newton wrote them and discover his wonderful definition and testimony of Grace.
I. The Grace That Saves Us – “Saving Grace”
Amazing grace! How sweet the sound, That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found, Was blind, but now I see.
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
What does the grace of God save us from?
The first thing that God’s grace saves us from is the penalty of sin. – Eternal separation from God.
There was a time if you had ask me, “How were you saved?” I would have replied, “By faith in Jesus Christ.”
Today my reply would be different – “By God’s grace through faith.”
II. Our Standing In Grace – “Justifying Grace”
T’was grace that taught my heart to fear, And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear, The hour I first believed!
1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace…
PEACE WITH GOD At one time we were enemies, alienated from God but now we have peace with God.
This third verse brings us to the next aspect of Grace - Grace saves us from the Power of sin.
III. The Discipline of Grace or Growth in Grace – “Maturing Grace ‘
Through many dangers, toils, and snares, I have already come;
‘Tis grace that brought me safe this far. And grace will lead me home.
2 Peter 3:18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.
Many think of Grace merely as the means whereby God forgives sin and fail to realize that Grace is also God’s way of dealing with the believer after they receive Christ.
What is the aim and goal of the Christian life? “To be conformed to the image of Christ.”
Grace is God’s way of growing us into Christ’s likeness. All of the trials and tribulations that we go thru are part of God’s maturing us.
IV. The Comfort Or Consolation Of Grace – “Comforting Grace”
The Lord has promised good to me, His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be, As long as life endures.
II Thes 2:16-17
16 Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace,
17 Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.
Is God Good? – Yes – God is always good. It is his nature to be good.
One of my favorite verses is Psalm 27:13
“I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.”
V. The Grace To Leave This Life – “Dying Grace”
Yea when this flesh and heart shall fail, And mortal life shall cease,