Summary: Let's check out the purpose of God's grace in Christ. Why given? 1- To reveal God 2- To rescue people 3- To receive glory
INTRO.- ILL.- 77 year old preacher Charles Swindoll (senior pastor of Stonebriar Community Church, in Frisco, Texas) recalled a spanking when he turned thirteen years old. Chuck said, “Having just broken into the sophisticated ranks of the teen world, I thought I was something on a stick. My father wasn’t nearly as impressed as I was with my great importance and new-found independence. I was lying on my bed. He was outside the window on a muggy October afternoon in Houston, TX, weeding the garden. He said, ‘Charles, come out and help me weed the garden.’ I said something like, ‘NO, IT’S MY BIRTHDAY, REMEMBER?’
“My tone was sassy and my deliberate lack of respect was eloquent. I knew better than to disobey my dad, but after all, I was the ripe old age of thirteen. Dad set a new 100-meter record that autumn afternoon. He was in the house in a flash and all over me like white on rice, spanking me all the way out to the garden. As I recall, I weeded until the moonlight was shining on the pansies.
“That same night he took me out to a surprise dinner. He gave me what I deserved earlier. LATER HE GAVE ME WHAT I DID NOT DESERVE. The birthday dinner was a matter of grace. He showered his favor on this rebellious young man. And I enjoyed grace.”
Does Chuck Swindoll's story remind us of our own? There have been times in life when we deserved punishment but we received grace instead. In fact, I suspect that most of us have received more grace than we have punishment.
It's like we've heard people say, "Well, I got many spankings when I was kid but I deserved more than I got." THAT WAS ME!
Or maybe someone said, "I got a speeding ticket, but I should have had a lot more!" THAT WAS ME!
ILL.- Did you ever take a picture of yourself? Perhaps. If not, I'm sure that someone has taken a picture of you. Did you like the picture? I've often heard people say, "I don't like my picture. I never take a good picture."
AND THIS IS TRUE FOR US ALL, BECAUSE HERE IS OUR TRUE PICTURE IN GOD'S WORD: Romans 3:23 "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God."
Brothers and sisters, because we're all in the same boat and that boat is a sinking boat, WE NEED HELP! WE NEED GRACE! And we may not get it from mankind, but we sure want it from God.
Our text speaks of God's grace and peace. 1 Paul, an apostle—sent not from men nor by man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead...
We can believe the words of Paul because of who commissioned him. Paul didn't live for himself but for Him who sent him.
ILL.- Do you know why we can't believe anything Hollywood puts out or produces? Because they are always in it for themselves. Hollywood is about money. This is why they lie. But Paul was not in this thing for himself but for others.
Paul said: "Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ."
PROP.- Let's check out the purpose of God's grace in Christ. Why given?
1- To reveal God
2- To rescue people
3- To receive glory
I. TO REVEAL GOD
3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
I may be reading a bit into this text, but I think it's true that God demonstrates His grace to us in order to reveal Himself. Our God is a god of Grace is He is anything at all!
ILL.- DETROIT, MI, July, 2006 - A homeless man searching for returnable bottles in a trash bin found 31 U.S. savings bonds worth nearly $21,000 in a bag of clothes. WHAT DID HE DO WITH THEM?
Charles Moore, 59, took the bonds to a 24-hour walk-in homeless shelter, where a staff worker tracked down the family of the man whose name was on the bonds. "They belong to him," Moore told The Detroit News. "I did the right thing." YES, HE DID.
The real you. Who are you? Who is the real you? What are you? What is your true heart of hearts? Is what you see, what you get? Or are you different than you appear in public?
What is the true character of God? Is He a sadistic God? A cruel God? An unsympathetic God? A trick-playing God? Or perhaps is He a compassionate, loving, forgiving God?
ILL.- Someone said here is the kind of God that most people want: We want, in fact, not so much a father in heaven as a grandfather in heaven: a senile benevolence who, as they say, "liked to see young people enjoying themselves" and whose plan for the universe was simply that it might be truly said at the end of each day, "a good time was had by all."