Summary: Just what is involved in “Grace Living?
Turn your Bibles to 1 Peter 4:10
Title: Grace Living
Theme: Walking in God’s Amazing Grace
Series: Living in the Aroma of God’s Grace
Introduction: God’s grace is the most expensive gift there is. Jesus Christ paid the ultimate price on the Cross of Calvary and today we are going to participate in an ordinance given to the Body of Christ, “Communion,” to help us remember that cost. Hebrews 9:22 says, “In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” (Hebrews 9:22) Someone has to pay the price of sin. The cost for the person who committed the sin is separation from God, which leads to broken fellowship with the Triune God and a life surrendered to self-will and a life of bondage. The great news is that Jesus paid the only price that would be accepted and His sacrifice broke the power of sin, setting free those who were once held in bondage. I recently read this phrase in a message put together by Rick Warren, “Grace is God’s Riches at Christ’s Expense.”
Today’s Scripture is written instruction inspired by the Holy Spirit informing us how to live for the Lord. The application for the word “gift” (charisma) in 1 Peter 4:10 is the special ability given to Christians for the purpose of edifying the Body of Christ. Every Christian has a calling and there is empowerment sent from the “Throne of Grace” to accomplish all that God ordains each Christian to do.
Proposition: I would propose to you that Christians are to be good stewards of the grace and gifts that the Holy Spirit has given them. 1 Corinthians 4:2 says, “Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.” (1 Corinthians 4:2) These gifts also include home and property and any open door of opportunity that has been given to you.
Interrogative Sentence: Just what is involved in “Grace Living?
Transitional Sentence: First, Christians who live in the aroma of God’s grace shine like stars drawing attention to the works of Christ in a sin-stricken world. Therefore, they are hungry for Paul’s instructions in Philippians 2:12-13, “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed -- …continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose.” (Philippians 2:12-13)
Walking in God’s amazing grace begins with being hungry to receive the life of Christ within us. Not only was Jesus humble enough to leave the abode of God and walk this sin-stricken world, He had the heart of obedience. Philippians 2:8 says this about Jesus Christ, “And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death – even death on the cross.” (Philippians 2:8)
Our key text for the first division of this message gives us an exhortation to diligence and seriousness in Christian living. Readiness to obey the gospel of Christ speaks loudly and clearly to everyone. Therefore, it is imperative that we let people know how to live the Christian life, a life that shows God’s grace and a right response to His grace is obedience.
Mark Twain wrote, “Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.” Perhaps the most annoying thing about a good example is the fact in our own strength we cannot follow the example of someone else. The fact is admiration for a person who is a good example can only inspire us, it cannot enable us. Unless that person can enter into our spirit and take control of our hearts and share his specific gifts, we cannot attain to that person’s heights of accomplishments. It takes more than an example on the outside; it takes allowing someone inside who is able to give us their power before we can achieve what they have achieved.
A “disciple” (mathetes) means to be a pupil of some teacher. The practical application for this message is the acceptance in mind, views, practices and life of Jesus Christ. (The New International Dictionary of the Bible) Personal Salvation in Christ’s Name brings with it responsibilities which Paul relates to Christian obedience. Therefore the first principle to “Grace Living” is a heart that is hungry for obedience to the Words of Christ accomplished only by allowing the Holy Spirit of Christ into our hearts and life. He must be the one who enables us. Trying to achieve it on our own accord leads to dead religion which is what happened to the religious leaders of Jesus’ day.