Summary: Exploring and applying the amazing grace of God.
Grace that makes you say, “WOW!”
Illustration- Christian Conference in Britain, “oh that’s easy, its grace.”- C.S. Lewis
What do you think of when you hear the word grace?
In the Christian community we are surrounded by the word. I mean I go to a school named Grace Bible College, this church is a part of the Grace Gospel Fellowship and we all have sung songs such as Amazing Grace
We are constantly surrounded by this word, but do we truly understand the magnitude of grace…
Grace is an incredibly critical and important doctrine to our Christian faith.
This morning we are going to look at grace. We are going to look at his notion of God’s love coming to us free of charge, no strings attached, absolutely unconditional.
In order, to get a good understanding of it we are going to look at some scenes in Jesus’ life.
Interestingly enough, Jesus never once used the word grace. Rather, he taught it and he lived it.
In looking at some instances of Jesus displaying this grace it is my hopes that we:
Proposition- Come to an understanding of God’s grace and then live it!
The first step in understanding God’s grace is realizing it is:
1) Not something we can EARN
This is a foreign idea because we live in a society that is based on earnings and rewards.
For example, we work tirelessly for a week or two, then anxiously await our hard earned paycheck. Correct me if I am wrong, but I have never heard of anyone going up to their boss after they receive their paychecks and saying, “thank you oh thank you for this undeserved gift. How can I possibly thank you enough.” No, this is not how it works. You earned that paycheck.
We are engrained with the idea: the more and harder we work the more we will receive in return.
This idea is very present in the business world.
For example, this idea is present in the Ford Corporation
1) Ford employees are graded on a scale of 1 to 27. 1 would be given to clerks and secretaries whereas 27 is chairman of the board. You must reach grade 9 to receive an outside parking place. Grade 13 brings with it such perks as a window, plants and an intercom system. Grade 16 offices come equipped with private bathrooms.
2) Military practices this idea as well. Assigned a title, uniform, salary and code of behavior, every soldier knows exactly where he or she stands in relation to the other. You salute and obey superiors; you give orders to the inferiors.
3) Sports franchises rewards those who complete passes, throw strikes, or make baskets, and has no place for those who fail.
We are constantly engrained with this idea that the harder we work the more we receive.
This however is the exact opposite of grace and opposite to the way Jesus presented it as he was here on earth.
Illustration- painting with Mike Kronkrite
He told the:
Parable of workers (61)
Read: Matthew 20:12-15
These other workers got what they did not deserve. But that’s God’s grace. It is not based on what we can do or what we deserve or earn. He freely gives it to us.
Similarly, its human nature to think that we can gain God’s love or his love is based on what we do and how we respond to him. I know in my life I often judge my relationship with God on:
The BUCKET (69-70)
God’s love for me is not determined on how full my good bucket is compared to my bad bucket. Rather, God’s love no matter what I do overflows the good bucket.
*Grace means there is nothing we can do to make God love us more and there is nothing we can do to make God love us less.
Grace means that God already loves us as much as an infinite God can possibly love.
It is absolutely not determined on what we do, it is not earned.
The second we must understand about grace is that it:
2) Allows Second Chances
Modern day terms- Exams and Sports (softball- “if I could just have that pitch back”)
That’s how life is. But that is not how grace is.
Parable of the Gracious Father-Luke 15
Grace allows second chances, that is what God does for us.
When we stumble, when we struggle, when we are disobedient, and unfaithful. God is always there to welcome us back with open arms.
I do not think there is any greater example of this then the life of the Apostle Paul (pg 66)
He was a devout Jew. He hated the name of Jesus. He purposed in his heart to do everything he could to stop the spread of Jesus’ name. He went from church to church ravaging them, dragging the believers out and having them thrown in prison.