Summary: Piecemeal study can be very confusing to the new convert as well as the struggling oldtimer. Grace allows us to see ourselves without giving up on our humanity.
Grace: The Strength to Face Ourselves
Joe Mack Cherry
A. Nothing in the past 50 years has caused as much controversy as Grace.
1. Talk of grace raises a host of emotions.
a. Fear – the free ride syndrome that Paul dismisses in Rom. 6: 1
b. Anger – You got to do something! Oh really?
c. Discussions about grace lead to name calling.
2. I believe many times we focus more on our different views than we
do the true concept of grace.
a. We start looking at the symptoms and don’t see the disease.
b. Have you ever argued and fussed with someone until you couldn’t remember what you were fussing about? HA
B. Our perspective on grace can change as we do, if we aren’t careful.
1. Remember when you or someone close went back into the world?
a. There comes a time when a person realizes there is nothing that
he/she can do about a situation? Only grace can cover the sin.
b. As time passes, one can forget that he/she once needed grace in
a big way and it becomes difficult for them to pray God’s grace
on someone else. Time has a way of diminishing our awareness
of just how sinful we really are and embellishing our abilities to
2. We must be careful not to deny the grace of God to anyone,
because it can be denied us. Grace is grace and its God’s to give as
a. Mt. 20: 15
b. The first forgot their need for the work/job = grace
c. The Pharisees gave no provision for grace, they piled on more laws.
d. Grace is the ultimate selling point of Christianity. Christ’s death for our sins is the ultimate extension of grace.
1. Rom. 5: 6
2. Rom. 11: 6
3. Eph. 2: 5
II. Body – Lk 17: 7-10
A. At first, this seems very harsh, coming from our Lord.
1. Here is a scenario where a person has worked all day long in the
fields and is probably tired and hungry, also.
a. What happened to the Golden Rule, Jesus?
* I think about my grandfather. When he had men working for
him they ate at the same table with him and at the same time
regardless of their creed or color.
* My grandmother had a maid who lived with her and the maid
was treated with the same respect that Granddaddy did his
b. What kind of master would be so cruel and harsh?
c. Why are you condoning this “lording” over the servant?
B. Let’s look at what the Master/Slave relationship of the day.
1. In most incidences the master gave the slave something the slave
could not provide for himself or his family. Lev. 25: 39-55
b. Debt payment
c. Life - in the aspect of a conquered country
2. God made provisions in His law for the treatment of slaves in both
testaments. The rules applied to Gentile as well as Hebrew slaves.
a. The 10 Commandments (Ex. 20: 10)
b. Much of Ex. 21
c. Deut. 15: 12-18
d. Deut. 23: 15-16 – addresses Runaways
e. I Peter 2: 18-23 – Look at this closer in conjunction with the text
3. Slaves had a dual responsibility as did their Master. God and each
a. Eph. 6: 5-9
b. Col. 3: 22 – 4: 1
III. Explanation & Application
A. With God as the Master, what did or does He provide that we could not
1. Salvation of course! Rom. 5: 6-8
2. In my studies, I was introduced to a new word – supererogation.
a. Understanding this term helps bring grace into the proper light.
b. Def. – “act beyond that which is required in the call of duty”
c. For the Christian this means even death!
d. Satan sabotages grace by convincing us that we deserve
something from God.
e. I Pet. 2: 18-23 – even this is not beyond that which is required.
Also see Mt. 5: 43-48
B. We must see ourselves for “who we are” in order to grasp the true
nature of grace.
1. Uh-oh here comes the “hell, fire, and brimstone”.
a. Today people don’t want to have anything to do a message they
feel is negative. Me? An unworthy servant? HA! I do this and I
do that and I wouldn’t dare do the other.
b. It’s the American way to earn everything – including salvation!
2. We must remember that grace allows us to do this.
a. Paul – I Tim. 1: 15
b. Paul – II Tim. 4: 7
3. The Bible is full of concepts illogical to modern man.
a. The first shall be last?
b. Lose your life and gain it?