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Summary: What motivates legalistic leaders to add requirements to the gospel’s justification by grace through faith alone?

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Dakota Community Church

June 5, 2011

Grace Transforms 2

Ephesians 2:6-9

And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.

1. What is biblical grace?

Grace is the “unmerited favor” of God toward sinners.

Grace is the favor of God toward the undeserving.

Grace is the spontaneous love and boundless mercy of God freely expressed toward those who are entirely undeserving.

Grace is the likes of you declared righteous.

Grace is me – holy – justified – indwelled by the Spirit that caused Uzzah to die – AND YET I LIVE!

“When the mask of self-righteousness has been torn from us and we stand stripped of all our accustomed defenses, we are candidates for God's generous grace.” -Erwin W. Lutzer (1941- )

“As Copernicus, the great astronomer, was dying, a copy of his great book, The Revolution of the Heavenly Bodies, was placed in his hands. But it was not his brilliant work that was on his mind. Instead he directed that the following epitaph be placed on his grave at Frauenburg: "O Lord, the faith thou didst give to St. Paul, I cannot ask; the mercy thou didst show to St. Peter, I dare not ask; but, Lord, the grace thou didst show unto the dying robber that, Lord, show to me." There is no one who cannot come to God under those terms.” {Unverified – I also found “Science is life” and “Stand, Sun, Move Not”}

We come to the cross like the thief who was crucified next to Jesus, guilty, condemned already, doomed unless there is salvation by the grace of God.

It is grace that sets the Christian faith apart from all others.

Other religions insist on doing, but Christianity speaks of receiving.

Other religions outline the works that people say one must do to be saved, but Christianity reveals a work that God has already done to make salvation available to all.

What motivates legalistic leaders to add requirements to the gospel’s justification by grace through faith alone?

If I can plant a seed of doubt I can get you working for me.

“I wouldn’t want to be standing before God not having paid my tithes” Really?

“I wouldn’t want to face God not having attended regular services” Really?

These are “GET TO” issues not “HAVE TO” issues BECAUSE we already stand justified!

2. What does grace do?

Acts 20:32

“Now I commit you to God and to the word of his grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.

“Grace can pardon our ungodliness and justify us with Christ's righteousness; it can put the Spirit of Jesus Christ within us; it can help us when we are down; it can heal us when we are wounded; it can multiply pardons, as we through frailty multiply transgressions.” -John Bunyan (1628-1688)


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