Summary: Grace is a complex word with many shades of meaning depending on its context and application in text. Grace was an important word to Paul and it needs to be an important word to us today.
Grace Without and Within
Grace In Our Lives
Text: Titus 2:11-12
Grace is a word that anyone who has spent anytime following the Gospel of Jesus has heard. You’ll find the word Grace in the New Testament more than 170 times. It is a word that conveys wonderful hope and comfort to the Christian and it is a word that the Apostle Paul loved to use in his writings. Every epistle that he wrote (with the possible exception of Hebrews), begins and ends with mention of this word
1 Thessalonians 1:1 (NASB) 1Paul and Silvanus and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace
1 Thessalonians 5:28 (NASB) 28The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you
Grace is a complex word with many shades of meaning depending on its context and application in text. Grace was an important word to Paul and it needs to be an important word to us today. In our lesson this morning we will spend some time focusing on this important word and its meaning to us as Christians.
We will look first on how it is used in the scriptures and reveal what we should keep in mind concerning the word “grace.”
I. The Definition Of "Grace"
A. That which gives joy, pleasure, delight...
1. This is the original idea of the Greek word "charis" (HAH – REESE)
2. It is used in the N.T. in this way in reference to SPEECH...
a. The words of Jesus were spoken with grace - Luke 4:22
b. The words of the Christian are to impart grace to the hearers
Ephesians 4:29 “…so that it will give grace to those who hear.”
Colossians 4:6 “…Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt,”
B. Good-will, lovingkindness, favor...
1. In this way, it is used:
a. Of the kindness of a master towards his inferiors or servants
b. And especially of God towards men
2. THAYER points out that:
a. "CHARIS contains the idea of kindness which bestows upon one what he has not deserved."
b. "The NT writers use CHARIS preeminently of that kindness by which God bestows favors even upon the ill-deserving, and grants to sinners the pardon of their offenses, and bids them accept of eternal salvation through Christ."
Ephesians 2:5 (by grace you have been saved)
3. It is this particular definition of grace that prompts us to think of it most often as "unmerited favor"
C. A spiritual state or condition in which one enjoys god’s favor...
1. When one accepts God’s grace, they are in a "state of grace"
Romans 5:1-2 (We stand in grace)
1Peter 5:12 (Stand firm in grace)
D. An expression of gratitude for favor bestowed...
1. 1Timothy 1:12 where the English word is "thank" ("I thank Jesus Christ...")
a. Paul’s gratitude stemmed from the fact that God in His grace had provided Paul all necessary enablement and, considering him trustworthy, had pressed him into a privileged place of service.
2. This is what is meant when people ask someone to "say grace" before eating a meal
[Such are the main ways the word GRACE is used in the NT. In connection with this word, there are some things that Christians should always keep in mind...]
II. Grace Without
A. We Are Saved By Grace!
1. Salvation is first, foremost, and always a matter of grace! - Ephesians 2:5 (by grace you are saved)
a. God doesn’t owe us anything
b. What we deserve is eternal damnation, because all are sinners - Romans 3:23
c. Salvation is a gift, which God in lovingkindness offers to man - Romans 6:23b (the free gift of God)
2. No matter what God may call upon us to do in order to receive His grace, when we do those things (cf. believe, repent, confess Jesus, be baptized)...
a. In no way can we ever say that we earn or merit salvation
b. We are still unworthy
3. We must forever remember that only by God’s grace is salvation possible!
III. Grace Within
A. GOD’S GRACE REQUIRES HOLY LIVING!
1. Some people reason that since we are saved by grace, we are free to do whatever we wish
2. Yet Paul wrote:
Titus 2:11 - 12 (NASB) For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age
a. Deny ungodliness and worldly lusts
b. Live soberly, righteously and godly
c. Look for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of Jesus Christ - cf. Titus 2:13
3. As he continues, Paul explains why Jesus in grace gave Himself for us...
a. That He might redeem us from every lawless deed