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 In Our Lives
Text: 2 Peter 1:2-3
In our lesson this morning we examined the importance of Grace to the followers of Christ and reviewed how the Grace of God without (His free gift to us all) must become His Grace within as we live our lives in light of His unmerited favor.
The fact that grace is unearned and unmerited does not tell us everything about grace, because it does not tell us what grace does. We may build a more practical definition of grace from the writings of Peter:
2 Peter 1:2 - 3 (NASB) Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.
Seeing that the grace of God is more than salvation but also everything for life and godliness or definition of grace could be "God's life, power and righteousness given to us by unmerited favor.” It is through grace that God works effective change in our hearts and lives. The law was given to prove that laws in themselves do not have the power to make us what we should be. It takes God Himself, working in our lives by His grace, to make us what we ought to be. At every step, we are dependent on God's life and power to come to us and work within our hearts, if we want to be what God wants and do what He wants.
Grace gives us a new life which is not condemned by God. Through God's grace we are forgiven. Grace will transform our thinking, resulting in the renewal of the mind. Through grace we are sanctified and made holy.
Grace enables us to live the kind of generous, carefree life of service and joy that God would like every one of His children to experience. Let’s consider in more detail what the grace of God does for us and in us…
I. What Grace Does For Us
A.Grace saves us
1.As we said this morning, first and foremost we are saved by grace.
Ephesians 2:8 - 9 (NASB) For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
a.It is important to see here that by God's grace we have been saved. It is not by works.
2.Salvation is all that God does in taking a fallen man and making him into a son of God - righteous, holy and glorified.
3.All this is done strictly on the basis of God's grace. God's gift, not our works, made it all possible.
B.Grace justifies us
1.We may be considered to be right by God only because of His grace and the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, which is available to us because Jesus willingly lay down His life for us - paying the price we deserved for our rebellion against God.
Romans 3:24 (NASB) being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;
2.Our justification is not something we receive because of good works, but because of the payment Jesus paid for us at the cross when he suffered and died.
C.Grace sanctifies us
1.Indeed, not only our right standing with God, but also our right living depends on grace.
2 Thessalonians 2:13 (NASB) “…because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth.”
2.Sanctification is the process of being set aside, in our case being set aside for the purposes of God.
1 Corinthians 1:30 (NASB) But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption,
D.Grace empowers us to service.
1.Ephesians 4:7 (NASB) But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.
This verse makes it clear that grace has been given to each one of us believers.
2.Romans 12:6a (NASB) Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly:
The receiving and operation of the gifts we have from God depends upon the grace that is given to us. Therefore it is through grace that we have certain gifts and are to use them in His service.
3.Ephesians 3:6 - 8 (NASB) to be specific, that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel, of which I was made a minister, according to the gift of God’s grace which was given to me according to the working of His power. To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ,