Summary: Grace is so giganic it exceeds our ability to measure it.
GROUNDED IN GRACE, PREACHED AT MIDWAY COMMUNITY CHURCH APRIL 22 2001
Why this series?
1. It is for us to come to a better understanding of God’s greatest gift. Our theme here at Midway Community Church is: “healing the hurts, and renewing the mind” and I can tell you from my own personal experience my mind had to be renewed with this great doctrine more than any other doctrine in Scripture. Here are a few facts I have learned.
a. It is so gigantic it exceeds our ability to measure it. Romans 5:17; key word there is “abundance” of grace. How much is that? Did I get just enough to get by and that is it? Or did I just get a teacup full, a measure of grace? Or just enough to get saved and no more, is that all the grace that God extended to me, and now am I on my own? That verse does not say that. It is abundant; it is given without a hitch, without strings attached and without measurement. It keeps on giving every moment of every day, throughout our entire lives. Acts 13:43 now when the meeting of the synagogue had broken up, many of the Jews and of the God-fearing proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas, who, speaking to them, were urging them to continue in the grace of God. Acts 20:32 "And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.
When is the last time you have ever heard a preacher commend you to the grace of God? And tell you that the word of His grace is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among those who are sanctified. As you and I will see together it is not a list of rules or things we must do or not do, BUT to build us up and to sanctify us, it is the word of Grace. The second thing in understanding grace is to define it.
b. It is favor; it is rooted in a word that means to condescend; it is when you don’t get what you deserve. Illustration of my not feeding the cows and then dad let me eat from his table. Tracing back to its root meaning, we find it is favor, undeserved and unmerited. To give it even more body, it is literally God stooping and bending to us without our having done anything to merit his doing this. God acts completely out of his own will without any thing on our part. Noah found grace, was it because he was a great builder, or a great man, no the scripture tell us that God graced Noah. Abraham was called out of the land of the Caldees, an idolater, a worshiper of other gods, and God stooped and bent to him. What did He do for you, Eph. 2; tells us that even when we were dead, not sick, not well, not in good shape, not because we were attractive, but when we were dead, he stooped and bent to us. Romans tells us that while we were enemies Christ died for us. And this favor continues on and on after we have received it initially. An illustration here about the man and his son killed. If the man goes and kills the murderer, he takes vengeance, if he waits for the court that is justice, if he goes and gets the killer and forgives him and brings him in to his home to live that is GRACE.
c. The Bible is FULL of grace; We have already discussed some OT people who found grace. Jacob with Esau; Moses when he killed the Egyptian; the book of Judges is full of grace. Go to John 1:14-18; the one thing John saw about Jesus: He was full of Grace and truth. Right in the middle of this cruel government, the pious religious community the condemning and self-righteous religious community here comes Jesus and what does He say about Him, he was full of Grace and truth. Now do you know Him like that? Illustration of people drawing Him. Some of the most horrible pictures I have ever seen are pictures of Jesus our counselees draw. Some have a hellish view of Him, wonder why? I call it a religious view of Jesus. Religion would not stand for grace that is why they crucified Him.
d. IT IS FREE; you cannot pay grace back. It is a free gift. No strings attached, no loopholes, no gotcha’s, just God’s favor, him stooping and bending to you.
e. IT IS FRIGHTENING; When grace is preached or understood it can be frightening because people will take advantage of this message. But we cannot compromise it because of this. Abraham is a perfect example of this. Romans 4:17-25; Romans 5:1; 9; 8:1; 31-35; These verses are frightening; Talk about the relationship and when we married, Charlotte did not set down a bunch of rules for me. I was free to commit adultery or whatever I wanted to do, but it was my relationship with her and my focus on her that kept me from many things that would have hurt us both. The Corinthians abused it, but what did Paul write to them, you saints in Christ Jesus. DO YOU HAVE AN UNDERSTANDING OF GRACE THAT IT GIGANTIC, IT IS DEFINED AS FAVOR, IT IS FREE, AND IT IS FRIGHTENING;