Summary: Grace is one of three great motivators for living the Christian life.
GROWING IN GRACE 1 – THE GENESIS OF GRACE (outline with manuscript after the dotted line)
Text: Genesis 1:1-3
1. This morning we begin a study of one of the most significant concepts in the entire Bible. The
concept of Grace
2. How radical is the concept of grace?
During a British conference on comparative religions, experts from around the world
debated what belief, if any, was unique to the Christian faith. They began by eliminating
the possibilities. Incarnation? No, other religions had different versions of gods
appearing in human form. Resurrection? Again, other religions had accounts of return
from death experiences. The debate went on for some time until C. S. Lewis wandered
into the room. “What’s the rumpus about?” he asked. His colleagues replied, "We're
discussing Christianity’s unique contribution among world religions." Lewis responded,
“Oh, that’s easy. It’s grace.”
After further discussion the conferees agreed. The notion of God’s love coming to us
free of charge, seems to go against every instinct of humanity. The Buddhist eight-fold
path to enlightenment, the Hindu doctrine of karma, the Jewish conditions for covenant,
and the Muslim code of law – each present a way to earn our approval. It's true; only
Christianity dares to make God’s love unconditional.(1)
3. So what does this important word mean?
The linguistic starting-point is the sense of “making glad by gifts,” of showing free
unmerited grace. The element of freedom in giving is constitutive(2)
4. And yet we have to be careful how we handle this beautiful word. David Miller has observed,
“We cannot overemphasize the grace of God. But we can misemphasize, misrepresent,
misdefine, [and] misunderstand the grace of God. We can use the marvelous grace of
God as a pretext for corrupting worship and relaxing the high moral standards of the
5. God warned us,
Working together with him, then, we appeal to you not to receive
the grace of God in vain.
6. I see two predominant abuses of Grace.
7. First is the person who teaches A Phariseeistic legalism that causes people to live a life that robs
them of the joy of their salvation by following an impossible list of man-made doctrines and
constantly shifting theories
1) Their service to God becomes “The constant rolling of a stone that was always to be lifted
2) They are driven by the feeling that they are never good enough, never give enough, never do
enough, never pray enough, never study enough, never serve enough.
3) So it’s little wonder that,
Gerhard Kittel, Geoffrey W. Bromiley, and Gerhard Friedrich, eds., Theological Dictionary of
the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1964–), 394.
Dave Miller, The Empowering Grace of God.pdf. Ohio Valley University Faulkner Lectureship 2014.
Rauch's Psychology, p. 343