Summary: Today we will look at how one can receive God's grace.
• SLIDE #1
• I hope that you have been enjoying our series on the subject of Amazing Grace!
• Grace is a word that gets thrown around, songs are written about it, girls are named after it, and some folks “say grace” before they eat.
• In our contemporary language, we use the word to describe an attitude as well as actions.
• For instance, Joe was a gracious host.
• The Oxford Dictionary defines the word both as a noun and a verb.
• As a noun, it is defined as “simple elegance or refinement of movement.
• As a verb, it is defined as “do honor or credit to (someone or something) by one’s presence.
• Today we are going to see that from a Biblical perspective, there is more to the word than movement and presence.
• The deeper issue is how do I receive God’s grace. There are many views as to how to do that from, YOU CAN’T, to you do nothing, to you earn it.
• When we read a passage like Ephesians 2:8 which says…
• SLIDE #2
• Ephesians 2:8 (CSB) — For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift—
• …WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
• So today we will look at a variety of passages on the subject, but our main text will be Romans 3:20-24.
• God’s grace is a beautiful thing, I pray that we all understand how blessed we are to be able to experience it!
• Let’s turn to Romans 3:20-24.
• SLIDE #3
• Romans 3:20–24 (CSB) — 20 For no one will be justified in his sight by the works of the law, because the knowledge of sin comes through the law. 21 But now, apart from the law, the righteousness of God has been revealed, attested by the Law and the Prophets. 22 The righteousness of God is through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe, since there is no distinction. 23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. 24 They are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.
• SLIDE #4
I. A deeper examination of grace.
• The word translated grace is used around 123 times in the New Testament.
• When we began this series, I gave you a simple definition of the word grace, I defined the word as unmerited favor.
• This definition implies that one cannot earn this favor, it has to be given.
• The problem with this definition is that I did not give you the full scope of the definition, and that was on purpose.
• Today we will take it to the level it belongs, but first I want to share some of my nerdy stuff concerning the word grace.
• Originally, the Greek word that we translate GRACE was an ordinary word that really had no special significance.
• In ancient Greek thought and literature, it was used to me good-pleasure or in the verb form, to show oneself to be pleasant.
• This ordinary work was elevated by the writers of the New Testament through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, especially through Paul to mean something more.
• We started with says GRACE in the New Testament means UNMERITED FAVOR; however, there is more to the meaning from the usage in the New Testament.
• When you see the word GRACE, it can be either an action or an attitude.
o Grace is an appearance which charms or delights another.
o Grace is an attitude that leads to gracious action, hence, unmerited favor.
o Grace is the action by which favor is given, this is usually the emphasized by songs about grace.
o There is also a gratitude felt by the receiver or the favor that is expressed by Grace. (Gareth Reese, Romans Commentary, p.46)
• So, when you look at all the angles of grace, we come to the conclusion that grace is unmerited favor, that is the action; however, to convey the whole meaning we need to also add the attitude behind the action.
• SLIDE #5
• Therefore, we define grace as ALL THAT A LOVING GOD FEELS AND DOES TO SAVE PEOPLE.
• Grace is an important word because is it a word filled with power and hope, it is not a word that simply means good-pleasure, it goes MUCH deeper
• The Romans 3:20-24 passage shows us that we are JUSTIFIED, or DECLARED RIGHTEOUS, or to be VINDICATED, by GRACE.
• SLIDE #6
• Romans 6:12–14 (CSB) — 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, so that you obey its desires. 13 And do not offer any parts of it to sin as weapons for unrighteousness. But as those who are alive from the dead, offer yourselves to God, and all the parts of yourselves to God as weapons for righteousness. 14 For sin will not rule over you, because you are not under the law but under grace.