Summary: As terrible a thing it would be to have received God’s grace in vain how much worse to have never sought to accept the gift at all!
Our Knowledge of Grace
Text: Hebrews 13:25
The hymn we just sang “Amazing grace” captures a concept that conveys wonderful hope and comfort to the Christian. It is a word that Paul loved to use; every epistle begins and ends with mention of this word: Grace.
What does this word actually mean?
a. How is it used in the N. T. scriptures?
b. What important things should we keep in mind concerning "grace"?
[In this lesson we will focus on this wonderful word, and the relationship of grace to us as Christians.]
a.The freely given, unmerited favor and love of God.
b.The influence or spirit of God operating in humans to regenerate or strengthen them. Also called state of grace, the condition of being in God’s favor.
c.A charming or attractive trait or characteristic; a pleasing appearance or effect. A virtue or excellence of divine origin: the Christian graces.
A.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’s Greek-English lexicon points out:
a."CHARIS contains the idea of kindness which bestows upon one what he has not deserved."
Ephesians 2:5, 8 (NASB) 5even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
8For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;
Titus 2:11 (NASB) 11For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men,
3. This is the definition we see as "unmerited favor"
B.A Spiritual State Where One Enjoys God’s Favor
1.When one accepts God’s grace, they are in a "state of grace"
Romans 5:1 - 2 (NASB) 1Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.
1 Peter 5:12 (NASB) 12Through Silvanus, our faithful brother (for so I regard him), I have written to you briefly, exhorting and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it!
C.That Which Gives Joy, Pleasure, Delight (Reflection Of Divine Influence)
1.This is the original idea of the Greek word "charis" (KHAR - ECE)
a.It is used in the N.T. in this way in reference to speech:
1)The words of Jesus were spoken with grace -
Luke 4:22 (NASB) 22And all were speaking well of Him, and wondering at the gracious words which were falling from His lips; and they were saying, “Is this not Joseph’s son?”
b.The words of the Christian are to impart grace to the hearers:
Ephesians 4:29 (NASB) 29Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.
Colossians 4:6 (NASB) 6Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.
[These 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 And The Christian
A.We Are Saved By Grace!
1.Salvation is first and foremost a matter of grace! -
Ephesians 2:8 (NASB) 8For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;
a.God doesn’t owe us anything
b.What we all deserve is His wrath:
Romans 3:23-24 (NASB) 23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;
Romans 6:23 (NASB) 23For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
c.Salvation is a gift, which God in lovingkindness offers to man:
Read Titus 3:3 - 7
2.No matter what God may call upon us to do in order to receive His grace, when we do those things (cf. hear, believe, repent, confess Jesus, be baptized)
a.In no way can we ever say that we earn or merit salvation. We are still "unworthy slaves"
Read Luke 17:7 - 10
3.We must forever remember that only by God’s grace is salvation possible!
B.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
Romans 6:1 - 2 (NASB) 1What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? 2May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?