Summary: God's grace is something we all need more of. This messages sets us up for the launch of our 2015 Summer Sermon Series on GRACE, and all that it means to God and to us.
Prelude to Grace Sermon Series
Encourage you to invite one person to church this week … just ONE!
Tonight is a prelude to our series on Grace, begins on Sunday morning
We will also have two baptisms after the service … A GREAT DAY!
The word translated "grace" in the New Testament comes from the Greek:
-- It is the word “charis”, which means “favor, blessing, or kindness”
- We can all extend grace to others
-- When grace is used in connection with God, it takes on powerful meaning
-- Grace is God choosing to bless us rather than curse us as our sin deserves
-- APP: It is His benevolence to the undeserving
- Turn to Romans 5 … read 20-21 / Pray
- Ever notice Paul begins all his letters with a greeting that includes grace?
-- Romans 1:7, “To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be his holy people: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.”
- Usually he adds the word peace and sometimes he adds the word mercy
-- Always, however, he highlights grace … it is his mantle for living (ref Acts 9)
- The word grace appears 170 times in the King James Version of the Bible
-- The first time we read of God’s grace is Genesis 6:8 …
-- “… But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.”
-- We can understand this because Noah was God’s man in a wicked world
- Noah was a man willing to sacrifice his own reputation for God
-- He was a slave (Greek: “doulus”); he was devoted to God’s desire only
-- It is a tremendous example of what a willing servant should look like
-- Response: “Whatever you desire Lord, I am willing to do for you”
- Moses also “found grace” in God’s sight.
-- In Exodus 33 God rewarded Moses’ faithful service and devotion
- Turn to Exodus 33 … read v17-23
- God allowed him to view His glory in a way no other human being ever had
-- Look at Moses request of God, “… show me your glory …” DESIRE!
-- Moses was a man of stellar faith; willing to draw even closer to God
- So where does that leave the rest of us?
-- We haven’t built any arks or parted any seas?
-- Well, here’s the important part … that’s the whole point of grace!
- It has nothing to do with who we are or what we do
-- Grace is a gift—the unearned favor of God given to … who?
-- To undeserving people like me, and you, and even those we may not like!
-- John 1:16-17, “From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”
- That’s the reason Paul begins each of his letters with the phrase, “grace to you.”
-- APP: He had a desire that we would know what he knows … God’s grace!
- When Paul addresses grace in our passage (Romans 5:20-21) he is clear:
-- The Law shows us where we fail; where we do not measure up to God
-- And since we failed so miserably, God had to increase His grace for all of us
-- Sin is the path that leads to death, it reigns over all that is death
-- But God’s increase is measured in the life, death, & resurrection of Jesus Christ!
- FACT: Every blessing we receive every day of our lives is a gift of grace
• We are justified by grace (Romans 3:24)
• Spiritual gifts are products of grace (Romans 12:6)
• The ability to witness is a manifestation of grace (Romans 15:5)
• Even … generosity is a result of grace (2 Corinthians 8:1-7)
- No wonder the hymn writer John Newton used the adjective “amazing”
-- He could not even fathom how to describe what God had actually done!
-- I don’t think even ten thousand years will be enough time …
- How’s your expression of grace being shown today?
- How do we show others what we’ve been given because of Christ?