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Summary: Grace so amazing that it offers second chances. Learn about the unfairness of God’s grace and get some relief!

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Second Chances

The Unfairness of Grace

12/03/03

I. Introduction

In Medieval Persia, Earth’s mightiest and most mysterious kingdom, a king and his son defeat the powerful Maharajah, looting his palace of priceless treasure, including an extravagant hourglass and a mysterious dagger. What the Prince does not realize is that these two objects can turn their possessor into an immortal god, and give him control over time itself. Tricked by a dying Vizier bent on harnessing this terrible magic for himself, the Prince releases the Sands of Time, destroying a kingdom and turning its people into ferocious demons. Now, it is up to the youth Prince of Persia to call upon every resource and ounce of courage he possesses to save his kingdom and redeem his fatal mistake.

Such is the story of Critical Acclaim’s video game, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. In this video game, the Sands of Time are a strange and mystical force that allows players to seamlessly bend the fabrics of time, granting them a number of astounding powers, one of which is called The Power of Revival. The prince can face danger with the ability to journey back in time, meaning that if the prince is fatally injured by a slew of zombies, he can use the Sands of Time, to go back to the point before he even met the zombies and get a second chance at life.

How would you like to have something like the Sands of Time allowing you to go back and get a second chance? What would it be like to get a second chance to make that blubbering first impression with the new girl at school? Instead of tripping over your shoelaces and sending your lunch tray soaring through the air spilling your chocolate milk all over her, you simply use the Sands of Time to rewind your fate, so that you ever so smoothly walk up to her and lay on the charm scoring you the digits and a possible date for next weekend.

Or what about getting a second chance to pass that mid-term that you totally forgot to study for? How about a second chance to turn down that cigarette that almost gave you pneumonia because you practically coughed up a lung? Well, tonight we’re talking about Second Chances: The Unfairness of Grace. You see, God has given us all the power of second chances, the power that comes from this thing called grace.

II. Grace: What It Is

We’ve all heard songs like “Amazing grace how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me,” or “grace flows down and covers me,” but what is this grace that’s so amazing and how does it cover me?

Grace:

1) grace

a) that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, loveliness: grace of speech

2) good will, loving-kindness, favour

a) of the merciful kindness by which God, exerting his holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian virtues

3) what is due to grace

a) the spiritual condition of one governed by the power of divine grace

b) the token or proof of grace, benefit

1) a gift of grace

2) benefit, bounty

4) thanks, (for benefits, services, favours), recompense, reward

Charles Swindoll said about this gift called grace that came from Jesus: “To show grace is to extend favor or kindness to one who doesn’t deserve it and can never earn it. Receiving God’s acceptance by grace always stands in sharp contrast to earning it on the basis of works. Every time the thought of grace appears, there is the idea of its being undeserved. In no way is the recipient getting what he or she deserves. Favor is being extended simply out of the goodness of the heart of the giver.”

The word grace has various uses, but tonight we’re talking about God’s grace in regard to his giving to us freely this gift of a second chance.

Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV “8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- 9not by works, so that no one can boast.”

Grace has often been used as an acronym that says: God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense, meaning that because of Christ’s sacrificial death, we can have God’s best. Although we deserved hell, and were on a one-way street toward death, God turned our fate around and gave us life.

He gave us a second chance, not a second chance to prove how good we are or that we can do whatever it takes, because those are works, but he freely gave us the chance to live without trying to prove ourselves, the chance to just be ourselves and accept his gift of starting over.

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