Summary: What is Grace? When the world hears "Amazing Grace" what do they think it means? Is it just a funeral dirge to be played by bagpipers? What is the source of Grace?
Please open your Bibles to John 1:1-18 which we will read in a few minutes.
Over the past couple of weeks we have been taking a look at the five “Solas” that were established after the Protestant Reformation came along in 1517.
These “Solas” are not something that was invented in the 16th century but are foundational beliefs that are clearly found in the New Testament; a collection of writings consisting of four biographies of Jesus, letters between people, letters written to churches, an historical book and a book of future prophecy.
These writings were inspired by the Holy Spirit and have been protected by that same Holy Spirit over the past 20 centuries.
These are the five foundational “Sola” doctrines:
Sola Scriptura, by Scripture alone (brief remarks regarding …)
Solus Christus, through Christ alone (brief remarks regarding …)
Sola Gratia, by Grace alone
Sola Fide, by Faith alone
Soli Deo Gloria, glory to God alone
Today we’ll be looking at the third of these Solas, Sola Gratia; salvation by Grace alone.
Some definitions of Grace that I’ve heard
1) Unmerited favor – true but a huge generalization
2) G.R.A.C.E – God’s Riches At Christ Expense – what does that mean?
Let’s take a look at some Scripture and see if we can find out John 1:1-18
From that passage we want to focus on
John 1:16-17 NIV
“From the fullness of [Jesus’] grace we have all received one blessing after another. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”
John 1:16-17 AMP
“For out of [Jesus’] fullness [the superabundance of His grace and truth] we have all received grace upon grace [spiritual blessing upon spiritual blessing, favor upon favor, and gift heaped upon gift].
“For the Law was given through Moses, but grace [the unearned, undeserved favor of God] and truth came through Jesus Christ.
God’s grace is amazing!
Grace is God’s activity in this world.
God’s grace in this world is truly a prime example of Jehovah Jireh; the LORD Will Provide!
God’s grace is evidence of His yearning for sinful, rebellious humanity to repent and be reconciled back to Himself.
Last week when we looked at Solus Christus, salvation through Christ alone, we saw that Jesus the Messiah was being pointed to from the very beginning of the Bible.
We saw that the New Testament is saturated with Jesus like a sponge that is so filled that it cannot hold one more drop.
And we saw that Jesus the Messiah was found all the way through to the very last verse in the Holy Bible.
In the same way we see God’s grace extended to humanity from the very beginning of the Bible to the very last verse of the Bible
1) God’s grace extended to Adam and Eve with animal skins for covering after they had sinned
2) God’s gift of the Law for guidance (have you ever seen kids being raised with no restriction …)
3) The Lord leading His rebellious and stiff necked people through the desert; providing food from them, giving them protection from enemies, leading them with a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.
4) The Lord sending prophets to keep Israel from falling into pagan idolatry and other treacherous sins
And in the New Testament we see the greatest gift of grace of all – sending His one and only Son to show us the way to the God the Father and to pay the penalty for our sins.
The whole world has been covered with an ocean of the grace of God from creation and will continue to be covered with an ocean of the grace of God until the end of time.
Let’s look at grace from a “global” perspective at this point of time in history.
Where do we see that the grace of God has been bestowed on humanity?
“Sola Scriptura” – By Scripture Alone – In God’s amazing grace He has given to us over the centuries His Holy Word.
According to Ethnologue, there are currently 6909 living languages in the world. At least one book of Scripture has been translated for 2932 of these languages. The New Testament is available in 1,333 languages, with portions in 1045. The complete Bible has been translated into 553 languages.
The Bible is a tangible gift of God’s grace to the whole world, for in it are the words of eternal life.
Another place we see grace from a “global” perspective at this point of time in history is the ongoing gift of salvation that comes through redemptive work of Jesus Christ our Lord. “Solus Christus)
And again, we see the grace of God continuing to us on a “global” perspective through the continuing work of the Holy Spirit,