Summary: God's grace reaches deep enough to even reach YOU!
• SLIDE #1
• Today we will conclude our series on the subject of grace.
• Grace is what a loving God feels and does to save people.
• Grace is something that every human being that has ever existed needs.
• The book of 1 Timothy 2:3-4 tells us that God desires all people to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.
• So today we will conclude this series by examining the depth of God’s grace.
• We need to plumb the depths of God’s grace so that we can fully appreciate and embrace God’s grace in our lives as well as being willing to work of extending God’s grace to all those who are around us.
• Sometimes I think we do not understand the depth of God’s grace. The reason I say that is two-fold.
• First, I know way too many Christians who live life believing that God does not value or love them.
• They have allowed the enemy to penetrate their minds with that insidious thought.
• When we allow this thought pattern to overtake our lives, we will never be able to fully commit ourselves to the life the Lord desires for us.
• We will never be able to experience the joy of our salvation because we refuse to embrace God’s grace in our life.
• The second issue is that we tend to forget that God desires ALL people to be saved, but if we are not careful we can have our list of people who refuse to pray for or try to impact for Jesus because subconsciously we do not believe they are worthy of God’s grace.
• We could fall into the thought that a person is too far gone for God’s grace to be able to reach them.
• So today, we are going to plumb the depth of God’s grace.
• Let’s turn to Ephesians 3:1-2 and 7-8
• SLIDE #2
• Ephesians 3:1–2 (CSB) — 1 For this reason, I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles—2 you have heard, haven’t you, about the administration of God’s grace that he gave to me for you?
• Ephesians 3:7–8 (CSB) — 7 I was made a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace that was given to me by the working of his power. 8 This grace was given to me—the least of all the saints—to proclaim to the Gentiles the incalculable riches of Christ,
• SLIDE #3
I. God’s grace reached deep enough to reach Paul. (1-2; 7-8)
• I bet if I could get a from the heart pole of folks even in this auditorium this morning, I bet a there is a decent percentage of us who think God really does not love us, or that God does not fully accept us.
• Our feelings come from guilt from the past or possible guilt for stuff we are STRUGGLING with now.
• In chapter 3 of Ephesians, the chapter we are looking at now, we will see the word GRACE uses in verses 2,7,8.
• Paul will use the word to refer to the fact that God gave him a special job, and that God shined a boatload of unmerited favor on him.
• It is interesting that Paul writes he is a prisoner of Jesus Christ because he is in prison when he writes this letter to the church at Ephesus.
• He is a prisoner of Rome, not because he was a criminal, but rather as a direct result of his ministry to the Gentiles.
• When he writes this, he is not angry, he is feeling blessed that he has a mission from God to do what he is doing, even though it landed him in prison.
• Here is what I want us to grasp as we look at these verses.
• There have been several times in my life where I could not believe that God could possibly love me.
• Can you relate?
• Then when I called me to ministry, I resisted for a time because I could not believe that I deserved the privilege serving His church in that capacity.
• We will not cover this in our time today, but according to verse 10, the CHURCH plays a vital role in spreading the message.
• In other passages in Ephesians the church is called the BODY and The BRIDE of Christ, and that when Jesus returns He is coming for the Church in Ephesians 5!
• Here is what we forget about Paul.
• Paul was a persecutor of the church, he was holding the coats for those who killed Stephen (Acts 7:58) In Acts 8:1 we see that Paul, known as Saul then, approved of Stephens death and then he asked for permission to persecute the church.