Summary: Grace is a vast treasure chest whose depths we can hardly fathom and which we can never exhaust.There is so much more to grace than we can ever imagine. The riches of God's grace in the lives of believer in His sanctifying, sustaining, and securing grace.
The Riches of His Grace
Often when we think of God's amazing grace we think of it in terms of God's saving grace where God in spite of our sinfulness and unworthiness sent His Son to die for us that we might freely receive eternal life through His unmerited provision. But we need to realize that there is so much more to God's amazing grace. Grace is a vast treasure chest whose depths we can hardly fathom and which we can never exhaust. There is so much more to grace than our tongues could ever tell. In looking at the riches of God's grace in the lives of believers there are three facets I want you to consider - sanctifying grace, sustaining grace and securing grace.
I. His Grace Sanctifies
A. According to the Concise Oxford Dictionary, to sanctify is "to set apart or observe [something] as holy" or "to purify or free from sin."1 These definitions reflect the fact that the Bible uses the word "holy" in two main ways: 1) a special status, that is, set apart for God’s use, and 2) moral behavior—thoughts and actions appropriate to a holy status, thoughts and actions that are in keeping with the way God wants - Michael Morrison
B. As Christians we have been chosen and called by God to be holy.
C. Ephesians 1:4 "...He chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blemish before him in love"
D. 1 Thessalonians 4:7 (NLT) "God has called us to live holy lives, not impure lives."
E. We are saved and justified by grace through a faith that simply rests in the finished work of Christ but we are not instantly made perfect. The Christian life is one of progression as we submit to God's grace which teaches us how to live right.
F. Titus 2:11-14 "For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us (SANCTIFYING GRACE) that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us (SAVING GRACE) from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works."
G. Sanctifying grace is the gift of God providing the desire, power and means to grow in our relationship with God.
H. “Being a Christian is more than just an instantaneous conversion; it is like a daily process whereby you grow to be more and more like Christ.” - Billy Graham
I. 2 Peter 3:18 "but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."
J. John MacArthur defines grace "as the free and benevolent influence of a holy God operating sovereignly in the lives of undeserving sinners."
K. God in His sanctifying grace is at work in our lives to set us free from sin — not just the consequences, but its power over us and one day its presence.
L. Romans 6:14 "For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under law, but under grace."
M. Christlikeness is not a merely human attainment achieved by individual effort and desire. It is a gift of grace. It is God acting in our life to accomplish what we cannot do on our own.
N. A pastor was traveling on a bus down a bumpy road. Seated next to him was a college student who noticed that the minister was reading his Bible. The minister asked, “Are you spiritually ready for the temptations that you will face in college?”
"I don’t have a problem with temptation," the young man told the minister. "I have strong willpower." The minister took a pencil from his pocket and said, "I can make this pencil stand up on the cover of this Bible even though the bus ride is bumpy." The young man said, "I’ll believe it when I see it. I don't think you can do it." "Look, I’m doing it," he replied as the young man watched. "Yeah, but you didn't tell me you would hold the pencil up with your hand." "I didn't have to tell you," the pastor remarked. "Have you ever seen a pencil stand up on its own without someone holding it?" The minister then let go of the pencil, which instantly fell over. "The only reason you stand," he continued, "is because God is holding you up with His hand." If God were to remove His hand of protecting grace, we would immediately fall into sin. Humility is depending completely on God, realizing that He upholds us by His grace (Romans 5:2). (Kent Crockett, Making Today Count for Eternity, Sisters, OR: Multnomah Publishers, 2001, p. 123)