Saturday, November 19, 2016

Grace - Foundation Series

John 8:2-11
Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them. The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst they said to him, "Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?" This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, "Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her." And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus stood up and said to her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?" She said, "No one, Lord." And Jesus said, "Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more."

If God gives us what we deserve we get justice and that means eternal death, but
 if God removes that just penalty it's not because we deserve a stay of execution, it's simply God's grace.

-What does a life lived in the reality of God's incredible, amazing grace look like?
-What does life lived on the Rock of God's grace feel like?

Grace = God's loving, benevolent disposition toward us, based on His own will and Jesus' saving work, and not on our merit.

1. God's Common Grace
Remember that we've already concluded from Romans 3 that everyone on the earth sins and therefore deserves the righteous wrath of God.

Everyday God withhold judgment is a grace gift.

Matthew 5:45
so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
Acts 14:17
Yet he did not leave himself without witness, for he did good by giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness."
Psalm 65:9-13
You visit the earth and water it; you greatly enrich it; the river of God is full of water; you provide their grain, for so you have prepared it. You water its furrows abundantly, settling its ridges, softening it with showers, and blessing its growth. You crown the year with your bounty; your wagon tracks overflow with abundance. The pastures of the wilderness overflow, the hills gird themselves with joy, the meadows clothe themselves with flocks, the valleys deck themselves with grain, they shout and sing together for joy.
Psalm 104:10-15
You make springs gush forth in the valleys; they flow between the hills; they give drink to every beast of the field; the wild donkeys quench their thirst. Beside them the birds of the heavens dwell; they sing among the branches. From your lofty abode you water the mountains; the earth is satisfied with the fruit of your work. You cause the grass to grow for the livestock and plants for man to cultivate, that he may bring forth food from the earth and wine to gladden the heart of man, oil to make his face shine and bread to strengthen man's heart.

The witness of God's common grace is all around us if we simply have eyes to see it.

Some question why God will eventually judge all humanity, but the real question is why hasn't He already? The answer in large measure is His grace.

2. God's Saving Grace in Christ
Acts 15:11
But we believe that we will be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they will.
Ephesians 2:3b-9
carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Romans 3:23-25
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.
2 Timothy 1:9
who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began,
Titus 3:4-7
But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

It's God's grace, not our merit, that has moved God to demonstrate His goodness, and kindness to us in salvation through Jesus Christ. Jesus is God's singular, greatest grace gift. God's grace is in Christ. 

3. God's Uncommon Grace to Believers

Grace and Peace
1 Corinthians 1:3
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Grace from God's Word
Acts 20:32
And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.

Grace Adequate for Generosity
2 Corinthians 9:8
And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.

Grace Adequate for Suffering
2 Corinthians 12:8-9
Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Grace for Comfort and Hope
2 Thessalonians 2:16-17
Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.

Common grace is amazing grace; but God has poured out grace over grace in the uncommon and particular ways His grace is given to us for every need we face in life.


4. God's Grace is Always in Christ
It's not just that we're saved by God's grace through Jesus, but He is always the medium through whom our experience of God's grace comes. To experience more of the riches of God's grace, draw near to Jesus.
John 1:14-17
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John bore witness about him, and cried out, "This was he of whom I said, 'He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.'") For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
Romans 5:1-2
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
2 Timothy 2:1
You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus,
2 Peter 3:18
But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.
Revelation 22:21
The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.

God's grace is our experience of more of the Person and Work of Jesus Christ.



Generations ago, there lived a man who heard the Scriptures from his mother in his youth, but she died and he became the worst version of himself possible.

He grew up, and became went off to sea, working as a slave trader. In his darkest time, he saw God's grace, and eventually wrote what is probably THE best loved hymn - Amazing Grace.



Self-Test:
-Do I live with a consistent humility of the grace of God?
-Do I live with a  consistent thankfulness because of the grace of God?
-Am I quick to pray for others knowing my own need of the grace of God?
-Am I quick to forgive others knowing the grace of God in my own forgiveness?
-Am I drawing near to Jesus in Scripture, prayer, and fellowship to experience more of the grace of God?
-Am I speaking of God's amazing grace to others?

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
-Elizabeth

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