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WE HAVEN’T LEFT GOD OUT

We Do Believe in the Grace of God

Victor M. Eskew

 

INTRODUCTION

 

A.   One thing that I learned early in my life as a preacher was:  “If you are going to state what someone else believes, you need to state it accurately.”

1.    Only partially stating another’s position does not “cut it.”

2.    If I wrongly summarize another’s position, I have not stated the truth.

3.    If I put my own “think so’s” into what they believe, I am not accurately relaying their teaching.

 

B.   Many individuals have misstated the positions of those in the church of Christ.

1.    When we say that man plays a part in his salvation, others state that we do not believe in the grace of God.

2.    When we say that baptism is necessary for the remission of sin, others say that we believe in “works salvation.”

 

C.   Perhaps we do not talk about grace enough, but we DO believe in the grace of God.

 

D.   This morning’s lesson is entitled:  “We Have Not Left God Out.”

 

I.             GRACE AND DEITY

 

A.    Every member of the Godhead is associate with grace.

1.    God is “the God of all grace” (I Pet. 5:10).

2.    Jesus was “full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).

3.    The Holy Spirit is “the Spirit of grace” (Heb. 10:29).

 

B.   Every drop of grace that exists originated from God.

1.    He is the source, the fountainhead of all grace.

2.    If there were no God, there would be no grace.

 

II.           THE DEFINITION OF GRACE

 

A.   The first time grace is found in the Bible is in Genesis 6:8.

 

But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.

 

1.    Strong (2580):  graciousness, that is, subjectively, kindness, favor

2.    BDB:  favor, grace, charm, acceptance

 

B.   The first time the word “grace” is found in the New Testament it is in reference to Jesus (Luke 2:40).

 

And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom:  and the grace of God was upon him.

 

1.    The Greek word is “charis.”

2.    Definition:

a.    Strong (5485):  graciousness…the divine influence upon the heart

b.    Thayer:  good-will, loving kindness, favor.

 

C.   “Favor” has become the standard definition of grace.

1.    Grace is the unmerited favor of God.

2.    What is favor?  I found a word that I believe better defines the grace of God.  It is the word help.

a.    Dictionary.com

1)    To give or provide what is necessary to accomplish a task or satisfy a need; render assistance

2)    To save, rescue, succor

3)    To be useful or profitable to

 

b.    For my grace (God’s help) are ye saved (Eph. 2:5, 8).

 

III.         TWO MAJOR COMPONENTS OF GRACE

 

A.   The sacrifice of Jesus Christ upon the cross of Calvary.

1.    Romans 3:23-26

a.    The Plight of Man (Rom. 3:23)

 

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.

 

b.    The Plan of God (Rom. 3:24)

 

Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.

 

1)    Justification is a legal concept.  It is when a person stands before a judge and is declared to be innocent.

2)    Justification is by God’s grace through the redemption or price Jesus paid on the cross of Calvary.

c.    The Propitiation of Jesus (Rom. 3:25)

 

Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.

 

1)    Many words revolve around the concept of propitiation:  atone, appease, placate, and reconciliation.

2)    Jesus was the means where by the sentence upon sin was satisfied and the wrath of God toward man as thwarted.

3)    Other concepts:

a)    Faith in his blood

b)    The remission of sins

c)    The forbearance of God

d.    The Purposes of Grace (Rom. 3:26)

 

To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness:  that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

 

1)    At the cross of Calvary, God shows Himself to be a righteous God.

2)    He accomplished two things:

a)    The price for sin was paid (II Cor. 5:21; 8:9; Heb. 2:9).

 

For he made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin…

 

b)    God was able to justify man, that is, those who believe in what Christ accomplished at the cross of Calvary (Eph. 2:8).

 

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves:  it is the gift of God.

B.   The second component of grace is just as vital, the Word of God.

1.    The only way anyone can know about what God has done through the sacrifice of Christ is for God to tell us about it.

2.    Paul says that in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed (Rom. 1:17).

a.    God says:  “This is what I have done for you.”

b.    He also says:  “Here is how you can access the benefits of my grace.”

3.    It is not surprising how the Word of God is described.

a.    The word of His grace (Act 14:3; 20:32).

b.    The gospel of the grace of God (Acts 20:24).

4.    With this in mind, let’s read Titus 2:11-12.

 

For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared unto all men, teaching us that…

 

5.    Now let’s look at one more verse.

a.    Remember that for man to be justified, he must have faith in the blood of Christ and believe in Jesus.

b.    How does man get such faith?  Through the Word of God, one of the gifts of God’s grace (Rom. 10:17).

 

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

 

IV.         ACCESSING GOD’S GRACE

 

A.   Even though grace is available to all, all will not be saved by it.

 

B.   God provides His grace conditionally to mankind.

1.    All believe that faith is essential.

a.    Romans 3:25-26

b.    Romans 5:1-2

 

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:  by whom we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.

 

c.    Ephesians 2:8

2.    There are other conditions (II Tim. 2:10).

 

Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

 

a.    Paul says that grace is “in” Christ.

b.    We access it by faith.

1)    Most teach that this involves faith only.

2)    NOT SO!  (Gal. 3:26-27)

 

For ye are all children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.  For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

 

a)    Some say that this is works salvation.

b)    In truth, it salvation by an active, living faith that obeys the commands of God (Acts 10:47-48).

 

V.           CONTINUING IN GOD’S GRACE

 

A.   After our conversion, we must keep ourselves in God’s grace (Acts 13:43).

…who; speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.

 

B.   If we do not continue in the grace of God, we can fall therefrom.

1.    Galatians 5:4

 

Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.

 

2.    Hebrews 12:15a

 

Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God…

 

CONCLUSION

 

A.   God’s grace is wonderful.  God grace is truly amazing.

1.    It justified us (Rom. 3:24; Tit. 3:7).

2.    It frees us from the dominion of sin (Rom. 6:14).

3.    It saves us (Acts 15:11; Eph. 2:5, 8).

4.    It brings the forgiveness of our sins (Eph. 1:7).

5.    It brings salvation (Tit. 2:11).

 

B.   We presently have grace in our lives if we have obeyed the gospel.  But, it will be realized fully at the second coming of our Lord (I Pet. 1:13).

 

Wherefore gird us the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.