Amazing Grace

AMAZING GRACE

(Pastor Lee Jackson – FFWC )

I)     INTRODUCTION – THE SONG “AMAZING GRACE” WRITTEN BY JOHN NEWTON HAS REMAINED VERY POPULAR OVER THE YEARS.  YOU KNOW WELL “AMAZING GRACE HOW SWEET THE SOUND THAT SAVED A WRETCH LIKE ME.  I ONCE WAS LOST BY NOW AM FOUND, WAS BLIND BUT NOW I SEE…”  LET ME TELL YOU A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE LIFE OF JOHN NEWTON AND HOW HE MIGHT WRITE SUCH A BEAUTIFUL SONG…  THIS HYMN RESONATES IN OUR SPIRIT, EVEN WITH MANY WHO DO NOT FOLLOW CHRIST BECAUSE THEY KNOW THAT THEY HAVE SINNED AND NEED GOD’S HELP AND FORGIVENESS.

THE APOSTLE PAUL, RECOGNIZING OUR UTTER DEPENDENCE UPON GOD’S GRACE OFTEN BEGAN HIS LETTERS TO THE VARIOUS CHURCHES WITH WORDS SIMILAR TO THESE FOUND IN: Rom 1:7 TO all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. TODAY, I WOULD LIKE TO CONTEMPLATE THIS AMAZING GRACE THAT GOD HAS EXTENDED TO US AND THE RESPONSIBILITY THAT IS OURS BECAUSE OF IT.

READ:  EPHESIANS 2:1-10; TEXT: Eph 2:8 FOR by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of your-selves: it is the gift of God…

II)    WHAT DOES THIS SAY to us this morning?  Let’s personalize this:   “WE WERE  spiritually Dead in our transgressions and sins, without hope; we could not help ourselves.  We followed ways of this world and were under the rule of the Spirit of Darkness and We spend our life gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its evil desires and thoughts doing whatever felt good regardless of who was hurt. We were by nature objects of wrath.  But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were still dead in transgressions—we have been saved by god’s grace.  God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Jesus in the heavenly realms, that he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, this is only the beginning!  it is by his grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—It was not our works or our goodness, We have absolutely nothing that we can boast of. We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to continue to do good god’s good work..”

III)   THE NATURE OF GRACE

A)   GREEK WORD “CHARIS” – DIVINE FAVOR, DIVINE BLESSING, CREDIT- until we accepted christ were living on credit.  after WE ACCEPTED CHRIST WE ARE CREDITED WITH RIGHTEOUSNESS WE Do NOT HAVE.

B)   GOD’S GRACE IS UNDESERVED – UNMERITED FAVOR OF GOD.  Rom 5:6 – 8 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (NIV)

C)   GOD GIVES GRACE TO THOSE HE CHOOSES BUT IT IS AVAILABLE TO ALL – WHEN THEIR HEART IS RIGHT – Jam 4:6  …God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.

IV)  THE SOURCE OF DIVINE GRACE

A)   the grace of god toward us is fulfilled and revealed in Christ:  1Co 1:3 -4 Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus CHRIST.4 I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ;

B)   Joh 1:14, 17 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. 17 For the LAW WAS given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

V)   BENEFICIARIES OF HIS GRACE

A)   APOSTLE PAUL:  Rom 1:3 – 5 (PARAPHRASE) CONCERNING his Son Jesus Christ our LORD… declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead: 5 BY whom we have received grace and apostleship

B)   PETER DENIED HIS LORD BUT JESUS REACHED OUT TO PETER AND RESTORED HIM.  HE SAID GO TELL MY DISCIPLES AND PETER…

C)   MATTHEW THE TAX COLLECTOR WAS HATED BY THE PEOPLE BUT WAS CALLED BY JESUS TO BE HIS DISCIPLE.

D)   THE POOR, SINNERS, THE OUTCASTS OF THIS WORLD THAT JESUS MINISTERED TO – THE WOMAN AT THE WELL WHO HAD FIVE HUSBANDS; THE WOMAN CAUGHT IN ADULTERY  AND US Eph 2:1 – 7  (PARAPHRASE) HE QUICKENED US who were dead in trespasses and sins, WHO walked according to the course of this world fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; WHO were by nature the children of wrath.  God, who is rich in mercy, quickened us together with Christ AND raised us up together, TO sit in heavenly places in Christ Jesus…

VI)  THE POWER AND PURPOSE OF GRACE

A)   justification and REDEMPTION

1)    the bible says: Rom 3:23 – 24 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.(niv)

2)    Gen 6:8 Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. and his household was saved.

B)   RESTORATION and forgiveness – AFTER PETER WAS RESTORED HE BECAME A BOLD AND COURAGE’S WITNESS, BUT GOD’S PURPOSE WAS FIRST AND FOREMOST THE RESTORATION OF PETER.

C)   SERVICE – SERVING GOD BY SERVING OTHERS

1)    1Co 15:10 BUT by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

2)    Rom 1:4 AND declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead: 5  By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name; 6  Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ: 7  To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

3)    Eph 2:10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

VII) WHAT SHOULD OUR RESPONSE BE TO ALL OF THIS?

A)   WE SHOULD NOT FRUSTRATE THE GRACE THAT GOD HAS EXTENDED TO US:

1)     Rom 6:1 – 3 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2 GOD forbid. How shall WE THAT are dead to sin, live any longer therein? 3 KNOW ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?

2)    Rom 6:14 – 16 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. 15 WHAT then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. 16 KNOW ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

B)   WE SHOULD EXTEND THIS SAME GRACE GOD HAS GIVEN TO US TO OTHERS.

WE WALK HUMBLY BEFORE THE LORD.  WE SHOULD NOT TAKE OURSELVES VERY SERIOUSLY BUT TAKE JESUS VERY SERIOUSLY   IT IS NOT ABOUT US; IT NEVER WAS ABOUT US; IT IS ABOUT HIM.  IT IS NOT OUR MINISTRY IT IS HIM MINISTERING THROUGH US. Rom 12:3  For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

C)    WE ARE CALLED TO SERVER EACH OTHER AND OTHERS IN SAME SPIRIT THAT CHRIST SERVED.  ONE OF THE LAST THINGS THAT JESUS DID BEFORE HE WENT BACK TO HEAVEN WAS WASH HIS DISCIPLES FEET.

1)    WE SHOULD BE QUICK TO FORGIVE AND SLOW TO TAKE OFFENSE, GIVING OTHERS THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT IN EVERY SITUATION, seeing each other through god’s eyes.  the eyes with which Jesus had when the threw the woman caught in adulty at his feet.

2)    WE SHOULD BE GENTLE, KIND AND MERCIFUL, SHOWING FORBEARANCE, AND LOVE IN EVERY SITUATION.

3)     WE SHOULD SLOW TO ANGER.  JESUS GOT ANGRY BUT IT WAS NOT ABOUT HIM BUT FOR CLEANSING OF GOD’S TEMPLE – A RIGHTEOUS ANGER.

D)   2Co 6:1 (niv) As God’s fellow workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain.  2 For he says, “In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation. 3 We put no stumbling block in anyone’s path, so that our ministry will not be discredited. 4 Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; 5 in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; 6 in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; 7 in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left; 8 through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors; 9 known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; 10 sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything. 11 We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians, and opened wide our hearts to you. 12 We are not withholding our affection from you, but you are withholding yours from us.13 As a fair exchange–I speak as to my children–open wide your hearts also.

VIII)       CONCLUSION….HERE IS ANOTHER SONG BY JULIA JOHNSON WHOSE CHORUS READS “GRACE, GRACE GOD’S GRACE,GRACE GRACE THAT WILL PARDON AND CLEANSE WITHIN; GRACE, GRACE, GOD’S GRACE, GRACE THAT IS  GREATER THAN ALL MY SIN…” SOME OF YOU HERE THIS MORNING MAY NOT HAVE EXPERIENCED THE GRACE OF GOD.  THIS CAN BE YOUR DAY!

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