Scriptures

The Amazing Grace Of God

Introduction

Lesson One

Grace Defined and Examined

Romans 7 we have what I call Paul’s frustration passage of what it was like living under the Law of Moses. Paul is speaking of the fruitless struggle under the law to find justification thereunder. He speaks of his inner struggle over sin. He begins in verse 14 by saying,

“For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. Now then, it is no longer I who do it but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find.”

As Paul continues we see a legal but a noble Jew frustrated by the fact that he was never able to live up to the demands of the Law.

Law was good – it was spiritual but by itself it cannot save. The instrument of eternal redemption, which depended upon justification had not yet been set in place. but that was to change. John 1:7 says,

“For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ”

Earlier in verse 14 John said,

“And the Word became 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.”

“For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:17)

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2:8, 9)

The amazing grace of God has made all the difference.

“Amazing Grace”

is probably the most favourite and most often sung hymn today. “Amazing grace how sweet the sound / that saved a wretch like me! / I once was lost / but now am found / was blind / but now I see.” Is it any wonder that we love this old song?

When asked to define grace probably the most common answer given is,

“the unmerited favour of God.”

While this expresses a truth about grace it falls far short of telling us what grace really is. The concept of grace is so profound and great that no finite mind or human language can fully comprehend or explain it.

Just the thought that Almighty God, the great I AM, the Creator of this vast universe would pay any particular notice of us at all, fills us with awe and at the same time humility. To think that he

“would make himself nothing, taking on himself the very nature of a servant”

fills us with even greater awe. Then to die on a Roman cross, so that he might save helpless humanity is as Paul says,

“Immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine.”

We can only exclaim with Paul:

“Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift.”

This is what grace is all about – an indescribable precious gift of salvation which we are in no way deserving of. Grace implies that God gives to us freely and entirely of his own sovereign will the gift of salvation. It is not offered to us on the condition that we promise to pay back a particular amount.

In fact, grace implies that we can pay nothing in return. Man has no assets with which he can pay. All the money in the world, all of our good works could never repay what was done for us. Man can only accept completely or reject completely what has been done for him gratuitously. The bottom line is that in spite of our good works we are all sinners. John reminds us,

“If we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8)

I understand that at AA meetings a person will introduce himself,

“I am John Doe, I am an alcoholic”.

Maybe occasionally it would be good for me to say,

“I am Jimmie Eaton, I am a sinner,”

if for no other reason than to remind ourselves of what I really am.

Grace presents a problem for human pride. Man prides himself on his ability to take care of himself by doing his own thing. The truth is that for man to be saved it was necessary for Christ to humble himself and present himself as a servant in order for grace to reach man. The concept of servanthood does not mesh well with human pride. This is why it is hard for a proud man to be a man of faith because he trusts in his own strength and resources.

Grace humbles us bringing us to our knees by putting our trust in God’s strength and not our own accomplishments. If man were to try and take matters into his own hands concerning his salvation and tried to achieve God’s grace by his good works and then as Paul says,

“Grace would no longer be grace” (Romans 11:6)

Also, Paul says, God’s gift of grace is,

“not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:9)

Man is only deceiving himself if he thinks he can devise certain works that will assure himself of salvation.

The Medieval Latin church devised many works of penance to earn one’s escape from purgatory and enter heaven. This led to the Protestant Reformation because men realized that meritorious works cannot provide salvation.

Our salvation is totally dependent upon God and not on any works of man’s puny works.

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The Amazing Grace Of God  

DAILY BIBLE VERSE

"So Paul stayed for a year and a half, teaching them the word of God."

Acts 18:11

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