Grace For The Journey
Over the next two days I want to look at the words “grace” and “mercy.” The Bible has much to say about both of these wonderful words. They are two of the sweetest and most powerful words that the human heart can grasp.
Today I want us to look at the marvelous truth of God’s amazing “grace.”
It is my contention that the grace of God
Is so important that it would be horrible
If a person would come to church
And never hear about the grace of God!
Can you imagine having prepared yourself to go to church on Sunday morning with your clothes being laid out, your shoes are shined, and you go to church, but as you sat in church something strange happened about the service. The announcements were made but there was NO voice. The congregational songs were sung but NO sound. The choir sang but NO sound. The preacher got up and preached his message but NO sound. There was NO sound during the entire worship time. Then suddenly you could see a young girl standing amongst the congregation and now suddenly you could hear her voice and she was singing, “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me.” Your response would accurately convey the heart of a genuine believer if your respond to it by saying, “I have now been to church because I have now heard about the grace of God.” Yes . .
Grace is just that important to each of us
. . . Because we all need it.
Let’s notice these truths about the awesome grace of God . . .
1. Grace Must Be Defined.
Most of us understand that when we use the word “grace” we are referring to God’s unmerited favor toward those who are underserving of it. That is certainly a proper understanding of God’s grace and all of us would have to admit that we certainly need God’s unmerited favor. Of all the blessings of God, I have to admit that I am most appreciative of the grace of God, how about you? Aren’t you thankful for the grace of God?
D. L. Moody said: “Grace isn’t a little prayer you chant before receiving a meal. It’s a way to live. The law tells me how crooked I am. Grace comes along and straightens me out.”
One of the great truths of Scripture
Is that God provided His Son Jesus Christ
As the mechanism through which
He extended His grace towards mankind.
Perhaps this little explanation will help you to grasp what grace is . . .
Grace is . . .
Many years ago a well-known evangelist was driving through a small southern town when he was stopped by a policeman and charged with speeding. The evangelist admitted his guilt, but was told by the officer that he would have to appear in court.
The judge asked, “Guilty, or not guilty?” When the offender pleaded guilty, the judge replied, “That’ll be ten dollars — a dollar for every mile you went over the limit.” Suddenly the judge recognized the famous minister. “You have violated the law,” he said. “The fine must be paid . . . but I am going to pay it for you.” The judge took a ten dollar bill from his own wallet, attached it to the ticket, and then took the evangelist out and bought him a steak dinner! Later the evangelist was repeating this account during a sermon and he stated “the is how God treats repentant sinners!”
Is there little wonder that the saints of God rejoice in the grace of God? How true the words of the hymn “Grace Greater Than Our Sin:“
“Marvelous Grace of our living Lord,
Grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt,
Yonder on Calvary’s mount out poured,
There where the blood of the Lamb was spilt
Dark is the stain that we cannot hide,
What can avail to wash it away?
Look There is flowing a crimson tide;
Whiter than snow you may be today,
Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace,
Freely bestowed on all who believe.
All who are longing to see His face, Will you this moment His grace receive?
Grace, grace, God’s Grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin.
2. Grace Is Demonstrated
The pages of the Bible are literally saturated with the grace of God. I often hear people speak of the grace of God as if it is something new which is NOT found until you get to the New Testament, but that just isn’t so!
Granted there is a lot of grace referenced in the New Testament such as in many of the letters or epistles of the New Testament where the word “grace” is used as in the greeting or at least in the conclusion of the letter. (Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon). Yes, the grace of God is demonstrated in the New Testament but it should also be understood . . .
That the Bible is a Book
Which demonstrates the grace of God
From the first book
All the way through to the last.
Note what the Bible says in Genesis 6:5-8, And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him in His heart. And the LORD said, ‘I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth Me that I have made them. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.
In these verses the unmerited favor of God was demonstrated, resulting in the judgment of God being spared for 120 years. At this time Noah has no printed Bible to read, so how did he even know about God and more specifically the grace of God?
The Bible tells us in Hebrews 11:7, “By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.”
If you pull these many Scriptures together, we find that Noah was a man who believed in God as Creator, as His Sovereign, and the only Savior from sin. Because of this “he found grace in the eyes of the Lord” and “moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.”
Yes, my dear friend, mankind had not been on earth for a long period of time before we observe that mankind needs the grace of God and God always supplies that for mankind.
3. Grace Delivered
For this blog I have decided to use Noah as an example of God supplying His grace, but I could have just as easily chosen any one of the 30,000 individuals recorded in the Bible because the Scripture makes it clear that all of mankind needs the grace of God.
Let’s take a moment and consider that truth, are you in agreement that you need the grace of God? So, if we all need the grace of God, how has God supplied that for all of us?
The Bible tells us in Titus 2:11-13, “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ;
The Bible makes it clear that God has abundantly supplied His grace, but why is it so important? The text of Scripture provides two simple reasons why God would do this for mankind:
1) It is impossible to save ourselves. The Bible says in Titus 3:5, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
2) We have a tendency to boast about our ability to save ourselves. The Bible makes that clear in passages such as 1 Corinthians 1:26-31, where the Bible says, “For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak thing of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen and the thing which are not, to bring to nothing the things t that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence. But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God – and righteousness and sanctification and redemption – that, as it is written, ‘He who glory, let him glory in the LORD.’” and Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast.”
4. Grace Must be Applied
This is because all of us need God’s grace so desperately. I believe the following illustration captures this truth: In heaven there was once a great debate as to who was the greatest monument of God’s grace. All souls were bared and all secrets were told as the redeemed sought to pay tribute to the grace of God. One after another related the sin or transgression out of which Christ had delivered him. At length the choice seemed to be settling down upon one man who apparently had committed all sins. He recounted iniquity after iniquity as he turned over the ghastly pages of his autobiography. He then related how on his deathbed Christ came and saved him just as God had saved the thief on the cross.
Just before the vote was taken another of the redeemed stepped forward and asked to tell his story. He had come to know and love Christ as a child and had followed Him all the days of his life and he related how the grace of God had kept him from the sins and transgressions of which the others had spoken. Then the vote was taken and it was not the drunkard, the thief, the adulterer, the perjurer, the murderer, or the blasphemer, but the man who had followed Christ all his days and had been kept by His grace who was selected as the greatest monument to the grace of God.
Today, if you know Jesus Christ as Savior, you are a testimony of what God’s grace can do in the life of an undeserving sinner. So, I urge each of us to live out your life today, rejoice because each of us is a monument of the grace of God!
Tomorrow we will look at the biblical truth of mercy – something that all of us also need.
This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey
Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!
Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”
Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”