The Importance of Grace

June 26, 2005

Introduction

 

            In (Eph 2:8-9), we find these words, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, {9} not of works, lest anyone should boast.” 

 

            How important is grace?  The word grace occurs 128 times in the NKJV in 119 verses.  The “grace of God” occurs 24 times in 23 verses.  “Grace to you” occurs 12 times.  The expression, “by grace” occurs 5 times.  The expression, “of grace” occurs 6 times, two of those are in the statement, “Grace of the Lord.”

 

What do we mean by “grace”?

Χάρις  charis

Thayer Definition:

1) grace

1a) that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, loveliness: grace of speech

2) good will, loving-kindness, favour

2a) of the merciful kindness by which God, exerting his holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian virtues

3) what is due to grace

3a) the spiritual condition of one governed by the power of divine grace

3b) the token or proof of grace, benefit

3b1) a gift of grace

3b2) benefit, bounty

4) thanks, (for benefits, services, favours), recompense, reward

 

      When I think of grace, I think of a related word:  Gracious.  Gracious occurs only twice. 

 

(Luke 4:22 NKJV)  So all bore witness to Him, and marveled at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth. And they said, "Is this not Joseph's son?"

 

(1 Pet 2:1-3 NKJV)  Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, {2} as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, {3} if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.

 

            Here indeed is an interesting concept.  Peter is encouraging us to put aside evil, desire the pure milk of word, and want to grow thereby because the Lord is gracious.

 

So, this morning, we want to look at the importance of grace and graciousness.

 

Body

 

I.      We are saved by His grace.

 

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

 

A.     The song “Amazing Grace” is a very popular song.  Why? 

 

1.      It is the story of a man involved in buying, transporting, and selling slaves.

2.      The fact that he needed to change his life, he understood, but it was grace that caused him to want to change:  The amazing grace of God.

 

B.     People were drawn to Jesus by His gracious words.

 

(Luke 4:22 NKJV)  So all bore witness to Him, and marveled at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth. And they said, "Is this not Joseph's son?"

 

C.     God deals with us in a gracious way, even when that word is not used.

 

(James 1:5 NKJV)  If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

 

1.      He does not criticize us for the mistakes we may have made.

2.      His gift is both free and gracious.

 

D.     How do we stay on the road between the goodness and severity of God?

 

(Rom 11:22 NKJV)  Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off.

 

1.      God obviously expects our obedience.

 

(Col 3:5-6 NKJV)  Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. {6} Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience,

 

2.      But may we remember that we serve a gracious and forgiving God.

 

II.     We, in turn, ought to be a gracious people.

 

A.     Our speech is to be with grace.

 

(Col 4:5-6 NKJV)  Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. {6} Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.

 

1.   We are to be careful in our efforts to teach others.

 

(2 Tim 2:23-26 NKJV)  But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife. {24} And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, {25} in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, {26} and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.

 

B.     We are to be gracious in our words with our children.

 

(Eph 6:4 NKJV)  And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.

 

C.     We are to be kind in general.

 

(Eph 4:31- 5:2)  Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. {32} And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you. (Eph 5:1)  Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. {2} And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.

 

Conclusion

 

I.        We are saved by God’s grace.

 

II.       May we in turn be gracious to others.

 

III.     Are you in disobedience, and you need to accept God’s grace and be baptized into Christ to have your sins washed away?

Scripture quotations marked "NKJV™" are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

 

 

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