1 GOD'S AMAZING GRACE Today I will be sharing on the God s amazing grace. I will begin by looking at three passages of Scripture. The Apostle Paul wrote, And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, (Ephesians 2:1-2)
2 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. (Ephesians 2:3) But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, (Ephesians 2:4)
3 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, (Ephesians 2:5-6)
4 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness towards us in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:7) 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) For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10)
5 The Apostle Paul also wrote, Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. (Romans 5:5) For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die, yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. (Romans 5:6-9)
6 Jesus Himself said, For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. (John 3:16-19)
7 These passages of Scripture make it clear that: We all once were lost and bound up in sin before we came to Christ None of us deserve or can earn a place in heaven through our own good works God is rich in mercy and desires that none would perish but that all would be saved God reaches out to us at our worst We have been saved for a purpose The best is yet to come for us as believers when we go to be with the Lord, and We all have a choice whether or not to accept Christ s offer of eternal life through repentance and faith
8 In today s teaching I will be looking at some aspects of grace and the purpose of the law 1) The purpose of the Law The Apostle Paul wrote, What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator. Now a mediator does not mediate for one only, but God is one. (Galatians 3:19-20)
9 Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law. But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. (Galatians 3:21-24)
10 But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:25-26)
11 In this passage of Scripture the Apostle Paul explains the purpose of the Law Firstly, he explains that the Law was intended to reveal sin, not to secure righteousness. It was a temporary measure, introduced to convince people of their need of justification and of their inability to save themselves, thus leading them to Christ
12 Secondly, the Apostle Paul explains that the Law is not contrary to the promise that was given to Abraham 430 years earlier, (the basis of the covenant with Abraham was faith - he believed in the LORD - See Genesis 15:6) but rather that the two are complementary The Law demanded righteousness but was powerless to provide it. Its function was to prepare for the gospel by making people conscious of their sin and their need for a Saviour, (so that they could be saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ) AND
13 Thirdly, the Apostle Paul shows how the Law directed us to Christ. That the Law restricted us as a jailer and as a disciplinarian (kept us under guard) until faith in Christ brought us into the freedom of full grown sons who have now received our rightful inheritance (we are now joint heirs with Christ See Romans 8:16-17) The law simply shows us that we cannot save ourselves and causes us to come to Christ to receive the gift of eternal life through faith in Him
14 2) Is the Old Testament still relevant for New Testament Believers? Absolutely YES. We can gain much encouragement and wisdom from the Old Testament to help us to grow in our faith. The Old Testament prophecies also cover the end time events and Second Coming of the Lord. The Apostle Paul wrote, All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
15 We as Christians are now however living under a new and better covenant (Hebrews 8:6-13) as a result of Christ s sacrificial death on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins (Hebrews 9:16-22) The Apostle Paul wrote, For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. (Romans 10:4)
16 In the Old Testament animal sacrifices were continually required to cover the sins of the people. In the New Covenant Jesus Christ Himself became the once and for all Lamb of God who was slain for our sins to take away our sins. (John 1:29) Through His sacrifice on the cross at Calvary the old system of animal sacrifices to atone for the sins of people was done away with. In the Old Testament people s sins were also only covered, but Jesus came to take away the sins of the world and to give us power through the Holy Spirit to walk in victory.
17 The Apostle Paul also wrote, But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (Romans 3:21-23) The simple fact is that we have all sinned in life, but every person is able to be justified before God through faith in Jesus Christ
18 3) What did Christ accomplish for us on the cross? On the cross Jesus Christ died in our place and shed His sinless Blood to pay the penalty for all of our sins. He died on the cross to make full atonement for our sins so that we can be forgiven and cleansed of all of our sins when we commit our hearts and lives to Him and are born again Through His sacrifice on the cross we as believers can now enjoy an ongoing intimate relationship with our Creator forever. That we can have continual access to His presence (Acts 3:19) and enjoy his peace and joy and spiritual blessings in our life
19 That we can now be in right relationship with a Holy God through accepting Jesus Christ into our heart and life to be our Lord and Saviour The Apostle Paul wrote, For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
20 The Apostle Paul also wrote, In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace. (Ephesians 1:7) For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich. (2 Corinthians 8:9)
21 4) What does it mean to be saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ? All of our sins (past, present and future) are completely forgiven God not only forgives our sins but FORGETS them. He remembers them no more. In the book of Isaiah we read, I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; And I will not remember your sins. (Isaiah 43:25) Christ's righteousness is imputed to us.
22 We now have a personal relationship with God and have become part of His family (John 1:12) We have entered into eternal life. (John 3:15) (John 11:25) To be absent from our earthly body is to be with the Lord (John 14:1-3) Our spirit is made alive and is Born Again from above and is now perfect. (The real us that is eternal) - However in this life we will still always have to contend with our flesh that wants to have it's own way. The enemy will continually try and target our mind, emotions and will to stop us from walking in the Spirit and doing God s will
23 We will one day receive a glorified resurrected body to replace our present mortal bodies (2 Corinthians 5:1-4) We become joint heirs with Jesus Christ, and We have the assurance that the LORD will NEVER leave nor forsake us In the book of Hebrews we read, For He Himself has said, I will never leave you nor forsake you. So we may boldly say: The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me? (Hebrew 13:5-6)
24 5) As believers we now also have God's enabling grace that helps us to live a victorious and overcoming life. Grace is not just simply leniency when we have sinned. Grace is also the enabling gift and power of God not to sin. Grace is power and not just pardon When we come to Christ we now have the ability to overcome the temptations that come our way in life
25 Grace is also God s enabling power to help us to press on in obedience in our walk with the Lord The Apostle Paul wrote, But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. (1 Corinthians 15:10) Therefore, the effort we make to obey God is not an effort done in our own strength, but by the strength that God supplies in order that in everything God may be glorified. (1 Peter 4:11)
26 When we come to Christ we become a new creation in Christ and now have the power through the Holy Spirit to live an overcoming Christian life The Apostle Paul wrote, Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17) When a person has been truly Born Again they should begin to live their life in a different way than what they did before they were saved
27 The Apostle John in his first epistle outlined some characteristics of true believers i) They have a desire to keep God s commandments The Apostle John wrote, Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, I know Him, and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. (1 John 2:3-4) None of us will every be perfect in this life, but the way we live our life after we become a Christian should be noticeably different to how we lived our life before we were saved
28 ii) It should no longer be natural for that person to sin. A true believer will never feel comfortable sinning as it is contrary to their new nature in Christ The Apostle John wrote, He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God. (1 John 3:8-9) For true believers it should no longer be natural or comfortable for them to sin
29 iii) They have a genuine love for other believers The Apostle John wrote, We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death. Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and your know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. (1 John 3:14-15) AND
30 iv) They live an overcoming life through their faith in Jesus The Apostle John wrote, For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? (1 John 5:4-5)
31 6) We all need to personally respond to the gospel of grace by accepting the gift of eternal life through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ The Apostle Peter when preaching in Solomon s Portico said, Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord. (Acts 3:19)
32 In the gospel of John we read, But as many as received Him, (Jesus) to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1:12-13) Every person must personally make a response to the gospel and accept the gift of eternal life through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. The moment they do they are saved by grace through faith in Him
33 7) How we start our Christian walk is how we need to continually maintain our walk with the Lord. Our right standing with God (being justified) is CONTINUALLY SOLELY BASED ON OUR FAITH IN CHRIST AND NOT OUR PERFORMANCE (WORKS) The Apostle Paul wrote, For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, The just shall live by faith. (Romans 1:16-17)
34 The Apostle Paul wrote, For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard,... (Colossians 1:19-23)
35 8) God's amazing grace is clearly seen on the cross at Calvary, where Jesus forgives one of the two criminals that was dying with him on the cross next to him, even though he initially had been reviling Him To the repentant criminal who asked Jesus to remember him when He entered His kingdom, Jesus said, Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise. (Luke 23:43) Oh the amazing grace of God!
36 Today if you have never accepted Jesus offer of eternal life, you can do so now by saying the following prayer; Father God today I confess that I have sinned against You. Today I choose to repent of my sins and to follow Your plan for my life. I believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross to pay the penalty for all of my sins and that He arose from the dead three days later. Today I invite You Jesus Christ to come into my heart and life to be my Lord and Saviour and best friend from this day on. Baptize me now in the Holy Spirit I pray in Your precious Name, Amen.
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