The Church of Divine Guidance (CDG) Sunday morning adult bible study group is in a study on grace. These posts are my notes for each session. Please study with us. You can participate by asking your questions or making comments in the comments below. We welcome your thoughts
Ephesians 2:8-9 (HCSB)8 For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift—9 not from works, so that no one can boast.
Last week we defined grace as:
- unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification
- a virtue coming from God
- disposition to or an act or instance of kindness, courtesy, or clemency
The Old Testament or old covenant was a covenant of law whereby in order to be justified by God you had to obey the law to the letter in other words you had to work got gain favor or grace. That was done away with when Jesus gave His life as a sacrifice for mankind and his blood sealed a new covenant or New Testament. That covenant came into effect after Jesus was sacrificed and He presented His blood in heaven to atone for the sins of those who accept that sacrifice as being made for them.
Hebrews 9:11-14 (HCSB)11 But the Messiah has appeared, high priest of the good things that have come. In the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands (that is, not of this creation),12 He entered the most holy place once for all, not by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood, having obtained eternal redemption.13 For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a young cow, sprinkling those who are defiled, sanctify for the purification of the flesh,14 how much more will the blood of the Messiah, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse our consciences from dead works to serve the living God?
We compared Adam and Jesus who both represented mankind.
Adam introduced sin and with sin death and they were passed on to his descendants. In the sight of God Adam represented mankind and when he sinned it was as all of mankind sinned because we are his posterity.
But Jesus came as a second Adam and he also represents mankind, and with Him came the grace of God and with grace righteousness. . Through His sacrifice God gives His grace to all who believe.
Romans 10:9-10 (NKJV)9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
IntroductionGod’s grace may be most difficult thing for our natural minds to really understand. We all understand the law. It’s pretty simple really it says “do this” and “don’t do that”. You don’t even need to be a Christian to understand that and many ‘good, law abiding, unsaved people’ will tell you that. In fact they will often point to things that Christians do which are against the Mosaic law and say I’m better than that. Everybody understands the law but we can’t keep it. So when we say that we are saved God’s grace through faith it takes more than the natural mind to understand it. We can’t understand, with our natural minds, why a righteous would allow His Son, who was able to keep the entire law, be punished in the place of those who could not keep it.
1 Corinthians 2:14 (NKJV) But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
I know that last week I said that this week we would talk about the nature of God’s grace but in my I study found that His grace takes several forms so that’s what I want us to talk about this week, the forms of God’s grace.
Grace takes many forms in the Bible
The kindness or favor God give to all mankind believer or not.
Matthew 5:44-45 (NKJV)44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
Acts 14:16-17 (NKJV)16 who in bygone generations allowed all nations to walk in their own ways.17 Nevertheless He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good, gave us rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness."
He grants grace also in delaying judgement on mankind giving them a chance to accept His gift of eternal life.
2 Peter 3:9 (NKJV) The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
The provision of salvation through Jesus
Romans 1:5 (HCSB) We have received grace and apostleship through Him to bring about the obedience of faith among all the nations, on behalf of His name,
Romans 3:24 (HCSB) They are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.
Romans 5:2 (HCSB) We have also obtained access through Him by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.
Romans 5:15-17 (HCSB)15 But the gift is not like the trespass. For if by the one man’s trespass the many died, how much more have the grace of God and the gift overflowed to the many by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ.16 And the gift is not like the one man’s sin, because from one sin came the judgment, resulting in condemnation, but from many trespasses came the gift, resulting in justification.17 Since by the one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive the overflow of grace and the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.
The favor of God by which the Christian's salvation is kept secure in spite of sin.
John 10:27-29 (NKJV)27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father's hand.
John 3:16 (NKJV) 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.
Philippians 1:6 (NKJV) being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;
Ephesians 2:8 (NKJV) For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,
I could go on and on but as you have often heard me say, you didn’t have anything to do with your salvation. You are saved by the grace of God by and through faith, so there is nothing you can do to “un-save” yourself. Salvation is obtained and maintained by grace alone.
Sanctifying grace works within the true believer causing them to grow and mature and progress becoming more Christ-like. If you remember from our Winning the War Against Worry study God is working, through His grace to conform us the the image of His Son Jesus.
Romans 8:28 (NKJV) And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
1 Corinthians 15:10 (NKJV) But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward 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 Peter 3:18 (NKJV) but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.
Are the Spiritual Gifts that believers have been given by the Holy Spirit. Remember I said, last week that the Greek word translated grace charis (pronounced cars) is the root of the word charisma which is the word Paul used for spiritual gifts.
Serving grace enables us to minister in a way that we manifest the life of Jesus as members of His body, the church.
Ephesians 4:7 (NKJV) But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift.
1 Peter 4:10 (NKJV) As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
Grace given at special times of need, especially during adversity or suffering.
2 Corinthians 12:9 (NKJV) And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Hebrews 4:16 (NKJV) Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
James 4:6 (NKJV) But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: "God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble."
In ConclusionGod’s grace is manifested in a variety of ways. Grace seeks us and saves us; grace keeps us secure; grace enables us to serve and to endure the tests and trials of life. Grace will bring about our sanctification in this life and will ultimately bring us to glory. From beginning to end we are the object of divine grace.
Next week I promise we are going to look at the nature of God’s grace.