2 Corinthians 12:8
“Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.”
Grace is at the heart of the Christian gospel. Many people live and breathe without ever experiencing God’s great grace.
A WORKING DEFINITION OF GRACE: Ephesians 2:8-9
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.”
1. Grace is unconditional love. John 3:16
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
2. Grace is unmerited favor.
“For daily need there is daily grace; for sudden need, sudden grace, and for overwhelming need, overwhelming grace.”
WESLEY’S THREE-FOLD TEACHING ABOUT GRACE:
1.Prevenient grace. 2 Peter 3:9
“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”
2. Justifying grace. Romans 5:1
“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,”
3. Sanctifying grace. 2 Corinthians 7:1
“Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.”
WHAT WILL GRACE DO FOR ME?
1. It will save you! 1 Peter 3:18
“For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit,”
2. It will give you freedom. Ephesians 1:7-8
“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.”
3. It will give you daily strength. 2 Cor 12:8
“If I could convince my patients in the hospital psychiatric wards that their sins are forgiven, 75 percent of them would walk out the next day!”
-Dr. Karl Menninger
WHAT IS MY RESPONSE TO GRACE?
1. Humility. 1 Peter 5:5-6
“Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’ Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.”
2. Awareness. Ephesians 3:18-19
“may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”
3. Mercy. 1 Timothy 1:16
“But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life.”
“The doctrine of grace humbles a man without degrading him and exalts him without inflating him.”