Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace grace: Favour, favourable or benignant regard or its manifestation (now only on the part of a superior); favour or goodwill, in contradistinction to right or obligation, as the ground of a concession. I. It is said that “...the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ” (JOH 1:17). A. This is not to imply that there was no grace or truth in the O.T. PSA 119:151; GEN 6:8; ROM 11:5. B. However, Moses was the mediator of the law covenant of works, a “do and live” system by which no man could become righteous. ROM 10:5; GAL 3:10, 21. C. Jesus Christ is the Mediator of a better covenant, the message of which is “live and do.” HEB 8:7-12; EPH 2:10. D. The New Covenant provides forgiveness of sins and righteousness for God's elect without the law and in spite of their sin. Thus, it is a FREE gift by grace. ROM 3:21-24. 1. free: (Of a gift:) Given out of liberality or generosity (not in return or requital for something else). 2. If righteousness is a matter of God rewarding a sinner for some good thing done, then it is not a free gift by grace, but the satisfying of an obligation (debt)! ROM 4:4. II. Clearly, the grace of God in election unto eternal life is NOT based upon a man's works. ROM 9:11; 11:5-6, 27-29. A. God's saving call of grace was established for the elect before they were even around to be consulted about it. EPH 1:4-7; 2TI 1:9. B. That which moves God to eternally save sinners is not their will, works or response, but His mercy and love. ROM 9:16; EPH 2:4-7. C. God's saving grace operates upon the sinner while in a state of depraved condemnation. Grace saved us when we were: 1. foolish and wicked. TIT 3:3-7. 2. enemies of God. ROM 5:10 c/w 1JO 4:10. 3. DEAD in trespasses and sins. EPH 2:1-5. D. Paul was called according to God's grace BEFORE his conversion. GAL 1:15-16. 1. Paul obtained mercy, not through his belief, but through his unbelief! 1TI 1:13-14. 2. No wonder that grace became Paul's “tagline” in his epistles. 2TH 3:17-18. E. The gracious gift of righteousness is by ONE man, Jesus Christ. ROM 5:17-21. 1. If the grace of righteousness unto eternal life is a matter of sinners doing something obedient in addition to what Jesus Christ did, it is NOT by the obedience of one. 2. A gospel which teaches that grace unto eternal life is a matter of Christ's work plus the sinner's obedience is “another gospel” which is not grace. It is rather a frustration of grace. GAL 1:6-7; 2:21. F. A proper understanding of eternal salvation by grace excludes ALL boasting. EPH 2:8-9; ROM 3:27. 1. It excludes boasting of obtaining eternal life by one's will, faith or works. 2. It excludes boasting that one is inherently better than the vilest sinner. ROM 3:9; 7:18. III. Many mistakenly hold that it is the sinner's faith that obtains the grace of God unto eternal life. Amazing Grace Page 1 But that grace does NOT come through our faith. Rather, our faith comes through grace! ACT 18:27; 13:48. A. Christ is the Author (Originator) of our faith. HEB 12:2. B. Saints obtain faith through His righteousness, not the other way around. 2PE 1:1. C. Faith is itself born of God. 1JO 5:4. 1. The existence of faith in a man is a miracle of God's working. 2. We believe according to the working of God's mighty power. EPH 1:19-20. 3. The mighty power of God amazingly does what man cannot do. LUK 9:38-43. 4. Waste no time looking for the power to speak in tongues or to do great wonders as evidence that God has wrought miraculously in someone: look rather to faith! D. Thus it is by the grace of Christ that we believe in God. 1PE 1:21. E. Faith is the fruit of the Spirit; a spiritual blessing. GAL 5:22. 1. All spiritual blessings are in heavenly places in Christ. EPH 1:3. 2. Therefore, one must be already in Christ before he can even utilize or enjoy such spiritual blessings. 3. A person is FIRST in Christ because of God's will and election! EPH 1:4-6; 1CO 1:30. IV. However, whereas it is obvious that the grace which secures righteousness and life is entirely unconditional, it cannot be denied that there are blessings of grace which are conditional. A. We are to be “...good stewards of the MANIFOLD grace of God” (1PE 4:10). B. Grace to overcome temptation is conditioned upon humility. JAM 4:5-6. C. We must apply for grace to serve God acceptably. HEB 12:28. D. We are to boldly apply for this grace. HEB 4:16. E. Our faith is how we access the grace in which we stand. ROM 5:1-2. F. All these provisions and instructions are addressed to SAINTS who are already partakers of the gracious free gift of righteousness and eternal life. G. Apart from the operation of unconditional elective grace, wicked man will not be changed by invitations of grace. ISA 26:10; 1CO 1:18. H. In other words, even the conditional blessings of God's grace are entirely dependent on His unconditional grace towards us. We need grace for grace! JOH 1:16. V. “And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified” (ACT 20:32). Amazing Grace Page 2
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