Thoughts on Grace: Part III

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Sunday - 8 AM & 10 AM, Wednesday - 6:30 PM

Mar. 31

Part III – God’s Grace is Strength for...

Text:Ephesians 2:1-10.

Introduction –

Some more thoughts on grace: author and Hebrew scholar Wm. S. Eldridge sees it this way, “The grace of God needs to be told and retold, for it has gotten cheap over the past 60 years, and maybe before. Grace comes – and came – at a great cost, especially to The Giver. Every time we see God exercising His character, He leaves His throne to bestow His grace: Adam and Eve, Noach, and a myriad of other times in the history of Israel, and especially in the grace given to all by Yeshua’s sacrifice. Yet, we also must pay a cost after we have received His grace.”

As we conclude this message series, we’re going to consider that very thing regarding the ongoing cost of living in the gospel of grace: God’s grace doesn’t free us to remain imprisoned; His grace frees us to live abundantly (John 10:10)!

...His work in us (Ephesians 2:1-10).

  • To reiterate from earlier teaching: workmanship is translated from the Greek poiema, likening your life to...
    • A tapestry God is weaving;
    • A symphony God’s composing;
    • A poem about His life in you (poiema)!
  • But that’s rarely ever an easy prospect because the Holy Spirit’s conviction over our hearts calls us to lay things down to make more room for Jesus.
    • That’s His chiseling; His chipping; His polishing; His bending and welding.
    • A canvas; a block of stone; a piece metal; a chunk of wood: without strength, the medium lacks integrity to endure the creative process.
    • We must have strength to undergo God’s work in us, but it’s a miraculous strength He gives!
  • The strength He gives us here is sustaining strength while the Master Artisan is at work on His us: God’s masterpieces (Ecclesiastes 3:9-11; Isaiah 61:3).

...Dealing with our failures (Romans 5:20-21).

  • Living humbly before Him, you can’t out-sin God’s grace.
  • In our penitent turn to Him, grace is appropriated and we experience just how infinitely greater than all our sin grace really is. Just remember, though:
  • God is merciful to us; therefore, be merciful to others (Exodus 34:6-7; II Samuel 22:26; Psalm 25:10; Matthew 5:7; Luke 6:37).
  • Forgive others as we’ve been forgiven, lest your grudges become hatred and unforgiveness for our own sins held against us (Matthew 6:14-15; 18:21-35).

...Holding on through our suffering (I Peter 5:8-11).

  • God will perfect (restore; make better than original) you (Job 42:10; Psalm 23:3; Isaiah 61:7; Hosea 6:1; Amos 9:14)!
  • God will establish and settle you (Matthew 7:24-27; cf. Isaiah 59:19)!
  • God strengthens you (Psalm 119:28; Isaiah 40:29-31; 43:5; Ephesians 6:10; James 4:6).

Conclusion -

So, also keeping parts I (Influence) and II (Mercy) of this series in mind, realize these things about grace from the one who penned our main text:

  • Grace confronts our agendas: it knocked a rabbi to the ground.
  • Grace rendered him blind and healed him three days later.
  • Grace risked his wellbeing: it shipwrecked three times or more, beaten with rods and sticks, stoned and left for dead.
  • Grace utilized him like a ragdoll, overthrew an empire and saved us all... even him – the apostle Paul (Sha’ul) – who considered himself the foremost of sinners (Acts 8:1-3; 9:1-30; I Timothy 1:15).