Understanding God’s Grace


I.          Introduction:

The purpose of this study is to help disciples better understand, appreciate, and apply God’s grace in their Christian lives.

We will essentially look at three different areas:

•    What is Grace?

•    How do we respond to Grace?

•    What are the consequences of losing sight of Grace?

II.        What is Grace?

Grace is often defined as “unmerited favor”. While this is certainly true, there is so much ore for us to grasp about this essential characteristic of the nature of God. God’s grace is an area we should literally spend the rest of our lives seeking to grasp and appreciate in a deeper and more meaningful way. It will enable us to remain faithful and help us in our time of need (Hebrews 4:16).

A.  Luke 15:11-31 -Lost Son, an example of grace.

1.   Jesus illustrates to us here how God feels towards sinners.

•    Full of compassion for his son, despite the fact that his suffering was his own fault.

•    Thrilled that he was returning.

•    Spares no expense to celebrate (ring, calf, dancing, music….).

2.   We don’t find the Father caught up in the past, but overjoyed by the fact that his son had returned. Likewise Paul who saw himself as “the worst of sinners” (1 Timothy

1:15) was not guilt-ridden over his past but rather amazed and motivated by the grace of God in his life (1 Cor 15:9-10).

B.  John 8:1-11 -Woman in adultery, grace in action.

1.   Jesus could have condemned the woman according to the Law. He could do the same with us. Yet he chooses not to. Instead Jesus brings this message to our lives:

•    I do not condemn you.

•    Leave your life of sin.

2.   God knows that what we need is to be forgiven and change those things which are damaging our souls. He desires and longs for our reconciliation, that we be right with Him.

C.  Ephesians 1:3-11

1.   While in the midst of praising God for his grace Paul reminds us that disciples ;

•    Have every spiritual blessing.

•    Are WANTED by God, chosen and adopted.

•    Bring God pleasure. He enjoys saving and blessing us (like parents at Christmas!)

•    Grace is LAVISHED. No reluctance to bless or forgive, but generosity.

•    God is acting based on his wisdom and understanding of what is best for me.

2.   While God loves and enjoys you, your forgiveness is not without cost. God’s justice demands that sin be paid for. God has decided that you are precious enough to Him for the price to be paid.  The price is great.

D.  Colossians 1:19-23

1.   The price is the blood of Christ. The benefit I have is peace with God.  I am now seen as:

•    Holy, without flaw. Pure. Clean.

•     Free from accusation from Satan, from others and even myself. There is nothing to accuse me of, Jesus took care of it. I’m declared “not guilty.” I can let go of my past.

2.   Consequently, I continue in my faith. Why wouldn’t I?

3.   Romans 8:1-4 – If you are “in Christ”

•    NO CONDEMNATION for you.

•     Your works have fallen short of the Law’s standards. Because of the sinful nature, you can’t fulfill them. But Jesus can, and did, FOR YOU.

•    Consequently, I live by the Spirit.

III.       Our Response to Grace

A.  1 John 3:16-21

1.   Having been loved, we now show love to others. (“grace in action”)

2.   As we show grace we understand grace, which helps to set our hearts at rest.

3.   We grow in our confidence before God.

B.  Romans 6: 1-4

1.   Refuse to go on sinning, learn to say “No” to sin.

2.   Remember our conversion, our burial with Christ at our baptism.

C.  Ephesians 4:32-5;2

1.   Like dearly loved children, we grow in confidence and security.

2.   We imitate God and show His love to others, sacrificing and forgiving as has been done for us.

D.  Revelation 12:10-12

1.   Satan still accuses me, but I overcome him by the blood of the Lamb.

2.   I testify.

E.   Ephesians 2:2-10

1.   I show humility, knowing grace is an unearned gift in my life.

2.   I do the good works God has created for me to do, compelled and motivated by the love of Christ.( 2 Cor. 5:14).

F.   Hebrews 3:14-16, 10:19-22, Eph 3:16-21

1.   I can pray to God with confidence and assurance.

2.   There is cleansing for my conscience.

IV.       What are the Consequences of Losing Sight of Grace?

A.  Luke 15:28-32

1.   Shallow relationship with God.

2.   Failure to receive blessings God readily has available for us.

3.   Bitterness, resentment, and pride.

B.  Hebrews 10:26-31

1.   To go on in deliberate sin is to insult the spirit of grace.

2.   Consequences are judgment and raging fire (James 4:4-spiritual adultery).