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God is Gracious - 4 G's of God Part 4

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Introduce self:
My name is Adam Diaz, I’m the pastor here at Abide Church.
I love this school, I was homeschooled...
Eric has spent the last 3 weeks on a series on the 4 Gs.
He asked me to finish off the series and I’m excited to do just that because...

These simple truths about God, if we believe them, can radically transform our lives.

“Sinful acts always have their origin in some form of unbelief. Behind every sin is a lie.”
Tim Chester
Romans 1:24–25 ESV
Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
“We sin because we believe the lie that we are better off without God, that his rule is oppressive, that we will be free without him, that sin offers more than God.”
Tim Chester

God is great - so we don’t have to be in control

God is glorious - so we do not have to fear others

God is good - so we do not have to look elsewhere

God is gracious - so we do not have to prove ourselves
Have you ever been somewhere that you don’t belong? You don’t fit it?
Yet, at the same time, you really want to fit in?
You have to prove yourself.
[[Gym Example - Make it funny]]
Religion often feels this way...
The old testament is filled with laws, ceremonies, and sacrifices...
Culture has created terms and categories for proving ones self
“Sunday best”
“She’s a saint”
Prove yourself before man,
but bigger problem is that you have to prove yourself before God.
Every religion gives it’s answer to this problem...
Christianity stands alone in it’s answer.
Luke 2:1–7 ESV
In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
Luke 2:8–11 ESV
And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
Matthew quotes Isaiah...
Matthew 1:23 ESV
“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).
In the opening John we read...
John 1:16–18 ESV
For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.
So this leads us to our 4th and final G in our series

God is gracious...

God is gracious - so we don’t have to prove ourselves


God is gracious - so we don’t have to prove ourselves

I can think of at least 3 broad categories of application:

1. You don’t have to prove yourself to God

This is at the heart of Christianity...
Romans 4:4–5 ESV
Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness,
Ephesians 2:8–9 ESV
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
The Protestant reformation, that is, Martin Luther’s separation from the Catholic church in the 1500s, was primarily over this issue.
But as Christians, we are prone to forget this!
Or we accept our salvation by faith, but then stop trusting in God’s grace to continue for us after we are saved.
Galatians 3:1–3 ESV
O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified. Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?
We have to preach this to ourselves constantly!
God is gracious, so I don’t have to prove myself.
Have you ever felt like God was distant or angry with you because of how you behave?
Have you ever felt unworthy to come to church or read the bible because of your shortcomings?
Have you ever felt depressed or like a complete looser because of a mess up? How does God view you?
We have to preach this to other believers constantly!
God is gracious, so you don’t have to prove yourself.
Even inside the leadership of this church, for myself and others, we need this constantly.
We want others to think highly of us. We want others to think we’re “godly” and that we are highly spiritual.
We have to preach this to a lost and dying world constantly!
God is gracious, so you don’t have to prove yourself.
To a depressed world trying to get right with God, trying to prove themself before the almighty, this is the best news they will ever hear.

2. You don’t have to prove yourself to others

Who’s opinion matters most?
This ties into “God is great - so you don’t have to fear others”
We loose the desire to prove ourselves to others when we have a more “real” perspective
Like being in high school....
Ephesians 1:3–10 ESV
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

3. You don’t have to prove yourself to yourself

This is identity.
The world responds, “You don’t have to prove yourself to others, you just have to feel good about yourself”
Who am I?
If I view myself as forgiven, son or daughter of God, I have nothing left to prove to myself.
I’ve heard people say, “Maybe God forgives me, but I just can’t forgive myself.”
This, while it may seem humble and spiritual at first glance, is actually one of the most arrogant things a person can say.
God is great - so we don’t have to be in control
God is glorious - so we do not have to fear others
God is good - so we do not have to look elsewhere
God is gracious - so we do not have to prove ourselves

These simple truths about God, if we believe them, can radically transform our lives.

1 Timothy 6:12 ESV
Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
John 6:28–29 ESV
Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.”
Tie back into Christmas,
Believe Jesus, receive Jesus, he came to the world to save mankind
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