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We’re going to continue on the subject of Growing in Grace. Last time we were on the subject of Hindrances to growing in Grace and were going to pick up from there.

      I. Just so that we all know what were talking about, Grace is God’s unmerited (unearned) favor. It is also God’s riches at Christ expense, it’s God’s Holy Spirit, but it’s also the very heart felt attitude of God which moves Him toward people.

                  A. It is because of God’s Grace that God that He chooses to be involved in our lives.

                              1. But God’s Grace is also the power active within us that empowers us or gives us the ability to do the will of God.

                                          a. He gives us the ability to do what He has told us to do.

                                          b. Look at 1COR 15:10

                                                      i. You could say it this way, (1 Corinthians 15:10) “By the grace of God I am what I am: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.”

                                                      ii. Paul even adds in this that all his hard work was only done by the Grace of God.

                              2. Paul was even having a problem with a messenger of Satan.

                                          a. The Lord said to him, “My Grace is sufficient (enough) for thee.”

                              3. It only through the Grace of God that we can do what He has told us to do.

                                          a. Look at LUKE 6:30-34.

                                                      i. The word “thank” in these Vs is the Greek wordCharis” which almost always is translatedGrace.”

                                                      ii. Let’s read these same Vs replacing the wordThankwith the word “Grace.” (LUKE 6:30-34)

                                          b. You need to go beyond the human ability to give, love and to do good to others, you need the Grace to do it. (Especially those that hath you.)

                                          c. Look at the benefits that Jesus adds in LUKE 6:35.

                  B. How do we Grow in Grace?

                              1. (Ephesians 2:8) It says, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God:”

                                          a. How do we get faith so that we can tap into the Grace of God?

                                          b. (Romans 10:17) Says, “So then faith [cometh] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

                                                      i. As you hear the Word of God and mediate on His Word, faith comes.

                                                      ii. When you have faith, you can tap into Grace of God.

                              2. The 2nd way that you tap into the Grace of God is by spending time in His presence.

                                          a. (Hebrews 4:16) Says, “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”

      II. Now there are also some hindrances to growing in Grace.

                  A. GAL 1:6

                              1. The Judaizers --keeping the law and faith in Christ. Salvation by Grace alone.

                  B. Look at GAL 5:4

                              1. Notice that phrase, “Fallen from grace.”

                                          a. To fall from Grace is to allow God’s Grace to become null and void.

                                          b. It also means to trust in something else other than God’s ability.

                              2. The Phillips translation words this same V this way, “You put yourself outside the range of Grace.”

      III. Not all Christians are growing in Grace.

                  A. Many are going backwards or regressed in their growth in Grace and in the Lord.

                  B. There are some things that hinder people from Growing in Grace. I’m going to share some of them with you. And so that it might help you get back in the race and continue to grow in Grace.

                              1. Last weak we said the 1st hindrance is LIGHTNESS.

                                          a. In this age that were in everything seems to be so light. No body takes things seriously. (Catching venereal diseases, wars, drugs.)

                                                      i. People just don’t take them seriously any more. They make light of them. We’re living in an age of lightness.

                                          b. It seems that same spirit of lightness has crept into the church and into the lives of individual Christians.

                                                      i. Everyone likes light reading material, even Christian material is getting light.

                                                      ii. Lets get into the meat of God’s Word, lets get into the deep things of God.

                                                                  a. What are the deeper things of God?

                                                                  b. It’s not new things or things not heard before.

                                                                  c. It’s the Word of God that is going to make a difference in you life. (Weather you have never heard it or you have heard it a 1000 times.)

                                                      iii. Lets find things that will feed our spirit.

                                          c. Another area of lightness which I feel is even more important, is that there is a spirit of irreverence in the churches today.

                                                      i. Taking the Spirit of God too lightly.

                                                      ii. (Psalm 46:10) “Be still, and know that I [am] God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.”

                                                                  a. This V is talking about reverencing God.

                                                                  b. I think one of our biggest problems with irreverence is that no one has taught on it.

                                                      iii. 1COR 12:7‑11

                                                                  a. We need to remember that the things that come from God are holy.

                                                                  b. But too many times we see people moving around or talking or clipping their nails or some other thing when God is doing something.

                                          d. Weather it’s the gifts of the Spirit in operation, Praying for someone, the Word of God going forth, Praising and Worshipping the Lord, or even Giving time.

                                           i. The Bible says that our tithes are holy to the Lord.

                                                      ii. Sometimes we  take these things too lightly.

                              2. #2 Looseness

                                          a. According to the dictionary, “looseness” means, “Without order or connection, negligent, careless, unchaste, and unrestrained in behavior.”

                                                      i. Many in the body of Christ have LOOSENESS IN THOUGHT.

                                                      ii. That’s where sin begins. That’s where Christians get into trouble.

                                                      iii. (PHI 4:8) Says, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things {are} honest, whatsoever things {are} just, whatsoever things {are} pure, whatsoever things {are} lovely, whatsoever things {are} of good report; if {there be} any virtue, and if {there be} any praise, think on these things.” (KJV)

                                          b. Many have Looseness in LIFE.

                                                      i. Especially in the area of morality.

                                                      ii. But that is also true in the area of all sin.

                                                      iii. If your in sin, you’re stuck in the mud.

                                                                  a. PSA 40:1‑3

                                                                  b. If you cry out to the Lord, He will pick you up and set you back on that firm foundation.

                              3. #3 LAZINESS or slothfulness

                                          a. Some Christians just do want to grow in Grace.

                                                      i. If that’s true the flesh dominates them.

                                                      ii. They’ll do whatever the flesh tells them to do.

                                          b. 1COR 9:27

                                                      i. The last ½ of (1CO 9:27) From the (ASV) says, “Lest by any means I myself should be rejected.”

                                                      ii. Paul kept his body under so that he would not be rejected by God.

                                          c. HEB 6:12

                                                      i. We need to be Diligent in the things of God.

                                                      ii. Look at HEB 6:10-11

                                                      iii. The NIV says it this way, (Hebrews 6:10-11) “God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, in order to make your hope sure.”

                                          d. Turn to HEB 12:15

                                                      i. The words “Looking diligently” mean “see to it."

                                                      ii. And the wordFailmeansto become deficient or to lack.”

                                                      iii. If you’re not diligent to flow in the Grace of God, a root of bitterness will spring up within you and cause you trouble.

                              4. #4 Lots of talking, too much talking.

                                          a. PRO 10:19

                                                      i. The NIV says, (Proverbs 10:19) “When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.”

                                                      ii. (ECC 10:14) Tells us that, “A fool is known by the multiplicity of his words.”

                                          c. JAM 1:19

                                                      i. We need to be slow to speak.

                                                      ii. (ISA 40:31) Says, “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew {their} strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; {and} they shall walk, and not faint.”

                              5. #5 The 5th hindrance that so many get into is pride.

                                          a. JAMES 4:6

                                                      i. The proud never grow they want to do thing their way.

                                                      ii. When we want to do things our way and trust in self, we make the Grace of God null and void in our lives.

                                                      iii. A phrase that you all have probably heard, but I like it so much is, “Let go and let God.”

                                          b. (Proverbs 16:18) Says, “Pride [goeth] before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.”

                              6. #6 The 6th hindrance to growing in Grace is in trying to be like other people.

                                          a. Many times we try to be like someone else, maybe you’re trying to be like a T.V. star, Mr. Cool, Mr. Macho.

                                          b. 1JOHN 2:15

                                                      i. (JAM 4:4) Says, “Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” (KJV)

                                                      ii. The biggest area where people fail, is when they try to be someone else.

      IV. Just be that person that God created and live the life that he has for you.

                  A. Jesus has given you an entrance to the throne of Grace to obtain all the strength and resources you need.

                              1. Enter by faith and receive from Him.

                                          a. If you have fallen from Grace, He is reaching out to pick you up and give you a fresh start.

7/29/90 SUN AM and WOLCC SUN AM 10/2/94 and WOLCC SUN Am 10/9/94

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