Faithlife Sermons

Living By the Grace of God

Establishing a New Normal  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Introduction

We have heard over the last few weeks the idea that this pandemic has moved us into new routines. Some have sad our normal will not be what it was before the pandemic. We have been looking from a Christian point of view in how to establish a new normal. We have discussed beginning with the sovereignty of God; remembering the faithfulness of God; continuing to be faithful to our God; and we have seen a mother’s example in establishing a new normal. We are continuing this idea of how to establish a new normal by living by the grace of God.
Grace is a beautiful concept that many Christians do not fully understand. There are many biblical examples of grace and there are many definitions of grace. Strong’s Concordance defines grace in part as “the merciful kindness by which God, exerting His holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases, them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to to the exercise of the Christian virtues.”
The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church says grace is “the supernatural assistance of God bestowed upon a rational being with a view of sanctification.”
Harper’s Bible Dictionary calls grace “the English translation of a Greek word meaning concretely that which brings delight, joy, happiness, or good fortune.”
Simply put, grace is the undeserved blessing or favor of God. It is mentioned by term over one hundred and thirty times in the Bible. It is implied as a precept several times more. Grace is probably the most beautiful concept in all of the Bible. In fact, the very last verse in all in of the Bible, is a statement for the Grace of the Lord Jesus to be with God’s people.
Revelation 22:21 NIV84
The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.
We, as the people of God, are called to live in Grace. William Barclay wrote, “It is surely symbolic, and it is surely fitting, that the last word of the Bible should be Grace.” Grace summarizes the whole truth of the Bible. Grace is the love of God in action.
Ephesians 2:4–5 NIV84
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.
Grace is divine. It is that gift from God to forgive our sins, transform our lives, nurture our new life, guide us in His service, and persevere us for eternity.
1 Peter 5:10 NIV84
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.
No grace exists apart from God. All grace is divine. Grace provides. Grace sustains. Grace maintains. Grace prepares. To develop this more, I want to invite you to look at the God of Grace, the Gift of Grace and the Glory of Grace.

The God of Grace

We have already declared that God is the God of Grace. No grace exists apart from Him. Let’s look closer at the God of Grace. God wants to give us a life that is rich and full.
Exodus 34:6 NIV84
And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness,
The God of Grace has the resources to give us that rich and full life.
In Matthew 20, Jesus shares the Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard. In it, He shows that the Grace of God is God’s unmerited favor. It is His very nature of who He is as defined as love. God pours out this love on His people in a way that is undeserved and unexpected. This parable highlights the fact that a landowner gave much to those that did not work because He has the resources and the sovereign right to do so. That is the God of Grace! He has a loving nature that is so rich and full He wants to share it with those who will receive it. He does so through Jesus. In speaking about this truth to the Roman Church, Paul says is Romans 3:25:
Romans 3:25 NIV84
God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished—
Th God of Grace seeks what is best for us as a loving Heavenly Father. There are many instances of this in scripture, but probably none more familiar than that of the Twenty-third Psalm.
Psalm 23:1–6 NIV84
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
The God of Grace seeks to care for us like a shepherd cares for his sheep. He longs to give His mercy and grace to those who turn to Him.
Psalm 119:132 NIV84
Turn to me and have mercy on me, as you always do to those who love your name.
The God of Grace always reaches out with His grace to bless.
2 Chronicles 30:9b NIV84
If you return to the Lord, then your brothers and your children will be shown compassion by their captors and will come back to this land, for the Lord your God is gracious and compassionate. He will not turn his face from you if you return to him.”
He repeatedly has sent out word to His people that He desires for them to receive His mercy and grace.
2 Chronicles 36:15 NIV84
The Lord, the God of their fathers, sent word to them through his messengers again and again, because he had pity on his people and on his dwelling place.
We learn in Ezra 7:28 that God extends His good favor.
Ezra 7:28 NIV84
and who has extended his good favor to me before the king and his advisers and all the king’s powerful officials. Because the hand of the Lord my God was on me, I took courage and gathered leading men from Israel to go up with me.
Even though these words that testify about the God of Grace were written centuries ago, they are still true for us today. We can be assured that God is the God of Grace and because He is, He can give us the Gift of Grace

The Gift of Grace

We have said in our definition of grace that is the undeserved blessing or favor of God. It is something that we cannot earn nor buy. It is a gift. Have you ever thought about the gift of Grace? I have have a few thoughts as I have studied this more.
Grace always takes the worst and makes it best. We think of the worst often hitting like a disaster. However, God gives refuge and protection because of the gift of Grace.
Psalm 57:1 NIV84
Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me, for in you my soul takes refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed.
God’s grace comes to the aid of His people.
Psalm 135:14 NIV84
For the Lord will vindicate his people and have compassion on his servants.
Vindication and compassion are examples of His gift of grace.
Psalm 147:2-3 give more examples:
Psalm 147:2–3 NIV84
The Lord builds up Jerusalem; he gathers the exiles of Israel. He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
He gathers those that are homeless. He heals the brokenhearted. He binds up wounds. All of these are examples of the gift of grace given when it seems to be the worst.
James 5:11 reminds us that even in the worst of times, the gift of grace compels us to persevere and trust in God’s love.
James 5:11 NIV84
As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.
The gift of grace redeems the un-redeemable. It gives us a standard in which to live.
Titus 2:11–13 NIV84
For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,
Sometimes there are those that appear to have no hope at all. They appear to have gone too far to the other side. Mark’s Gospel tells the story of a demon-possessed man that was set free because of the gift of grace. Jesus tells him in Mark 5:19:
Mark 5:19 NIV84
Jesus did not let him, but said, “Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.”
The gift of grace redeems the unredeemable. In turn the gift of grace produces more grace. We see that in that verse from Mark. The formerly demon-possessed man received grace and then went and shared that grace with his family. God put this practice in place even in the Old Testament law.
Leviticus 23:22 NIV84
“ ‘When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Leave them for the poor and the alien. I am the Lord your God.’ ”
We see in the New Testament that the apostles told of the grace they received and then produced grace towards unbelievers.
Acts 4:33 NIV84
With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all.
Acts 11:23 tells us the evidence of grace.
Acts 11:23 NIV84
When he arrived and saw the evidence of the grace of God, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts.
The evidence of grace encouraged these early believers.
The grace of God is intimately bound up with God’s intention to bring salvation to lost people.
Acts 14:3 NIV84
So Paul and Barnabas spent considerable time there, speaking boldly for the Lord, who confirmed the message of his grace by enabling them to do miraculous signs and wonders.
The gift of grace always more than that which is deserved.
1 Chronicles 29:14–16 NIV84
“But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand. We are aliens and strangers in your sight, as were all our forefathers. Our days on earth are like a shadow, without hope. O Lord our God, as for all this abundance that we have provided for building you a temple for your Holy Name, it comes from your hand, and all of it belongs to you.
God is so good to us! He does not give us just a little of His grace, He gives us all of it! John the Baptist said in John 1:16 just how much grace we get.
John 1:16 NIV84
From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another.
The gift of grace is greater than the biggest sin.
Romans 5:20–21 NIV84
The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
I am convinced that no matter how big the blunder I make, the gift of grace is bigger and the promise of God’s word is that it will always be sufficient.
2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV84
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
We have talked about the God of Grace and the Gift of Grace. Now look at the Glory of Grace.

The Glory of Grace

The last verse in the Bible is in a book that proclaims our glorious dwelling place. It is the ultimate quest of the Christian to enter into eternity with our King Jesus. Grace comes in forgiveness, in patience, in supplying our needs, in mercy, and ultimately in glory. However, we do not wait for eternity to receive grace. We are able to receive grace and experience the glory of grace even now. It gives us hope as we recognize grace as our inheritance.
Acts 20:32 NIV84
“Now I commit you to God and to the word of his grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.
It provides a foundation in which we can build upon even now.
1 Corinthians 3:10 NIV84
By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds.
God gifted us grace from the beginning of time and shall be carried out in immortality forever.
2 Timothy 1:9–10 NIV84
who has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.
Grace provides salvation. It comes to us through the ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Grace gives us a blessed hope that we too will experience the eternal glory in and with Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 5:10 NIV84
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.
We are people of grace created by the God of Grace who gifted us grace in order that we might experience the grace of His glory.
Amazing. Amazing grace. How sweet the sound, right?
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