GRACE - FOR THE UNDESERVING (Eph 2:8,9) ( Rom 11:6)

I. Introduction

A. We come to the third great word of the gospel - Grace

1. We hear this word a lot in church but what is Grace?

2. It is one of the most beautiful of all God's attributes.

3. It has been defined as the undeserved love of God with emphasis on the word undeserved.

B. For that reason it is often put in contrast to works (Rom 11:6)

1. The moment we have to improve first and become morally suitable then grace is no more grace.

2. As it says in Rom 4 - To him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace but of debt.

3. Indeed to try to be a better Christian in order to have revival is nothing more than an attempt to put God in our debt so that he owes us His blessing.

4. This is something God will never agree to.

C. We ever come to God as beggars and be content to live on His grace.

1. In Rom 3:24 - We are told we are justified freely by His grace.

2. The Greek word freely is elsewhere translated without a cause.

3. Justified without a cause by His grace.

4. The same word is used by Jesus in John 15:25. They hated me without a cause.

5. His love for me as a sinner was as much without a cause as was His opponents hatred of Him.

6. 1 no more deserve His love than He deserved their hatred.

D. An old hymn says: Jesus what didn't thou find in me - that thou hast dealt so lovingly? He didn't find a thing .

II. Grace and Love

A. There is a difference between grace and love.

1. All grace is love but all love is not grace.

2. It is conceivable for bye to be bestowed on someone because they are attractive and desirable.

3. In love such as that - we could never call it grace.

B. The love of God only becomes grace when it has as its object one who quite obviously does not deserve it.

1. Then love acquired this glorious new name grace.

2. Grace makes God not only reachable but lovable.

III. Grace and Truth (John 1:17)

A. John contrasts grace with truth.

1. The word truth can be used in two ways.

2. It is often used to denote bible doctrine but in other places it means reality, correspondence with things as they are; honesty.

3. Used in this sense it is one of Johns favorite words.

B. The Cross is not only the supreme revelation of God it is the truth about God and about ourselves.

1. If death on a Cross was punishment reserved for criminals and if that was the place He took for us, what does that make of us?

2. Nothing more than a lot of criminals.

3. This reveals the truth about our standing before God.

4. This was the' place Jesus took in order to save us.

C. It is only as we admit the truth, that in God's sight we are law breakers, we have broken His laws times without number.

1.If you break God's law then you are a criminal in His sight.

2.Though the truth about our condition came by Christ so His wonderful grace has been revealed by Him as well.

Thus while His death my sin displays,
in all its blackest hue,
such is the mystery of grace
it seals my pardon too.

D. Truth as Reality is confirmed in John 3:20,21

1. It's understandable that the person who has done wrong will shun the light and hide what they have done.

2. Note the contrast - He that doeth truth - That sounds strange doesn't it?

3. You would think the contrast to - "he that doeth evil" would be "he that doeth good".

4. God is saying before you try to be good or make up for the wrong you have done, we are to do truth.

5. By that God means He wants us to be honest with ourselves and with God about the wrong we have done.

E. The opposite then of doing evil is doing truth.

1. When we are honest about sin then we can say our deeds are wrought in God.

2. Why? Because grace has come to our rescue.

IV. Grace and Holiness

A. Someone might be tempted to say, this emphasis on grace might lead to irresponsibility on the part of Christians.

1. Paul recognizes the possibility when he warns them against turning the grace of God into lasciviousness.

2. God is willing to risk our abuse rather than risk the magnificence of grace.

3. God has decided to let grace be grace and attach no strings to it.

B. If grace does not produce holiness, God has no other way.

1. But it will produce holiness because the person whom grace has for given will love much.

2. The one who loves much cannot do enough for the one who has forgiven so much.

3. So if you are doing little for Jesus its because we love little and if we love little its because we have been forgiven little.

4. We have been forgiven little only because we have repented little.

V. Grace For Grace (John 1:16) Grace instead of Grace

A. Johns comment here is most interesting-he might have said grace instead of sin but no-he says, grace instead of grace.

1. Picture it this way - I'm standing on a river bank looking down into the flowing waters but that water soon flows past and is gone

2. Only to be replaced by another quantity of water carrying its own special beauty.

B. The Grace of God is like that

1. God's undeserved love is not one isolated experience that happens only at my conversion.

2. That was the exercise of God's grace to be sure but that experience passes-a new cleansing a new need arises.

3. We can let the experience of the first go for there is plenty more grace than what I received when I was saved.

C. There is grace instead of grace-it just keeps on coming.

When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed, the day is half gone
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources
Our Father's full giving is only begun.
His love has no limit, His grace has no measure,
His power has no boundary known unto men,
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus,
He giveth and giveth and giveth again.