Tuesday, April 7, 2009

God's Grace......

Because of how many comments were made on my last post, I have made this next one more like an outline. A starting point for a little discussion I suppose you could say. And I do hope that some discussion with begin. If you see any flaws in what I have said, or, if you want to add anything, please, go ahead and do so!

What is grace?

According to the Twentieth Century Dictionary, “Grace is the free unmerited love and favor of God.” and “a dispensation, privilege, or pardon granted not in right but by favor.”
Our salvation from sin and our hope of eternal life is due, and only due, to the wonderful saving grace of God.

Dr. Jerry Bridges in his book, “The Discipline of Grace”, says that: “Grace is God’s unmerited favor to those who deserve only His wrath.”
From this we see that grace is a gift—an extraordinarily special gift that comes in the form of a pardon, privilege, or dispensation—a gift given to an offending and guilty party. But what does it have to do with you and me?

Why do we need God’s grace? There are three reasons why. And they all have to do with “sin”.

The universality of sin-
Psalm 14:3 “They have all turned aside, together they have become corrupt; There is no one who does good, not even one.”
Ecclesiastes 7:20 “Indeed, there is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins.”
See? It clearly states that sin is universal. There is no one that does good! For me that’s a really scary thought. I know, that I could never do good, if it weren’t for God, and His saving grace.

Seriousness of sin-
Hebrews 10:27 “But a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries.”

Habakkuk 1:13 “Your eyes are too pure to approve evil, And You can not look on wickedness with favor.”
Obviously sin is not something to be trifled with. It is serious. For, with sin we can die and live in eternal fire.
Man’s inability to deal with sin.

Proverbs 20:9 “Who can say, ‘I have cleansed my heart, I am pure from my sin’?”
Here, once again, it is clearly stated in a question. Who can say these things? The answer, of course, is insinuated, the answer is, “No one.”

We are all in desperate need of God’s forgiveness and grace. But what can we do? The answer is that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, has already purchased the forgiveness of our sins. In an action of “unmerited favor towards those who deserve God’s wrath” (which is the definition of grace) Christ laid down His life for us: As Romans 6:23 tells us: “The wages of sin is death.”
And so, as Isaiah 53:5 states so beautifully and powerfully, “He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.” And all we must do is to accept the sacrifice Jesus made for us—and we will be saved.
Ephesians 2:8 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”

God’s grace is the only reason I can be writing this right now, to you, as a brother in Christ. In fact our every thought, our every word, and our every breath, can be attributed to nothing else but the unmerited love and favor of an all-powerful God.
We deserved God’s wrath because of our sins. Yet, in His mercy, He sent His Son to die for us. God extended His unmerited favor to you. God extended His unmerited favor to me. We have only to reach out and take it. By God’s grace I have done so. And—as one who has experienced the real freedom and joy that comes with excepting God’s gift of grace my encouragement to you is: “don’t wait.”


emily said...

Wow Justin! That was easily one of the best posts you've written. It really got me thinking...

What you said is true. We don't deserve to even have life here. It all started when Eve was tempted. She was led astray in the garden, and because of her/Adam's sin, it determined the pain that we have to endure (i.e., childbirth, etc.). Yet, God's saving grace and sovereignty was seen in this situation as well. Of course, there was punishment to both Adam and Eve, and we too have the consequences of their/our sin. Again, it's God's saving grace.

1 Peter 1:24-25 says, "For, all men are like grass and all their glory is like the flowers of the field. The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever..."

God's saving grace. We fall---we sin. And, God continues to bless us with the incredible power known as forgiveness.

Yet, something I've questioned is, what would it be like if we didn't have God's saving grace?

Basically, we wouldn't be here, right? What if God chose to shed His grace to certain people, and not to others? Even the people who have clearly abolished the law, God still pours out His grace. What would it be like if He didn't pour out His grace to everyone, and chose to have "selectional love"?

Hope this makes sense :), em

Quinton said...

Right on, Justin! Great post... Seriously, you just encouraged me to go rewrite my apologetics card on the grace of God... good quotes and i love the verses... the blog seems to be coming along wonderfully. :)

Bracie said...

Finally found your blog...HSQ doesn't post very often, you know. = )

Yeah Justin! A card on God's Grace that I agree with, with my whole heart. That's quite a feat. Your logic and worldview is much better than many I have seen. But considering my [real]name. I have right to be picky- right?

This being said, I will not be the first person to note that I will now return to "Isn't it narrow mided to beleive there is only one way to God?" from the ol' apologetics box (btw- that has nothing to do w/ your card- thanks to Quin,I am just reminded as to what I should be doing right now!). Ta ta!

JustinK said...

Comments comments comments yay!!

Thank you for the flattering comments Em, but you can thank my brother Josh who taught it all to me. :)
I like that verse a lot, and it works well with the idea of Grace. Thank you for sharing it, I had completely forgotten about it.

Honestly, I don't like to think about what life would be like without grace. :) That would be... sad. But, what you said on the matter is very well put! See, ya'll can do with just as easily as I can. I've thought about the idea of what it would be like had God been choosey about his grace. But, the thing I believe we must focus on is that God has granted us grace. God has extended his mercy to us and we must follow Him, and worship Him in that light.

@Quin - I'm glad I encouraged you. It's what I've been hoping I would do to someone for some time now! :) I'm glad God can use me in this way.

@Grace - Thanks for joining! Great to see your bright shining face once again. I gotta come see you sometime.
About what you said. I sure wish other people thought the same way you did. Like... my brothers, sisters, and parent! :) Ok, not really. I hope I've given you some idea of how you could use it sometime. But... don't steal my outline! :)

Thank you all for commenting! I hope to write another post soon. And have it up by Monday. God bless, and stay strong!

Bracie said...

Don't worry Justin... I love MY card on grace too (I'm smiling here, just to let you know!)

it seems weird typing "grace" over and over again... I feel like I should be typing "I" instead. Justin, I don't have a blog, but have you looked at Sophe's? It's kinda wacky, but fun. And if you search around a bit, you find weird videos of us. = ) I follow it...so you should click on my profile and check it out.

WOW. Sophia would kill me if she knew i was shamelessly promoting her blog. (now I feel sheepish)