The Grace of God
I. The Grace of God
Grace is one of the most prominent attribute of God is Scripture. Many verses in the Bible allude to the gracious nature of God. In Psalm 86, David states, for instance, “You, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering and abundant in mercy and truth” (Psalm 86:15 NKJ). In other words, God is His very nature is gracious. Grace is part of His being. God could not stop being gracious without forsaking His Divinity; thus one writer rhetorically asks, “Has God forgotten to be gracious? ”(Psalms 77:9). The implication is that He has not and cannot. Furthermore, the graciousness that bubbles at core of God’s being also flows through the fibers of Creation; not only God is gracious in his person but this verse talks about God’s grace flowing through his works. Thus, one reads “The LORD is righteous in all His ways, Gracious in all His works” (Psalms 145:17 NKJ). Grace towards every man is what theologians call “common grace” – as oppose to “special grace” by which one receives salvation through in Jesus Christ. Speaking about the gracious nature of God, Jesus states, “He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Mat 5:45 NKJ). In other words, God pours grace even those who do not care about His words or have any desire to do His will. The breath that the atheist breathe to curse the name of God come Him. Grace.
II. What is Grace?
Grace simply put is “unmerited favor”. Explaining the concept, Paul states, “And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace.But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work” (Romans 11:6 NKJ). As one can see in the text, grace is the very opposite of work.
If you work for me for eight hours a day and I said that I’d pay $5 per hour, at the end of the day if I give you $35 I am unjust, if I give you exactly $40 I am just which means I gave you exactly what you deserve, but if I give you $45 those $5 extra is called grace because you didn’t work for it. God looks at us he sees our needs and he gives us grace, something we didn’t work for.
III. Why do I need Grace?
Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered. (I Peter 3:7 NKJ)
In other words the fact that I can breath and have oxygen going thru my lungs the bible calls it grace. Even the most wicked person out there the hardest atheist benefits from God’s grace and they don’t even realize that the only reason they have life is because god has decided to give them the grace of life. So the first reason why we need God’s grace is to live. There two kinds of life, the physical and the spiritual. And just like we need grace for our physical life we need grace for our spiritual life in fact, we are born again by grace.
That’s why it says in Ephesians 2:8 let’s read:
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, (Ephesians 2:8 NKJ)
So not only live comes through grace salvation comes by grace; and that’s the problem with most religious systems in the world people are trying to do something in order to earn God’s favor, but in scripture it’s not about you doing something for God; in the next verse all our works are the results of the fact that we’ve saved.
For example let’s say you decided to give Pastor Greg a bring new Mercedes Benz for ninety thousand dollars, I’m open to that, you gave me the key and said it’s for my birthday; by the way, my birthday is coming up on December 23rd, I’m not giving you ideas but you might be inspired. So you went to the store and paid for it cash, obviously; now suppose on December 25th I invite you to my house for a dinner and say thank you for the nice car so the dinner is a payment for the gif; you would be insulted because a dinner for $100 can never repay a $90.000 Mercedes. But if in the contrary I said I thank you so much brother Josue, I can never pay you for that car but I’m offering you dinner as a way of expressing gratitude to you; that person would totally appreciate that.
When we work for God in ministry it is a way of testifying and showing gratitude because he has saved us. So when we thing we can do something to earn grace it’s very insulting to God.
Let’s look at another reason why we need grace. We need grace because every gif we are operating in is actually a grace of God. Let’s read:
So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. 6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; (Romans 12:5-6 NKJ)
The spirituals gifts that we received, we received them by the grace of God. Paul wrote to the Corinthians and asked what is it that you have that you haven’t received from God? Every gifts that we have as believers as Christians, they are manifestations of God’s grace; so if you can teach, pray and lay hands on people there’s nothing for us to boast about, actually it has been deposited in our lives by God and by grace for his glory.
Look at another thing that I think is very interesting; not only we receive life through grace, salvation and gifts through, we also receive power through. Acts4:33 talks about the disciples who had the power of God operating in their lives.
And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all. (Acts 4:33 NKJ)
The great power they had on their lives was actually a manifestation of the great grace that was upon them. So we receive God’s power as a result of God’s grace. If God is able to use us and do things through us let us not fool ourselves and think that we are more special than everyone else, it’s just God’s grace.
I’ll give you two more then we’ll ask the question how do you receive God’ grace.
We even need grace to be financially blessed; look at II Corinthians 9:8 in the context the author is talking about money, I believe the church of Jerusalem was going through a difficult situation and he said how the church of Thessalonica blessed them, let’s read together:
And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have abundance for every good work. (II Corinthians 9:8 NKJ)
Financial blessings is another manifestation of God’s grace, if you want to be bless financially what you need to look for is not money it’s God’s grace. The reason why Joseph was prosperous in pharaoh’s kingdom is because he had the grace of God over his life. The reason why Ruth was able to meet with Boaz the richest man in town is because she had the Grace of God over her life. The reason why David had become a prominent king is because he had the grace of God over his life. The reason why Daniel kept on receiving promotion in the house of Nebuchadnezzar is because he had the grace of God over him. As a believer in prosperity but I don’t believe in seeking money, the bible said sees ye first the kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you.
And finally we need God for strength. Paul was struggling with an infirmity and he had prayed three times asking the Lord to take it away and the Lord answered: “My grace is sufficient for you because my grace will give you strength.” Look at the text:
And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (II Corinthians 12:9 NKJ)
And some of you have experienced that, when you look five years back or ten years back and remember a situation you went through and you ask how did I manage to keep my sanity. There people who didn’t go through half of what I went through but they took a gun and blew up their brain. It’s the grace giving you that strength. I remember last week I told you about a guy who lost his job during the recession he went home and killed his wife and kids then himself; some of you don’t even have a job to loose. Somehow God feeds you, he put a roof over your head, he gives a smile; how do you thing that happen? It is called grace, the grace of God. Now how do I receive grace?
You will never receive grace without humility; look at James 6:4
IV. How do I receive Grace?
But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. (James 4:6 NKJ)
The first condition to receive God’s grace in your life is to be humble. You have to be very careful, humility is the way you view yourself, it has nothing to do with how much money or how many degree you have. God told Saul when you were little in your own eyes I gave you power… no matter how much they compliment you when you come to the presence of God, always say: “God I can’t do it without you, I need you in my life.” And God will continue to bless you. Look at another condition of grace, very important look at Hebrews 4:16.
Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16 NKJ)
The attitude we need to receive grace is humility and the channel through which we receive grace is call prayer. There is grace available, there is grace for your sickness, there is grace for your economic situation, there is grace for that family that is broken down, there is grace for your children that are going crazy but you have to go to the throne and say father I can’t do it without you.
Lastly you can have the right attitude in prayer but there is an element that is essential to every prayer that God will answer, Jesus talked about it in Romans 5:2; let’s read:
Through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. (Romans 5:2 NKJ)
We can’t receive grace without faith. That why in Ephesians 2:8 says by grace through faith you have been saved. Grace is the mean that which god extend his blessings to us, faith is mean by which we receive that blessing. We come before his throne with an attitude of humility asking him for grace when we’re done we received that grace; then we say Father thank you, I receive it by faith.
For those of you who don’t know Jesus Christ, you heard this message but haven’t made the decision; I was listing to a pastor who made a great illustration about grace and I’ll never forget that. Now imagine the president had one son and a man called Johny killed that son. In the state where the crime was committed capital punishment is allowed so they have decided it’s a first degree murder they will execute Johny. Now Mr. Obama said I’m going to be merciful towards you, because the present has the power to extend grace, I will give life even if you deserve death. But grace would go further; not only I’ll give life but I’ll take you in my house and live in my son’s bedroom, you can drive the car that my son was suppose to drive, I’ll change your name let you enjoy all the privileges that my son should’ve enjoyed.
That’s exactly what God did, he took us in his kingdom and said we have access to his inheritance as his son even if we killed his own son with our sins on Calvary.