WHY AMAZING GRACE STILL AMAZES ME - PART TWO
Friends, we are back to conclude the message we started last time: Why Amazing grace still amazes me. We took our text from Titus 2, from verse 11. Let me reread it to refresh our memory.
11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.
15 Speak these things, exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no one despise you.
We thank You again, Father, for this wonderful privilege. We have come that You may speak to our hearts. Spirit of God, please have Your way now, we pray in the Name of Jesus Christ. AMEN!
Why amazing grace still amazes me
What is grace? We tried to define grace – a number of definitions: God’s unconditional acceptance of a person as he or she is apart from self-effort, God’s unmerited favour bestowed on man, or the acronym g.r.a.c.e: God’s riches at Christ’s expense. And we said that the grace of God has always been there.
It was there before creation; it was there at creation; it was there at the fall of man; it is still there till today.
Then I gave my own personal definition of grace, that is, God’s provision without man’s participation or contribution – because man has nothing to contribute or to offer.
Then we looked at the meaning of the word. The word, in the New Testament Greek, is Charis. And charis has a number of nuances – a number of meanings. But two caught my attention which I shared with you last time. It says, it is free favour specially manifested by God toward man in the Gospel scheme. Then the second one, to sacrifice a person to the demands of enemies. And I said this is exactly what God did when He sent Jesus Christ.
Then we went to the text to examine why amazing grace continues to be amazing.
Number one: Because it is divine grace: the grace of God. The grace of God – it comes from God. The word divine implies God.
It is also a saving grace – the grace of God that brings salvation: salvation – it saves.
Whereas divine grace speaks of the source of grace, (God is the source – not man), the saving grace speaks of the strength or the power of grace. It has the power to deliver from the penalty of sin and from the power of sin. And someday soon it will also deliver us from the very presence of sin.
And I gave examples of two people: illustrations of the power of the grace of God, the murderous Saul of Tarsus who became Paul of the Apostle, and then John Newton the slave dealer who also was touched by the grace of God. And he left us that autobiographical testimony of the power of grace in his song,
how swift the sound
that saved a wretch like me
I once was lost and now I’m found,
Was blind but now I see.
So we saw the divine grace. That’s the reason why it is amazing. We see the saving grace. We also saw that it is inclusive or universal grace. The grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It is a universal or inclusive grace. And no one has an excuse because it has appeared to all men. And the reason it has appears to all men is because all men are bankrupt: morally bankrupt; and we can never offer anything to God to reconcile ourselves to Him. And therefore, God did it by Himself – by His grace. It is not only that it is divine grace, it is not only that it is saving grace, it is not only that it is a universal grace or inclusive grace, it is also a teaching grace. 11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men,1 2has appeared to us teaching us…and it teaches us a number of things which we would briefly look at now:
Teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lust, we should live soberly, righteously, and Godly in this present age. It is teaching grace. It’s a teaching grace. The grace of God is not sloppy grace – it’s not cheap grace as some have come to believe. It is not freedom to do as you please. It is grace that teaches. And the word for teach or teaching in this verse 12 means the instruction, discipline, chastisement, correction, of a child. The word has to do with the way a child is to be disciplined or taught; the way a child should be corrected. Those who receive the grace of God become God’s children. And His grace teaches them.
May I remind us again of what Newton says concerning this teaching grace in his song amazing grace. Because he said it was grace that taught my heart to fear, and grace my fears relieve. Grace that taught me is teaching grace.
What does it teach us? Grace teaches us:
To deny or say no ungodliness and worldly lust, that is, inordinate desires that God frowns at. Grace teaches us to say no to inordinate desires that God frowns at. Grace - this amazing grace, teaches us also to live soberly. What does it mean to live soberly? To live self-disciplined life, rather than disciplined imposed by an external force. Self-discipline! When there is an external for with the treat of punishment, rules or regulations…that’s not grace. Grace teaches us to live self-disciplined lives. Grace teaches us not only to deny or to say no to ungodliness or worldly lust, not only to live soberly – self-disciplined life, it also teaches us to live righteously: right living, in relation to men or our neighbors. Living right in our relationship to our neighbors, something that is becoming very scarce in our land today. People don’t live right. They don’t live righteously in relationship to their neighbors. They do things that hurt their neighbors. They kill, they murder they steal. Grace teaches us to deny or say no to ungodliness, teaches us to live soberly – self-disciplined lives, teaches us to live righteously: right living in relationship to our neighbors. It also teaches us to live Godly. And that is right living in relation to God. Grace teaches us to live right, horizontally – our relationship with our fellow men. And it teaches us to live right, vertically – our relationship with God. This grace – this amazing grace, is not only divine grace, it is not only saving grace, it is not only universal or inclusive grace, it is not only teaching grace – it is also an expectant grace.
In verse 13 it says: 13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,
This is an expectant grace. Grace points us to Christ who is going to return someday – perhaps sooner than we expect. Those who experience the grace of God live expectantly, and their expectation is literally out of this world, because we are looking for somebody who is coming out of this world. They are not thrilled; those who have this grace are not thrilled by the things this world offers, but by the blessed hope and the glorious appearing of their great God and Saviour Jesus Christ. Do you see that this scripture says specifically that Jesus is the great God? Divine grace! That’s why it still amazes me: saving grace, universal grace, teaching grace, expectant grace; it is also costly or sacrificial grace – costly or sacrificial grace.
It says that this grace is what brought Jesus Christ down here. He has sacrificed himself: who gave Himself (vv 14) for us that we may be redeemed from every lawless deed. Who gave Himself is costly grace; it is a sacrificial grace. The grace of God cost Jesus everything in heaven, and it cost Him everything on earth – for it cost Him His throne on high; He came down to earth, and when He came down to earth He said, the Son of Man does not even have where to lay down His head. But much more than that, it cost Him His life: He died a painful and shameful death for you and me; He died to redeem us from every lawless deed – and purify for Himself His own special zealous people – zealous for good works. Amazing grace that does not cease to amaze me is not only a divine grace, it is not only saving grace, universal grace, teaching grace, an expectant grace, costly or sacrificial grace; finally, it is grace that makes those who experience it special to God.
It makes those who experience it special to God – special people – In verse 14c of our text. If you know what that means, you will not delay one second to receive God’s grace. And if you have received it you will no longer live like a moral and spiritual pauper blown about by every wind of doctrine and intimidated by people and the devil.
Friend, God has commanded His true servants to speak of this amazing grace, to exalt and to rebuke with all authority. But unfortunately many are busy doing something else supposedly in the Name of Jesus Christ. They neglect the divine grace, the saving grace, the universal grace, the teaching grace, the expectant grace, the sacrificial grace, that made Jesus become what we are that we might become what He is.
Receive Him and receive this grace now, friend. It is the amazing grace of God that will never cease to amaze me, will never cease to amaze you.
Let us pray
Father, we’ve come to the end of our discussion on why Your amazing grace still amazes us. May as many as have heard this message find this grace also amazing; may You deliver them from the power and penalty of sin, dear Lord…in Jesus’ Name. Amen!
Post a comment