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December 15, 2015

Saved by Grace, Living with Grace

By: Anthony Mathenia Topics: Uncategorized

Saved by Grace, Living with Grace
Sermon Link

As Sinclair Ferguson writes, being amazed by God’s grace is a sign of spiritual vitality, and we are motivated to live to the glory of God as we respond to His glorious grace (By Grace Alone, pp. 14-15). It is important that we think on what the grace of God has done to us, so that we may be encouraged to live graciously as we interact with one another.

Saved by Grace

We are saved by grace. Though this is not new to us, it is nonetheless amazing. He shows favor toward the undeserving. We deserve His judgment. We deserve to be abandoned by God. However, He decided instead to love us, rescue us, and become our Father. We are now friends of God because of His gracious work of redemption. Instead of revenge, He brings about reconciliation. Instead of judgment, He shows forgiveness. Instead of wrath, He treats us with mercy, goodness, and patience.

– Are you still amazed by the grace you have received in Christ? What are the reasons that our wonder at His grace often fades? What are some ways that you can cultivate a renewed sense of wonder at His grace?

The Actions of Grace

Sadly, we who have received such an abundant amount of God’s grace frequently lack grace as we deal with one another. We affirm that the only thing we deserve from God is hell, but deal with others as if we have earned heaven on our own. Instead, we who have received such grace ought to be conduits of grace to those around us and those nearest to us. Jesus expects disciples to be gracious at every level of life. Vengeance is not compatible with a spirit of grace (Matt 5:38-42). The scope of the grace we are to show reaches even our enemies (Matt 5:43-48). Divine grace teaches us to live by the Golden Rule (Matt 7:11-12). Grace is required to be able to love our enemies and respond positively to those we know do not like us. But we have received amazing grace that enables us to now live with grace!

– In what ways have you seen the grace of God transform your actions from the time of your conversion? In what ways are you failing to show grace in your actions to those around you now? Are you believing that God’s grace is really powerful enough to enable you to turn your sinful actions into gracious actions?

The Attitudes of Grace

The grace of God changes us from the inside out. There is a new disposition, a new inclination, a new principle, and a new interest (Titus 3:1-7). The attitude of grace is a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, patience, forgiveness, peace, and love (Colossians 3:12-15). In order to be channels of grace to others, these must be the attitudes of our heart. Humility must characterize someone who has an attitude of grace. The humble person is conscious of his needs and he is quick to cry out for help when he begins to see pride within him. Unlike a prideful person that is hypersensitive, defensive, and concerned primarily for his own needs and feelings, a humble person concerns himself primarily with the needs around him and is not quick to defend himself (Phil 2:3-5). The grace of God now enables us to turn moments of disgrace into moments of grace. His grace gives us the capacity to have hearts of gentleness and humility instead of hearts of pride and vengeance.

– From the list of characteristics given in Colossians 3:12-15, how do we see each of them portrayed in the life of Christ? Are there any areas in particular from that passage that you know your attitude could be further molded into an attitude of grace?

The Words of Grace

The gracious transformation that God does in us reaches to our speech (Col 4:6). Often, we do not take our speech as seriously as we should, either in the content of our words or in the way that we say them. As Hendriksen says, the type of language that results from the operation of God’s grace in the heart is not abusive or vindictive. Instead, it will be patterned after the example we see in Christ, which is truthful, loving, and patient (Colossians Commentary, p. 183). Our speech is a matter of the heart, and we must have a clean source where are words are nourished and produced (Luke 6:45). We speak with grace when our hearts are filled with patience, mercy, gentleness, and kindness. To speak with grace implies speaking with love, with a heart that is genuinely interested in doing good to others.

– Do you see a tendency in your own speech to be abusive or vindictive? Would your friends say that you are one that speaks in truth, love and patience? If you are married, what would your spouse say about the way you speak to him or her? What about your children?

Forgiving Grace

God has not dealt with us according to our sins (Psalm 103:8-10). He has cast all of our sins behind His back (Isaiah 38:17). He remembers our sins no more (Jeremiah 31:34). He has cast all our sins into the depths of the sea (Micah 7:19). If we have received such a forgiveness from God, we should also show unlimited forgiveness to all who offend us. By the grace of God, the chains that have held families throughout generations in bondage to hatred, resentment, and angry speech can be broken! The grace of God works powerfully within us to enable us to show the same kind of forgiveness that we have received in Christ.

– What are some of the excuses that you use in order to exempt yourself from forgiving those that offend you (e.g. he’s not sorry, he’ll never change, it wouldn’t help him even if I do, etc.)? Is there anyone in your life now that you are refusing to forgive? In what way is Christ glorified when we forgive?