"GRACE AND PEACE"
I. THE APOSTLES DESIRE FOR THEM, GRACE AND PEACE.
A. The word grace comes from the Greek word charis, it was one of the most beautiful words in the Greek language.
1. It was the typical word of greeting.
2. Many cultures have their typical greeting.
a. Austria, grees gott.
b. Sweden, gutt moron
c. Ancient Greece, charis
d. Israel, shalom
3. To the Greeks it was a word of charm, beauty, loveliness, To the Christian it meant unmerited or unearned favor.
B. Peace, the typical Jewish greeting. Shalom.
1. These two words are coupled together 17 times in the New Testament.
2. They are always found in this order.
3. You never read peace and grace, but it is always grace and peace. In his pastoral epistles, Paul adds mercy between them. Grace, mercy and peace.
4. The order is not by accident but by design.
C. You will never experience the peace of God until you come to know the grace of God.
1. For years in my own life, I had peace with God, but I never experienced the peace of God.
2. I was seeking to win God's approval by my dedication to Him and my works for Him.
3. While teaching the book of Romans, I discovered and experienced the grace of God in my life and for the first time I experienced the peace of God.
4. My fellowship with God was no longer predicated upon my work for Him, but His work for me.
a. You see my works fluctuated, thus my relationship fluctuated, for sometimes I did well, and others not so well.
b. I was not always faithful to my own desires to serve Him, thus I felt that He was somehow disappointed with me.
c. I felt like I had failed Him and as the result I believed that He would not bless me, for I felt that blessings were directly related to my performance.
d. Since my blessings are related to believing Him to bless me, I was seldom blessed. "He that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him."
e. I thought that He was a rewarder of those who were perfectly committed.
5. When I discovered the grace of God, I began to expect God to bless me, though I realized that there was no basis for the blessings on my side, but the basis for the blessings were in His grace. His unearned, unmerited favor.
D. This grace comes to us from God our Father, and the Lord, Jesus Christ.
II. THE MANIFESTATION OF HIS GRACE. "WHO GAVE HIMSELF FOR OUR SINS."
A. Greater love has no man than this, that a man will lay down His life for His friends.
B. If God spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how much more shall He not freely give us all things.
1. The prophet years before the event of the cross took place declared,
Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
But he [was] wounded for our transgressions, [he was] bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace [was] upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
C. Paul writing to the Romans about this said,
The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.
But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
1. Christ dying for the ungodly, that is not just love, that is grace.
2. I deserved to be put to death for my sins. Jesus, according to the will of the Father was put to death in my place. That is grace.
a. Though He was rich, yet for our sakes He became poor, that we through His poverty might be rich. That is grace.
b. God made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God through Him.
3. The gospel that Paul preached began with the statement, "Christ died for our sins, according to the scriptures."
II. HIS PURPOSE WAS TO DELIVER US FROM THIS PRESENT EVIL WORLD.
A. Since the entrance of sin into the world, it has been corrupt and evil.
1. In the days of Noah, God saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
2. Paul referring to his day called it, " Present evil world." he described his times in Romans 1
And even as they did not like to retain God in [their] knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
3. Times have not changed since the days of Noah, or Paul this world system governed by Satan is corrupt and evil. It destroys man, and reduces him to the level of the beasts.
4. The Bible exhorts us not to love the world, neither the things that are in the world, for he that has the love of the world in his heart, has not the love of the Father.
a. James wrote that friendship with the world is enmity with God and whoever would be a friend of the world was an enemy with God.
b. Paul told the Ephesians that Satan was the one who controlled this world.
c. In John's first letter he said that the whole world lieth in wickedness.
d. Paul was commissioned by the Lord to go to the Gentiles
To open their eyes, [and] to turn [them] from darkness to light, and [from] the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
e. To the church in Colosse he makes reference to the power of darkness. It is amazing how that the powers of darkness can get such a strong grip on a person's life. Sin is addictive.
5. The purpose of Jesus giving Himself for you was that He might deliver you from this present evil world. To set you free you from the strong grip that sin has on your life. Jesus said, for whom the Son sets free, is free indeed.
III. THIS IS GOD'S WILL FOR YOUR LIFE.