"GRACE, GRACE, ABOUNDING GRACE"
Intro. I have been found guilty before God. I have sinned and the wages of sin is death. I deserve the wrath of God that is to be revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men that hold the truth of God in unrighteousness. God has made provision for me to be accounted righteous before him through His Son Jesus Christ. It is a righteous standing that is not of works, but imputed to me by virtue of the fact that I believe in the work of His Son on my behalf. Things to look for in chapter 5:
1. The seven results of being justified by faith.
2. The grace of God revealed.
3. The 5 much mores of the chapter (Argument from lesser to greater).
I. "THEREFORE BEING JUSTIFIED BY FAITH, WE HAVE PEACE WITH GOD THROUGH OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST."
A. I once was an enemy of God through my rebellion against His righteous law that demanded purity and holiness.
1. As such I was at enmity with God.
2. As long as this war raged, I was filled with inner turmoil.
3. I thought the law of God was intended to keep me from having fun.
4. I did not realize that it was to spare me from pain and destruction.
5. Satan had lied to me about life and about God. He had me thinking that God was against me, and that living by His rules was a drag.
B. "By whom, that is Jesus Christ we also we have access by faith to this grace."
1. I not only have peace with God, but I now have access to to His grace.
2. Grace is God's undeserved and unmerited blessing and goodness that He lavishes upon me because I have been brought to put my faith and trust in His Son.
3. It is through Jesus Christ that I have access into this grace.
a. God owes me nothing, but because He loves me so much He acts out of His nature of love in giving to me these undeserved blessings.
b. Grace is uncaused by me, there is nothing of merit that I have done to cause God to want to bless me. He is not responding to my goodness but to His own nature.
c. God's grace and mercy are sovereign. He has no debts to pay, so He can bestow it upon whomever He wishes. He said, "I will have mercy upon whom I will have mercy."
d. Grace cannot act where I am deserving. The story Jesus told of the Pharisee, and the Publican praying in the temple. The Pharisee told how deserving he was whereas the Publican just asked for mercy for he was a sinner.
e. We must somehow get away from the notion of giving God cause to show His grace to us, or of somehow trying to show that we were deserving.
f. Flesh has no place in the grace of God, this is why it is hated by the pride of man. The Story of Naaman. Grace is given to the man that knows that in him that is in his flesh, there dwells no good thing.
4. My proper attitude towards this grace.
a. Be thankful and rejoice that I have access to this grace through Jesus Christ my Lord.
b. As to my past life it no longer exists, I have been crucified with Christ. As to my present, to me to live is Christ.
c. The failure of devotion does not cause God to withdraw this grace from me. That would be the case if I were under the law.
d. Just to believe and consent to God loving and blessing me though more and more I realize how unworthy I am of these blessings.
e. Not to make any promises or vows to God that I will do better in the future, for that is only to trust in my flesh and seek to give God a cause for blessing me.
f. To expect God to bless me though I realize how unworthy I am of those blessings.
5. Things that I learned.
a. If I am disappointed with myself, that only shows that I was trusting in my flesh.
b. To be proud is to be blind. It only shows that I have not had a true encounter with God.
c. The lack of blessing comes from unbelief.
6. Note the approach to God by Daniel. He sought the blessings of God for the people not for their righteousness or goodness but according to the mercy and grace of God.
We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments:
Neither have we hearkened unto thy servants the prophets, which spake in thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.
O Lord, righteousness [belongeth] unto thee, but unto us confusion of faces, as at this day; to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and unto all Israel, [that are] near, and [that are] far off, through all the countries whither thou hast driven them, because of their trespass that they have trespassed against thee.
O Lord, to us [belongeth] confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee.
To the Lord our God [belong] mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him;
II. ROM 5:12
"WHEREFORE, AS BY ONE MAN SIN ENTERED INTO THE WORLD, AND DEATH BY SIN; AND SO DEATH PASSED UPON ALL MEN, FOR THAT ALL SINNED:"
But not as the offence, so also [is] the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, [which is] by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.
A. By the disobedience of Adam we have all been made sinners.
1. I am not a sinner because I sin.
2. I sin because I am a sinner.
3. Paul spoke to the Ephesians of their being dead in their trespasses and sins and said that they were by nature the children of wrath.
4. The scripture refers to that life in the flesh as the old man, or the old nature of the flesh that I inherited from Adam.
a. That nature was not subject to the law of God but was in rebellion against His laws.
b. The Bible speaks of the new nature which is after the Spirit, which comes by being born again of the Spirit.
B. If one man acting as the federal head for all mankind could bring sin and death on the human race, how much more through the grace of God and that gift of grace can One man's righteousness cause all be made righteous.
1. The greatest manifestation of God's grace toward us is found in the gift of Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son.
2. Later in the book Paul will write, "For 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."
C. Vs 17 For by one man's sin death reigned much more they who have received the abundance of grace, and the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by One, Jesus Christ.
D. Death reigned before the law was ever given. The law could not make man righteous, but only more fully revealed how far man had fallen from God's divine ideal.
1. Thus as in verse 20, the law entered that the offence might abound, but where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.
2. This grace once fully realized inspires songs of praise.
a. Newton who was once involved in the slave trade came to the realization of what a horrible sinner he was, and sought God for forgiveness, then wrote, "Amazing Grace How sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me, I once was lost, by now I'm found was blind but now I see."
b. Charles Wesley wrote, "And can it be that I should gain an interest in the Savior's blood, died He for me, who caused His pain?"
c. Haldor Lellenas wrote, "Wonderful grace of Jesus, taking away my sin, how shall my tongue describe it, where shall it's praise begin, taking away my burden, setting my spirit free, for the wonderful grace of Jesus reaches me."
d. Julia Johnston wrote, "Marvelous grace of our loving Lord grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt. Grace, grace, God's grace, grace that will pardon and cleanse within, grace, grace, God's grace, grace that is greater than all our sin."