Growing in Grace

Growing in knowledge

2 Peter 3:18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.

This is the one that we have focused on

Should continue to grow in it

Not an end in itself.

World’s View of Grace

The conferring of a permanent state of holiness.

A bestowal of a state of being – “Now you have grace” so now you are have divine relationship with God

Define Grace

Free unmerited pardon of sin?

This is closer but very limited in scope

Many of the epistles – “grace to you” and ends them that way as well “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.” An expectation that he has for them/us as well.

Jesus Christ Never Sinned Yet Full of Grace

John 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
John 1:16 And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace.

(LITV)  And out of His fullness we all received, and grace on top of grace.

It does not fit majority use of the Greek word charis or Hebrew word חן (chên) in the Bible

It is not and cannot be the grace that we receive when we sin

Do we sin that grace may abound? God forbid!

It can’t be this – it would require us to sin more

Romans 6:15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not!

More precise definition

The definition that most use is because it is based on a narrow use of scriptures

So we need a better definition of grace. One that fits throughout scripture.

Broader definition

Not confined to a limited concept of grace.

So here it is (and we will see this in scripture as we move through the rest of the sermon)

Grace: unmerited favor; the showing of godly love towards a person in the form of giving unearned and undeserved gifts.

Favor [outgoing towards someone; us]; a favor can be done for someone or favor can be shown towards someone;

it is this giving that is based and founded in love towards a person without the ability or expectation to repay;

No expectation of reciprocity

do a favor or give favor (something they can’t do themselves or do in return for you)

Luke 6:32 “But if you love those who love you, what credit [charis] is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.
Luke 6:33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit [charis] is that to you? For even sinners do the same.
Luke 6:34 And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit [charis] is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back.

Going Above and Beyond

No grace for doing what is required or what we are supposed to do

Luke 17:7 And which of you, having a servant plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and sit down to eat’?
Luke 17:8 But will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare something for my supper, and gird yourself and serve me till I have eaten and drunk, and afterward you will eat and drink’?
Luke 17:9 Does he thank [charis] that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I think not.
Luke 17:10 So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.’ “

Grace is the essence of the nature of God and a manifestation of Their mind. When God acts, it is out of Grace or He acts in Grace

So because of this:

love mercy and kindness and the other attributes of Who and What God is cannot be separated from grace

an expression of who God is; how He acts; it is who He is

The Gift of Grace

What we have already begun to see is that grace is the giving of a gift;

it is in respect to something that they cannot do themselves or do not deserve

It shouldnt be a surprise that Grace itself is a gift

Ephesians 3:7 of which I became a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effective working of His power.
Ephesians 3:8 To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ,

Grace itself is unearned and undeserved

The carnal person is at odds to God and an enemy to Him

We are worthy of death which is the penalty for sin

So even the act of extending grace toward us is a gift and act of grace

But primarily, because grace is the extending of godly love towards a person in the form of giving unearned and undeserved gifts

Gifts Come by the Grace of God

Paul speaks of the grace God showed him in terms of gifts

1 Corinthians 3:10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it.

First and foremost gift of grace – Jesus Christ

Context

Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

Death in Adam, Life in Christ

There is a word similar to charis that connotes this

Romans 5:15 But the free gift [charisma] is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace [charis] of God and the gift by the grace [charis] of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many.
Romans 5:16 And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift [charisma] which came from many offenses resulted in justification.

Jesus Christ died by Grace

Hebrews 2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Gifts by Grace

Saved by Grace

Ephesians 2:5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
Ephesians 2:6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
Ephesians 2:7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,
Ephesians 2:9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.

BUT…we cannot go by just one scripture and we have to let the Bible interpret the Bible

Saved by…

Titus 3:5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,

Romans 5:10 ….we shall be saved by His life.

Romans 10:9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
Romans 10:13 For “WHOEVER CALLS ON THE NAME OF THE LORD SHALL BE SAVED.”

Mark 16:16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.

Mark 13:13 And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end shall be saved.

So…NOT by “grace alone” or by “faith alone”

Faith and Works

James 2:20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?
James 2:21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar?
James 2:22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?

Let’s now have a cursory look at a list of items that come by GRACE

Calling Comes By Grace

2 Timothy 1:8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God,
2 Timothy 1:9 who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began,

Galatians 1:15 But when it pleased God, who separated me [Paul] from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace,
Romans 11:5 Even so them at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace.

Paul’s point is that even at this time when it seemed that all of Israel had gone astray in the past or that Israel in the present was coming to naught, God was still working with them as He promised He would. 

Now it wouldn’t be all of them, but rather a remnant according to the plan of God, according to best way He sees fit to dole out His love — according to His grace.
Romans 11:6 And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace.  But it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.

Our calling or election (:6) is by grace; to think it is by works is to deny what God is doing.  Of course this is where the Jews were off base, in particular the Pharisees who thought that they could gain righteousness and salvation from works.

Belief Comes By Grace

Acts 18:27 And when he desired to cross to Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him; and when he arrived, he greatly helped those who had believed through grace;

We are made acceptable by Grace

Ephesians 1:6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.

Forgiveness and Redemption by Grace

Ephesians 1:7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace
Ephesians 1:8 which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence,

Justification by Grace

Titus 3:7 that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Romans 3:24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,

Heart Established by Grace

Hebrews 13:9 Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines. For it is good that the heart be established by grace, not with foods which have not profited those who have been occupied with them.

We serve God acceptably by Grace

Hebrews 12:28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.

Expanded and refined the definition

We will delve more into how we can grow in this grace that we are coming to understand