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SERMON DATE AND TITLE: 2010/02/08 "Grace Has God's Power"

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Grace HaS GOD’S POWER

SERMON STARTER

          God’s Grace has power? It seems to me that God’s grace has always been thought of in a passive, almost feminine way. To ascribe power to God’s grace is almost irreligious. Frankly, it sounds masculine. The kind of power I’m considering in this sermon is the capacity or ability to change.

          God has “graciously” decided through the victorious overcoming work of the Cross by His Son to lavish His wonderful salvation on you and myself. There is a vertical aspect to His grace and a horizontal aspect to His grace. Freely we have received, now freely we give. We freely give out of the same lavish capacity to love that we have received from God.

          A professional friend of mine was injured professionally by an ex-felon. He ripped him off, betrayed his confidences and literally stabbed him in the back. He related to me how painful and expensive it was to be humiliated by the one in whom he had placed so much trust. He licked his wounds for a couple of years after the negative experience.

          Then, another former prisoner came along, seeking work. I made a personal appeal to my friend to forgive the past be open to people again. Cautiously, he gave the name man a few tasks on a part-time basis. Gradually, the new man renewed my friend’s faith in humanity. How was this possible? I submit it was the grace of God. No doubt about it, God’s Grace has God’s Power.

 

Agape,

Pastor Phil  <><<

 

Sheepfold Ministries, January 7, 2010

Pastor Phil Roland

Grace HaS GOD’S POWER

Ephesians 2:1-9

“Grace has God’s Power.  Grace is unearned, undeserved, but given by God for the salvation of mankind. ‘For by grace are you saved” Pastor PHIL

 

Ephesians 2:8,9

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”

 

Greek = Char-is = A special manifestation of God’s Presence.

                                  A special manifestation of Divine Power and Glory.

WHAT IS GRACE?

G od’s

R ighteousness

A t

C hrist’s

E xpense

 

WHAT IS GRACE?

I.  GRACE IS WHERE GOD’S LOVE, MERCY AND FORGIVENESS MEET – v. 1

          “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins,”

            A. They meet in a Transformational Moment

                        1. “Amazing Grace”

                                    “I once was lost, but now am found,

                                    Was blind, but now I see”

                        2. You were dead, but made alive by God’s Grace

            B. Once you walked under the world’s influence – v. 2a

                “you once walked according to the course of this world,”

            C. Once you walked under the devil’s influence – v. 2b

                 “according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now

                    works in the sons of disobedience,”

            D. Once you walked under the influence of the flesh – v. 3

                 “we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of

                   wrath, just as the others.”

            E. Only God’s Grace could overcome His Wrath

II.   Grace is the Power of God to Change the Human Heart

     “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved

        us even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ

        (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit

        together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,” Ephesians 2:4-6

          A. Divine Conjunction – “But God. . .”

GRACE HIS GOD’S POWER, cont.

 

            B. God’s Love is the Muscle of Grace

                        1. St. Augustine Quote

                            “'Thou hast made us for Thyself, O God, and our hearts are  restless until they find their rest in Thee.’”

                        2. John Newton’s Transformed Life

                        3. John and Charles Wesley

                          “I felt my heart strangely moved. . .”

          C. We shall be Changed – 2 Corinthians 3:18

                 “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory,                       just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

                        1. Grace is God’s Power and Process in our Lives

                        2. We participate in God’s Grace

                                    a. We receive his Unmerited Favor

                                    b. We share it with Others

 

III.   Grace, the Transformational Power of God

          A. The Apostle Paul Changed by God’s Grace – 1 Cor. 15:9,10

                “For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an

                  apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of

                  God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I

                  labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God

                  which was with me.”

            B.  God Himself chooses to Lavish His Grace – 1 Cor. 1:26-29

                 “For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has

                   chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and

                   God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the

                   things which are mighty;”

 

Grace HAS GOD’S POWER:  TEXT:

Ephesians 2:1-10

And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins,

2  in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,

3  among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.

4  But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,

5  even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),

6  and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,

7  that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

8  For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,

9  not of works, lest anyone should boast.

10  For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

 

THREE CLOSING ILLUSTRATIONS

 

HARRY IRONSIDE

The late Harry Ironside was preaching, some years ago, when a heckler shouted, "Atheism has done more for the world than Christianity!" "Very well," said Ironside, "tomorrow night you bring a hundred men whose lives have been changed for the better by atheism, and I'll bring a hundred who have been transformed by Christ." Needless to say, his heckler friend did not appear the next night.

 

CHUCK COLSON

Chuck Colson was one of the most powerful men in America. He was one of the top political figures in the country. He worked directly under the leadership of President Richard Nixon. But the Watergate Scandal brought down the kingdom Chuck Colson had built. Soon, he was just another inmate in just another prison. However, this man was set free from the spiritual imprisonment of his soul. As he read a book written by the Christian apologist C. S. Lewis, he came to know Jesus Christ as his Savior.

Chuck Colson no longer seeks power over other men. Currently, he not only spreads the gospel, but also leads the fight for prison reform throughout the world.

 

Amazing Grace

JOHN NEWTON

(Closing Illustration / Finish With Hymn)

John was born in England in 1732.

Adventuresome boy, went to sea at 9 years to learn a trade

Prospered, advanced until, one day, he became captain of his own sailing vessel

Became renowned for his cargos of slaves

Through a quirk of fate, he, himself becomes a slave on a South Sea Island.

After months of slave-treatment, he broke away, and  

re-established himself as a slave trader/transporter.

This time, something was different about John.

He began to see the slaves as persecuted people.

He slowly had a massive change of heart.

One day, there was a terrible storm at sea.

It was feared the ship would go down.

The storm lasted so long and was so severe, John came to believe he and his crew were going to die, and it was because of his unrepentant heart.

Lashed to the mast, so the awesome waves wouldn’t wash him overboard, and crying out over the thunder and lightening flashing across the sky. . .

John cried,

        “God, if you will SAVE ME, 

         I’ll be Your slave forever!!!!”

 

True to his word, John walked down a gangplank in England two weeks later and never boarded a ship again.

He gave his heart to God, and became an Anglican minister.  All together he wrote over 350 hymns.  We only remember one today:

                ‘AMAZING GRACE”  John Newton