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The Gospel Of Grace

Scripture: Acts 20:22-28; Text: Acts 20:24

Paul was a deeply committed man, and his committment to the Lord made him willing to die for the cause of Christ. Throughout the ages since Christianity was introduced into this world, not a great many have been willing to die for it promotion. We should search our hearts in this matter, to discover whether or not we are truly committed to the Lord Jesus Christ and His cause of truth. Perhaps all of us need to pray for and seek a deeper sense of commitment.

As important as committment is, it is not the subject of this sermon. Today we are going to look at and ponder the final words of our text. Paul wrote about "The Gospel Of Grace," and we are going to try to better understand this idea. It must be very important for Paul was willing to forfeit his life in order to preach it. He realized that if he went to Jerusalem to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, that great difficulties would befall him. This was not mere supposition, the Holy Spirit had revealed this fact to him. The question would be, in the light of this knowledge, would he continue in that direction. His answer was; of course he would! He did not count his life of value, if he could not continue to proclaim the gospel. More of us who preach the gospel today, need such committment to the Lord and His word.

Paul had once lived among the authorities of Jerusalem, having authority and power himself. Now he is on the other side and many remaining in power no doubt felt betrayed by him and sought his death. That is why it was so dangerous for him togo to Jerusalem. But the option was unacceptable, for his life was preaching the gospel. Jesus Christ had callede him to this holy task and he would rather die than fail to honor and glorify the Lord who loved and saved him. It was the course that God had now charted for him and there would be no detours. He fixed his sight on the end of his journey and went as straight forward as he could, trusting in the Lord and His grace. Since Paul felt that he was saved by grace (Ephesians 2:5&8), he wanted to tell others about it. He did so faithfully until taken home to glory.

As we look at the idea of the gospel of grace, there are three key words that we need to consider. The first word to consider is "testify." Paul said he would TESTIFY the gospel of grace. What did he mean? Well, he could have meant that he would TELL about the grace of God. He certainly could do so, for he had a great knowledge and understanding of it. He understanding was so deep that Peter said he spoke things hard to understand (2 Peter 3:16). It is obvious that his understanding of grace was so great, that those who did not understand it so well, would feel overwhelmed by his knowledge. Its like a mathematician talking, or a scientist, or a doctor; they know so much about the subject that some cannot understand all of what they say. So when Paul spoke of the grace of God, some had difficulty understandig him too.

To testify could also meant that he would PREACH the gospel of grace. He most certainly did that! As he wrote the "Epistles," he mentions God's grace repeatedly. Time and time again as he stood before God's people to preach the gospel, he preached grace (2 Corinthians 8:9). It is obvious that he loved to preach about God's grace, for he mentions it more than anyone else in the Bible.

However, the main idea of "testify" is to bear witness. Paul was doing more than telling about God's grace or preaching about God's grace, he was giving his personal testimony about the grace experience 1 Corinthians 15:10. In a court of law, evidence can be lawfully submitted if it is from an "eye witness." Their grounds for submitting evidence is that they have a personal knowdedge of the event. Paul had experienced the grace of God; in salvation, in suffering, and in serving God. He know about grace from a personal standpoint, so he viewed it as "testifying of the grace of God."

Second, we should look at the word "gospel." The idea of the gospel is that of "good news." From the Anglo-Saxon words God-spel, we get the word "gospel." The gospel certainly is a message of good news. That is so very important too, because so little of what we get through the news media today is good. Most of it troubling and terrible! We should be very thankful for the good news of the gospel. They are good tidings from above, from God in heaven. He inspired the Bible to be written 2 Timothy 3:16, and it is readily available to us today. Almost every family is able to afford a Bible, but far too few have any genuine interest in it, though it is in reality the "Word" of God. Minister of the gospel are commanded to preach the word (2 Timothy 4:2). We are never commanded to preach anything else other than the scriptures. Moreover, all the saints of God are commanded to "believe" the gospel (Mark 1:15). Those who believe the gospel should pray fervently for those who preach the gospel, that our Lord may be glorified and His people edified.

Third, we need to consider the word "grace." The gospel is about the God of grace and the grace of God. An essential feature of the gospel is that it proclaims God's grace to man. If we do not preach grace, we have not proclaimed all the word of God. This fact is evident, since God's grace was manifested in giving the gospel. He tells us of His Son Jesus Christ and of all that had been done for His people through Him. He could have kept this mystery a secret, but think of the hope and peace we would have been deprived of had He done so. God loved us too much to do that, so He not only gave Jesus to die for our sins, but shared this glorious knowledge through the gospel

Therefore, the gospel of grace tells; (1). The SOURCE of grace - God (1 Peter 5:10), (2). The SUBSTANCE of grace - Christ (John1:17), and (3). The OBJECTS of grace - the elect (Romans 11:5).

For a more indepth look at why the word of God is called the gospel of grace, let us consider some truths from the teachings of the Bible. We shall look at the G-O-S-P-E-L to find the reasons. Think of the six letters of the word "gospel" this way:

G is for GOODNESS, God's goodness to us. He was good to chose us, to give Jesus to die for us, and to indwell us by the Holy Spirit. Long ago as the Psalmist exhorted Israel to praise God, he reminded them that the Lord is good (Psalm 100:5). Since God does not change, He is ever in a constant stae of goodness. He is good to send rain on this sinful world, to bless our wayward nation, to cause His bounty to enrich our sinful lives; and above all that He saved us to enjoy an eternal home in heaven. Every heart should shout "The Lord is good, He truly is good." If we understand the gospel message, we are reminded of His goodness.

O is for OBSERVED, God's grace can be seen in our lives. Sinners are saved through God's acts of grace and we become new creatures. Our lives are changed and we are never the same again. As others see us walk in new paths and endeavor to serve the Lord, they are witnessing the grace of God. Do you remember in the scriptures when Barnabas arrived at Antioch? Well when he arrived, we are told the he saw the grace of God (Acts 11:23). How can that be, since grace is as invisible as the wind or love? The answer is simple, you see the presence of the wind as the trees sway, you see the presence of love as a mother holds her child, and you see the grace of God as saved people manifest their devotion to their Saviour. So the teachings of the gospel of grace can be observed in human lives.

S is for SALVATION, God's grace is about saving sinners. The Bible tells us that we have all sinned and the wages of our sins is death. Our only hope is that Jesus died for our sins. If He did not, there is nothing we can do that will erase our sins and deliver us from the horrible finality of hell. Paul said that Christ delivered us and that is grace, for it depends on God's goodness, not ours (Ephesians 2:5 & 8-9). We do not need theories, or more theology, or the philosophies of the ages; my friends we need a Saviour! The gospel proclaims that Jesus Christ saved us by His sacrificial death and sinless blood. We have nothing else in which to hope, and we need nothing more or less; just Jesus. The Bible repeatedly proclaims Him, in prophecy and fulfillment; that is the message of the gospel of grace.

P is for PEOPLE, because people are what grace is all about. People are saved, not inatimate objects. Christ did not die for stones, or tree; hill or mountains; rivers or oceans. He did not atone for beasts of the forrest or beasts of burden; not for dogs or cats; not even for angel or devils. No matter how precious an object may be to us, Christ did not consider its value worth His life. No, Christ died for His people, and that purpose was clearly stated by Gods angel (Matthew 1:21). People out of every nation, kindred, tongue, and family on earth, are saved by Him. People, who were created in the image and likness of God , fell in sin and died, but Jesus paid our sin debt and that is the message of the gospel of grace.

E is for the ELECT, for that is who the saved are. He did not save universally, to redeem every person; but he did atone for all those chosen before the foundation of the world. All the elect will be save, not even one shall be finally lost. Jesus said that of all the Father gave Him, He would loose none (John 6:39). The elect were chosen by God before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4). The heavenly Father gave us to Christ, that He may die on the cross for us, and pay fully our sin debt. Because we are the chosen of God, we are referred to in the holy scriptures as the "elect" (1 Peter 1:2). The divine Trinity shares in our salvation and in the glory of the saints. Identifying the saved as the elect is done that we may more fully see God's work in our behalf. The election of God is a vital part of the gospel of grace.

L is for LOVE, for the elect are the object of God's special love. We all nee to feel loved and many of the problems of our society seem to be traced to the absence of loving relationships. It is imperative that we find honorable ways to show our love for each other. We must manifest the love of God, to others about us. Jesus said that we are to love as He loved us, that was His commandment (John 15:12). However, no love is as special and beneficial as is the love of our Saviour. We need to think about His love, treasure it in our hearts and manifest it to other (1 John 4:10-11). Oh, to be loved by God, it is greater than our hearts can understand. His everlasing love is more enduring than we can imagine. This love of God is the "bedrock" upon which all His acts of grace rests, and is a vital part of the gospel of grace.

This gospel of grace is like a vast ocean. Though we may journey across it from time to time, we shall never see all there is to it. We have only taken a short trip, there is so much more to see. There are riches that we have not glimpsed today, so please take time to read and study the gospel of grace. You will be blessed to discover the grace of the distant past in eternity before the world was created. It was there that God saw our need and formulated the PLAN of salvation. You will also be enriched as you discover more of the PROCESS of salvation, the death of Christ and the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit. You will be able to look at life and beyond as you understand the PURPOSE of salvation. God's word is filled with DOCTRINES of grace, such as predestination, redemption, sanctification and glorification. God can also show you the EVIDENCES of grace; such as the new birth, faith, love, hope, obedience, and many more.

Through Paul's life, God revealed how important the gospel of grace should be to all of us. Pray for Him to reveal His plan for your life too and give you a sense of purpose you never had before. Share with us this gospel, that they too may be blessed. If it is not important to us, then something is terrible wrong and we nee to find out what it is. May at Christ's coming, He find us loving and living this gospel of grace. It can make our life more worthwhile and fulfilling. Let us glorify by His gospel of grace.

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This page last updated on June 7, 2014