FOF-05 - The Grace of God
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FUNDAMENTALS OF FAITH
The Scripture says, “The grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men,”
As we think about things that are fundamental to faith, we realize that God's
grace is such a fundamental part of salvation that without it, there'd be no hope
whatsoever. The Bible says in John 1:17 that ‘the law came through Moses but grace
and truth are given in Christ Jesus.’ It is that grace that is epitomized in the sacrifice of
our Lord and Savior. 2 Corinthians 8:9, Paul said, “You know the grace of our Lord
Jesus Christ though, He was rich yet for your sakes He became poor that we through
His poverty might be made rich.” Grace is one of those truly rich and encouraging
subjects that we think about in Scripture. But as we also think about the idea of grace,
let's realize that a lot of false doctrines have been spawned about grace. For a few
moments let's deal with some of those ideas, so that we can get the negative things
about grace that are out there out of the way.
Some of the false teachings that exist concerning grace are as follows. Some
would say that grace is a license to sin. That is, that if we've got God's grace, we don't
have to be as concerned about sin, because grace is going to cover all sin no matter
what. You know there was a doctrine like that in the New Testament day, and Paul
specifically addressed that. Romans 6:1 Paul said, “What shall we say then? Shall we
continue in sin that grace may abound?” And in context the argument is, God's grace
was given to deal with the sin problem. Where sin abounded, grace abounded much
more. Thus, some walked away saying more sin, more grace. Therefore, we can keep
sinning and keep living it up, and God's just going to keep dumping His grace on us.
Well was that the idea in Scripture? Paul said, “God forbid certainly not.” Here's the
answer. ‘How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?’ The Bible clearly teaches
that grace is not a license to sin. Just because God's grace has been freely given to
mankind, doesn't mean we can run out and sin and live it up and live an immoral
ungodly lifestyle, and just take it easy and say well God's grace will take care of that.
There's no doubt grace is available, but grace doesn't give free reign to sin in our lives.
In fact, grace teaches us to, ‘Deny ungodliness, worldly lust, and to live soberly,
righteously, and Godly in this present age,’ Titus 2:12.
As we think about another false doctrine relative to grace, let's realize that grace
alone will not save us. There's some who say that faith alone saves. There's the idea
that the grace alone is all we need, when in reality we need grace and faith combined,
Ephesians 2:8-10. Grace doesn't factor out my need to submit and obey the will of God.
Do you remember Jesus' words in Matthew 7:21? Jesus said, “It's not everybody that
looks up into heaven and says Lord Lord that's going there but he who does the will of
my Father in Heaven.” Ephesians 2:8 clearly says, “By grace are you saved,” now if the
verse ended right there it'd be all different, but then he continues, “by grace are you
saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it's the gift of God, not of works lest any
man should boast for we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works.”
You have got God's grace, and you've got faith, obedient trust in God. Those two are
not diametrically opposed. They go hand-in-hand. So grace alone is not going to save
us in and of itself. Yes, we're thankful for grace, but it must be combined with faith.
Then let's deal with another false idea relative to grace, and that is a lot of people
will say once you've been saved, and once you obeyed the gospel, that a person can
never fall from grace. We often hear termed that way, you can't fall from grace. Another
way of saying it is ‘once saved always saved.’ Is it true that once I become a child of
God I can never fall from God's grace? Well, you know that language is used, and we
now are going to see from Scripture that God does not teach you can't fall from grace.
In fact the Bible says you can fall from grace in that exact language. Look to Galatians
5, and notice what the Scripture says in verse number 4. The Bible says, to Christians
who are now trying to go back to the old law, Paul is writing to the church in Galatia, the
church is made up of the saved, Christians. In Galatians 5:4, Paul says, “You those of
you who are trying to go back to the old law, you've become estranged from Christ, you
who attempt to be justified by law,” listen now, “you have fallen from grace.” Isn't that
amazing? There is the old whole idea that says you can't fall from grace, and yet when
we turn and open up our Bible, Paul is writing to Christians and Paul says to Christians,
‘you have,’ already has happen, ‘you have fallen from,’ and the literal Greek word there
is 'ek' or out of, ‘you've fallen out of grace.’ You've become estranged or cut off from
Maybe you've heard the idea that you can't fall from grace. Friend, that's just not
taught in Scripture. Let me give you a couple of clear examples. Acts 8:20-22, Simon
the sorcerer, has just obeyed the gospel. In his former life, he was into a trickery and
magic and things like unto that, and now he sees bona fide miracles by the Holy Spirit.
He says ‘I'll give you money for that gift.’ Peter looks at him and says, ‘you've got
neither part nor portion in this matter your heart's not right in the sight of God.’ And then
he says in Acts 8:20, these words, ‘your money perish with you.’ Question: Was Simon
in a lost state where he was going to perish at that point? “Your money perish with you.”
Simon, who had just obeyed the gospel, fell out of God's grace. He was in a lost state.
Writing to the church in Revelation 3:4-5, Jesus encourages them to ‘be faithful.’ He
says of those who remain faithful, ‘I will not blot your names out of the book of life.’ Now
the fact remains though, if they did not remain faithful, Jesus would blot their names out
of the book of life. According to Revelation 20:12-15 ‘anyone whose name is not written
in the book of life, will be cast in the lake of fire.’
If their names can be taken out of the book of life, and they can be lost in the lake
of fire, friend let's not buy into the idea that you cannot fall from grace and you cannot
ever be lost. 2 Peter 1:10 really places the emphasis. I understand God's going to do
His part there's no doubt, but I also have to do mine. 2 Peter 1:10, we're told to make,
‘be even more diligent, to make our calling and election sure for if you do these things
you'll never stumble.’ If I can't fall from grace, why do I need to be more diligent to make
my calling and election sure? Again, the idea is, I've got to remain faithful. Grace and
faith are combined. What part then does grace play? The fundamental idea of grace
that we find the New Testament is it's God's grace that makes salvation a reality and a
possibility for mankind. That salvation, and that grace originated with God Himself, in
the fact that He was willing to send His son. You know, when you think of grace, we
think of, how can we define it, best describe grace? I doubt you could find more
beautiful words than John 3:16 to show the Father’s part in making salvation possible.
The Bible says in John 3:16, “God so loved the world he gave,” Gave what? “His only
begotten son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting
You know, in the New Testament there is a direct connection between the word
grace and the word giving. In fact in 2 Corinthians chapters 7 through 9, the idea of
grace and their giving are used interchangeably. It's interesting that in John 3:16, “God
so loved the world he gave,” Gave what? His only begotten son. Salvation is a
possibility because of what God, the father, did in making salvation available.
As we think about grace, and it's part in salvation, that grace came through Jesus
Christ, let me mention to you 2 Corinthians 8:9. If I had a top 10 list of verses that I
would say are probably the most beautiful ones in all of Scripture, this would be real
close to the top. The Bible says, “You know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,” listen to
it now “though He was rich yet for your sakes He became poor that we through his
poverty might be made rich.” Grace makes salvation a reality, because it came through
Jesus Christ, the selfless one. Do you remember the words of John 1:17? “The law
came through Moses, but grace and truth are in Christ Jesus.” When God set the plan
in motion to send his son, Jesus, in Hebrews 10 willingly said, “Here my Lord,” in
essence, “send me.” Who will go for us? “Here am I, send me.” He came to this earth,
left heaven, the very place I'm trying to go, came to this earth, lived as a pauper, we
might say, ultimately so that I can have the riches of heaven.
You know when I think of the words of John 14, “I go to prepare a place for you if
I go to prepare a place for you I'll come again and receive you to myself in my father's
house are many mansions.” How is that all possible? That grace is made possible by
the selfless life and sacrifice of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And as I think about
this grace, it's revealed to us. God's grace is revealed to us by the Holy Spirit in the
Scripture. What do we mean? I want you to think of the words of Titus 2:11-12. The
Bible says, “The grace of God that brings salvation, has been revealed to all, has been
made known, revealed to all men teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lust,
we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present age.” The grace of God
has been revealed to us. How? In the Scriptures, God's word teaches us about grace.
I've got the father playing the role, the one who enacted the grace of God. I've got Jesus
Christ who came to this earth as the greatest expression of grace. You've got the Holy
Spirit revealing God's grace to us on the pages of Scripture. Grace is such a
fundamental idea and all the Godhead play a huge role in bringing that grace to
As we think about grace let's also realize, while it is grace that makes salvation a
possibility, makes it something we can all have, the grace of God brings salvation to all
mankind, our faith also plays a big part in receiving that grace that God has given. I
want you to listen to the words of Ephesians 2:8-10 again. The Bible says beginning in
Ephesians 2:8, “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, for we are his
workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand
that we should walk in them.” By grace you have been saved through faith. Faith makes
God's grace a reality, a possibility that exists now in our life. You know, Hebrews 11:1
teaches us that, “faith is the substance things hoped for the evidence of things not yet
seen.” The Bible, just as essential as grace is, my friend faith is also equally essential.
The Bible says in Hebrews 11:6, “without faith it's impossible to please God, for he that
comes to him must believe that he is and that he is a rewarder of those who diligently
seek him.” Think about it in these terms, God makes His grace available. He makes it a
possibility that is God has brought salvation to all men. The Bible says, “Let whoever will
come and drink freely of the water of life,” Revelation 21 and 22. God wants all men to
be saved, 1 Timothy 2:4. God's grace makes it a reality. God desires for every man to
be saved. Is God going to force mankind to be saved? Of course not. It's available. It's
here. Anybody who wants to take of God's grace can do it. God's not going to force
them. God's not going to make them. God gives them the choice. My faith is when I look
at the evidence, when I see what God has done, and I combine my faith with God's
grace. Which my friend, makes salvation a reality for the child of God.
It's been said that grace is God's part in salvation, and faith is man's part in
salvation. Faith picks up where the Holy Spirit left off, in revealing the word of God. Can
I can I know God exist? You bet! How? By faith. Romans 10:17, “Faith comes by
hearing and hearing by the word of God.” And so, as we think about this idea, and as
we think about God's grace and faith, let's realize that faith has some essential parts as
well. For example, our faith must trust God's word as it is. Remember Romans 10:14,
“How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they
believe in him of whom they've not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?”
When we hear the word of God, when we look at the evidence, when we search the
Scriptures, 2 Timothy 2:15 and Acts 17:11, then we have the faith to trust God's word
and take God at His word. But trust, in and of itself, is not all that's needed. You also
have to act upon that trust. Do you remember Romans 10:13? “Whoever calls upon the
name of the Lord.” The Bible teaches at we must act upon; we must call upon God's
name. And of course calling upon the name of the Lord in Scripture, requires that we
get up and do what God says. Acts 22:16, Saul came, or Ananias came to Saul and
said, Saul why, ‘Saul Saul why are you waiting arise be baptized, wash away your sins,”
listen to this now, “calling on the name of the Lord.” And so faith is also a big part of
man's side. God's made salvation available. Man must access that by his faith, and
when you put the two together that's what pleases the Father.
Please understand, when faith and action are combined, you'll have a real live
faith. But just as grace alone won't save, please realize the Bible teaches faith alone
won't save. I hear a lot of people say all you got a do to be saved is believe in Jesus.
Faith and faith only is all you need. You know, there's a whole doctrine that says faith
alone will save. You know what's amazing about good honest Bible study? When I take
my Bible and I compare doctrines like, ‘can't fall from grace’ or ‘faith alone’, and I read
my Bible, I can see in the exact language of false teaching those ideas are not true. Let
me share this one with you. Did you know that the only time the words faith alone or
faith only occur in Scripture, God again says that it will not save? Look in your Bible in
James 2. I want you to notice what the Scripture says toward the end of James chapter
2:24. The Bible says, “You see then that a man is justified by works,” and here's it's the
only occurrence in the Bible, “and not by faith only.” What? The only time God uses the
words faith and only, God says you're not saved by faith only. Just as we're not saved
by grace only, we're not saved by faith only. Each has its part. God's done his part; man
must be willing to obey the will of God.
The Bible clearly teaches even when I obey God, I'm still dependent upon His
grace. Are we going to give an unequal part to faith or grace? Surely not. Is grace
important? Absolutely! Is faith important? Sure it is! Can I be saved by my own works?
No. But does that negate the fact that I've got to do something? It does not at all. The
Bible says in Luke 6:46, Jesus said to the religious elite of His day who thought that
they were really it spiritually, Jesus said, “Why do you call me Lord Lord and do not do
the things which I say?” Must I obey Christ? Do you remember John 14:15? Jesus said,
“If you say you love me,” in essence, “you have got to keep my commandments.” Do
you remember the words of Hebrews 5:8-9? “Jesus is the author of eternal salvation to
all who obey him.” Must I obey Christ and respond in faith to the grace of God?
Absolutely! There's no doubt throughout all of history man has always had to follow and
obey the will of Almighty God.
Friend as we've emphasized in this lesson, we want to drive home the idea, because it's
so fundamental to grace, let's drive home the idea that that our Lord and Savior Jesus
Christ is the grace of God. This is seen so vividly in Scripture. You know, one of the
things that you don't see a lot of in the Old Testament is grace. There are some
glimpses of it. But grace didn't come through Moses, grace came through Christ. James
2:13, along with John 1:17, ‘the law came through Moses but grace and truth are found
in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.’ He's the epitome and the example of that. When
He left heaven, when He came to this earth, when He lived a selfless life, as He was
willing to give up and sacrifice, and ultimately when Jesus hung on the cross and died in
agony. You cannot find a deeper more beautiful expression of God's grace in Scripture.
He's the epitome of that grace. Philippians 2:5 says, “let this mind be in you which was
also in Christ Jesus, who being in the form of God did not consider it robbery to be
made equal with God, but He humbled Himself, became a, took upon himself the form
of a bondservant, became obedient to death, even the death of the cross.” All those
ideas are the beautiful expression of God's grace in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
As we think about the idea that leads to salvation, both grace and man's faith,
there's a sense in which we realize the selflessness involved in God's offering of
salvation and our need to have that that sense of humility, and selflessness in obeying
the gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Let's realize that the way to salvation
does not exist within man himself. Man didn't originate it; it's not his ideas. We've got to
have dependence and the humility to submit to God. Do you remember Jeremiah
10:23? Jeremiah said, “Oh Lord I know the way of man is not in himself, it's not in man
who walks to direct his own steps.” Both Proverbs chapter 14 and Proverbs chapter 16
clearly teaches, “There is a way that seems right to a man but the end thereof is the
way of death.” It's not what I think; it's not my opinion. It's not your opinion that matters;
what matters is God's plan of salvation as taught in the New Testament. And friend,
when we submit, listen carefully, when we submit to God's grace through faith, we're not
saying, we can't walk away and say, ‘look what I've accomplished within myself’ or ‘look
what I've done,’ or boast or brag about ourselves. When grace and faith are combined,
what's the best we can say? What was said in Luke 17:10. Jesus said, “And you, when
you've done all those things commanded you say, I'm an unprofitable servant, I've only
done that which is my duty to do.” It's not our own merit. It's not our own accomplishes.
We can't boast and brag about salvation. But we do desperately need to obey the
gospel, and become a child of Almighty God.
As you think today about God's grace and faith being combined, listen carefully,
this is God's message of love for you. God so loved His creation, and He so desperately
wants all of them to be saved, 1 Timothy 2:4 that ‘He gave His only begotten son so that
we can have eternal life.’ The father let His son come to this earth, suffer, be mocked, to
be laughed at, be spit upon, and watched Him hang on a cruel Roman cross, so that I
can have the hope of salvation. That's God's grace, making salvation available.
My faith is when I step up, and I realize that's what God has done for me, and
therefore, I need to submit to and obey the will of God, and respond in faith as God has
taught me to do in the Scriptures. Not just saying ‘Lord Lord,’ that's not what we're
talking about. That's not what the Bible's talking about, that's not God's plan there,
Matthew 7:2. But actually doing the will of the Father, Hebrews 5:8-9.
We ask you today, as you think about this fundamental idea of grace, and as we
think about man's faith, have you responded in faith to the grace of God? Have you
obeyed the gospel? Have you heard the message contained within the pages of this
book, that Jesus is the Savior of the world? Do you believe that message? Are you
willing, based on belief in that message, to change your life and repent? Luke 13:3,
Would you confess your faith in Christ, as the son of God, and to have your sins
washed away, and become a child of God? Would you be immersed in water for the
forgiveness of your sins, Acts 2:38? If you've done that friend, then the grace of God
encourages each of us to keep living faithful for Jesus every day of our lives.
Study Questions for: “Fundamentals of the Faith: Grace”
1. According to John 1:17, where does grace come from?
2. What does Titus 2:12 tell us to deny?
3. According to Galatians 5:4, can Christians fall from grace?
4. Who will be cast into the lake of fire according to Revelation 20:12-15?
5. According to John 3:16, how did God show his love?
6. What does 2 Corinthians 8:9 tell us that Jesus did so that we could have salvation?
7. Who has grace been revealed to according to Titus 2:11-12?
8. According to Ephesians 2:8, are we saved by the works of man?
9. How does faith come according to Romans 10:17?
10. What does John 14:15 tell us to do if we love Jesus?