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Amazing grace how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now I'm found,
Was blind, but now I see.
"Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed.
Thru many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
"Twas grace that bro't me safe thus far
And grace will lead me home.
The Lord has promised good to me,
His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be
As long as life endures.
When we've been these ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun;
We've no less days to sing God's praise
Than when we first begun.
John Newton, 1779 -- William Walker
John Newton's song "Amazing Grace" has touched hearts of countless people through the ages. He lost his mother at age seven and became a sailor at eleven. He became a very ungodly young man. On one treacherous trip, he began to think about his sinful life and started praying to God. He also started reading his Bible and going to church. He began preaching at age thirty-nine and preached for forty-three years. During this period he wrote the words to "Amazing Grace."
I. Grace Defined
• Favor -- "Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord." (Genesis 6:8) Even though God was not obligated to Noah; yet He voluntarily granted favor upon him -- an act of "goodwill."
• God's grace is unearned and undeserved.
• I Timothy 1:12-17 - 12 I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service 13 though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief 14 and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus 15 The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. 16 But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. 17 To the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.
• I Corinthians 15:10 - But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.
• Salvation comes through God's grace. (Acts 15:11 But we believe that we will be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they will.")
• Christians are privileged to stand in a state of grace.
• (Romans 5:1-2 1 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
• II. Grace Abused
• Read Jude :4 God's grace can be perverted and turned into something it's not.
• For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
• 2. Saved by Grace Alone If salvation was by grace alone, then everyone would be saved. (Hebrews 2:9 But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.)
• Each person must appropriate the abundant grace God has made available. God's grace opened up the waters of the Red Sea, but the Israelites had to walk to the other side. God's grace provided an ark for the saving of Noah and his family, but Noah had to build the ark and then they had to enter it when the floods came. Human response (obedience) is necessary to appropriate God's grace. (Hebrews 5:9 - And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him,)
• 3. Saved by Works Some believe that certain human deeds (works) merit salvation -- earn it for the one who does them. Often this is done with the viewpoint of a "works" accounting system. This is the belief that good deeds can offset bad deeds. This contradicts Scripture. (Romans 11:6,But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.
• Ephesians 2:8-9 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
• 4. Once Baptized, Always Saved This is also called post-baptismal grace. It is the belief that, after baptism, the Christian is free to do what he/she wants -- not under any obligations or law. Law is a dirty word to them. But grace operates/works through law. (Titus 2:11-14 11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people,
• 12 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age,
• Christians are under Christ's law -- our source of authority. (Romans 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.
• Keeping the commandments of God are essential to one's continual salvation. (I John 2:4-5 4 Whoever says "I know him" but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him,
• 5 but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him:
• 6 whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.
• 5. Confession of Sins Is Not Necessary Some believe that a Christian should not confess his sins because God's grace automatically covers it. Yet this contradicts I John 1:9. Jesus declared in the Model Prayer -- Luke 11:4 The Old Testament also affirms this. (Proverbs 28:13)
• God's grace is truly amazing! A blessing we do not deserve. But let's be careful not to abuse or pervert it.
• His Grace Reaches Me
• Deeper than the ocean and wider than the sea,
• Is the grace of the Savior for sinners like me;
• Sent from the Father and it thrills my soul,
• Just to feel and to know that His blood makes me whole.
• Higher than the mountains and brighter than the sun,
• It was offered at Calv'ry for ev'ryone;
• Greatest of treasures, and it's mine today,
• Tho' my sins were as scarlet, He has washed them away.
• His grace reaches me, yes, His grace reaches me,
• And 'twill last thru eternity;
• Now I'm under His control and I'm happy in my soul,
• Just to know that His grace reaches me.
• Whitey Gleason
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