JOHN 1:17 - Berean Lamp Memory Verse - (Sep 5-12)
The Berean Lamp Memory Verse for this week is:
“For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” (John 1:17).
SERIES INTRO: This is the 1st part in a new series looking at the concept of Grace. What is it? Grace in Christian theology is “the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings” (Google dictionary). Grace is a hard word for us to understand. However, no word in the Bible is perhaps more important for us to understand. It is the foundation that underpins our understanding of how Salvation works and how God interacts with Believers. Let's spend some time trying to understand God's wonderful grace.
THIS WEEK: First of all, we see from the definition above that Grace is often translated from the Greek as God's "favor." It is also translated as "goodwill" or "lovingkindness." Secondly, and perhaps most importantly, it is unmerited, unearned, or undeserved. In contrast, favor in human terms is almost always earned – it is merited. Soldiers earn the favor of their king by the deeds they perform for him. Etc. Generally, in the world you earn favor. Favor in human terms means you’re “liked” more than someone else. There IS a favor of God that is merited – as when David found favor with the Lord because his heart was after the Lord. This kind of favor is obvious - if a Believer lives an unfruitful, rebellious life, they may find less favor with God than a humble and faithful Believer – just as with any parent and their children, there is behavior that is pleasing to the Lord, and there is behavior that deserves discipline. But this is not GRACE – it is not the kind of favor we are looking at here. The favor we call Grace is unmerited – it has nothing to do with you and everything to do with God. There are two types of grace. 1) We see from the definition that there are two different types of grace – the first is given to unbelievers, the lost, the unsaved. This is probably the most mentioned form of grace, because it is the most important for our eternal lives. This grace is the unmerited favor of the free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. In this grace, God cancels the judgment due our sins to everyone who puts their faith in Jesus Christ and believes in His name. Your relationship with God is restored and you become His child, with an inheritance of eternal life with Him. Every Believer has entered into the grace of God, being reconciled back to Him through no work of our own. 2) But there’s a second kind of grace in the definition – what they called blessings. More accurately, it refers to any of God’s support, strength, encouragement, direction, blessings, etc in the struggles, temptations, difficulties, frustrations, and traumas of the Christian life. This is also undeserved and unmerited. We don't do anything to earn it. It is granted to Believers at God's discretion for His will and purposes in your life to the glory of God. Let's look together at these different types of grace in Scripture.
May we thank God for His amazing grace! Even so, Amen.
Other verses to consider:
GRACE OF GOD FOR SALVATION
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:23-24)
“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand” (Romans 5:1-2).
“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
“But we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they also are” (Acts 15:11).
“I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ” (Galatians 1:6-7).
“But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, was pleased to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with flesh and blood” (Galatians 1:15-16).
“You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace” (Galatians 5:4).
“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace” (Ephesians 1:7).
“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus” (Titus 2:11-13)
GRACE OF GOD FOR THE CHRISTIAN LIFE
“For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace” (John 1:16).
“To all who are beloved of God in Rome, called as saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 1:7).
“And Stephen, full of grace and power, was performing great wonders and signs among the people” (Acts 6:8).
“And with great power the apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and abundant grace was upon them all” (Acts 4:33).
“According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it” (1 Corinthians 3:10).
“Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed” (2 Corinthians 9:7-8).
“Because of the proof given by this ministry, they will glorify God for your obedience to your confession of the gospel of Christ and for the liberality of your contribution to them and to all, while they also, by prayer on your behalf, yearn for you because of the surpassing grace of God in you. Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” (2 Corinthians 9:13-15).
“Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ with incorruptible love” (Ephesians 6:24).