By Garry Knighton
Church of Christ/North - Shreveport, La.
CHARACTERISTICS OF GOD'S GRACE
The grace of God is the only way that we stand justified, or innocent, before God.
We saw in the last lesson "HOW" God's grace works. (i.e.) Nature of Grace.
Apart from law of works
Witnessed by the law and prophets
Through faith in Jesus Christ and his work
Unto all - all are saved the same way
Only to believers
All men have sinned - Grace needed.
Righteousness Provided - Justified, Freely, By His grace, Through the redemption - Ransom,
In Christ, Propitiation, In His blood - vicarious.
There are those who after learning and understanding grace tend to misuse it.
We must understand that grace is not a LICENSE to sin.
Just as sure as it took the blood of Jesus to pay for our sins, we must realize
that the continual forgiveness is also dependent on our attitude toward SIN.
Let's study some "Characteristics of God's Grace" so that we will not fall into this trap that so many of the people of the world have fallen into.
GRACE MUST BE CONSISTENT WITH GOD'S CHARACTER - v.25b-26.
To SHOW His righteousness.
Under the O.T. law there was no covenant of forgiveness, "NO FORGIVENESS".
David, Abraham, Melchizedek, Enoch, Others.
Men and angels thought that God was unjust
Made God look like He was not the Holy and Just God that He was. (He didn't spare the angels, how could he spare Abraham?)
The cross Proved God to be just. His justice demanded that there be payment for His broken law.
This is what angels were standing in awe at, and what the prophets desired to look into.
GRACE GIVES GOD ALL THE GLORY - v. 27-28.
Where is the glorying? (It is excluded).
It is not there.
Man has nothing to glory in as far as his part of salvation.
Example: Man falls overboard from a ship, saved. He doesn't take the
credit, he should give it to the person who threw out the life ring.
What manner of law excludes glorying?
Works, (merit) - NO. (Good angels stand on basis of merit).
Faith - yes. (Law of Faith - our system to live under.)
GRACE DEMONSTRATES GOD TO BE A UNIVERSAL GOD - v. 29-30.
Jew would not accept the fact that God would save the Gentiles.
Grace has to encompass all men.
Jew-Gentile; Black - white; Red - brown; Etc.
To say to another person, "You can't come to the cross while I am here" is to miss grace completely and to be condemned.
Example: Peter - Gal. 2:11ff
Some helpful verses:
Matt. 28:18-20 -- "all ethnic groups"
Mark 16: 15-16 -- "every creature"
Romans 1:16-17 -- "debtor to Greek, Barbarians, wise, foolish."
Ephesians 2:11ff. -- "uniting all men into "one body"
Grace does not separate man from mankind.
GRACE HONORS AND ESTABLISHES LAW - v. 31.
God is a law giver and a law lover.
Jesus died to uphold LAW.
If our God is a lover of law, that means that we also must be LOVERS of LAW.
Our children must be taught to respect laws.
ONE MORE THOUGHT: Romans 5:12-21; 6:1-2.
You need grace now to be saved.
One cannot be saved without the Grace of God.
God forgave a few men under the O.T.
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