God is: Gracious
The Conclusion of our Sermon Series on the Attributes of God. From June 6th 2020
Today is Sunday June 16th
Today is the last Sunday of our Sermon Series on the character and nature of God
So depending on how you feel about this subject, now would be the time to either be happy or upset.
Next Sunday we’ll be starting a new Series about the Miracles of Jesus
Some of the well known miracles, some of the lesser known miracles---
And why all of it matters
We’ll be posting a shareable graphic for that Series on our facebook later today, so check it out and pass it along.
You all should have received a Ballot in the mail about officially voting in your new Pastor----
Once all of those Ballots are in, were going to be announcing A new Vision & Mission of our Church
So keep an eye on our Facebook and our Website (christcommunityofclyde.com) and we’ll make sure to keep everyone updated on everything going on!
So, on to our Sermon
Like I said, today is the Conclusion of our Sermon Series about the Attributes of God.
There are other attributes that we didnt talk about
And the ones we did talk about, could be dove into, in a far deeper sense that what we did on these past few Sunday Mornings
The character and Nature of God, is some wild stuff that will stretch your minds and hearts, and you’ll never run out of stuff to study
If you want to study something that will continually surprise and stretch you, and you'll never run out of things to learn, then study the Attributes of God
So a little recap:
God is Holy → → Meaning He is separate and distinguished from everything in all of reality
There is nothing and no one that could be categorized with Him
He and He alone, is Holy.
God is a Trinity → → Father, Son & Holy Spirit
Never is He not three
And never is He not One
God is Eternal → → No beginning, and no end
He exists outside of the flow of time, seeing all of it at once
He doesnt experience any succession of moments, existing in the eternal present
God is Patient → → He doesnt lose His temper
God is Immutable → → He cannot change
God is Omniscient → → He is all knowing
God is Omnipotent → → He is all powerful, and nothing can stop or slow His will
God is Just → → He will punish all evil and sin, either by sentencing someone to hell, or by laying it upon the back of His Son.
God is Faithful → → He is perfectly reliable and dependable
And toady, we are going to see the reality that God IS gracious
8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.
( → → Opening Prayer ← ← )
And were going to look how that plays out in our life, in two different ways
#1 -- The Grace of God → Saves us
#2 -- The Grace of God → Sustains us
Like I said, this series about His attributes is not a complete list.
He is all of those attributes I listed, but many more as well.
But when people start to hear and learn about these things of God, there’s a big possibility of them veering off into weird directions.
Its like that, because humans have the natural tendency to want to quantify and measure and deduce and understand everything about reality.
When we see something that may lie outside of our individual or collective knowledge-----we get to work and dissect it until we ourselves can be the ones who make the claims and have the right answers about it.
If something lies beyond us, we admit we dont know-----but then work tirelessly until we can conquer it, plant our flag, and claim it as an achievement of mankind.
We make claims like:
“Look what we have accomplished!”
“Look what we have built!”
“Look at what we know, and where we used to be, and yes there is still work to be done but with the right people in the right places, then everything will be solved and humanities ability to control and deduce and solve and know things ------ will maintain its place as the only thing deserving of our adoration.”
We ----- can ----- do ----- anything.
So when we hear all these different things about God
When we hear explanations and breakdowns about His character and nature----
When we hear that He is beyond our ability to quantify----
When we hear that He is the center and foundation of science and morality----- and that all of them orbit Him------
When humans hear these things about God, we only have two possible responses:
For those of us who have repented of our sins and have the Holy Spirit living within our hearts-----we hear these things, and we worship Him
We thank Him for loving us
We ask Him for help
We ask Him to help our loved ones and families
But for people who dont have the Holy Spirit living within them, they respond, just like we used to, before he Holy Spirit lived within us ------ all in accordance with:
“Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior.”
Before we were saved, we were enemies of God, and deserved to be treated as such.
Our behavior had earned us death & destruction and nothing good ever ever ever.
We followed after our sin, and placed ourselves at the center of everything
Before we were saved, our sin made us His enemies-------but even after we are saved, we still continue to sin.
We don’t DESERVE peace
We don’t DESERVE affection
Respect // Honor // patience
We do not DESERVE the love of God
The sin in our life means that we DESERVE His wrath
Thank God, that God is gracious.
You see, because God is gracious, He doesn’t treat us in the way that we deserve
When we lie or steal
When we cheat or kill
When we oppress or enslave others
When we use and abuse others
When we act in ways that earn us death ------
He patiently holds open the door to heaven--
He lovingly speaks through His Word, calling us to repentance--
He gives every single person all the time they will need,
Which is more time than we deserve -------- to make the right choices
He does this, because God is gracious.
Remember the idea of divine simplicity that weve mentioned?
He doesnt HAVE grace
He IS grace
He doesn’t have to try really really hard and focus and concentrate to make sure that we all receive the right amount of His grace
He doesn’t have to battle over our sin and our disbelief and sweat and fight and wrestle with our past, so that we may be able to see His grace
He isnt in some wrestling match with the sins of our great grandparents, hoping to win so that He can show us His grace
Because He doesnt HAVE grace, but IS grace-----all He has to do is reveal Himself to us, and we will experience the grace of God.
Because God IS gracious
The more we read the Bible---
The more we worship Him----
The more we see God, then the more of His grace we will see, because grace is not something He HAS it is something He IS.
So when He reveals Himself to His enemies, and they repent and believe, it is because He IS gracious.
Instead of fighting His enemies, He forgives them
Romans 5:8 says:
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
God saves His enemies from the consequences of their own self willed behavior, because He ---- is ---- gracious.
J.I. Packer said this: “Grace is not God treating a person less than, as, or greater than they deserve. It is Him treating a person without the slightest reference to them or their behavior at all, but solely according to the infinite goodness and sovereign purpose of God.”
If we are saved, it is because God has revealed Himself to us, and we experienced His grace.
8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—
Gifts arent earned,
They arent given because of good behavior or misbehavior,
Gifts are given because of the heart of the giver wanting to show love to those whom receive the gift.
The grace of God is a gift given to us that saves us from our sins.
We have earned death, and He gave us the gift of salvation
We deserve punishment, and He gave us the gift of forgiveness
God saved us, because He is gracious.
Do you guys remember the two ways in which the grace of God is real to us?
#1 - The grace of God saves us
#2 - The grace of God ---- sustains us
The Grace of God sustains us
You see, God doesnt just save you, and then out put you on a shelf where you'll be nice and comfy and safe and useless
He saved you because He has a plan for you
He has a path for you to walk down that will bring you into a closer and closer relationship with Him and as a result of the grace that He gave you and the path He placed you on------- there will be people in your life that come to know Him
But this path----has dangers
This path---has obstacles
This path--- has Enemies that plot and scheme
Places where you might stall and get stuck
Places where you might trip and get hurt
When God saved you, He knew of your weakness, and He knew how the external factors of your life would mold and shape you, and He knew about the plans of the enemy---------which is why:
2nd Corinthians 12:9 says:
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
When we feel like failing, He encourages
When we want to give up and throw in the towel, He is there, pushing us forward, empowering us---
lifting us up---
reminding us every single moment that our past does not define us….
All those areas in our life that are tender---
All the past experiences we have had that if we think about them again, make us wince in pain
All those areas of our life, where we know we have messed up and made bad choices----
Those are the areas where God works-----
When we feel like we have failed and God has given up on us
He will point us back to 2nd Corinthians 12:9
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
When we go through our day, and the pressures of life push against our heart
When we give in to a sin we hate
When we trip and fall
When we mess up
The grace of God sustains us, because God is gracious
If He lives within our hearts---
If we have repented of our sin---
Then the Holy Spirit is irrevocably intertwined with our soul
Consistently speaking to us
Reminding us that we have been made new
Enlightening our mind and our heart to be able to see Him through Scripture
Telling us that we have been restored
You are no longer slaves to sin and fear because the grace of God has animated your dead heart, making you able to repent of your sins and believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ
If the grace of God has saved you----- then and only then will the grace of God sustain you.
If you have repented and turned from your sins, then you can rely on His sustaining grace.
When we mistakes ------- He is faithful to forgive
When our self esteem starts to erode and splinter ---- He is there, reminding us of how important we are to Him
When we cant see the next step of our path ----- He is by our side, reminding us to look to Him for direction.
When we see a passage of Scripture that we cant understand, He is there, enlightening our hearts and minds
When we have been hurt by a loved one-----He is there, reminding us that our hurt does not define us
When we ourselves hurt a love one----He is there, reminding us that we have been forgiven
When everything in reality seems to be stacked against us
When the darkness of sin is painted on every surface we see
When death, destruction, pain and sorrow reign free----- washing over everything like a black tidal wave of grief threatening to sweep along any in its path---
Our God stands firm within the torrent--------- His feet unmoving upon the bedrock----
And as the waters of this world swirl around and encircle Him, every stream of every evil, weaves its way around His body, flowing around Him and sneering as they surround Him ----
He see the evil coming---
He sees the swell of the waves rising and gaining strength---
He sees it coming and allows the unrelenting current of sin to crash into Him ---
And He absorbs every drop of it’s wicked water
The force of a thousand waves crash and break against His holy body, splitting His skin and causing torrents of blood to flow from His holy veins ------
Our God took the punishment that we earned and died the death that we deserve ------ because:
God ---- is ---- gracious.
All powerful and all knowing
Patient and unchanging
Perfectly faithful and holy
There is no one in all of reality as mighty as our God
In Closing Id like to read Psalm 145
There is no Worship song after, but I will still be available for prayer or anything else you may need
I will exalt you, my God the King;
I will praise your name for ever and ever.
Every day I will praise you
and extol your name for ever and ever.
Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
his greatness no one can fathom.
One generation commends your works to another;
they tell of your mighty acts.
They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty—
and I will meditate on your wonderful works.
They tell of the power of your awesome works—
and I will proclaim your great deeds.
They celebrate your abundant goodness
and joyfully sing of your righteousness.
The Lord is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and rich in love.
The Lord is good to all;
he has compassion on all he has made.
All your works praise you, Lord;
your faithful people extol you.
They tell of the glory of your kingdom
and speak of your might,
so that all people may know of your mighty acts
and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
and your dominion endures through all generations.
The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises
and faithful in all he does.
The Lord upholds all who fall
and lifts up all who are bowed down.
The eyes of all look to you,
and you give them their food at the proper time.
You open your hand
and satisfy the desires of every living thing.
The Lord is righteous in all his ways
and faithful in all he does.
The Lord is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth.
He fulfills the desires of those who fear him;
he hears their cry and saves them.
The Lord watches over all who love him,
but all the wicked he will destroy.
My mouth will speak in praise of the Lord.
Let every creature praise his holy name
for ever and ever.
( → → Closing Prayer ← ← )