Lesson 11 – Teach your children about the Amazing Grace of God
“Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me” is not just in a song, but a wonderful present reality. There is nothing that so indicates that marvelous grace as the fact that “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Grace simply means, “unmerited favor”, God does not treat man as they deserve. “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
Grace means favor. Favor that is not earned therefore unmerited. The word is used in various ways: (1) Luke 2:40, the favor of God was upon Christ. (2) Luke 2:52, Christ grew in “favor” with God and man. (3) II Cor. 9:12, 15, “thanksgiving” and “thanks.” (4) II Cor. 8:1, 4, “contribution.” (5) I Cor. 16:3, the “bounty” was the contribution for the poor at Jerusalem. (6) Acts 2:47; the church was in “favor” with God and men. (7) Romans 5:2, it is by faith we enter into and stand in his grace or “favor.”
The grace of God contains certain instructions. There are negative instructions: (1) we must deny ungodliness: (2) we must deny worldly lusts. There are positive instructions: (1) we must live soberly; (2) we must live righteously; (3) we must live godly in this present world; (4) we must look for the object of our blessed hope; (5) we must look for the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ.
Grace truly is an amazing thing.
What does the grace of God provide?
1.1. The offering of Jesus was a necessary act of the Divine Nature. It offered a pardon for the ungodly, which did not deserve it, while (a) being just in the condemnation of sin and (b) making the sinner hate the sin. Until one accepts that grace on the terms on which God offers it, he has no promise of salvation. The only way sinful man can avail himself of that grace is to accept it by an active faith (Eph. 2:8). We demonstrate faith in and acceptance of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ by dying to sin, being buried into his death, and being raised to walk in newness of life (Rom. 6:1-5). When we do this we have obeyed the gospel, which is the power of God unto salvation (Rom. 1:16) and thus accepted God’s grace on his terms.
1.2. God’s grace is in Christ (II Tim. 2:1). Therefore, God’s favor is not with men outside of Christ.
1.3. God’s grace is provides the blood of Christ wherein is:
1.3.1. Remission of sins
188.8.131.52. The shedding of Christ’s blood is required (I John 1:7).
184.108.40.206. Matthew 26:2
220.127.116.11. Justification – the word justification signifies legal acquittal from guilt. Christ’s blood renders one guiltless, as if he had never sinned. Without that blood there is no salvation (Acts 20:28; Eph. 1:7; Heb. 9:22).
18.104.22.168. Man is reconciled through the blood of Christ (Rom. 5:10).
22.214.171.124. The word “enemies” expresses man’s hostile attitude to God, indicating that until this change of attitude takes place, men are exposed to the wrath of God.
126.96.36.199. Only the blood of Christ can pardon sin that produces wrath, and thereby makes peace (Col. 1:20).
188.8.131.52. The blood of Christ is the basis of redemption for it is the price paid for man’s iniquity.
2. The Gospel
2.1. When Adam and Eve transgressed the law of God, sin and death became realities with which men in all subsequent generations would have to live (Rom. 5:12). Since all men have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory (Rom. 3:23), and since men do not have the wisdom and strength to direct their own steps (Jer. 10:23), then without God providing the gospel, God’s power unto salvation (Rom. 1:16), all men would be helplessly lost.
2.2. The new covenant – the gospel of God’s grace – replaced the law that God gave through Moses (John 1:17, Hebrews 8:8-13).
2.3. Peter teaches that what the prophets had in mind when they “prophesied of the grace that should come unto you” was indeed the gospel of Jesus Christ (I Peter 1:10-12).
2.4. The grace of God gave us the gospel and it teaches us to live for the Lord (Tit. 2:11-12).
2.5. I Peter 1:22, I Peter 1:23-25
3. Strength (Power for living)
3.1. The heart that serves best is the heart that overflows with an awareness of God’s grace (I Cor. 15:9-10).
3.2. Grace frees us from the past (Phil. 3:13). God forgives and forgets (Heb. 8:12). Grace helps us to get over preoccupation with the past.
3.3. Understand that the Lord is my helper (Heb. 13:6).
3.4. Grace is the enabling dynamic for abundant labor. It is also the power which releases the ability to give sacrificially (II Cor. 8:1-5).
3.5. Grace provides the power to persevere and prevail (II Cor. 12:7-9). Whatever the “thorn in the flesh” may have been, it must have been a great trial for Paul. We need to learn that often power is generated, not in spite of the thorn but because of the thorn.
3.6. The heart that has found it’s home in God’s great grace finds doing the work of Jesus its delight and its rest.
4. Abundant life; it provides
4.1. Faith (I John 5:4)
4.2. Forgiveness (Eph. 4:32, Col. 3:13)
4.3. Fellowship (I Cor. 1:9; Phil. 1:1-2; I John 1:3-10)
4.4. Joy and peace (Phil. 1:12-21). Paul learned to live above all the circumstances of life for the glory of God.
4.5. Hope (Eph. 1:18)
4.6. Love (John 13:34-35; 15:12; I John 2:10; 4:7-21; I Cor. 13:1-7)
4.7. Prayer (Eph. 6:18; I Thess. 5:17).
4.8. Eternal life (I John 2:25; Tit. 1:2; Mark 10:28-30; Eph. 2:8-9; James 2:14, 24; Titus 3:5)
5. The church of Christ
5.1. Ephesians 3:1-11. This passage plainly sets forth the fact that the grace of God made possible:
5.1.1. Paul’s apostleship
5.1.2. Which involved his being a minister of the gospel of Christ
5.1.3. Which gospel made necessary his special work among the Gentiles
5.1.4. Which according to God’s plan necessarily involved the church. This was according to God’s eternal purpose.
5.1.5. The very existence and work of the church came about as a direct result of the grace of God.
5.2. Salvation which is in the church, proves that the church was provided by the grace of God (II Tim. 2:10; Eph. 1:7)
5.2.1. We are saved by grace (Eph. 2:8)
5.2.2. The grace of God brings salvation (Tit. 2:11)
5.2.3. Salvation is in Christ (II Tim. 2:10), which is in his body (Eph. 5:23, 28-30), which is the church (Eph. 1:22-23). To be in Christ is to be in his church which he purchased with his blood (Acts 20:28) which was shed by the grace of God.
What does the grace of God demand?
1. Love of truth
1.1. Jesus taught that God’s words are truth (John 17:17).
1.2. Love of truth motivates man to comply with God’s commands (John 14:15; I John 5:3; James 1:22-27).
2. Knowledge of truth
2.1. Luke 2:40
2.2. Titus 2:11-3:14
2.2.1. In 3:4-6 we are told that the grace of God which appeared among men is Jesus Christ;
2.2.2. In 2:11-13 we are informed that the grace of God instructs men how to live. He who is grace personified taught men to live by the truths of the gospel.
2.3. Acts 20:24, 32 – Paul connects a knowledge of the truth with the grace of God.
2.4. Col. 1:5-6 Paul establishes a necessary union between the grace of God and knowledge of the truth. In fact, so important was this to Paul that he warned against departing from the gospel (Gal. 1:6-9).
3.1. Ephesians 2:8
3.1.1. Paul affirms that the brethren had been saved by grace, and that the grace had saved them through faith.
3.2. There can be no faith without grace, for grace brought us salvation and instruction (Titus 2:11-12).
3.2.1. Faith comes by hearing God’s word (Rom. 10:17), and if the grace of God had not made possible the revelation of his will, man could not respond in faith, for there would have been no word from God to believe. Biblical faith requires the bible, which is to be believed. Now, the word which God’s grace has given us contains conditions of pardon which must be obeyed if man is to be saved.
3.3. Hebrew 11:6
4. Obedience of Faith
4.1. We refer to “free moral agency” of man. This principle is true (John 4:23). Joshua admonished the Jews long ago to “choose you this day whom you will serve” (Josh 24:15). Jesus advised that the majority of the human race would make the wrong choice (Matt. 7:13), and Peter assured that God does not wish that anyone should perish (II Peter 3:9).
4.2. Peter admonished and exhorted those Jews on the day of Pentecost to “save yourself from this untoward generation” (Acts 2:40). There was a choice to be made, but this choice had to be made on the basis of their faith (vs. 37), and their willingness to obey the will of God (vs. 41).
5. Baptism in the name of Christ
5.1. Those who obey Christ are the ones to whom Christ is the author of salvation (Heb. 5:8-9).
5.2. Two verses show clearly the necessity of following the will of Christ:
5.2.1. Matt. 11:27
5.2.2. John 14:6
5.3. Acts 2:38
The source of God’s grace is his love. John 3:16 shows the superlative blessings associated with God love. Let us note: God is the greatest giver. The greatest gift is Christ (his only begotten son). The greatest number is contemplated in the text – the world. The greatest blessing is offered to the faithful – everlasting life. It would be impossible to exaggerate the importance of teaching our children that God loves them if we want them to grow up to love God.