The Glory of God’s Grace!

Defining What Grace Is and Does

Ephesians 1:6,7


January 4, 2015 AM

Pastor Craig Ledbetter

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland


I.       Introduction (Ephesians 1:2)


A.    I just want us to learn about one word this morning – GRACE!

B.     As a matter of fact, we are going to explore God’s grace all year long!

C.     Such an infinite treasure of meaning and infinite effect, on any messed-up, sinful life!

D.    The Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, is FULL of the stories of people and events showing how God MUST judge sin, but that He first and always offers the gift of life-changing forgiveness to those who want it!

E.     Listen to all the Hymns that praise God’s Grace…


1.      You all know Amazing GRACE, how sweet the sound,…


a.       That saved a wretch like me.

b.      I once was lost but now am found,

c.       Was blind, but now I see.

d.      T'was GRACE that taught my heart to fear.

e.       And GRACE, my fears relieved.

f.       How precious did that GRACE appear

g.      The hour I first believed.

h.      Through many dangers, toils and snares

i.        I have already come;

j.        'Tis GRACE that brought me safe thus far

k.      and GRACE will lead me home.


2.      But what about... At Calvary


a.       Oh, the love that drew salvation’s plan!

b.      Oh, the GRACE that brought it down to man!

c.       Oh, the mighty gulf that God did span at Calvary!

d.      Chorus: Mercy there was great, and GRACE was free;

e.       Pardon there was multiplied to me;

f.       There my burdened soul found liberty At Calvary.


3.      What about... At the Cross


a.       Was it for crimes that I had done

b.      He groaned upon the tree?

c.       Amazing pity, GRACE unknown,

d.      And love beyond degree!

e.       At the cross, at the cross, where I first saw the light...


4.      What about... Christ Receiveth Sinful Men


a.       Sinners Jesus will receive;

b.      Sound this word of GRACE to all

c.       Who the heav’nly pathway leave,

d.      All who linger, all who fall.

e.       Sing it o’er and o’er again;

f.       Christ receiveth sinful men;

g.      Make the message clear and plain;

h.      Christ receiveth sinful men.


5.      Oh, what about... Come Thou Fount


a.       Come Thou Fount of ev’ry blessing,

b.      Tune my heart to sing Thy GRACE;

c.       Streams of mercy, never ceasing,

d.      Call for songs of loudest praise.

e.       O to GRACE how great a debtor

f.       Daily I’m constrained to be!

g.      Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,

h.      Bind my wand’ring heart to Thee.


6.      And that is just FIVE!

7.      NOT ONE of them praises MY efforts, or MY worth! Grace is all about God’s work towards ME – not MY work towards Him!


F.      I believing in praising God! Standing in awe of God and honouring Him!

G.    But the Bible says we can praise His GRACE too!

H.    This morning, let’s find out just how glorious God’s grace is!


II.    Message - The Glory of God’s Grace


A.    Is In Its Meaning (Ephesians 1:2,6)


1.      Usually defined as God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense…

2.      But Grace is more…


a.      An Attitude that gives, and gives, and gives (James 4:6) – not demands


1)      It means an attitude that is Free, Ready, Quick, Forward, Willing to show …

2)      Goodwill, kindness, favour, compassion…

3)      Towards someone who does not deserve it – like an enemy!

4)      Doing something nice for a stranger is unmerited favour

5)      Doing something nice for an enemy, is GRACE (Luke 6:27-36)


b.      Always linked to Mercy


1)      Mercy is NOT getting what you deserve – which is wrath

2)      Grace is getting what you DON’T deserve – which is compassion!

3)      They are inseparable - The two go together like the two sides of a coin!

4)      Exo 34:6  And the LORD passed by before him (MOSES), and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,

5)      2Ch 30:9  For if ye turn again unto the LORD, your brethren and your children shall find compassion before them that lead them captive, so that they shall come again into this land: for the LORD your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn away his face from you, if ye return unto him.

6)      Psa 77:9  Hath God forgotten to be gracious? hath he in anger shut up his tender mercies? Selah.

7)      Psa 103:8  The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.

8)      Psa 116:5  Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful.

9)      Heb 4:16  Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.


c.       Free! (Eph 2:8,9; Romans 3:24)


1)      Grace means GIFT!

2)      It cannot be earned, merited, lived up to, or bought!

3)      That doesn’t mean it is free of cost – just free to YOU!

4)      Grace costs! And it cost the Son of God EVERYTHING!

5)      2Cor 8:9  For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.

6)      We often think Jesus BECAME poor when he was born… No! He emptied all of His Grace onto worthless sinners like you and me, and ended up poor, so that WE could be made RICH in Him!


d.      Greater than anything this side of heaven! (Romans 5:20)


1)      “The riches of His grace” – extreme riches! Infinite value, and infinite amount

2)      God’s grace is greater than all the expectations of the Law of God – which is a lot

3)      Greater than all our sin and the breaking of God’s laws – which is a lot

4)      Greater than all our failures – which are a lot

5)      Greater than all our guilt – which is a lot

6)      Greater than all our weaknesses

7)      Greater than all our enemies

8)      There is nothing in life greater than God’s grace towards a sinful human being!


e.       Not a license to sin (Titus 2:11,12) – the freedom to live as we please – THAT is NOT grace


1)      There is no such thing as Cheep Grace, that allows you to live any way you want as a follower of Christ! No!

2)      Biblical Grace is THE ONLY WAY TO LIVE! Free from sin’s punishment AND Free from sin’s dominion!

3)      God’s grace steps into my shoes, and takes the punishment that “I” deserve

4)      Not so that I can go along my merry way and live as I please now

5)      But so that I might see how exceedingly sinful I am, and instead live like Christ!

6)      Anyone who continually lives wickedly like the world, and not like Jesus, has not been helped by the Grace of God!


f.       God’s work on my life to make me more like Jesus (Gal 2:20,21) – Changes me!


1)      Transforms me from the inside out – it has an influence that no Frying Pan, nor hammer, nor Sharp Tongue, Nor Angry Countenance, nor Law, nor Punishment could ever have!

2)      No longer a drunkard, an angry man or woman, no longer lazy, no longer bitter, or a constant complainer

3)      Makes ME kind, compassionate, meek, faithful, honest, hard-working, selfless

4)      And best of all, it is the way that God makes me HOLY


g.      The opposite of God’s WRATH!


1)      God’s Wrath is not like Our Wrath


a)      Not, an impulsive, emotional wrath that is a knee-jerk reaction to being offended

b)      But a deliberate, careful, measured reaction towards sin

c)      Like when a government decides to go to war because the confrontation by another country is sufficiently wrong to warrant it – as was WWII


2)      To 99% of all people, even Christians, God’s grace means nothing, because they do not fathom the Wrath of God against them!


a)      God’s Grace shines in contrast to God’s righteous Wrath against sin

b)      Like a diamond against the darkness of a black cloth

c)      When you look at a diamond in the light, it has little glory

d)     But when set against the blackness of a black cloth, THEN is shines

e)      The Bible describes God in Ps 86:15, “But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.”

f)       But you will never understand that Scripture, or at least appreciate it until you understand Romans 2:5,6, and 4 


(1)    But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; Who will render to every man according to his deeds” AND HE WILL!

(2)   BUT WRATH ALWAYS COME AFTER GRACE HAS BEEN OFFERRED… “Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?


3)      So, Grace is meaningless unless we understand just how much trouble we all are in (Romans 5:6-15)


a)      Rom 5:6  For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. (THAT MEANS WICKED)

b)      Rom 5:7  For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.

c)      Rom 5:8  But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners (LAWBREAKERS), Christ died for us. (THAT’S GRACE IN ACTION)

d)     Rom 5:9  Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. (WRATH! Serious wrath)!

e)      Rom 5:10  For if, when we were enemies (ENEMIES OF GOD), we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

f)       Rom 5:11  And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement. (FULL FORGIVENESS)

g)      Rom 5:12  Wherefore, as by one man (ADAM) sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned…

h)      Rom 5:15  But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.




6)      Not because any of us were good at all, or had anything to benefit God

7)      But because God is gracious. Because God loves sinners, and is freely willing to personally pay for all your and my sins, so that you and I can be forgiven, and have eternal life instead of eternal hell!!!


3.      That’s why a sinner praises the glory of this one word – sings of it! Thanks God for it! We are SAVED FROM GOD’S WRATH!

4.      That’s why we sing that it is amazing! Because it IS amazing!


a.       An attitude that gives, and gives, and gives

b.      Always linked to Mercy

c.       Free!

d.      Greater than anything this side of heaven!

e.       Not a license to sin

f.       The opposite of God’s WRATH!


B.     The Glory of God’s Grace is in its Source (Eph 1:6,7’2:7; 3:2,7; 1Peter 5:10)


1.      Grace comes from God!


a.       Eph 1:6  To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

b.      Eph 1:7  In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

c.       Eph 2:7  That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

d.      Eph 3:2  If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:

e.       Eph 3:7  Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.


2.      God is the God of all grace


a.       Listen to 1Pe 5:10 “But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.”

b.      How about John 1:14 “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”

c.       That means, God is THE only source of grace! Not Mary, the saints, the church, or of yourself


3.      All of Grace Begins With God


a.       God IS Grace

b.      Just as much as He is Holy, and Righteous

c.       Just as much as He is Love itself

d.      God is what Grace is!


4.      Because ‘Gracious’ is Who God Is – Grace is not just what God does, but what He IS


a.       Ne 9:31  Nevertheless for thy great mercies’ sake thou didst not utterly consume them, nor forsake them; for thou art a gracious and merciful God.

b.      Ps 86:15  But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.

c.       Ps 103:8  The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.

d.      Ps 111:4  He hath made his wonderful works to be remembered: the LORD is gracious and full of compassion.

e.       Ps 112:4  Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness: he is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous.

f.       Ps 116:5  Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful.

g.      Ps 145:8  The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy.


5.      That means,


a.      God has a constant Attitude that gives, and gives, and gives towards us – not demands of us – but GIVES us what we don’t deserve – He gives us HIMSELF

b.      God does NOT give us the condemnation that we DO deserve – His grace is Always linked to Mercy – He holds back on judging us until the last moment!

c.       God never expects us to pay for what He gives us Freely! (Eph 2:8,9). We never could

d.      God offers us something Greater than anything this side of heaven! (Romans 5:20)

e.       God NEVER gives any of us a license to sin (Titus 2:11,12) – the freedom to live as we please – THAT is NOT grace

f.       God’s work on my life to make me more like Jesus (Gal 2:20,21) – Changes me

g.      God’s WRATH may be withheld for a while, but not forever!


6.      So, you had better take Hebrews 4:16 seriously! Heb 4:16  Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. Quit living like you are the Law, and like you are good, and start living under the life changing Grace of God! Asking and begging God for His grace every hour of every day!


C.     Next Week, The Glory of God’s Grace is in What it Does (Ephesians 1:3-12) – what effect does it have on a person?


III. Conclusion and Invitation


A.    How well do you know grace?

B.     It shows in the way you treat other people


1.      God’s grace towards you ought to make you more gracious, respectful, kind, compassionate, caring, gentle towards others

2.      Not that you overlook sin, but you show kindness towards a sinner, a law-breaker, someone who offends you, hurts you, takes advantage of you!

3.      If you are not doing too well BEING gracious, then you need to get to know the Source of Grace, and receive some of His grace yourself!


C.    And it shows in your worship - It is so worthy of our awe – our praise – our desire

D.    The Glory of God’s Grace


1.      Is In Its Meaning (Ephesians 1:2,6)


a.      An Attitude that gives, and gives, and gives (James 4:6) – not demands

b.      Always linked to Mercy

c.       Free! (Eph 2:8,9; Romans 3:24)

d.      Greater than anything this side of heaven! (Romans 5:20)

e.       Not a license to sin (Titus 2:11,12) – the freedom to live as we please – THAT is NOT grace

f.       God’s work on my life to make me more like Jesus (Gal 2:20,21) – Changes me!

g.      The opposite of God’s WRATH!


2.      Is in its Source – which is God alone!


E.     If you want to be saved from the righteous wrath to come, God’s GRACE has made a way


1.      Through Jesus Christ – not through baptism, or through your church, or through your good works

2.      Just by believing on and receiving the Grace of, God, that is all wrapped up in Jesus!