Speaking the Truth in Love

Speaking the Truth in Love

Grace of God

   A. In this lesson we are considering the subject of grace.
      1. "Grace" is defined simply as "God's unmerited favor."
      2. God through His great love toward us has saved us by grace.
      3. Thus, so far as the source or origin of salvation is        
         concerned, God saved us solely and entirely by grace.
   B. For man to receive God's grace, God has given certain
      1. The grace of God has appeared to ALL men (Titus 2:11).
      2. We know, though, that not ALL men will be saved.
      3. One must meet God's conditions of grace in order to receive
         the grace.
   C. Let's began by looking at certain passages which the so-called
      "church fathers" and early reformers misunderstood.

I. Rom. 11:5-6
   A. We can easily see why some early reformers misunderstood this
   B. The election is under consideration here. The election came as
      result of grace, not works. The source or means of the election
      or redemption came by grace.
   C. It was not that God decided that man was so full of good works
      that He would provide redemption for him.

II. 2 Tim. 1:9
   A. Again, we can understand how the early "church fathers" could
      misunderstand this. They said it teaches we are not saved by
      works, but by grace alone.
   B. However, the verse is teaching that we are saved by a holy     
      calling according to His purpose and grace.
   C. We are not saved by our own works; that is, by works of our own
      1. Titus 3:5 - "not by works...which we did ourselves"; e.g.,  
         not by works of our own devising.
      2. Rom. 10:2-3 - This is true of many people today.

III. Eph. 2:8-9
   A. The inspired writers make it clear that man is not saved by his
      own goodness, by goodness in and of itself.
   B. There are four types of works mentioned in the New Testament:
      1. The works of the Law of Moses. We are not saved by these.
         Gal. 2:16
      2. The works of the devil. Certainly we are not saved by these.
         Gal. 5:19-21
      3. The works of men. Eph. 2:8-9 is referring to these; e.g.,
         "boastful works." We are not saved by meritorious works or
         works which we might devise.
      4. The works which God ordained. These are necessary for
         salvation as shown in the very next verse (Vs. 10) and by
         many other verses in the New Testament.

Now, let's study the subject of grace as illustrated in John 9:1-41.
The blind man of John 9 was blessed by the grace of God. Let's look
at how it came about.

I. The blind man was told to "Go wash in the pool of Siloam." John   
   A. Christ gave instructions in order for the blind man to receive 
      the gift of sight.
      1. Likewise, God's grace gives instructions to us. Titus       

II. It was necessary for the blind man to do as he was instructed.
   A. God's grace along with the man's faith and obedience brought a
      great blessing. Vs. 7b
   B. There was no logical reason for washing one's eyes to receive
      sight, but the blind man had to obey in order to receive the
      1. Consider also Naaman the Leper. 2 Kings 5:13-14
      2. Consider Noah. Gen. 6:22; Heb. 11:7
      3. We must obey the commands of God in order to receive the
         grace of God.
   C. Notice that not just any water would do for the blind man to
      receive sight.
      1. The "Pool of Siloam" was specified. Vs. 7a
      2. God has the right and the authority to specify certain
         requirements for our acceptance of His grace.
      3. We have no right to question God requirements, no matter
         how illogical they may seem to us.

III.  In the rest of the ninth chapter of John we see that others had
   the opportunity to believe on Jesus, but for various reasons did  
   A. We see the power of peer pressure and the fear of rejection.   
      Vs. 18-22
   B. We see those who were blinded by their religious beliefs. Vs.  
      1. They were blinded by their pride. Vs. 34
      2. If they would admit they were blind, they could be freed
         from sin; but since they were saying "We see," their sin
         remained. Vs. 39-41
IV. In the blind man we see the power of conversion.
   A. Vs. 15 --- He plainly stated the truth about the situation.
   B. Vs. 17 --- He declared, "He is a prophet "
   C. Vs. 27 --- He showed his courage - "Do you also want to become
      His disciples?"
   D. Vs. 33 --- He rightly judged, "If this man were not from God,  
      He could do nothing."
   E. Vs. 38 --- He said, "Lord I believe! And he worshiped Him."
V. Great joy is found when one receives God's grace.
   A. Vs. 35-38 - praise, adoration and worship.
   B. He did not claim:
      1. That he merited his sight.
      2. That God owed him something.
   C. What he did is what we need to do:
      1. Believe on the Lord.
      2. Be obedient.
      3. Be thankful. Give God all the glory and praise.

   A. Grace cannot be earned or received through works which we
      might devise ourselves.
   B. God has placed his own conditions on His grace, and in order   
      for us to receive it we must meet His conditions.
      1. If the blind man had refused to go wash in the pool of
         Siloam, he would not have received the blessing of sight.
      2. God requires that all sinners repent and be baptized for
         remission of sins (Acts 2:38).
      3. If we do not meet these conditions, we will not receive the
   C. How about you? Have you obeyed the gospel? Why not obey and
      receive the blessings which come through the grace of God?