Acts 13:43, Continue In The Grace Of God
1. Continue Being Justified By Grace (Galatians 5:1-4)
2. Continue Seeking God’s Help By Grace (Hebrews 4:14-16)
3. Continue Growing Spiritually By Grace (2 Peter 3:17-18)
4. Continue Looking Forward To Grace (1 Peter 1:12-16)
5. Continue Serving God By Grace (1 Corinthians 15:8-10)
6. Continue Receiving Insights By Grace (Ephesians 3:1-7)
7. Continue Showing Grace To Others (Ephesians 4:29)
8. Continue Counseling Grace To Others (Galatians 1:6-7)
9. Continue Giving Joyfully By Grace (2 Corinthians 8:1-7)
10. Continue Enduring Hardship By Grace (2 Corinthians 12:7-10)
Acts 13:43, Continue In The Grace Of God
Acts 13:43, Continue In The Grace Of God
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As we look at Acts Chapter 13 tonight focusing on verse 43, I've titled The Message Continue in the Grace of God. Continue in the grace of God, and of course it comes here from verse 43. Where it tells us after this great message that Paul has shared there, he's now reaching out to the region of Galicia. And he's going from place to place him and Barnabas ministering planting churches, converting people, bringing them to salvation with the gospel message. He spends a couple of weeks here in Antioch that is in the region of Galicia. He delivers a message on this Sabbath day and there's quite a response, quite a fervor there. After the service is over, it tells us in verse 43 the congregation had broken up. The time had concluded. Church was over. They're all kind of dispersing, but but they wanted more. And so there was some of the Jews and the devout proselytes who followed Paul and Barnabas. Paul and Barnabas, you know, having a church service together with you, that's not enough. We want to hear more about Jesus. We want to hear more about the gospel. And so Paul and Barnabas spends some time with them. Persuading them to continue in the grace. Of God and this verse caught my. Eye as I. Was reading ahead and praying over what the Lord would have for us tonight. This reminder, this importance of the grace of God in our lives. We need to be refreshed and it renewed in it and we need to continue in the grease of God. What is grace? Well, of course you could define it as undeserved kindness from. God, one of the classic explanations for grace is. Using the letters of the word to spell out God's riches at Christ's expense. And that's a great capturing of the concept of grace that it is God doing good to us, that we don't deserve, that we could never earn riches from God. Riches of blessings, wealth of spiritual things. Free to us, but not completely free, because it came at price expense. In order for us to receive this blessing from God, the gift of God, the goodness of God, the work of God on our behalf, and all the great things that he has for us, Jesus Christ had to pay. A great price. Although he is God, he had to humble himself. To become man, to add humanity to his deity. And that wasn't sufficient. He had to humble himself to be obedient and not just obedient, but obedient to the point of death. Even the death upon the cross. And for the first time in all eternity, the father and son were separated because our sin was placed upon him. And so great expense that Jesus paid for us to benefit from God's riches. It's God's gift, not earned, not deserved, not wages for which we work. But the gift of God, the goodness of God, the blessings of God extended to us now like a gift, it must be received. And so there is a part that we play in receiving the gift, but we don't earn the gift. We don't deserve the gift. We don't work for the gift we. We received the gift. That's our parts in this. But here we also learned from the apostle Paul that we must continue receiving this grace, that it's not just upon conversion the very first time our first encounter with Christ, then we must. Be recipients and receive God's goodness, and it's only at that point that we cannot earn or deserve the blessings of God and the riches of God at Christ's expense. No, that's not actually how it is. We must continue in the grace. Of God. Notice the keywords here in verse 43. It says Paul and Barnabas speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God. Two very important words in this verse persuaded. And continue. What is the idea of persuade mean here? It means they're convincing them. To continue in the grace of God. There is some persuasion happening. Maybe some of them are on the fence or Paul knows they'll quickly revert back because of the strong Jewish influence around them and the opposition to the grace of God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. So Paul is seeking to entrench them in the things of the Lord and convince them to to grasp, hold even tighter of the things that they have believed in Jesus in response to what he has been sharing with them. There's a persuasion that was necessary, and then there is a continuing that was needed, which means that they are. Participating in this. They are to make a deliberate effort, they have to make a decision about the grace of God. And they've heard the gospel. It appears from this verse that they've responded to the message, and they wanted. To hear more. Of the truth. And so Paul is taking this opportunity to persuade them to convince them, don't give up on the gospel, don't give up on Greece, don't go back to a religious approach to fellowship with God. But continue make a decision. Make a choice. To keep on receiving the grace of God and operating in the grace of God's grace can be very hard for us to comprehend, to remember, to keep in our minds. It it's quite unnatural for us. We really don't have other relationships. Where Grace is in play in the same way that God extends his grace to us, nobody else treats us this way. God's riches, his fullness of goodness towards us. That he extends freely. Without us having to earn or deserve. He is good and he does good towards us because of his love. He is gracious to us. At the same time. I think we can understand Greece as a bit of collaboration. It's not that we have to earn or deserve, but clearly from Paul's encouragement. To these new disciples, there is a part that they had to play. And so that's why he's persuading them. If they had nothing to do, no persuasion would be necessary. This exhortation, this encouragement wouldn't mean anything if there was nothing to do on their end. He's persuading them. He's convincing them to. Continue in the grace of God to keep receiving God's grace. I don't know if you've ever tried to go water skiing. I tried one time. I mean, it was one occasion I tried multiple times to get up, never really successfully did. It was quite hard, required a lot more technique than I understood. And you guys know me pretty well by this point. I'm sure that you know. Coordination with my body is not super great. You can tell me what to do or even show me and I'll mimic you and it will be completely different than what you do. So my grandpa is there trying to teach me how to get up on the skis. And I fall over and he shows me again and I fall over. He shows me again. I fall over. He says no. Try this. I fall over like I just. I cannot get up. Over and over and. Over we tried. And I really couldn't get up. With a lot of effort and a lot of practice, I'm sure that I could. With a lot of, you know, deliberate focus, maybe watch some YouTube videos, I could learn how I'm confident I could learn how to do it, but but it would require a lot from me and and it requires skill and and I would have to keep trying and keep learning how right. Is not like that. It's not like water skiing. Instead, similar but different, I would suggest. Greece is a lot more like. Boat tubing. Are you familiar with boat tubing? Or towed tubing some call it. It's a little bit different. It's not a lot of effort for you to get up. The tube is tied to. The boat and all you gotta do is hold on. That's your part. You don't gotta get the momentum. You don't have to figure out how to stand up. You don't have to exert a lot of energy, and you, you know, learn all the technique. I mean the technique you learned when you were. Three months old. Hold on to something. Grab hold of it and. You will enjoy. The exhilarating ride that unfolds. I'm assuming it's exhilarating. I've never done it, but. Looks fun, right? This picture here is I think, a good picture of for us to consider, and it's one that I'll bring us back to and remind us of as we consider. The Grace of God. This is what we need to do. We need to continue. If we do. Not continue in the grace of God. If we let go. We're going to fall. And so we're not going to go forward. We're not going to experience the ride that was planned. We're not going to to get to enjoy all that was in store for us. We're going to miss out on things if we let go. But if we hold on to the. Grace of God. We're going to get. Where God wants us to go, we're going to enjoy the ride along the way. There's going to be bumps and dips and drops and splashes, but but there's also going to be so much excitement and joy in what God is doing and and all we have to do. What we need to be persuaded to do is to hold on, to continue in the grace of God and so. We're not going to stay here in Acts Chapter 13, but I want to walk you through a variety of scriptures to help us think about different aspects of the grace of God in our lives and and encourage us to think about how we can hold on to the grace of God in those different areas. 10 points to whoever can guess how many points I have to share tonight. Anybody want the 10 points? It's 10 points for the 10 points that we're going to walk through tonight, so we're. Going to move a. Little bit fast and I encourage you to write down some of these scriptures and walk through them later on to persuade yourself to continue in the grace of God. So we're going to start. Point number one in Galatians Chapter 5, continue being justified by grace. Continue being justified by Greece. You might start thinking well, wait a minute, justified. It's past tense, you know. Is that necessary to continue being justified? Isn't that like already done? You believed in Jesus. You're justified. What do you mean? Continue being justified by. Well, don't challenge me. This is what the apostle Paul says. Galatians chapter 5. You want to flip over there to the right few books. We're going to look at verses one through 4. Here's what it says. Stand fast. Therefore, in the liberty by which Christ has made us free. And do not be entangled again with a yoke of *******. Indeed, I, Paul say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing. And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law. And you have become estranged from Christ. You who attempt to be justified by law, you have fallen from grace. Pretty hard words, Paul says here to the Galatians. Dealing with a group that has come in after the gospel has been shared. And the group is trying to convince people, yes, believing is Jesus in Jesus is important and good, but you must also keep the law become circumcised. Follow the dietary laws. Follow the Levitical law. Keep practicing what Moses decreed in the first five books. And so this group, called the Judaizers, came in behind the apostle Paul. Often times as he was out and about doing the missionary work, and they would. Come behind him and try to convince people. To keep the law and not just believe in Jesus. And so Paul says here in Galatians 51 stand fast therefore. What is the therefore there for backing up to Chapter 4, Paul is establishing the new Covenant because of the new Covenant. Stand fast, he says in the liberty by which Christ has made us free. Don't go back to a yoke of *******. Don't go into a yoke of legalism. Don't try to relate to God on the basis of your efforts and works, and you're keeping of laws and you're keeping away from things and keeping the the right things in your life. Don't don't go back to trying to earn God's favor. With a religious system, an old covenant that is no longer valid, it has been superseded by the New Covenant. So stand fast. In the liberty by which Christ has made us free. But there were those who had already fallen to this they'd already bought into the message of the judaizers. And so, Paul says. In verse 4 you have become estranged from Christ because you're attempting to be justified by law. At one time. You called out to God. You prayed to God, you sought to walk with God. Relying upon what Christ had done for you upon the cross. But now in this course that you're on, you've attempted. To be justified, to be made right with God, not because of what Jesus has done, not by faith in Jesus and his work upon the cross. But by your performance. In these laws and this can apply to the Levitical law or any law that we make up in our own imagination, or any law that others around us might try to impose upon us, we cannot be justified by performance. We cannot be right with God by our ability. To do the right things and to not do the wrong things. We cannot be right with God by those efforts. That is not. In fact, that's the whole point of the law, and that's what Paul. Makes the case for in the book of Galatians the whole point of the. Law is to teach us. Performance based relationship with God doesn't work. But God revealed it. He used it for a season to teach all humanity. It doesn't work. You need a savior. You need the. Grace of God to do something that you cannot do for yourself and that is to become justified, to become right with God. Romans chapter 4. Verse three and four, Paul says. What does the scripture say? Abraham believed God and it was accounted to him. For righteousness. Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace. But as debt? If you go to work and you work hard all week for 40 hours. The paycheck that you receive at the end of the week is not a gift. It's not that you know your employer is just so nice and generous that they just want to give you this gift. That you haven't earned or worked for? It's wages. If you're doing work. What you receive is what's owed to you. It's wages. If we are trying to do work to be right with God. Well, that would be a wages based relationship with God, a performance based relationship with God. We know that doesn't work. No one can keep the law. No one can keep the law of God. No one can even just follow their own conscience and keep themselves according to their own conscience. We cannot keep. Any kind of laws? And so we fail on every angle on every side, and trying to be right with God. By our performance. If it was performance based, it would be wages. But it's not, it's a gift. It's not owed to us. It's God's gift to us. And sometimes what happens in our lives as we. Experience being justified by Greece. It's a great first experience. We believe in Jesus, we receive forgiveness. But what happens many times is that we fall back to. A performance approach in our relationship with God. It's kind of a natural tendency that we have. And it can easily creep into an individual, a church. It can easily creep into it. Society or a movement? It it can easily creep in. Where where we begin to value and prioritize performance. The goodness. Of God, the grace of God, the gift of God. We need to be really careful there. There's a couple of things that. You can kind of lookout for. When you start. Staying away from God. Because you know, you've kind of messed up. You've kind of failed it a little bit. You've you've blown it in some way. When you when you start staying away from God. Understand that you have moved away from Greece. And you have now started to try to relate to God on the basis of your performance and because your performance has been bad. You're staying away. You're putting yourself on timeout. Good red flag to indicate I I'm not relying upon the grace of God. I'm not continuing in the grace of God. I am right with God by faith in Jesus Christ. Justified by Greece? And I need to hold on to that. And so when you find yourself. Reluctant to pray, reluctant to attend church, reluctant to get into the word of God because you have failed and you feel that God is so disappointed in you or angry with you. Understand you. Have not continued in the grace of God. Here's another one, another red flag. When you start bargaining with God. You're trying to pray for something. You're you're wanting God to do something you're wanting to see some results in your life, and you're you're bargaining with God. If you do this God, then I will do that or God, you should do this for me because I have done this. And look, I read the Bible today, so I should have a good day today. And and there is this performance. And and we're using it as a bargaining chip here. God, you know, I've been doing really good. And so please do. Good to me. And when we find ourselves doing that, we have not continued in the grace of God. So when we're staying away, when we're bargaining with God, when we're demanding from God, things because of our efforts and what we have done. We have not continued in the grace of God and we need to. Come back to. This and be persuaded to continue being justified by grace, to be justified means to stand before God. Ibrahim stood before God as righteous because he believed God. He received the word that God said he held on to the tube and said all right, you told me this Lord, I'm going to. Hold on to it. And it's going to be a wild ride. But I'm going. To hold on to what you have said. And so God said. You're righteous and I'm going to relate to. You as if. You've never sinned. Not even one time. That's how God relates to us by Greece. But when we come to God bargaining based on our efforts and what we've done or when we stay away from God because we feel like we've failed and and God's, you know, wants nothing to do with us, we've totally missed out on the grace that has been extended to us. Grace teaches us I can still approach God no matter what. I'm justified. I can ask God to bless me even when I don't deserve it. I can ask God to work and I can look forward to God doing good things in my life, even though I haven't measured up. Because God in his grace. Tease me as righteous. Being justified by grace, continue approaching God. By faith in the finished work upon the cross by Jesus Christ while moving on to point #2, we're going to jump now to Hebrews chapter 4. Hebrews Chapter 4 quite a few pages over to the right if you wanna turn there, Hebrews chapter 4. The author of Hebrews really deals a lot with grace all throughout the book, and so we'll be looking at that later this year as well as we continue the Bible in three years. But here in Hebrews chapter 4. We're going to look at verses 14 through 16. Hebrews 4, verse 14. Seeing then that we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize. With our weaknesses. But was in all points tempted as we are yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace. That we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Continue in the grace of God means that we continue seeking God's help. By grace. Here the author of Hebrews reminds us about the high priest that we have. Because we have Jesus, the son of God, let's hold fast. Grab hold of that inner tube. Grab hold of that grace that has been extended to us. And he explains why. We can do that even in the. Midst of weakness and failure, he says. Because we have a high priest. Notice some keywords here. He can sympathize. With our weaknesses. He was in all points tempted. Yet without thin. And so we're. Talking about weakness, we're talking about temptation. We're talking about sin and the fact that Jesus can sympathize. With us as we deal with all. Of those things. And so the author of Hebrews comes to the conclusion. Let us therefore come boldly. To the throne of performance, no to the throne of Greece. That we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time. Of need listen. When you have a weakness. That you are dealing with. That is the time to come boldly to the throne of Grace. And if you come. Boldly to the throne of Greece. In a time of weakness. You will find Grace and mercy. To help you in that time of need. Weakness can be a physical weakness. It can be a moral weakness. It can be any kind of weakness. As a result of our sinful nature. And there are things that we are weak in. Everyone of us, we have areas of our lives. That are weak. And we battle. Our flesh we battle those desires and those cravings. We battle those weaknesses where we cave and we give in so easily. We are weak. But if in our weakness we will come to the throne of Grace. We will find mercy and grace to help in the time of need. Now, when do you need mercy and grace? In your weakest moments? And in those weakest moments. God wants to help. Continue to seek God's help. Again, sometimes in our weakness we are ashamed of our weakness. We're disappointed in ourselves that we're not stronger than we think that we should be. We we're disappointed. That we're still. Dealing with this after you know knowing the Lord for 20 years or whatever, like we're we're often times in our weakness, tempted to stay away. To not come boldly to the throne of Greece, we kind of shrink away from the throne of Greece. But we have a high priest who can sympathize. He knows that weakness. He understands. So come. He invites us. He beckons us come boldly. And receive the help that you need. When you are facing temptation. Come boldly. Come boldly. Times of temptation are not times to shrink away, to run away, to keep ourselves away. Again, we often are. I shouldn't be tempted this way. I don't know why I have these feelings or have these desires or have this idea. I don't know why I'm dealing with this temptation. And so whether it's a weakness where we've already given into the temptation or we're on the verge, we're on the edge. We're we're battling the temptation and we want to give in to the. Temptation author here says come bolt. That's the time when you're tempted, when you've given in to the temptation when you've failed for some weakness. When it's become sin. To have weakness is not sin and to experience temptation is not sin. But even when it becomes sin, therefore come boldly. And receive from the Lord the Mercy and the grace that you need to help. In that time, in that moment of weakness, of failure, of sin, continue. And again, as believers many times we we receive that at the beginning, but we forget that as we progress along and and we need to be reminded and refreshed to come, continue to seek God's help by grace. Not to rely upon. Our efforts, our years of experience, you know, our newfound skills or some law that we can make up. Some rule that we can now abide by that will protect us from our weakness or temptation and it won't become sin. We must not rely upon our performance. We must continue seeking God's help by grace. Never tell God I got this. Don't worry about it. I can do it. I can handle this. I got it under control. I got it figured out. I got it dialed in. No, continue. To call out to God for help in times of need. Well, point #3, we continue on now jumping to second Peter chapter three, few more pages to the right now. Second, Peter Chapter 3, verse 17 and 18 point #3 continue growing spiritually by Grace. Our spiritual growth, our spiritual life. Is not performance based. Our growth and maturity as believers, it's not that we perceive grace at the cross. And then we take over from there and it's our efforts that cause us to grow and benefits us in. Our strength spiritually and our understanding of the Lord, no spiritual growth. Must continue the way it started. Spiritual life started by grace, spiritual growth. Must continue by grace. Second, Peter 3, verse 17. You, therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand. Beware, lest you also fall from your own steadfastness. Being LED away with the error of the wicked. But grow in the grease. And knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory, both now and forever. Peter here is giving a warning. You know this ahead of time. You know, there's going to be challenges. You know, there's going. To be issues. And so knowing this in advance, knowing the day of the Lord knowing. The things that are to come. Watch out. Be on your guard. Don't be relaxed in your spiritual growth. Again, there is this. Part that we have to play. But the part is not our performance. The part is our receiving. From God. The work that he wants to. Do in US. The growth that he wants to produce in US. It's often been noted you know the fruit of the Spirit Galatians chapter 5. It's not. Grunting and working. Sweating of the tree that produces the fruit it receives, the sun. It receives the water it receives it, receives it, receives and it produces naturally as a result. In the same way as you relate to God by grace and spend time with God by grace and approach God by grace and call out to God in times of need by grace. If you continue in the grace of God, you will grow. And the grace and knowledge of our Lord and. Savior Jesus Christ. And you need to make sure you need to watch out, lest you fall from your own steadfastness, Peter says. Watch out that you don't go slack, that you don't forget. The importance of holding on to the grace. Of God. Your job. My job is to receive God. 's gonna do the work. Philippians 16 He's faithful to complete the work that. He began in us. He's going to get us to the destination, he's going to get us through all the rough waters. And he's going to give us a good time on. The way but. He calls us to hold on. To what he has done for us. Continue growing spiritually by grace. Don't try to grow. By works by efforts don't stop growing because you've failed. Don't stay away because you are weak. In the grace of God continue. To grow spiritually, point #4 looking at first Peter, now chapter one. So couple pages there to the left, continue looking forward to Greece. First Peter chapter one, verses 12 through 16. It says to them it was revealed. That not to themselves, but to us. They were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Things which angels desire to look into. Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children not conforming yourselves to the former, less is in your ignorance. But as he who called you as holy you also be. Holy in all your conduct. Because it is written be holy for I am holy. Peter here walks us through a few things. Can't get into all of the details here. He's talking about the gospel that we have, the new covenant that we have. The prophets who foretold all of that. They spoke about it. But they didn't fully understand it. They really wanted to. Even Peter says Angels desire to look into these things. The Grace of God towards you, towards me is. So astounding. Even the angels struggle to fully grasp. God's method, his works. And what he is doing with us, pretty incredible. How much? Miss out? When we don't continue in the grace of. God, we miss out on things that angels desire to look into God's work towards us, God and his desire to do good for us. But calling your attention to verse 13, he says, therefore gird up the loins of your mind, since this gospel that we have this new covenant is so incredible. Gird up the loins of your mind to be sober. And rest your hope fully. Upon the Greece that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. And that's quite interesting because, well, we. Receive the grace of God when we believe in Jesus in his death. For us upon the cross past tense. We receive the grace of God. We continue in the grace of God present tense, but Peter says there is a grace that is yet to be fulfilled. Leader's future. It it won't be fulfilled now, it will be filled fulfilled. At the revelation of Jesus Christ. The the goodness of God towards you is incredible. It's amazing. It's astounding. There's so much there that. We're incredibly blessed. But it's not even. The whole story yet. Even the best moments of us enjoying the grace of God in our lives and the will of God and in the plan of God, it's still not done yet. There is more goodness that God is going to reveal and bring to you. At the revelation of Jesus Christ. Much more goodness from God, much more blessing from God, is in store for you. And so Peter says, rest your hope fully on the stock market. No, no. Rest your hopefully on your career. Rest your hopefully on your retirement plan or or your family. Rest your hopefully on no, no, not those things. Rest your hope. Fully on the grace. But I know when you come back, when I'm standing before you. All of this and all that we face in this life, it's going to be a distant memory. The glory of what you are going to bestow upon me in your grace far exceeds anything I face in this life. The goodness of God. That he plans to pour out, he's already poured out so much and we can spend a. Lot of time talking about that. But the things he still has in store rest your hope fully. On that. Let that be what you hope in what you are looking forward to the focus of your attention, the passion that you're working for, the things that God has yet to do, his goodness that he's promised, that you've yet to experience. There's so much more that God has. For you. That's the way Peter says it. Paul says it. Similar thing, but a slightly different way. In Ephesians Chapter 2, God who is rich in mercy because of his great love. With which he. Loved us even. When we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ. By grace you have been saved and raised us up together and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. That in the ages to come, he might show the exceeding riches of his grace and his kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. In the ages to come. For all eternity. There's going to be further and further revelation of the exceeding riches of his grace in the way that he has been kind toward us in. Christ Jesus. Rest your hope fully. On eternity and the goodness of God that is promised. To you, continue looking forward to grace. Looking forward to God's goodness. Hold on to you. That when you hit the rough waters and things look bumpy. And it can't seem like anything good can come from it. Hold on to. The Grace that he has promised such a hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Point #5 as we move on, continue serving God by grace, we're going to rewind now and the scriptures back to First Corinthians chapter 15, back to the left a bit. Here in the apostle, Paul is talking about resurrection, but he's telling his. Testimony a little bit as he does. First Corinthians chapter 15 verses 8 through 10. He says then last of all, he was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time. For I am the least of all the apostles who have not worthy to be called an apostle because I persecuted the. Church of God. But by the grace of God, I am what I am and his grace toward me was not in vain. But I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I. But the grace of God. Which was with me. Paul here explains. How he was converted later than all the other apostles. Because he persecuted the Church of God, he realizes. I'm the least of the apostles. I'm not worthy to be called an apostle. But I am an apostle, by the grace of God. By the grace of God, I am what? I am even. Though I don't deserve it, I could never. Earn it even though. I've been such a terrible person. By God's Grace, I have a role in the body of Christ. I have a part in God's Kingdom. And I have ways that he's. Called me to serve him. Three times he uses the word grace here. In verse 10. By the grace of God, I am what I am. I have this role in the body of Christ. Romans chapter 12. Leads out for us some roles in the body of Christ. We pray for those on Sunday mornings. You need to be reminded those roles in. The body of Christ. Those roles on any particular Sunday? They're not earned, they're not deserved. They are, by the grace of God. And so we do not. For those roles we receive those roles. We receive the opportunity to serve God. By grace. And so, Paul says, I really appreciate this opportunity. It's it's kind of astounding that God would let me do this, that he would give. Me this opportunity and so I'm making sure that his grace toward me is not in vain. How would it be in vain? All right, Paul, you have the opportunity to be apostle to the Gentiles. And Paul says, ah, thanks, Lord, that's really generous of you. But no, that's right. I don't really feel like serving like that. That would be the grace of God in vain. The gifts being offered but not opened, not received. Plus is no. I'm not going to do that. I labored more abundantly than everybody else. Because I recognize and appreciate the value of this opportunity. But at the same time, he says. Yet not. I even then, I can't take the credit. I'm not saying it's me and my works and my efforts, the grace of God enabled me to work so hard. To fill this role that God has given to me the role was a gift. The ability to fill. The role is a gift. From top to bottom, it's about the grace of God and my part is to receive it. It's a collaboration I'm laboring abundantly, but even the labor that I'm doing is. By the grace of God. I don't do any of this. In my own strength and with my own resources. This is a. Door that God has opened for me. By his grace. And so I rely upon his grace. To fulfill the role that he's given to me. The gifts I like to refer to them as the Holy Spirit's toolbox and 1st. Corinthians chapter 12. The word gifts in First Corinthians 12 is the word charisma. Keris is grease, adding a mark to the end of it. It's a gift. It's a grease, Ma. Spiritual gifts. Our Grace, they're not earned, they're not deserved. Which also means it's not performance based we don't perform. To have the gifts. And we don't not have gifts because we haven't performed. Their gifts, their grief. That's why Peter says in first Peter 4. Minister, the gift you've received to one another as good stewards of the Grace of God. Be a good steward and use the gift fulfill your role. It's given to you by grace and you are enabled to fill it and fulfill it by grace. Point #6 let's turn over to Ephesians chapter three, couple pages to the right there. Ephesians chapter 3. Point #6. Continue receiving insights by grace. Ephesians, chapter 3, verse one. Paul says for this reason I Paul the prisoner of Christ Jesus for you Gentiles, if indeed you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which was given to me for you. How that by revelation he made known to me the mystery as I've briefly written already. By which when you read, you may understand why my knowledge and the mystery of Christ, which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men as it has now been revealed by the spirit to his holy Apostles and prophets. That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs of the same body and particulars of his promising Christ through the gospel. Of which I became a minister according to the gift of the Grace of God-given to me by the effective working of his power. Again, a lot happening here. We can't get into it all, but here Paul is saying. I have a special revelation from God about the joining of Jews and Gentiles in the New Covenant. In the body of Christ. And I received this revelation. By the grace of God. In verse two, he says if you have heard of the dispensation, the giving out of the grace of God, which was given to me for you. What what was given verse 3? The revelation he made known to me the mystery. The mystery of the church united with Israel. As the body of Christ. He didn't receive that revelation. That insight from the Lord hidden in the scriptures from the beginning. He didn't receive that. Because he deserved it. He didn't understand the scriptures because. Of his great performance. He received it by the Grace of God. And every time you and I open the scriptures, we have the opportunity. To receive insight into the. Word of God by grace. We never deserve insight. We never. Are completely removed from the opportunity to receive insight because we. Haven't measured up. We, by God's grace, are able to hear the voice of the Lord and receive from the Lord what he wants to say to us. We have a part to play. We have to hold on, but we need to approach. The scriptures by grace. We need to approach our relationship with God by grace and and receive by grace Insights from him. He wants to speak to you. He wants to reveal himself. He wants to work supernaturally and lead you and guide you and reveal himself to you in his word. But do not try to do that and receive that. On your own efforts. Receive it as the gift of God. I don't deserve to hear from you. But if you should choose to. I would love to listen. Lord, I know I've really messed up this week. Oh, but I sure could hear use I. Could sure you. Know could benefit from hearing from you. I could benefit from. Help in this decision that I have to. Make I could I really need to hear from you, Lord. And you could say, well, I don't deserve it. So why bother asking? Or you could. Say I'm gonna trust in the grace of God. And ask him. And I'm going to ask him to reveal himself. Supernaturally to me. Point #7 still here in Ephesians we can flip over to Chapter 4. Continue showing Grace to others. Ephesians 429. Let no corrupt word. Proceed out of your mouth. But what is good for necessary edification? That it may impart grace. To the hearers. Here, Paul tells us. Watch your mouth. Watch out how you're relating to others and make sure that what comes out. Of your mouth. Is not corrupt. It's not destructive. But that the things that are good that are edifying, the things that would impart. Grace to the hearers. The things that will help them receive the goodness of God, the things that will benefit them, the good things for them. Make sure that you watch your mouth. In a way that you are showing grace to others. Talk to them. In ways that are better than they deserve, talk about them in ways that are better than they deserve. Exhibit grace. Paul says it another way in Colossians 4. Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside redeeming the time that your speech always be with grace. Now, just after you've had your coffee, let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how to answer each one. Always with grace. Our words must be edifying. And how do you keep your words edifying? How do you keep? Grease on your lips. The trick is to keep grace in your heart, because out of the overflow of. The heart, the. Mouth speaks. Have grace. Show Grace want goodness. For those people in your lives, pray for goodness, for people in your lives, even when it's a bumpy ride and wanting goodness for them and talking good about them is going to be quite the challenge. Now, hold on to the grace of God. Lord, you've been so good. You are so good. Let me be an extension of your goodness toward these people around me. Well, point #8 continue counseling grace. To others, you can flip back a few pages to Galatians chapter one. Where Paul tells the Galatians in verse 6. I marvel that you are turning away so soon from him. Who called you in the grace of Christ to a different gospel? Which is not another. But there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the. Gospel of Christ. You're turning away. From the grace of Christ, you're turning to a different gospel and the whole book of Galatians is really battling this movement that is happening within the churches of Galatia, away from the grace of God and towards Legalism and Judaism. And he says, I'm surprised. You're turning away so soon? It's not even a real gospel message. It's a perversion. And through the book of Galatians, he counsels. The people of Galicia. To come back. To to continue in the grace of God. All these things that we're learning for ourselves. This is what we need to be providing as counsel to one another. Someone comes to you with a struggle, with a weakness. Don't give them laws. OK, here's what you need to do. I I've seen this weakness before. Make this rule for your life. Set up these things and make sure that you're really dedicated and determined in them, and set up some strict accountability and make sure that you have this and and and that this, you know, formula. This law will help you with that weakness. We got to be very careful. Because sometimes we counsel people into legalism into relying upon themselves and their efforts. And the Council really is to go back to Hebrews Chapter 4 to help others to walk through. Approaching the throne of Grace to find Mercy and Grace, to help in times of need. In Colossians Chapter 2, the apostle Paul makes the point. All of these self-imposed impose laws have the appearance of wisdom. They sound really good. They seem like they should work, but there are no value. They're of no value against the indulgence of the flesh. They might work for a time. They might be a little bit helpful for a little bit, but they they don't actually help in the indulgence of the flesh. Because it's taking us back to performance, we need to make sure. As we are counseling people who want to hear from God, as we're counseling people who are dealing with struggles, as we're counseling people who are looking for answers, looking for help, looking for hope. What they need? Is not performance but grace. They need the grace of God. And to continue in it. Point #9, I'm not going to get into the actual verses for this. But it's second Corinthians Chapter 8, and you can actually look at 2nd Corinthians 8 to 9. Continue giving joyfully by grace. There, the apostle Paul is encouraging the Corinthians and a previous commitment that that they had made to give a contribution in the need that was there in Jerusalem. And Paul refers to this opportunity to give as grace. The opportunity to give. Is grace. It's not a burden. It's not a heavy thing. It's an opportunity from. He says as you abound in everything else, 2nd Corinthians 8, seven, and faith and speech and knowledge and all diligence and your love for us, see that you abound in this grace, the grace of giving also. And so he encourages them to give joyfully as much as the Lord has put upon their hearts. And he says, trust God, he's able to make all grace abound to you that you will be provided for. You'll have everything that you need. So God's Grace will provide for you as you by God's grace. To what God has put upon. Your heart. I always like to think of giving in the Kingdom of God like monopoly money. Like what if I let you invest in a for sure. I know it sounds like a scam, right? A for shore return. Something incredible. And I said. Bring me as much monopoly money as you can and I will count that as real money and give you this investment that you're guaranteed. To return for. Like, that's what God is doing here in the scope of eternity. Our dollars there. It's all just monopoly money. But we have the opportunity to exchange that for eternal reward, lasting reward. By the grace of God, what an incredible opportunity. What if I told you as much monopoly money as you bring me? I'll give you cash for it. Dollar for dollar. Like what? A great opportunity, right? How generous, Jerry, that you would exchange real money for monopoly money. This is what God does. You get the opportunity to give and be part of. His work and. And he trades that fake money that we have. For real value that will last eternally. It's grace. The opportunity for us to give. And it's challenging for us and we are stretched by it many times, but at the same time, the grace of God is also able to provide for us. So we don't have to stress about the giving. That God's put upon our heart because we know he will provide. As we receive the grace and give. He will provide for us, according to his grace. Well, finally point #10. Continue enduring hardship. By Greece, Second Corinthians chapter 12. Here the apostle Paul is describing a little bit of his life and the struggle that he went through the hardship, the thorn in the flesh. Verse 9. 12 numbers 8 concerning this thing, I pleaded with the Lord three times, that it might depart from me, and he said. To me. My Grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Therefore, most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. When you're enduring hardship. The key is to hold on. Hold on to the grace of God. God is not dealing with you. According to your sin, he never deals with us according to our sin. I'm not saying he doesn't deal with sin. I'm not saying there's no consequences and I'm not. Saying he doesn't chasing us. I'm saying we never receive what we actually deserve as a. Result of sin. And so no matter how hard we. Experience things, no matter how rough the seas are. Continue enduring God hasn't given up on you. He's not fed up with you. He's not, you know, just getting rid of you. Hold on to the grace of God. Yes, it's hard. It hurts. It's. Painful and maybe like Paul, you're pleading Lord. Please take it away. And God is saying. You you can get through. This it's hard it it hurts. But endure my Grace is sufficient for you. Hold on to keep receiving and trusting me at my word. Believe me at my word. And don't let go. If you let go, you fall off the inner tube. Now you're that you're going to miss out. Doesn't mean you could never experience anything from God after that point, right? You can get back on but. Boy, what a rough way to go. No, you you can hold on to the grace of God. And and receive. Everything that you need to endure. Through any hardship the Lord allows in your. Life, so continue. In the grace of God. I think it's noteworthy to consider. Paul is in Antioch. As he is delivering this message. In the region of Galicia. And then later he writes to the Galatians. I can't believe you've abandoned the grace of God and turn to a different gospel here, he says. Continue in the grace of God. Why did he feel compelled to persuade so strongly for them to continue in the grace of God? Perhaps the Lord. And pressed that upon his heart that way, because he knew there was going to be a strong movement away from the grace of God in their very region. We need to continue in the grace of God. We need to hold fast. To make sure that we don't try to approach God by performance that we don't try to earn or deserve God's goodness, God's work in our life. But that instead, we continue to be justified by grace. We seek God's help by grace. We grow spiritually by grace. We look forward to the grace that is to come. We serve the Lord in the mean time by his grace. We receive insight and revelation from the Lord, thy grace. We show that same grace to others around us and counsel them to trust in and rest in the grace of God as well. We give joyfully by the grace of God and the opportunities that he gives us. And we persevere through all hardships by receiving God's goodness toward us. Continue in the grace of God. But I pray for our hearts that you would help us to recognize Lord as we begin to bargain with you as we begin to stay away from you as we begin to think that we are owed or deserved anything. But as we delve into you and slide into performance based relationship with you, Lord, help us to recognize that quickly. That we would grasp, hold it and renew Lord our grasp upon. Your goodness, your gift, your grace. On the basis of Jesus Christ and his work for us fully and completely. Help us, Lloyd not to trust in our flesh, our efforts. But to trust fully in you. And may you complete the work that you began in us. Lord, we trust you to do that. So we look to you, we receive from you. Or whatever. Goodness, whatever work that you want to do in US. Whatever events that you want to unfold, whatever growth you want to produce. But we invite you to do that we recognize. We're completely unworthy. But Lord, by your Grace. Lead guide work bless. Grow, develop, strengthen, renew. May we experience all that you have for us and miss out on not even a moment of your plans. I pray this in Jesus name.