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Preview for 2015-02-01

Bulletin  Notes

Reigning Grace

What’s reigning in your life?

Hebrews 4:14-16 - Therefore, since 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 One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

G – God’s

R – Riches

A – at

C – Christ’s

E – Expense

The words most relevant to an understanding of the biblical concept of grace include the Hebrew roots ḥnn (‘to be gracious’ or ‘to show favour’) and ḥsd (‘loving-kindness’ or ‘goodness’)…and the Greek term charis (‘grace’).

Hnn, which appears some 200 times in the OT, connotes favour, usually by a superior to an inferior, including but not limited to care for the poor, deliverance of those in distress, and other acts of compassion. Such beneficence is given freely, and thus can be requested, received and even withdrawn, but never claimed, coerced or possessed.

The term often appears in the idiom, ‘to find favour in someone’s eyes’, so that the prayer that Yahweh might ‘make his face shine upon you’ is tantamount to a request for him to extend his graciousness (Numbers 6:25; for the opposite, see Psalm 27:7–9; 30:6–10).

Hsd, which appears some 245 times in the OT, refers to compassionate acts performed either spontaneously or in response to an appeal by one in dire straits. Acts of ḥeseḏ are not grounded in perceived obligation or contract, nor can they be coerced; rather they arise out of affection and goodness. Acts of ḥeseḏ pertain to covenantal relations (*cf. the translation, ‘covenant love’), but God enters into covenant with human beings freely; the establishment of the covenant is itself an act of ḥeseḏ on God’s part. (F. I. Andersen, in God Who is Rich in Mercy, pp. 41–88)

In Hellenistic Greek, charis connotes favour and friendship, as well as beneficence; gifts of benefactors are acts of charis in the latter sense.

The vocabulary of ‘grace’ thus connotes spontaneous kindness and acts of generosity grounded in dispositions of compassion toward those in need. ‘Grace’ as a characteristic of God grounds divine-human relations in God’s generous initiative and sustaining faithfulness culminating in the powerful, restorative activity of God on behalf of humanity. Of course, the concept of ‘grace’ can be present, and often is, even when these and related words are absent.

2 important perspectives of God’s reigning grace

I. Be ________________ by the Action of God’s Grace

A. The ______________ of the action of grace

1. To exercise authority at a __________ level, be king, rule

2. To obtain __________, become king

3. To rule, to __________ as king, to be in control in an absolute manner, to control completely

B. The importance of this ____________ of grace

Romans 5:20-21 - The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

1. Where does the ______ fit into this discussion?

Romans 5:20 - The Law came in so that transgression would increase…

Romans 5:13 - …for until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law.

Romans 7:8 - But sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, produced in me coveting of every kind; for apart from the Law sin is dead.

Galatians 3:24 - Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith.

Romans 5:20 - The Law came in so that transgression would increase…

2. What is the ______________________ of this to parents talking to their children about the gospel?

3 John 4 - I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth.

II. Be ______________ on the Product of Grace

Romans 5:21 - …so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

A. Reigning grace produces _____________________ righteousness

Romans 5:1-2 - Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.

B. Reigning grace produces ____________________ righteousness

2 Peter 3:18 - …but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

“Nothing could sum up better the blessings of being in Christ than the expression ‘the reign of grace’. For grace forgives sins through the cross, and bestows on the sinner both righteousness and eternal life. Grace satisfies the thirsty soul and fills the hungry with good things. Grace sanctifies sinners, shaping them into the image of Christ. Grace perseveres even with the recalcitrant, determining to complete what it has begun. And one day grace will destroy death and consummate the kingdom. So when we are convinced that ‘grace reigns,’ we will remember that God’s throne is a ‘throne of grace,’ and will come to it boldly to receive mercy and to find grace for every need. And all this is through Jesus Christ our Lord, that is, through his death and resurrection.” (John Stott, pp. 157-158)

“One of the most significant problems in marriage is that there is no economy of grace.  With all their obvious difficulties, what is most shocking is the profound gracelessness of their marriage.  And because they are not daily soaking in the fountain of God’s grace, they do not extend it to one another.” (Paul Tripp, Instruments, pp. 32-33)