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2 Corinthians 9:15 “Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.”
In the middle of Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, the Apostle cannot help but to thank God for the greatest gift ever given to man. Paul calls it the “unspeakable gift”.
When you stop to meditate about everything that surrounds this gift, you cannot help but be in awe and in amazement of the salvation that God has given us through Christ; it truly leaves the believer speechless. Not enough words in the world can describe the beauty and the glory of God and His Character. God is absolutely awesome!
The extra wonder of the gift is that The God of all Grace is the Lord and King of our life.
I heard a man of God named Shadrach Meshach Lockridge who was the Pastor of Calvary Baptist Church share a sermon on “That’s my King”. I will share some it with you today.
That’s My King, by Lockridge
…The Bible says my King is the King of the Jews. He’s the King of Israel. He’s the King of Righteousness. He’s the King of the Ages. He’s the King of Heaven. He’s the King of Glory. He’s the King of kings, and He’s the Lord of Lords. That’s my King.
I wonder, do you know Him?
My King is a sovereign King. No means of measure can define His limitless love. He’s enduringly strong. He’s entirely sincere. He’s eternally steadfast. He’s immortally graceful. He’s imperially powerful. He’s impartially merciful.
Do you know Him?
He’s the greatest phenomenon that has ever crossed the horizon of this world. He’s God’s Son. He’s the sinner’s Saviour. He’s the centerpiece of civilization. He’s unparalleled. He’s unprecedented. He is the loftiest idea in literature. He’s the highest personality in philosophy. He’s the fundamental doctrine of true theology. He’s the only one qualified to be an all-sufficient Saviour.
I wonder if you know Him today?
He supplies strength for the weak. He’s available for the tempted and the tried. He sympathizes and He saves. He strengthens and sustains. He guards and He guides. He heals the sick. He cleansed the lepers. He forgives sinners. He discharges debtors. He delivers the captive. He defends the feeble. He blesses the young. He serves the unfortunate. He regards the aged. He rewards the diligent. And He beautifies the meek.
I wonder if you know Him?
He’s the key to knowledge. He’s the wellspring of wisdom. He’s the doorway of deliverance. He’s the pathway of peace. He’s the roadway of righteousness. He’s the highway of holiness. He’s the gateway of glory.
Do you know Him? Well…
His life is matchless. His goodness is limitless. His mercy is everlasting. His love never changes. His Word is enough. His grace is sufficient. His reign is righteous. And His yoke is easy. And His burden is light.
I wish I could describe Him to you. Yes…
He’s indescribable! He’s incomprehensible. He’s invincible. He’s irresistible. You can’t get Him out of your mind. You can’t get Him off of your hand. You can’t outlive Him, and you can’t live without Him. Well, the Pharisees couldn’t stand Him, but they found out they couldn’t stop Him. Pilate couldn’t find any fault in Him. Herod couldn’t kill Him. Death couldn’t handle Him, and the grave couldn’t hold Him.
Yeah! That’s my King, that’s my King.
2 Peter 1:5-7 “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; vs 6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; vs 7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.”
In verse 1 the Apostle Peter writes to all who have obtained this precious faith, and in this passage we see a call to…
Note: God has given us all things necessary to fulfill His Will in our life regarding our Character and Spiritual Growth.
A man of God once said“we must be diligent in cultivating it. God does not make us holy against our will or without our involvement. There must be desire, determination, and discipline on our part.”
The Apostle Peter assumes that they already have faith in Christ. So he instructs them to add to their faith, to build-up their faith, to build on their faith.
Let us take the time to look at these 7 Graces very briefly.
(2 Peter 1:5-7) “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue…”
Virtue = Moral Excellence, It is to have Spiritual courage. It is to have the strength to stand for what is right in an ungodly world.
We do this by putting on the Armor of God. (Ephesians 6:13) “Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”
Note: This Virtue is to be accompanied by Knowledge.
(2 Peter 1:5) "… and to virtue knowledge;"
Knowledge = It not just any kind of knowledge, it is knowledge that is from above, it is divine instruction in Righteousness, it is knowledge of spiritual truth.
CH Spurgeon once said “Scripture is a never-failing treasury filled with boundless stores of grace. It is the bank of heaven; you may draw from it as much as you please, without let or hindrance. Come in faith and you are welcome to all covenant blessings. There is not a promise in the Word which shall be withheld. In the depths of tribulations let this freedom comfort you; amidst waves of distress let it cheer you; when sorrows surround thee let it be thy solace.”
Remember the Hymn Eliza E. Hewitt wrote “More about Jesus”
“More about Jesus in His Word,
Holding communion with my Lord.
Hearing His voice in every line,
Making each faithful saying mine.”
Note: With Virtue, and Knowledge, God wants us to add Temperance.
Temperance = This is to have Self-Control… to be biblically proper, it is to have godly discipline,
Someone has defined this as “the controlling power of the will under the operation of the Spirit of God.”
Note: The next thing to add it “Patience”
Patience = endurance, perseverance, and constancy
Remember that the Hebrews writer states running the race with “Patience” The Christian life is not a sprint; it is a Marathon. We must always remember that the Christian life is a challenge to endure hardness by the Grace of God. Paul said “I finished my course”
It is good to start in the faith with a great thunder of glory; we must finish the race with much trials and testing.
Someone said “Perseverance is the art of bearing up and pressing on in the face of all that seems to be against us.”
(Acts 14:22) “Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.”
Godliness = to live godly, to be like God. To be Holy as God is Holy.
Vernon Mcgee once said “There is a time in every boy's life when his dad is his hero and sometimes his idol.”
We are to have a strong passion to be like our God. Not to be a God, but to be like God in His character. To be like God or to be godly, addresses our way of life or our way of living …
We always see in Scripture that to be godly, there must be a rejection of worldliness.
(Titus 2:11) “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
(Titus 2:12) “Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;”
As you know the world is always fighting against God’s ways. The World wants to redefine the constitutions of God in Marriage, Church, and in moral ethics.
Notice what Peter writes in this first epistle setting up the platform for his second letter.
(1 Peter 1:14-15) “As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: vs 15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
Brotherly kindness = Love for God’s people
(John 13:35) “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”
Brotherly kindness is the salt that helps make salty Christians.
It is a sad thing when you see siblings in the home and Christian’s in the church purposely dodge each other when they see each other.
Brotherly Kindness is an area in which God wants us to increase. God wants us to have a growing love one toward another. Not one that is stagnate or stale.
(1 Thessalonians 4:9) “But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another. Vs 9 And indeed ye do it toward all the brethren which are in all Macedonia: but we beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more;”
Last but not least
Charity = Unconditional Love, a Super-natural Love, Divine Love, Christ-kind of Love, the laying down of one’s life kind of love.
Without this “love” we are nothing and we will mount-up to nothing. 1 Peter 4:8
God’s amazing love shed abroad in our hearts through Christ is the rudder on a ship that controls the large vessel
It is the engine on the plane that gives it power to fly
It is the wick in the oil that keeps the flame alight
It is the greatest among faith and hope
It is never character that ever fails
Once again the Apostles Peter states this character trait in his first letter.
1 Peter 4:8 “And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.”
Fervent Love = undying, without ceasing, Love
and to the courage of David the knowledge of Solomon;
and to the knowledge of Solomon the patience of Job;
and to the patience of Job the godliness of Daniel;
and to the godliness of Daniel the brotherly kindness of Jonathan;
and to the brotherly kindness of Jonathan the love of John.”
2 Corinthians 12:9 “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
God’s grace is complete and perfect, and God works best in our lives when we are humbled, weak, and insufficient. The truth is our sufficiency is of God alone.
2 Corinthians 3:5 “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God;”
We must let go, and let God. Our prayer must be, “O Lord I can’t, but you can”. Trials in our lives may certainly help us reach to a point of weakness. There isn’t anything impossible or too hard for the Lord. The grace that is greater than our sin, is also complete and perfect to see us through the darkest nights, the highest mountains, and our deepest struggles. God’s grace is greater than all our problems. What is impossible with man is possible with God.
1. God’s Grace helps us to Give Benevolently
2 Corinthians 8:1-2 “Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia; How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality.”
This giving was amazing… it is without a doubt a sacrificial and miraculous way of giving. The only explanation one can give to this kind of giving is the grace of God.
2. God’s Grace helps us to Labour
1 Corinthians 15:10 “But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.”
3. God’s Grace to Witness with every God-given opportunity
Colossians 4:5-6 “Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.”
4. God’s Grace to Forgive others as we have been Forgiven
Ephesians 4:31-32 “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.”
5. God’s Grace to Endure Hardness and be Faithful to Please God
2 Timothy 2:1-3 “Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.”
6. God’s Grace Strengthens us in Christ Alone
Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
I thank my God who enables us through Christ to do what pleases Him. It is only by God's grace we can do all that He wants us to do, but we must be very careful not to blame the grace of God for our unfaithfulness, because God is able. We must have faith in His saving Grace and sanctifying Grace.
Ephesians 3:20 “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,”
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
This verse (John 3:16) is a famous Bible verse amongst the believers and non-believers. It is a rich verse that proves God’s love through one of the greatest promises ever given to man – the promise of “everlasting life”.
DL Moody once said, “God never made a promise that was too good to be true.”
God planned, prepared, and promised eternal life with Him in Heaven before the world even began.
Titus 1:2 “In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began.”
Unfortunately, in the beginning of creation the devil effectively deceived people into rebelling against God and living life without Him, causing them to miss out on God’s greatest promise.
To rebel against God and live without the Creator is sinful and has brought about an eternal death, which has been passed on to all of humanity.
Romans 5:12 “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:”
Notice what Jesus said prior to John 3:16…John 3:14 “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:”
In John 3 Jesus is speaking to a Pharisee named Nicodemus, and Jesus points him back to the time when the children of Israel fell into sin as Moses was leading them to the Promised and Land (which is a picture of eternal life). Jesus was reminding Nicodemus of God’s Great Salvation that he offered them.
John 3:16 reminds us about a few things regarding Salvation:
1. The Source of Salvation
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world…”
2. The Sacrifice of Salvation
John 3:16 “…that he gave his only begotten Son…”
3. The Scope of Salvation
John 3:16 “…that whosoever believeth in him..."
4. The Seriousness of Salvation
John 3:16 “…should not perish..."
5. The Security of Salvation
John 3:16 “…but have everlasting life.”
Jesus said in John 10:10 “...I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”
So far we have seen that God’s grace is His unconditional love that is demonstrated by His sacrifice. God makes His grace ready and available for all who will receive Him. For God to give a chance to get right with Him is grace. Today we will look at how amazing His grace is:
G = God’s Gift
R = Ready/Available
A = Amazing
God’s grace is amazing because we are undeserving of it. After all, God did not seek after us because we were desirable. He sought after us because of His grace that desired to save sinners.
Romans 5:8 “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
God didn't have to do what He has done. He didn’t have to sacrifice His only begotten son. He didn’t have to make Himself of no reputation to become a servant.
The psalmist knew the grace of God was so amazing when he said…
Psalm 8:4 “What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?
Think about this for a moment… God gives us the opportunity to experience life. He desires a relationship with us. After we have rebelled against His ways, God graciously makes a way for us to be saved from our sin and become right with Him. Then when we receive His gracious gift, He calls us to be part of His ministry. This is so amazing because we did nothing to deserve this.
James 1:17 “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”
Notice what Paul states:
1 Timothy 1:12-15 “And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; vs 13 Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. Vs 14 And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. Vs 15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.”
Another thing that is amazing about God’s grace is how He desires to work in our lives to make us like Him. It is God’s desire to do a work that we can never do within our own strength, and that work can only be done by His amazing grace!
Ephesians 3:20 “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,”
Notice what John Newton (the author of the hymn “Amazing Grace”) states:
“I am not what I might be, I am not what I ought to be, I am not what I wish to be, I am not what I hope to be. But I thank God I am not what I once was, and I can say with the great apostle, “By the grace of God I am what I am.”
1 Corinthians 15:10 “But by the grace of God I am what I am..”
A few weeks ago we saw that God’s grace is unconditionally demonstrated by His love toward us. He has demonstrated that love by giving us gracious gifts that are so amazing and undeserved. Today, we will look at how God’s grace is available and ready to be received.
G = God’s Gift
A = Available
The fact that God has made His grace available is grace. God is not obligated to give us His rich grace and mercy, but He does so because He is a good God. However, many fail to receive the grace of God either for Salvation or for Sanctification because of relying on their own efforts, works, and goodness.
Notice what Paul mentions to the Church in Galatia.
Galatians 3:1-3 “O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? Vs 2 This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Vs 3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?”
Receiving God’s grace will help us “Grow in Grace” How do we receive God’s grace?
1. By Faith – Ephesians 2:8-9, Galatians 5:4-6
Receiving God’s grace is believing and resting in the finished work of Jesus Christ. It is believing that God is gracious and that we do not deserve His grace, but we understand that He loves us, and so therefore we receive His grace with thanksgiving.
Galatians 5:4 “Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. Vs 3 For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. Vs 6 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.”
2. By Humility – Proverbs 3:34, James 4:6
Martin Luther once said “A man must completely despair of himself in order to become fit to obtain the grace of Christ.”
Have you ever asked God to humble you? God will do a better job in humbling us than we can, because when we think that we are humble enough for His grace we have then been lifted up in pride.
“God alone knows how to humble us without humiliating us, and how to lift us up without flattering us” — unknown
3. By the Knowledge of God – 2 Peter 1:2
The grace of God is multiplied to us as we grow to know more and more about Jesus; more of His love divine. God’s love is unfailing, undying, and is the very thing that should keep us by His side.
a. An unfailing and undying love – Jeremiah 31:3a
b. Love draws me closer to God – Jeremiah 31:3b.
Romans 2:4 “Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?”
God’s desire is that all His Children grow in His Grace. The Christian’s conversion is the start of God’s grace, but the Christian life is growing in God’s Grace.
David Livingstone once said “I’ll go anywhere provided it is forward”.
G = God’s Gift
Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: vs 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
God’s grace is His unconditional love toward us. He has demonstrated that love by giving us gracious gifts that are so amazing and undeserving. We have a God that is too good to us, and His love is better than anything this whole world can offer. The Psalmist said “…thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee.”
AW Tozer said “Grace is the good pleasure of God that inclines Him to bestow benefits upon the undeserving. Its use to us sinful men is to save us and make us sit together in heavenly places to demonstrate to the ages the exceeding riches of God’s kindness to us in Christ Jesus.”
1. God’s Gift of Love – Romans 5:8
This amazing love is found in Jesus Christ. Through His love, He grants us forgiveness of sin and eternal priceless treasures that fade not away.
a. Jesus – Romans 3:24, 2 Timothy 2:1
b. The Gospel – Acts 20:24
c. Salvation – Ephesians 1:7, Acts 15:11
d. Eternal Life – Romans 6:23
e. Divine Royalty – Romans 8:6-17
f. Repentance – Titus 2:11-12
Note: For God to give all people everywhere the opportunity to turn back to Him is great grace.
2. God’s Gift in Prayer – Hebrews 4:16
It is an absolute privilege to be able to talk to God through prayer and cast our care upon Him.
Hebrews 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.”
3. God’s Gift in His Calling – Ephesians 3:7, Philippians 3:14
There is no greater calling in life than to have the Creator give us various abilities to use for His glory!
Ephesians 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.”
4. God’s Gift in His Service – 1 Peter 4:8-10
1 Peter 4:10 “As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.”
5. God’s Gift of His Strength & Power
2 Corinthians 12:9 “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.”