Grace to You (Ephesians #4)

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Text: Ephesians 1:2 (no audio)

First appearance of the word grace is in Genesis 6:8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.

  • Grace is how God looked at Noah.  It’s how a parent looks at their child.  So God our Father describes that family relationship.
  • Grace is almost always used in the Old Testament in terms of finding grace in someone’s sight.  Finding grace in someone’s sight means they will be kind, willing to justify you, and pleasant toward you.
  • Noah could’ve prayed, Lord, don’t send a flood.  To which the Lord could’ve replied, My grace is sufficient for you.
    • Grace to prepare.
    • Grace that provided for Noah and his family (and whoever else would get on the ark.)

Grace works toward acceptance (1:6)

  • Grace is not tolerance.  The Corinthians were patting themselves on the back for ignoring open fornication in their midst.  Grace is work that actively pursues restoring the image of God.
  • Nature is pure – Holy
  • Behavior is pure – Blameless
  • Adopted children because He wanted to
  • It is the glory of His grace to make the unacceptable accepted (1:6)

Grace that is wealthy beyond what money can buy (1:7, 2:7)

  • Grace came by Jesus Christ (John 1:17)
  • Purchased people with God’s own blood (Acts 20:28)

Grace is put to work by faith (2:8)

  • By grace through faith, not by Irresistible Grace, but by grace through faith.
  • Back to the application of Noah.  Grace made provision for Noah.  Noah’s faith is what put that grace to work in favor of Noah.
  • Grace is what affords the opportunity for faith to be pleasing to God.
  • Hebrews 4:2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.
  • Romans 5:2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
  • Galatians 2:21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

God’s program of grace (3:2-8, 4:7)

  • Paul describes the grace given to him in order to minister to the Gentiles
  • Dispensation as in dispensing of dispenser.  You have a soap dispenser that you pump and a measure of soap comes out.
  • Measure of the gift of Christ
    • God measures back to you what you bring him.  Thimble of faith will yield a thimble of grace.  Dump truck of faith will yield a dump truck of grace.
    • Judgment – Matthew 7:1-2
    • Giving – Luke 6:38
    • Prayer – 2 Corinthians 12:7-9, Paul prayed for himself and the Lord supplied him with grace. Remember, when you pray for yourself, be satisfied with the answer.
    • Wisdom – apply thine heart, attend (pay attention), Proverbs 2:1-9 Knowledge, wisdom, and understanding take some effort on your part.
    • Faith – Mark 4:24 …unto you that hear shall more be given… With what measure you “hear” his word; the same will be measured to you. Are you not getting much from God through your Bible reading? You are being measured back according to what you have put in.  Matthew 9:29 Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you.

Gracious communication (4:29)

  • Mouth can minister grace
  • Learn to listen
    • You will never say anything worth saying until you learn to listen.
    • W.A.I.T – Why Am I Talking?  
    • Fools lead with their mouth.  Fools speak before they think.  A fool speaks before he hears a matter, Proverbs 18:13.
    • Note the value of silence.
      • Thoughts clear up. Reduce noise. Proverbs 4:1, 5:1
      • Circumstances have a voice.  Romans 8:28
      • Words have more weight.  Proverbs 17:27
      • It will cause you to hear.  You aren’t learning if you’re talking.
      • Much speaking will ensure sin.  Proverbs 10:19
      • Others will at least think you’re smart even if you’re not – Proverbs 17:28
  • Point your mouth in the right direction
    • James 3:3-4 bits in horses’ mouths… and we turn about the whole body
    • Proverbs 15:1. Notice how encouraging words can help.  Or feisty words can ruin the spirit.  Proverbs 18:6-7
    • Restraint of the mouth is restraint of the body; it is the height of self control.
    • Nothing happens until someone says something.  And God said… The most complete form of communication is words.  Damnation begins with words.  “Yea hath God said.”  Righteousness begins with words. “And he believed in the Lord; and he counted to him for righteousness.” The media uses words to control thought away from the Bible.
    • The direction for your mouth is found in Ephesians 4:29 – Edification to the hearer is the goal.
  • Understand the destructive nature of your tongue
    • James 3:5-10 the tongue is a fire…and full of deadly poison.
    • Understanding the nature of your tongue gives you a true appraisal of it and will help you deal with your tongue the way you should.

Grace accompanies those that love the Lord (6:24)