Not Ashamed of Grace!

Not Ashamed of The Gospel of Grace   Romans 5:1-11

Introduction

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—the Jew first and also the Gentile.

In Romans, Paul writes of the Good News of Jesus and his deep awareness of his need for Jesus and gratitude for the gifts of God. 

Romans 3:23-24For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.

Paul admitted that he was a sinner, all of us are sinners. The truth about sin makes the truth about grace amazing. Brennan Manning: My deepest awareness of myself is that I am deeply loved by Jesus Christ and I have done nothing to earn or deserve it. 

The message of Grace is often strange to religious people.

It seems like permission to sin.

It seems like it lessens the importance of holy living.

It seems like a free pass to live how we want.

It seems like an excuse for immoral behavior.

It seems like a way to let people off the hook.

It seems too easy – pleasing God has GOT to be hard!

But Grace is the most marvelous gift. It is the expression of God’s love for us. And it provides us the most basic treasures we all desire in our lives. When we stand in Grace, we stand …

1. We Stand In Peace 

Romans 5:1-2 Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. 2 Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.

We finally can have peace when we realize that we are unable to save ourselves – but God is willing and able.

Grace teaches me of my inability – my NEED for God’s work in my life.  I cannot accept grace and at the same time hold myself as a righteous individual … grace admits the need for forgiveness. Grace is the source of the peace that passes understanding.  We can never have peace without standing in grace. When we stand in grace we … 

2. We Stand in Hope 

Romans 5:3-4 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 4 And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.

Through grace we learn to become hopeful as we travel through the hardships we face. It is not easy. We learn to cope with the difficulties and problems of life through struggles. We all have challenges to our faith along the way. May come in the form of our own doubts. 

Disappointing relationships w/ brothers and sisters. 

Other experiences make it difficult to live by faith.

We can stand in hope because grace comes from God, and not ourselves. Ephesians 2:8 God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.

When we stand in grace we stand in peace and hope…

3. We Stand in Love 

Romans 5:5 And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

The power to love comes from God’s Holy Spirit. It has been poured out into our hearts. This is love for us to receive – do you feel loved by God? It was so important to God that you know His love that he sent his Holy Spirit to pour it … not drip it sparingly … pour it into your heart.

The love of God leads us to love others.

1 Peter 4:8 “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”

1 John 4:7 “Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God.”

When we stand in grace we stand in peace, hope, love

4. We Stand in Jesus 

Romans 5:6-8 When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. … But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.

Love came when we were helpless … while still sinners. That’s how we know grace is really grace. The very best of who we are, is a shadow of Jesus.

5. We Stand in Friendship 

Roman s 5:9-11 And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. 10 For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. 11 So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.

It’s true that God loves all… but he is not in relationship with all. Sin is in the way – it’s a barrier to all of the blessings that God wants to give. When we allow that barrier to remain, we will not have the relationship with God that he offers.  But the good news is that its not hard to receive that grace. Through faith accept the new life that God wants to give you. Decide to be baptized today!

Stand in grace and stand in friendship with God. “No not a friend like the lowly Jesus! No Not One!” Grace is God’s friendship, extended freely to all in His son.

Conclusion

Today we have a new day … new opportunities … a new appreciation for God’s grace … and a new resolve to show God’s grace to other sinners such as ourselves. 

It is this grace in which we stand … and will continue to and in order to bring glory to God in the church!

This is a gathering of sinners who have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. We rejoice in the freedom and forgiveness we find only in Jesus Christ. It is through faith in Jesus that we have found access into God’s grace. 

It is not our goodness that we come to celebrate, but the goodness of God. It is only because of the gift of God that we can stand here, standing in grace … bringing us peace, hope, love, Jesus, and Friendship with God.

“We cannot will ourselves to accept grace. There are no magic words, preset formulas, or esoteric rites of passage. Only Jesus Christ sets us free from indecision. The Scriptures offer no other basis for conversion than the personal magnetism of the Master.” – Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel

Let Jesus draw you to Himself in grace today.

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LifeGroup Questions 

1. Big themes this morning were peace, hope, love, and friendship with God – all through Christ. If you had to choose one of those, which would mean the most to you?

2. What are some of the ways you have experienced peace with God through Jesus Christ? What peace can a new Christian expect?

3. In verses 3-4  Paul traces a pathway through suffering that ends in trusting God’s love. He begins with the idea that “we also boast in our sufferings” (NRSV). How does that resonate with you and your experiences? How do you think this idea might bless a Christian who is going through a severe trial? 

4. In what way/ways is God’s love poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit? How do we know this love? How does this love keep us from being disappointed with God (vs. 5)?

5. While we were still weak, Christ died for the ungodly (vs 6).

*What does this tell us about grace?

*What does this teach us about loving others?

6. Verse 9 says we are “justified’ by his blood. What does the word ‘justified’ mean to you?

7. This section closes with a few verses that mention reconciliation. What does the concept of reconciliation mean to you and your relationship to God? What would be the worst part of being separated from God? Can we be sure that we are reconciled to God?

8. What else did you see here that you wanted to talk about?