Lesson # 18: GRACE
Tonight’s lesson is all about GRACE:
Comes out of Principle #6 and Step #9
“Evaluate all my relationships. Offer forgiveness to those who have hurt me and make amends for harm I’ve done to others, except when to do so would harm them or others.”
“Make direct amends to such people whenever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.”
Tonight: Conclude Principle #6
We’ve talked about how to evaluate all our relationships,
How to offer “Forgiveness (In our recent lesson on Forgiveness – 5 Keys to Forgiveness cards) we learned the Godly process of Forgiveness.
How to “Make Amends”
CLEARLY: these are the examples set for us by JC
As we draw closer to Him it should be a NATURAL DESIRE to want to model His teachings and His ways.
We should want to be MORE LIKE HIM
If we are EVER going to get this principle and practice it we MUST learn to model his GRACE above all else.. BUT HOW ??????
Begin w/ your thoughts @ Grace: ASK: How do you define it?
Looking for “gift”, “enough – sufficient”, can’t be bought – earned,
Where does Grace come from?
Is Grace “one way” – God to us?
GRACE IS SUPPOSED TO CHANGE US !!!
GRACE IS A GIFT !
You may or may not remember that the KEY VERSES for CR are found in II Cor. 12: 9-10 (with emphasis) :
“But he said to me, My grace is enough for you. When you are weak, my power is made perfect in you. So I am very happy to brag about my weaknesses. Christ’s power can live in me. For this reason I am happy when I have weaknesses, insults, hard times, sufferings, and all kinds of troubles for Christ. Because when I am weak, then I am truly strong.”
You can see that CR is built on ; and centered in Christ’s Grace for each one of us.
Take out your handout: Look at tonight’s acrostic: G R A C E
The “G” in grace is GOD’S Gift
ASK: Can you buy your own gift? (if do, not a gift any more)
Def: of “gift”: “something that is given voluntarily without compensation – a present”
You can not do ANYTHING to get God’s gift.
So – When you offer – OR – (give as a gift) your process of making amends for when you hurt someone OR Forgive and expect NOTHING back – Well that’s a gift from you to those you’ve hurt, or those who have hurt you.
Romans 3:24 sets this up for us: “All need to be made right with God by his grace, which is s free gift. All need to be made free from sin through JC.”
I Peter 1:13 drives the point even deeper: “Prepare your minds for service and have self-control. All your hope should be for the gift of grace that will be yours when JC is shown to you.”
Do you see the point here? - God does not ask you to be perfect. He knows you can not be perfect in this world
So – Thank God for his merciful GRACE and Love for you.
Strive to be as close to a likeness of Him as you can be.
AND He will give you strength to make Amends and offer “F” that Principle # 6 speaks about.
OK Now - How do we receive God’s gift of grace?
That’s the “R” in our acrostic: “RECEIVE”
RECEIVED “ONLY” BY OUR FAITH
Only by professing our Faith in JC as Lord &Savior can we experience His grace and eternal life
Support for this comes from Ephesians 2:8-9 “ For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.”
Philippians 3:9 is another supporting verse: “No longer counting on being saved by being good enough or by obeying God’s laws, abut by trusting Christ to save me; for God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith – counting on Christ alone.”
You and I tend to be more interested in what we do. God is more interested in who we are.
REMEMBER Your walk needs to match your talk. Others see our actions – most notably of course is when we forgive others (apply Grace)
Next letter in our acrostic is “A” We are ACCEPTED by God’s love.
Probably one of the most difficult things for CR folks to accept is that in the midst of our sinning, and addictive behavior – God still loves us – He’s crazy about us.
Romans 5:8 “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Do you see how this frees us to love others in their fallen state?
We CAN forgive others! & we MUST forgive others! If we ever hope to be free ourselves.
Colossians 3:13 makes the point here: “Be gentle and ready to forgive; never hold grudges, Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.”
If you are like most CR folks, you sometimes think that you don’t deserve God’s love – or His Grace.
Good news is: He accepts you in spite of yourself. He sees all your failures and loves you anyway. In other words: On your worst day…
Ok, let’s move on to the next letter: “C” CHRIST paid the price
Jesus died on cross so that all our sins, all our wrongs, are forgiven.
He Paid the price – IN FULL – All Of It !!
WHY? ASK them “Why did God do this?”
Answer: loves us & is lonely for us
Are you OK with being away from someone you love dearly? Don’t you try to be near them whenever you can?
Well, that not unlike God. He wants us to be with him in eternity so he paid price
Last letter in Grace is “E” God’s grace is an EVERLASTING gift.
Once you accept JC as savior & Lord, God’s gift of Grace is FOREVER.
Philippians 1:6 says: “And I am sure that God who began the good work within you will keep right on helping you grow in his grace until his task within you is finally finished on that day when Jesus Christ returns.”
II Thessalonians 2:6 makes it even clearer: “ May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father encourage you and strengthen you in every good thing you do and say. God loves you, and through his GRACE he gave you good hope and encouragement that continues FOREVER.”
I’m going to Close the lesson with three things: First a scripture verse that maybe you should all adopt as your own “Life Verse”.
First the Life Verse: Found in I Peter 2: 9-10
“For you have been chosen by God himself – you are a priest of the King, you are holy and pure, you are God’s very own – all this so that you may show to others how God called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were less than nothing; now you are God’s own. Once you knew very little of God’s kindness; now your very life has been changed by it.”
Second: Some “Thoughts On Grace” (handout)
Third & finally, a VIDEO of the Hymn: Amazing Grace.
Close with Prayer
Dismiss to Open Share Groups
Newcomers to room 302 with Ron Blough