Virtual Rooted Group

Rooted – Grace (19th April 2020)

The story so far...

Big Words Series
Progress 60%

Today we are continuing in our series of looking at difficult Church words that get used a lot, and never explained. Today – Grace.

People sometimes say that grace is God giving us what we don’t deserve. His mercy is God not giving us what we do deserve. What do we mean by that?

 

What's the problem?

We started our series with sin. This was to outline the problems of humanity, of all the world, in relation to God. We outlined that the state and nature of people is that we are unrighteous and as such that we will face judgement and punishment from God.

All people are included in this category – people are ultimately deserving of punishment before God because of his sovereignty as the creator of all, and the fact that we don’t know and respect that.

This God made the world and everything in it. He is Lord of heaven and earth, and he doesn’t live in temples built by human hands. He doesn’t need help from anyone. He gives life, breath, and everything else to all people.
Acts
17:24-25
God’s act of creation is entirely by His own choice. Creation itself highlights the divine ownership of everything, even human beings. Because God created the world and spun out all things he has the right to demand compliance with his laws and will. These laws and will are not made up, they are the very character of God himself.

Can we follow God's rules?

Well, no. God is perfect and requires perfection from us. There is an idea called ‘a universal moral code’, that everyone understands the idea of right and wrong. Even by our own standards we know that we don’t always do the right things. People still cannot approach God because we can’t meet these standards – even when we make them for ourselves.

How do we make things right with God?

How do we pay back the damage we have done?

All of us have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory. But God treats us much better than we deserve, and because of Christ Jesus, he freely accepts us and sets us free from our sins.
Romans
3:23-24
The free gift of God is payment for our wrongdoing. We owe a debt but Christ pays it, Paul says in Romans, for all those who will put their faith and trust in Him. That is the grace of God.

A life changed...

If God gives grace, can we carry on living as we want, knowing that God forgives us?

What should we say? Should we keep on sinning, so that God’s wonderful kindness will show up even better? No, we should not! If we are dead to sin, how can we go on sinning?

Don’t you know that all who share in Christ Jesus by being baptized also share in his death? When we were baptized, we died and were buried with Christ. We were baptized, so that we would live a new life, as Christ was raised to life by the glory of God the Father.
Romans
6:1-4

“No!” Paul says. He outlines why by showing us the deep and real way that Christ’s death involves everyone who has faith in Him.

The cross of Calvary was two millennia ago but for the believer in Christ it is a time and a place in which they are involved in a wonderful, spiritual and real way.

Christ died, and rose again. We too (who believe) have died (to the old ways and old self) and been raised up with Him – that is our involvement at Calvary and that is what makes effective the change in a person when they believe.

The normal result of sin is death, so by dying with Christ the old self is no longer ruled by sin and a new life is established that is lived for God because of our relationship to Jesus.

You have accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord. Now keep on following him. Plant your roots in Christ and let him be the foundation for your life. Be strong in your faith, just as you were taught. And be grateful.
Romans
6:1-4

Consider the dual nature of Jesus – He is both man and God. When we put our trust in Him we are joined to God by Him.

Jesus was both God and man – because of what he did we have the Holy Spirit inside us, and become part of the Church. There is a wonderful parallel between the nature of Christ and our new nature – He stepped down, to lift us up. He was united with human nature, with flesh, that humanity might be united to God, made alive spiritually.

Grace

Grace then is God giving us what we don’t deserve. His free gift of a new and changed life, the life that he created us for and wants us to have!