October 7, 2018

By His Grace, For His Glory

Speaker:
Series:
Passage: Romans 1:5
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Last week we spent the entirety of our time discussing the whom of the gospel in Romans 1:3-4 - Jesus Christ our Lord.

We saw that:

Truth #1 There is No Good news without Jesus
Truth #2 Jesus is God’s Son
Truth #3 Jesus is the Promised King of Kings
Truth #4 Jesus Became a Man
Truth #5 Jesus’ Identity is Affirmed by Jesus’ Resurrection

But what is it that Jesus really came to accomplish?
Why did he become a man, live a perfect life, die a gruesome death, and resurrect to new life?
What is the goodness of the good news?

Romans 1:4b-5
Jesus Christ our Lord, 5 through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations,

Truth #1 Through Jesus We Receive Grace

Grace is one of the most important theological words in the Bible. Without an understanding of grace, there is no understanding of the gospel. In fact, just as there is no good news without Jesus, there is no good news without grace.

So what is grace?

Grace is the unearned, unmerited, not worked for, favor that God gives you.
Grace is the fact that though you are full of wickedness, God gives you goodness.
Grace is receiving that which you don’t deserve.

God’s Grace is that God owes you nothing but gives you everything.

Grace is something that Paul very much appreciated against the backdrop of his previous sins against God.

1 Timothy 1:13-14 though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief,
14 and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.

If we are honest with ourselves, we too have in our life acted ignorantly rebellious against God in our unbelief. We feel the weight of guilt and all the accusations we hurl at ourselves for not being “good enough.”

It is true that we are not good enough.

We have failed to believe God in our life just as Paul failed to believe God in his life.
We have worshiped ourself more than God
Worshipped possessions more than God
Worshipped relationships more than God.
We can’t control our lusts
We can’t control our mind.

We waste so much time.
We don’t pray enough
We don’t read God’s word enough.
We don’t share the gospel enough.
We don’t give enough.
We don’t care enough
We are not smart enough, intentional enough, consistent enough.

And God should not save us, and he definitely should not use us for anything great in this world.

We are totally doomed…unless verse 5 is true

Romans 1:5
5 through whom we have received grace

We have been given that which we do not deserve. When Paul uses the word Grace here he has in his mind the fact that he would be saved at all!

 By Grace Alone You are Saved from Sin

This is a banner that we will fly over and over again for the next two years in this study of Romans, and it is a banner that we will hopefully fly over our lives.  Over and over, we will see that this Jesus came to earth and lived a perfect life, died a sacrificial death, and accomplished a triumphant resurrection so that he might pour out upon us grace upon grace.

Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,

Romans 5:1-2 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Romans 5:20 Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more,

God's grace is greater than your sin. Your sin is finite, but God’s grace is infinite. His grace outruns your sin, overpowers your sin, and overwhelms your sin.

Romans 11:6 says it very clearly.

Romans 11:6 But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.

This grace is not dependent upon you and what you have done! If it is up to you at all then grace is no longer grace. If even one good deed in you is the reason God saved you, then he no longer saved you by grace, he paid you a wage you have earned and you have made God your debtor. But God is not your debtor. He owes you nothing and there is no good work done by you that makes God owe you anything, but by his grace, he gives you everything.

This is why it is so foolish to clean up your life first before surrendering to the lordship of Jesus. Salvation is the admittance that you do not have the power to clean up your own life,  and that even if you did the best you could to clean up your own life, you will have not earned your way into the presence of God anymore so then if you had done nothing to clean up your life. Salvation is the casting yourself on the grace of God, asking for his forgiveness as your only hope for forgiveness.

By grace alone, you are saved from sin, but grace does not stop at salvation. I am afraid that for many of us know with all our hearts that our salvation is by God’s grace alone, but then after that salvation, we forget our continual need for the grace of God. You are not somehow saved by God’s grace at the beginning of your Christian life, and then the rest is up to you.

By Grace Alone You Are Sent on Mission

Romans 1:4b-5
Jesus Christ our Lord, 5 through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations,

Paul sees “apostleship” as something he has received from God as a gift of grace. God equipped him, called him, sent him, and now sustains him in the work of preaching and teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 4:7 For who sees anything different in you? What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?

We in this room have not received “apostleship” in the official sense - meaning we are not among the apostles who saw Jesus face-to-face who have authority to write divinely inspired Scripture. But we have received all that we have, and all that we are for the carrying out of God’s mission.

By Grace you are a mother or a father.
God does not owe you that, he gave you that.
By Grace you are a husband or a wife.
By Grace you are single in this life.
By Grace you have the job you have.
By Grace you have the giftings you have.
By Grace you are in the church you are in.
By Grace you can read and write and understand and speak the words of God.

There is nothing that you have that you did not receive, so do not boast as if you have not received it. The Christian life is lived out realizing this reality more deeply every day. Paul recognizes that it was by grace he was called into the ministry of apostleship at all. And Paul realizes that it is only by grace that he will be sustained in and through the ministry of apostleship. In fact, it is by the promise of grace and the reception of grace that Paul worked harder than anyone else for the proclamation of the Gospel. Listen to how he puts it in 1 Corinthians 15:10.

1 Corinthians 15:10 Buty by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.

It is by grace that God has allowed me to be a pastor to St. Rose Community Church.
He does not owe me that.
It is by grace that God has allowed me to be a husband to Anne Marie.
He does not owe me that.
It is by grace that God has allowed me to be a father to Owen.
He does not owe me that.

And I am totally and entirely incapable of fulfilling these ministries day in and day out in my self. I desperately need daily - the undeserved favor, blessing, strength, love, humility, wisdom, zeal, energy, holiness, discipline, faith, that flows from our Heavenly father by His Grace. I have my quiet time every day, not because of some self-imposed guilt, religious box checking, or as a way to earn God’s favor. I have my quiet time with the Lord every day because I need the gracious gifts that flow from communion with him every day. Therefore, I trust God to provide what I need, and I work hard.

2 Corinthians 3:5 Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God.

By Grace Alone You Are Saved From Sin

By Grace Alone You Are Sent on Mission

But what is the mission? What are we to do with all this grace we receive from our relationship with Jesus?

Romans 1:4b-5
Jesus Christ our Lord, 5 through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations,

“To bring about” - conveys purpose. Paul has received grace and apostleship through Jesus for the purpose of bringing about the obedience of faith. Paul’s goal is getting other people to come to obedient faith. So let’s define this phrase word by word beginning with - faith.

What is faith?

Faith is not just intellectual assent to facts being true. Faith is trusting in someone. Faith is the reliance upon someone or something else. So who or what is Paul laboring for others to trust in and rely upon? Paul has received grace through Jesus so that he can lead other people to faith in Jesus and if those people place faith in Jesus, then what will they receive through faith in Jesus? - GRACE

Truth #2 Through FAITH in Jesus We receive Grace

Implied in Paul’s mission, is that not everyone is receiving grace through what Jesus accomplished in his death and resurrection. The difference between those who receive grace and those who do not receive grace is whether they have faith in this Jesus as the giver of grace.

Romans 3:28 For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from the works of the law.

Romans 5:1-2 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

We will spend nearly a whole chapter on salvation by faith alone later in Romans, but for now, I want you to notice the curious clarification that Paul attaches to faith. It is not just faith to which Paul is striving to bring others into. He could have said, “we have received apostleship to bring about faith” and it would have been sufficient. He does in other places. But in this verse, he adds a qualifier.

Romans 1:4b-5
Jesus Christ our Lord, 5 through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations,

What is Paul saying by attaching the word "obedience" to describe the word faith? Is he saying that faith itself is an act of obedience? Is he saying that obedience is the direct result of faith?

Paul feels the need to qualify exactly what kind of faith he is referring to. He has received grace and apostleship to bring about obedience that flows from genuine, real, living faith.

Truth #3 True Faith is Obedient Faith

Paul is uninterested in bringing about false converts with a false faith unaccompanied by obedience. For Paul, faith that Jesus is Lord is not really faith if you live as if he is not Lord. This obedience of faith is the type of faith that James describes in James 2.

James 2:17-20 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. 18 But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! 20 Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless?

James, says, that intellectual assent to facts is something that even the demons have. Saving faith that is not useless is the kind of faith that produces obedience. This obedience of faith is the type of faith that unites you to Jesus. The kind of faith Paul longs to bring about in the world is a faith that casts a person into full reliance on the grace of Jesus.

It is my prayer that through our study of Romans over the next two years many who come to this church thinking they are saved because they have some mental assent to God’s existence and to Jesus’ resurrection, will repent of their faithlessness and would for the first time cling to the grace of God as the only means of their salvation - and that for the first time they would come into the obedience of faith.

That is Paul’s mission, but there is more being accomplished here than just sinful people receiving grace through faith and becoming obedient. There is a greater purpose at work. There is a greater end game goal, that Paul is striving toward and for.

Romans 1:4b-5
Jesus Christ our Lord, 5 through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations,

This little word “for” conveys once again a purpose clause. What follows is the reason or purpose for what precedes. So follow the logic here of everything that has happened since verse 1.

Paul is a servant of Christ Jesus and was called an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God in verse 1.
The Gospel was promised beforehand through prophets in the holy scriptures verse 2
The Gospel is about Jesus, who is God’s son, the promised King of Kings, who became human, lived, died, and rose again (v.3-4)
Jesus gives grace to those who have faith…(v.5)

FOR THE SAKE of his name among all the nations.

What does “for the sake of his name” mean? We see throughout the Scriptures that God is about his “name” being known. When the word “name” is used it refers to all of God’s Godness, all of who he is being made known. Essentially it is synonymous with the word Glory. When the scriptures speak of doing something “for God’s name’ sake” it means to do something “for God’s glory”

Glory, in the Old Testament means weightiness, heaviness or significance. To give God Glory is to recognize God for who he is in all of his goodness. God’s glory has always been God’s goal. We could take the next hour and we could trace through the scriptures God’s working for his own name’s sake and his own glory in the world, but here are just two examples.

Psalm 106:8 Yet he saved them for his name’s sake, that he might make known his mighty power.

Isaiah 48:9-11 “For my name’s sake I defer my anger, for the sake of my praise I restrain it for you, that I may not cut you off. 10 Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tried you in the furnace of affliction. 11 For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it, for how should my name be profaned? My glory I will not give to another.

It is for God’s glory that we are saved. It is for God’s glory that we are called to believe, live, obey, and go in our daily lives.

Romans 4:20-21  No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, 21 fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised

Matthew 5:16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

1 Corinthians 10:31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 32 Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God

It was Paul’s mission, and it is our mission to make God’s glory known in all the nations. We are to tell of what he has done by sending Jesus to live the life we could not live, Die the death we deserved to die, and raise again to give eternal life we never could have earned. We have received the grace of God, and out of the overflow of that reception, we proclaim salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus alone and in so doing we give God alone all the glory.

Truth #4 Its All By His Grace & For His Glory

This is the economy of God - it is the perfect summary of God’s intentions for you.

Grace overflows into glory.

Giving God Glory is the only proper response to Receiving God’s Grace.

God gives us what we do not deserve - Grace, and we give God what he does deserve - Glory.

We live to spread the fame and the name of our great God to all the nations.

We give our praises, affections, longings, the obedience of our souls for the nations to see and savor the same God that we have come to see and savor…..

Because our Salvation from Sin is by Grace Alone, God Alone Gets the Glory

See the connection especially in Ephesians 1 and 2

Ephesians 1:6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,

Ephesians 1:12-14 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. 13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.

Ephesians 2:7-9 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

When we are saved according to God’s undeserved favor lavishly poured out upon us, we give him all the credit, and we live to make his name known among the nations - not our own name.  Our only boast is in the Lord because it is the Lord who saved us. The same principle applies to our ministry and our mission.

Because We are Sent on Mission by Grace Alone, God Alone Gets the Glory

Peter summarizes this concept perfectly in 1 Peter 4:11.

1 Peter 4:10-11 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

God gives the words to speak so God gets the glory. God supplies the strength to serve so God gets the glory

Do not pursue a healthy marriage by your own strength.
Do not parent by your own strength.
Do not go to work in your own strength.
Do not evangelize in your own strength.
Do not disciple in your own strength.
Do not do missions in your own strength.

Humble yourself before God, and in faith rely upon the grace he gives you in order that in everything God may be glorified.

Romans 1:4b-5
Jesus Christ our Lord, 5 through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations,

Why does God want us to make “his name” known among all the nations? We have asked this before, but as a way of reminder lets ask it again. Is it prideful for God to be all about making himself known? Is it selfish? It is true that it would be prideful, selfish, and unloving for me to be about making myself known in the world, but this is not so for God.

The most loving act God could do for us is to make himself known to us and through us. He is the most beautiful, most loving, most perfect, most glorious, most satisfying, most joy-giving being in all the universe… and it is only in knowing him, and beholding him in a relationship with him that any human being will be saved? The worst effect of sin is that it separates us from all the goodness of God. And God in his goodness sent His one and only Son, Jesus Christ, to take the full penalty of sin so that we might be reconciled to God.

The goal of the gospel is not just forgiveness of sin. The goal of the Gospel is reconciliation to a glorious God for all of eternity. To live for God’s glory, for his namesake, among all the nations  is the most glorious, longest lasting, purpose to live for in all of the universe and it is only possible by the grace of God in the person and work of Jesus.

Conclusion:

There are a few types of people in this room:

  • The Non-Christian who thinks that they do not need grace
  • The Non-Christian who thinks their sin is too deep to have grace
  • The Christian who was saved by grace, and upon hearing these truths again is ready to spend a few moments Glorifying their God

Where you are at, let me urge you to cling to God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus alone, for the glory of God alone.

 

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