THE BENEFITS OF GRACE
If you would open your Bibles to 1 Corinthians chapter 1. Today we start Week One, the Benefits of Grace
I would like to start Impact Christian Church on a new journey. I have never taught 1 Corinthians at Impact and I am excited to see the Impact that it has on all of us. The main idea in Corinthians is that of Living Out Our Faith…Together!!
Many of the Christian Corinthians are living average Christian lives!!
Let’s look at the intro…
- Called to be Holy…Together! (1-3)
1 This letter is from Paul, chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and from our brother Sosthenes. 2 I am writing to God’s church in Corinth, to you who have been called by God to be his own holy people. He made you holy by means of Christ Jesus, just as he did for all people everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours. 3 May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.
Rather than place their names at the end of the letter like we would, the Apostle Paul and Brother Sosthenes put all the info up front!!
That way you can decide if you want to read it or not…just kidding!!
The Paul is the greatest and most prolific writer in the New Testament. With his passion for Christ and the Church he wrote 13 of the 27 new Testament books!! Isn’t that amazing…almost half of the NT.
So here he is giving his “grace and peace” to Corinth.
- A. God’s church at Corinth: The cool thing about it is that Corinth is one of the the Popular Big cities of our day…. Which are the most famous cities, London?, Paris?, New York? Brentwood? …well in those days Corinth would be on the list. It was a perfect coastal city with a large population and they hosted the Isthmus games which were similar to our Olympic Games. It also had a canal to connect parts of Greece. Corinth, Rome, Jerusalem…big cities…the place to be…Paul spend years there to spread the word of Jesus and raise up leaders to follow Christ.
- B. Paul is writing a letter to Corinth because they have fallen back on their old ways. They are no longer living as strong followers of Christ. So Paul takes 16 chapters to say here is how to live out your faith…together.
- He is not looking down on them and saying, good luck…No, he is saying we can live a Christ-like life together in the Body of Christ!!!
- I titled the series “Living Out Our Faith (1000’s of sermons titled Living our our faith…but the key to the letters to the Corinthians is this part…Together!” because I believe that is the main thrust of this letter from the Apostle Paul to the Church at Corinth. They need to be together for all of this to work…
- The author spent several years in Corinth starting a church there with Priscilla and Aquila and several other famous bible characters who were Paul’s close friends, Silas and Timothy were a couple of them. He wants to change Corinth to change the world.
PLAY Video!!!!! Grease & High School Musical
Okay now let’s take time to look at what Paul says to start this letter…
- Past Benefits of Grace (4,6)
4 I always thank my God for you and for the gracious gifts he has given you, now that you belong to Christ Jesus…6 This confirms that what I told you about Christ is true.
Ultimately, the Apostle Paul takes the first 9 verses in 1 Corinthians to show believers who they are — saints, holy people, sanctified ones. The rest of the letter is built on this foundation:
“You are holy, therefore act holy. Live a life commensurate with who you are.”
Commensurate…comparable, in accord with, compatible to, consistent with…live out your faith in a way that honors God and do together as a church!!
Because you are holy, live a holy life!!!
So for today we are going to look at Grace…the Past, Present and Future Benefits from verses 4-9
- Benefits of Grace
- Salvation, we ‘belong to Jesus’ without earning it
- Its is a gift by Grace, a few things about grace:
- Grace cannot coexist with Guilt
- Grace cannot coexist with Human Obligation
- Grace cannot coexist with Human Merit
- Three Reasons for God’s Grace
- Grace produces Good Works
10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:10
- Grace brings believers to Heaven
4 But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, 5 that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) Ephesians 2:4-5
- Grace glorifies God
10 God’s purpose in all this was to use the church to display his wisdom in its rich variety to all the unseen rulers and authorities in the heavenly places… 21 Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:10-21
The first benefits of grace were established in our past, totally completed when we trust in Jesus. The other benefits from these verses are from the present and are given to us through out our earthly lives.
- III. Present Benefits of Grace (5,7a)
5 Through him, God has enriched your church in every way—with all of your eloquent words and all of your knowledge… 7 Now you have every spiritual gift you need as you eagerly wait for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ.
- God has Enriched our Church with:
- All Eloquent Words (v5), We are enriched in Him in in Speech
19 And pray for me, too. Ask God to give me the right words so I can boldly explain God’s mysterious plan that the Good News is for Jews and Gentiles alike. Ephesians 6:19
- All Knowledge (v5), God provides the knowledge necessary for the message to be preached
9 We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. Colossians 1:9
- All Gifts (v7), 7 Now you have every spiritual gift you need as you eagerly wait for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Two points here:
One, Christians don’t need to look for additional Spiritual Gifts
God has already provided the gifts his children need to have
Two, believer’s should, learn about, and begin to use the Spiritual Gifts that the Lord gave them…
All Spiritual Gifts…if you do not know your spiritual gifts. Please ask one of your leaders. There are many ways to find your gifts. Also we have a spiritual gift test on our Website.
- IV. Future Benefits of Grace (7b-9)
7b as you eagerly wait for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. 8 He will keep you strong to the end so that you will be free from all blame on the day when our Lord Jesus Christ returns. 9 God will do this, for he is faithful to do what he says, and he has invited you into partnership with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
This is about the return, the end, the exaltation of our Savior…We eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ!!
He will keep us strong until the end and keep us free from all blame and guilt…what a day that will be!!!
Let’s look at the Coming of Our Lord for at least 5 Reasons
IT MEANS CHRIST’S EXALTATION
- Our Lord of Lord and King of Kings will receive His deserved exaltation and cheer at last: “that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,” Philippians 2:10
- He will be lifted on High: “You are worthy, O Lord our God, to receive glory and honor and power. For you created all things, and they exist because you created what you pleased.” Rev 4:11
IT MEANS SATAN’S DEFEAT
- No longer ruler of the world (John 14:30) or “prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2) Satan will be bound and then thrown into a lake of fire.
IT MEANS JUSTICE FOR THE MARTYRS
- Many have died sharing their faith and standing up for Jesus…now they will be blessed for all their work and sorrow.
5 And God will use this persecution to show his justice and to make you worthy of his Kingdom, for which you are suffering. 6 In his justice he will pay back those who persecute you. 2 Thess 1:5-6
IT MEANS THE DEATH OF CHRIST REJECTORS
- Those who have Rejected Him will get what they were looking for: 9 They will be punished with eternal destruction, forever separated from the Lord and from his glorious power. 2 Thessalonians 1:9
IT MEANS HEAVEN FOR THOSE WHO BELIEVE
- For all who have believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, His coming will mean heaven for all eternity.
- We are saved because God wanted us saved, and we stay saved because God does not change His mind about that desire.
8 He will keep you strong to the end so that you will be free from all blame on the day when our Lord Jesus Christ returns. 9 God will do this, for he is faithful to do what he says, and he has invited you into partnership with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.