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Four of Grace

By February 25, 2024February 26th, 2024No Comments

Good morning. Good to see you all. And yes I’m I’m here in person.

Uh so, had some people come up grab me by the cheeks. So, is that really you? Uh so, it’s wonderful and obviously, we’ve had video last couple of weeks because we had 2 weeks of vision Sunday and whenever we have a message that has to be shared to the whole church at the same time, we do that. So, probably a couple of times a term, we do that just so we can communicate the same thing to the whole church and I’m really grateful actually though. We got such a great team and people that do that. John where are you John? Uh John down at John’s the one who does our videos back there and he’s he’s actually a filmmaker and that sort of thing and he cuts us a really good deal.

Um but but no it’s a real blessing mate. Thank you so much. It was it was really really cool. And as you would remember we announced that 2 weeks ago the the next five years we are declaring the Grace Years. Amen.

Uh and so we’re believing for a whole lot of things to happen over the next five years and and by God’s grace and with his favour we can see it all come to pass and so I thought seeing as we talked about the great shares I thought today it might be good ah to talk about grace because people say well you know what do you mean when you say the great shares? I mean when you say the word grace ah people have a lot of different understandings of what it means. I mean for some people they think grace is what you say before you have dinner. You know and ah and other people have different understandings of what grace is. But grace is such a multifaceted thing. Ah that I thought today I’ll you have a look at every time the word grace appears in the Gospels.

So Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John when the word grace is actually spoken of there, we’ll have a look at it, look at its context so that we can get a well-rounded understanding about what the word grace means and so, this won’t be the only time we talk about grace over the next few months because it’s such a wide topic and that sort of thing. But I thought it’s best to start, I reckon, in the Gospels. And so with that in mind, I want to talk to you today about four of grace and the first place I want to look is actually in the book of Luke. Uh Luke chapter two verse forty. Luke two verse forty and it says this.

It says and the child grew and became strong in spirit. Filled with wisdom and the grace of god was upon him. Grace of god was born. It’s the first time the word grace appears in the gospels and so it’s talking about the child. Who’s the child? What’s talking about Jesus? And it’s that the grace of God was upon him.

Now, the most common understanding of the word grace is god’s grace towards us when it comes to the forgiveness of sins. And so I remember there was some kind of survey done by a well-known preacher and he did his survey to find out what people understood the word grace meant and the vast majority like 95% said Grace was the forgiveness of sins. However, for that verse, that’s not applicable because he’s talking about Jesus. He doesn’t need his sins forgiven. But he had the grace of God upon him.

So what does that mean? Grace also means the favour of God. So, right here, the first thing about grace that we can see is that it is unmerited favor. The favor of God upon you means that doors can open for you. That things can come out in advance of you. I believe every single person in this place has been called to do things and has great zones in their life and the favor of God upon them.

I love what TDJ says about favor. He says that favor ain’t fair. So, what that means is this, that when you have grace and favor upon your life, God can open up opportunities. There are levels of fruitfulness upon your life because of the grace of God. Let’s look at some other passages of scripture in the New Testament that might indicate this.

Second Corinthians nine eight says this, and God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you will always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. So, in that place of scripture he’s saying that the grace of God can release supernatural provision in your life. Second Peter chapter one verses two to three says this, grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. As his divine power has given to us all things to pertain to life and godliness through the knowledge of him who called us by glory and virtue. So in that passage of scripture he’s actually saying that the grace of God actually helps us to actually live a godly life.

Acts 433 says this with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus and great grace was upon them all. Acts 1540 but Paul chose Silas and departed being commended by the brethren to the grace of God. They’re all believers and he’s saying this commending them to the grace of God. What is he saying? That he’s believing for the grace and the favour of the Lord to be upon them that wherever we go. As believers we can believe for the grace and favour to actually be upon us.

And find areas of your life that might be unusually fruitful, that might have a significant amount of grace upon it, that is the grace of God. That’s why we’ve called the next 5 years, the grace years, because without the grace of God, we can’t do it. We need God’s grace and favor upon us to achieve the things that we’ve set out over the next five years. We’re going to double our churches footprint in 5 years. What took 47 years we’re going to do in five? Now, that is not normal.

That is usual. But when you have the grace and the favour of God, you’ll be amazed at what happens. You know, we had our school staff dedication today and it’s just incredible like what god has done with our school. It’s unusual. I think sometimes we take it for granted but the school is just amazing.

We’ve got 5000. We’re the largest Christian school in Australia, largest independent school in Queensland, 5000 students across our locations and that’s only going to grow and really it’s because the grace and the favour of God that’s upon it and that’s why we believe that if you got if you’ve been given grace and favour in an area, it’s important to steward it, to believe, to keep advancing it, and so we believe that that’s something God has called us to do in the life of our school. Notice this, it actually says that the grace of God was actually upon the child Jesus. So notice this, it didn’t come when he had fulfilled his obligations and committed his mission. Jesus had not committed it, completed his mission when he actually had to receive the grace of God.

It was there from the beginning. He hadn’t done anything to earn it. He was supposed to come and die on the cross for our sins and he hadn’t done that yet. He was going to come and perform a whole lot of miracles, but he hadn’t performed any of those yet and yet the grace of God was upon him already. Why? Because it’s unmerited favor.

When you’ve got the grace of God upon you, it’s not because of anything that you’ve done but it’s because it’s actually unmerited. It’s because He actually wants to do it. That’s why if you got an area of success or favour in your life, It’s ridiculous to try and boast. Because we didn’t earn it or deserve it. It’s actually something from the Lord.

I mean there’s been a number of times at our school board meeting. We’re seeing what God has done especially over the last ten, 15 years, that will sit there and just take a step back and just you know, you have to give glory to God and you know, we’ve got a good chairman Brendan Blakemore and Brendan’s you know, Brendan’s got the gift of humbling others and so, what we do is that there’s occasions in that board meeting where we’ll sit back and he’ll stop the meeting and he’ll say and the rest of us directors are just amazed at what God’s doing and he he’ll say listen none of us are smart enough or good enough to make this happen. We all know it’s the Lord. Amen? Amen. Because it’s unmerited favour.

So you can believe for favour in your life. You can believe for God to open doors and opportunities. But you don’t take any credit for it. Amen? Why? Because it is the grace of God. As we step out over the next five years and do the things that God has called us to do.

Let’s make sure we always walk with humility and with a limp knowing it is not about us. But it is due to his grace. Amen? It’s unmerited favour. You know I’ve think I’ve told you a story before about one time when we looking at going to you know starting Logan Village a number of years ago and had a block of land and I remember at the time you know some board members actually went to speak to the Logan Council. The Logan Council were basically talking you know And then one of our members got quite cheeky and said and because you know when you do that there’s a lot of fees associated with it.

It was like $2 million dollars worth of fees just to actually you know start something then. So one of our board members got a bit cheeky with the ah Logan ah Logan Council. Ah and said to them hey listen you know we’re going to come here. We’re going to have a church. We’re going to have a school.

We’re going to really deeply affect the community. We’re going to be a positive impact in this place. And we’re going to really help you. So do we really need to be paying all these fees up front right now? And the board members looked at each other and said Why do they pay these fees? And then they said, you know what? Don’t have to pay any fees. Couple of million bucks.

Amen. Now, that’s not fair But favour ain’t fair, baby. And when you have the grace of God upon you, amen? It’s unmerited favour. Second thing is this, next references is John chapter one verse fourteen. It says and the word became flesh and dwelt among us and we beheld His glory.

The glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. So, the next who’s the word became flesh. Well, John 1:1 says, in the beginning was the Word. The Word was with God and the Word was God. It’s talking about Jesus Christ, okay? And so, He’s at in John 1:1, He’s elevating Christ’s divinity, okay? That’s the best verse for describing Christ’s divinity.

He said, He was in the Word the Word was God and so, that’s saying He’s saying is divine but this verse here says and the Word became Flesh and dwelt amongst us. So, then, He’s saying, He’s actually man as well. So, that’s correct theology, alright? That’s theology 101. Christology. Jesus Christ, a hundred called 100% man, okay? And it’s all found there in John 1.

And then He says this. He says, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth, full of grace and truth. Now, I read verse two before and it said, the grace of God was upon him. But here, it actually says, he’s full of grace and truth. Why is he full of grace? What does that mean? It’s the grace of God toward us.

Here is God coming down with grace saying that that is God’s attitude towards us. So, the second thing about grace is actually grace is god’s will towards us. God is for us not against us. Jesus said, I haven’t come to condemn the world. He said, I’ve actually come to save it and so this is a transition into thinking of the Lord.

I think people’s thinking about God. You know, Sarah, a lot of that they think and you can sometimes think this growing up that somehow god is looking at you and he’s looking for you to make a mistake and he’s forever wanting to punish you and that somehow he doesn’t love us and that sort of thing that we have to prove that we’re worthy of his love but this already shows us that Jesus came full of grace and full of truth and that full of grace was towards us. God is for you, not against you, my friends. God has got a plan and purpose for your life. Just like before when Sean was about.

He’s heart of a father towards his children in the same way through Christ. We have become children of God and God is for you and He is not against you. He is with us. The Bible said, He’ll never leave us and he’ll never forsake us. He is for you.

That is why there are times when God might call you to step out and do something and you might be nervous and afraid and you’ll be and you might be worried about it in your own strength. I’m here to let you know that if God is for you, who can be against you? He loves us with an unending love. That’s why as I said before, just before I started preaching, that curtain was torn from top to bottom. He wants us to be with him. He loves us.

He is for us. That’s His will towards us. There’s nothing that you can do to make yourself right with him. There’s nothing that you can do to prove yourself worthy, worthy of him. Christ came full of grace and truth.

Third thing third reference is actually a couple of verses later and it’s in John one sixteen. And it says, and his fullness, we have all received and grace for grace. So, it’s saying and of his fullness we have received. So, we’ve been made right with God through Jesus Christ. Our sins are forgiven through Jesus Christ but then he says, and grace for grace.

Grace for grace. For grace. For grace. It’s a continuing thing. It’s not ending.

It’s not a one-time event. So, the third thing about grace is unending. When you give your life to Christ and become a Christian, he forgives you of all your sins. But you know what? He still pours out his grace on you after that. You know, sometimes you think I become a Christian and okay, I’ve been given a clean slate and now I’m right with God but I better not mess up again.

Cuz if I mess up again, there’ll be no forgiveness for me. No, that’s not how it works. That God is willing to continue to pour out grace for you. I know myself, I used to answer every altar call at church for years.

Why? Because of the naughty things I was doing during the week. Now, this is, I’ve stopped this a couple of months ago but other than, no, no, just kidding. Praise God. It was when I was younger. And you know, I’d come to church and meet Him, and I wasn’t living right the rest of the week and that I feel guilty and ashamed, feel like I don’t deserve to come and then I come and it took a while for that to gain traction.

But never once did I feel after having come to Him and then maybe not having it land in my heart. Never once did I feel how you forgiving you once that’s it. I mean, Jesus said to Peter, we need to forgive people seventy times seven, unending. How much more will he do that for us? Maybe you’re in this place and you’re living under condemnation and shame. Can I tell you? That grace is continually rolling off into your life.

That forever you can keep coming back to him at the throne room of grace. You can keep coming getting that forgiveness. You can keep coming and getting that strength so that you can continue to grow into the Christian that God has called you to be. Crisis unending. So many people live under shame and in condemnation.

You’re not doing enough. You’re not good enough. You’re not being enough. You’re not enough enough. I’m here to let you know it’s not about that at all.

That we are all recipients of the grace of God. And he will continue to roll that out in our lives. I’m harping on this longer than I was going to. But there is somebody here and you feel like man I keep messing up. I’m not good enough to be here.

I’m letting you know none of us are good enough to be here. And that grace will keep rolling into your life as you keep coming towards him. And the last one is this. John 11:7. For the law was given through Moses But grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

There’s a real pivotal moment. This kind of describes what’s happening here okay? So the law was given through Moses. What was the law? Well, we can see in the Old Testament, first five books of the Bible. There’s, you know, the the called, you know, the law, the Torah. Um but then, even more simply, we can see in Exodus, we can see the Ten Commandments, right? So, let’s focus on the commandments for a moment.

God gives Moses the ten commandments which is God’s righteous standard. Now, sometimes people interpret the same, that’s how I gotta live, that’s what I gotta do. And don’t get me wrong, it is good to obey those ten commandments. It’ll be good things to come in your life. But the reality is, that was God’s righteous standard.

So what that means is this, if you violate any of them once, we fall short of the glory of God. If you break any one of them, just once. If you’ve ever lied. If you’ve ever stolen. In fact, Jesus said to his disciples, he says, it’s even when it comes to adultery, he says, it’s even worse, it’s even more than just actually committing adultery even if you thought about it, you’ve actually done it.

What was he saying? No one can live up to those things. Why did God give us the law? He gave it to us to show us that we needed saving. That we were unable to live up to his righteous demands. And so the law showed us that we’re sinners. And then Christ came.

And it says here once again the law was given through Moses. But grace and truth. Came through Jesus Christ. What is he saying? He’s given the new coven He’s saying, now you’re stepping into grace. Throughout through Jesus Christ of your own volition, you weren’t able to live to that righteous standard, be made right with God.

So, through Jesus Christ, our sins can be forgiven through him and then, he can actually empower us to live the Christian life that he’s called us to live. It’s a new covenant. Did you know that this is the last time the word grace is mentioned in all four of the gospels? Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, four times mentioned, I just read them to you. Is all the time. But in the New Testament, after that in the epistles, 146 times.

Why? Because this is a change. This is a new covenant. This is a new season right now. And it comes in the personification of Jesus Christ. It’s true grace.

Everyone of these references of grace that we actually find in the gospels are all speaking about Jesus. He is the one that is declaring this new season and actually declaring this new dispensation. So what does it mean It means every one of us need God’s grace. That none of us are holy or pure enough to be made right with God of ourselves. But through Jesus Christ we can be made right with God.

And then not only that we need to understand that then it’s important for us to proclaim him wherever we go. Because it’s the only way people can be made right with God. I was just speaking in at the previous service and school staff dedication and we were talking about lucky we are that in our school we can actually preach the gospel. Just at the start of this year, I we do it you know, a first chapel service of the year with all the school staff and so I usually speak at that and I said to them, I said, listen, I just feel to talk about God because there’s not many schools you can actually do that. And I said the fact that we can do that is amazing.

So, I said, let’s just talk about him, shall we? Also recently, I had the privilege of going and speaking at couple of year 12 camps. So, we had a Ready Creek year 12 camp and then our first ever year 12 Pimpama camp, first ever co which is amazing and so I speak to the chaplains. I said, what do you want me to talk about, you know, and you know, life skills. Uh you know, something like that and I said, no, mate. Go for it.

I said, what do you mean? Go for it. Pray for them. Believe for God and touch them and it’s like, no, no schools like this. You know what I’m saying? So, he went and I spoke at the Reedy Creek one. It was awesome and you know, there was about 180 year twelves there and it and then a number of them go responded, gave their lives to Christ and then afterwards and because I said to them, I said, how awful would it be for you to be at King’s Christian College for 12 years and never even actually meet Jesus.

You are not an expert on him if you’ve never met him. It’s like going to McDonald’s and never having a Big Mac. Don’t come to me and say, you know, everything about Christianity because you went to a Christian school but you never encountered him. So, we offered an encounter for them and it was awesome, amen. And I left there thinking who else gets to do that? Just us.

I went there to keep doing it. I went there and the blessing of favour is upon us. And we need to keep preaching because no matter how nice an environment you provide, no matter how good an education, no how much help you give to families, it is nothing without an encounter with Jesus Christ. Because it’s only by Jesus Christ. That we can receive the grace and favour of God.

You know ah you might know our Pimpama youth pastor Dylan Grieve and Dylan’s a character. He’s he used to be in a in a country town called Bowen. Ah up in the Whitsundays. Ah and he came down here and ah and he was a volunteer chaplain at a state school. Now when you’re a chaplain at a state school you can’t do anything really.

You know you can’t talk about Jesus. You can’t give spiritual advice. You’re certainly not allowed to invite them to a youth group or anything like that. And that’s what he was used to and he was trained and it was completely volunteer. Don’t get paid a cent for it.

Anyway, he came down, applied for a job with us and he was at the interview and the interview was myself, Reece Davis, our executive principal and at the time, Russell Myers, who was the principal of Pimpama, he’s now principal of Reedy Creek and we’re sitting down with him and talking about the job and then we said to him, we and then we said, you know, you can. He goes, can I actually talk about Jesus? We said, of course, mate, that’s the whole point. He goes, can I like pray for kids stuff? Absolutely. Can I invite them to the youth group? 100%. He could not believe it.

You can’t do that anywhere. But you can hear. Amen? And it’s something we gotta free of a go. I did the year 12 camp. So Pimpama.

The Reedy Creek one was really good. The year twelve camp they had 90 kids only three not engaging in worship and three quarters of them come to our youth group. We need to always communicate the gospel and never stop because it’s only through Jesus Christ that people can experience the grace of God. That is why it’s so important that with these great years, communities and societies need us. They need us to go.

Because just like here, you can’t go to a shopping center around here or anywhere not bump in to a Christian. It happens everywhere. A Bible belt has formed here over the last 40 years wasn’t here before we came, friends? But it was a Bible belt has formed. And that’s why we feel as great sense that the grace of God is on us. And we have an obligation to steward that grace.

Because the only way people will experience the grace of God is through a person. And his name is Jesus Christ. And wherever we go, we proclaim that name. We proclaim his goodness. Because the only time in the gospels, the word grace is used.

It’s describing one person, and his name is Jesus Christ. Amen? That’s not every facet of grace. There are other things in the epistles but in the gospels, that’s what it says. It’s God’s unmerited favour. It’s unending.

It’s his goodwill towards us. And it’s found in a person because it’s a new covenant. And that person is Jesus. Amen? And I want to pray for you that I feel some people here are something you’re stepping into where you need god’s favour. That you need the grace and favour of God on you to actually help you to succeed and so, I want to pray over you where you are to believe that you’ll have that full confidence that that grace and favour will be upon your life.

Amen. So, right now, just close your eyes for a moment. And if you’re saying that’s me, I want that grace and favour. I’m about to step into something. I just need the favour of God.

Could be for anything. Whatever it is. If you’re stepping into something that you need God to back, you up on. If that is, you just right now. Step up your hand and say that’s me.

I need the grace and favour of God. Awesome. There are so many hands there. I just want you to all stand your feet those who put your hand up. There’s a lot of you.

I said in my message about the grace years. That anointing is not just on our church, it’s on you as an individual. You’re part of this church that’s flowing down on you and just like we’re believing as an organization to keep this thing rolling forward, we’re believing it for your life as well. Amen. Father, in the name of Jesus, I pray for every single person standing that need the grace and the favour of God upon them, Lord God.

I declare it right now in Jesus’ name. I thank you for some where you’re going to release property for them. I thank you for that lord. I thank you for It’s going to be promotions. I thank you lord.

It’s an idea that hasn’t taken, that’s about to take. I thank you lord god for someone’s financial provision. Whatever it is, Lord God. I thank you for your grace and favour. Just like your grace was upon Jesus Christ.

Your grace is upon us through Jesus Christ. We thank you and we praise you for it Lord in Jesus name. Amen. Amen.

Ps Ben Naitoko

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