Sunday Sermon: ‘God’s Amazing Grace – Able to Make Us Secure’



Oftentimes people speak of the many religions of the world when actually there are only two religions: a religion based upon man’s works and a religion based upon God’s grace. Beliefs such as Hinduism and Buddhism believe in things such as reincarnation where the spirit can return to this earth over and over again and hopefully at some point get it right so that it might obtain heaven. Islam follows the 5 Pillars of Islam and the Koran which helps the follower to obtain heaven by their works. Even Judaism leans upon obedience to the Law of Moses.

Then on the other hand there is another belief that says that man can do nothing to merit favor with God, but that salvation and eternal life are possible only as the result of God’s grace (unmerited favor). The Christian faith is based solely upon our faith in God’s grace as it was made available to us through the substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus Christ. We read from the pages of the Bible:

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Titus 3: 5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us…

To think that God would forgive our sins without us having to earn it, seems almost too good to be true. Yet that’s why we call it – Amazing Grace.

In his opening address to the Galatians, the Apostle Paul writes –

Galatians 1:1 Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;) 2 And all the brethren which are with me, unto the churches of Galatia: 3 Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, 4 Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father: 5 To whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

Why would God be willing to suffer for our sins? Why would Jesus be willing to go to the cross and die in our place? I can’t fully answer that question but I believe that a lot of it has to do with God’s desire to be praised for His grace. Paul wrote to the Ephesians –

Ephesians 1:6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. 7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

‘To the praise of the glory of His grace’, Paul writes. In Galatians 1:5 we read – To whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. We could sum it up by declaring – It is an amazing God who would provide such amazing grace.

It is with that thought in mind that Paul writes to the churches of Galatia. Though God’s grace is wonderful and amazing, there were false teachers creeping into the churches and trying to distort God’s gospel of grace. They were trying to lead men to believe that grace alone is not enough to save us. We must ‘do something’ in order to make ourselves worthy of God’s favor.

6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.  9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

To be accursed means to be cut off; to be doomed for destruction. Paul speaks of those who would ‘pervert’ the gospel of Christ. How were these men trying to pervert the gospel? The word used here actually means to {turn around.} By trying to make good works a requirement for salvation, they were trying to turn the gospel of grace back to the Law. They were trying to steer men back to the necessity of being circumcised and obeying the Law in order to be saved. Paul says twice in this passage that anyone who would try to do this should be turned over to God so that God might judge them accordingly. This is strong language, but it emphasizes the importance of God’s grace.

I.  Fallen From Grace

These false teachers kept trying to teach that Gentiles must become as Jews in order to be saved. As you well know, the church began being made-up primarily with Jews. Among these many Jewish converts were a great number of priests and other religious leaders. Though the Spirit was revealing to them that Jesus was the Messiah and that He had died for their sins, many of them had a hard time letting go of their old ways and traditions. For 1500 years the Jewish people had been trying to follow the Law of Moses and for the most part it had developed into an extreme system of legalism that was more difficult to follow than our current tax code. Therefore, as you might guess,  it was very difficult for many of them to let go of their old legalistic ways. The struggle between works and grace caused conflict within the church for a number of years.

Yet Paul tells us that those who try to distort the gospel by adding in works should be accursed and those who submit to such false teaching have ‘fallen from grace.’

Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. 2 Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. 3 For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. 4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law;  ye are fallen from grace.

What does it mean to fall from grace?

A. Falling From Grace

Some teach that falling from grace is failing to do what we must do in order to be acceptable with God. In Paul’s day, the big issue was Jewish circumcision. Today this thought often involves:

  • Christ + the need for water baptism
  • Christ + the need for church membership
  • Christ + the need for keeping the Ten Commandments
  • Christ + the need for following some man-made tradition

To fall from grace means that we believe that we must do something in order to make ourselves worthy of God’s favor; yet grace teaches us the exact opposite. Grace teaches us that God’s favor is a gift and therefore it is His unmerited favor.

Consider for a moment unmerited favor vs. merited favor. Merited favor says that favor is the result or the reward of something we have done. Unmerited favor says that God favors us, simply because it is what He has chosen to do, independent of us or our good deeds.

So which is it? Is salvation the result of merited favor or is it the result of unmerited favor? Let’s let God’s Word answer that question.

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us…

Salvation is not by any works of righteousness which we have or can do, but by God’s grace which is His unmerited favor.

 B. Freedom in Grace

Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

Many translate this passage to literally mean – ‘It is for freedom that Christ has made us free.’ Freedom from what? Is Paul referring to a freedom to sin? Some have believed that. Grace almost seems too good to be true and if we view grace through the eyes of our fallen nature, it can become a temptation to use grace as a license to sin. Yet the Bible clearly condemns such thinking.

Galatians 5:13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.

Jude goes even further in condemning those who would try to use grace as a license to sin.

Jude 1:4 For there are certain men crept in unawares , who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.  

The word ‘lasciviousness’ means – unbridled lust or shameless sin.  Jude says that those who think this way have actually denied the Lord Jesus Christ. They are clearly out of the will of God and His purpose for grace. Grace does not give us the freedom to sin. Grace gives us freedom from sin and the strength to serve God.

What then is the freedom that Paul speaks of? There are two parts to this freedom:

1.   Freedom From the Yoke of Bondage

Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

Because the early church was made up primarily of Jews, in the beginning there was often a great struggle to determine who Christians should be and how should they act. Many were asking – “Is Christianity an enhanced form of Judaism?”

During one such debate, Peter corrected such legalistic thinking by calling it – ‘a yoke of bondage that neither they nor their forefathers were able to bear.’ (see Acts 15:10) Paul tells us in Romans 8 that the law was not able to make us righteous because it was ‘weak through the flesh.’ (see Rom 8:3) Though the Law itself was good, our flesh is too weak to fully obey it. Therefore, to tell someone that you must do certain things in order to be righteous before God is giving them a task that is impossible to accomplish. In Galatians 2 we read –

Galatians 2:21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: (cast aside / reject) for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

If we could somehow earn God’s favor, Christ died in vain. It was useless and wrong for God to put Jesus to death on the cross, if there could have been any other way. But there was no other way. Grace is not only amazing, it is an absolute. There was absolutely no other way for sinful man to be reconciled back to holy God other than through grace.  For God to extend to us His unmerited favor was the only way we could ever have any favor with Him.

2. Freedom to Serve Christ

We have repeatedly defined grace as God’s unmerited favor.  That’s a good definition, but we need a deeper definition in order to better understand God’s purpose for grace. Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionary defines grace as:

The merciful kindness by which God, exerting his holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian virtues.

Grace is what brings us to Christ. Grace is what keeps us in Christ. Grace is what strengthens us by Christ. And grace is what makes us more like Christ.

II. Secure in Grace

God’s grace is the basis of all we are. We are saved by God’s grace and we stand in God’s grace.

Romans 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope: 5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

Our security as a believer is based upon God’s grace and not our performance. Paul tells us that we ‘stand in grace.’ What does that mean?

The word ‘stand’ as it is used here means to: [make firm, establish, or fix in position.] To stand in God’s grace means to be fixed in a position of favor with Him.

According to the verses we just read from Romans 5, our position with God provides us with three great blessings:

  • Peace with God
  • Access to God
  • Rejoicing in Hope

Concerning these three great blessings, Warren Wiersbe writes in his commentary:

A.  Peace with God   

“Peace with God takes care of our past:  He will no longer hold our sins against us.”

B. Access to God

“Access to God takes care of our present:  We can come to Him at any time for the help we need.”

During the days of the Old Testament, men did not have open access to God. Only the high priest could enter into the Holy of Holies once a year and then only with a blood sacrifice. Gentiles could not even enter into the Temple area. For them, God was a long way off.

But with grace, both Jew and Gentile can now freely come to God. Grace broke down the dividing wall between Jew and Gentile and grace tore in two the veil that kept us from God. Through grace we can now know God as our – Abba Father. Through grace, God is our daddy.

Hebrews 4:14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. 15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

No wonder Paul was so adamant about protecting grace from the legalists. Who in their right mind would want to trade boldness to enter God’s presence for a yoke of bondage?

C. Rejoicing  in Hope

“Hope of the glory of God” takes care of the future: “One day we shall share in His glory!” (Wiersbe – Bible Exposition Commentary (BE Series) – New Testament)


In his great hymn, Amazing Grace, John Newton wrote –

The Lord has promised good to me.
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.

John Newton understood that it would take God’s amazing grace to save a wretch like me. He also understood that it would take God’s amazing grace to come through many dangers, toils and snares. And he understood that it would take God’s amazing grace to keep him secure as long as life endures.

All that we have, all that we hope, all that we are as a child of God is found in God’s amazing grace.

  • Have you received His grace in salvation?
  • Are you living by His grace as a believer?

If you have questions or need help in discovering God’s grace, please email me at:

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