Sunday Sermon – ‘God’s Amazing Grace – Able to Make Us More Like Christ’



Suppose you won the Publisher’s House Clearing Sweepstake. The prize was $10 million dollars with an additional $1 million dollars a year for the rest of your life. That would be pretty exciting to say the least. I’m sure that each of us can think of a million ways to spend a million dollars.

But suppose also that rather than sharing any of your fortune, you would hoard it all up for yourself. While friends and family all around you struggled, you would live a lavish lifestyle. That would be unthinkable, yet many of us are often guilty of acting the same way with the grace of God. We want God to pour out His grace upon us by the truckloads while we dish it out to others with a thimble.

Over the next couple of weeks we’re going to study about our responsibility to properly manage the grace of God.

1 Peter 4:10 As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

As we freely receive God’s grace, so are we to freely give God’s grace. We are the stewards of His Amazing Grace.

I. What is Grace?

We have defined God’s grace as His unmerited favor. The Bible teaches us that we all have sinned and come short of God’s glory; therefore we do not deserve His kind favor. Yet God desires to extend to us such kind favor because He is a gracious God.

Grace is God’s unmerited favor shown to us. Grace is also God’s holy influence upon our lives. Grace calls us to salvation. Grace sustains us in our salvation. Grace gives us the strength we need to live the Christian life. Grace transforms us from sinners into saints.

Therefore because we have received God’s grace, we have the responsibility to be a good steward of His grace.

1 Peter 4:10 As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

The word that is translated as ‘gift’ is the word we use for grace. This passage could read – “As every man hath received grace, even so share such grace with others.”

II. Our Stewardship of God’s Grace

What does it mean to be a steward of God’s grace? A steward is someone who is put in charge of managing what belongs to another. Examples might be those put in charge of managing the household or estate of another. Perhaps the greatest illustration of our stewardship before God is found in Matthew 25.

Matthew 25:14 For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. 15 And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.

As the owner of the estate was preparing to leave on a long journey, he gave to each of his servants a special responsibility. Each servant was assigned the task of managing a portion of their master’s estate. We should note that the servants did not become the owners of the estate; they were merely responsible for properly managing what belonged to their master.

As the story goes, two of the servants acted wisely while the third servant acted foolishly. Rather than properly investing his master’s possessions and fulfilling his assigned responsibility, he was lazy and negligent and went and buried his master’s possessions in the ground.

Then one day the master returned and required each servant to give an account of how they had handled their responsibility. The two servants who acted wisely were praised, while the third servant who acted foolishly was condemned.

Jesus told this parable to help us understand that with our call to become His disciples, there also comes great responsibility. With the receiving of God’s grace comes the responsibility of properly using His grace.

Though today we may think that we’re getting by with squandering and mishandling God’s grace, the day will come when each of us will give an account of ourselves to our Lord. The question will be – ‘What did you do with My grace?’ Peter states that ‘every man’ or every member of the body of Christ receives gifts of God’s grace. In specific Peter is referring to spiritual gifts. We will study that aspect of grace in greater detail next week, but for today let us say that every bit of God’s grace is a gift. We do not deserve even the least bit of His kind favor.

The Apostle Paul understood this very clearly. Note how he refers to his stewardship of the grace given to him.

1 Corinthians 15:9 For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

God gives us His grace with the expectation that we will properly use it. God gives us His grace for the purpose of making an eternal impact. How do we use the grace of God?

A. For personal needs

Whenever we pray – “Lord, help me! Lord, give me strength!”, in reality we are praying – “God, give me Your grace.” “God, graciously meet my needs.” God’s grace is sufficient for our spiritual needs, our physical needs, and our emotional needs.

But there is another reason God gives us His grace.

B. For the needs of others

1 Peter 4:10 As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another…

As God gives you His grace, so use it. The word ‘minister’ means to serve. Peter is saying, ‘Use God’s favor and holy influence to serve others and help meet their needs.’

III. Stewards of God’s Unmerited Favor

We have defined grace as God’s unmerited favor. Grace is God demonstrating kindness to us; kindness which we have neither earned nor deserve. Because we are the recipients of such kindness, we are to in return show such kindness to others.

In his letter to the Colossians, Paul teaches us what such gracious kindness will look like when it is present in the life of a believer.

Colossians 3:8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. 9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; 10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:

Paul uses the metaphor of clothing to help illustrate the new life that we have in Christ. Salvation is putting off an old nature that is corrupt in all its ways and putting a new nature that is created in the image of Christ. Paul says in Romans 13:14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof. We could say – Put off selfishness and self-centeredness and put on a caring heart for others.

 12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; 13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.

These virtues help to describe the nature of Christ. They also help to describe the character of grace. Grace shows compassion to those in need. Grace is tenderhearted and desires to show kindness to those who are hurting. Grace desires to exalt others more than self. Grace is mild and gentle. Grace is patient. Grace is willing to suffer for a long time rather than being quick to seek revenge. Grace forbears. Grace forgives. Grace loves.

14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.

Grace is full of joy and praise.

16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

Paul tells us to let the ‘word of Christ dwell in us richly.’ What is the word of Christ? I am sure that we could say that it is the Bible; but perhaps Paul had more in mind the commandment Christ gave to His disciples – John 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.

This is a rich, rich passage and so much could be said; however because of the other important parts of this special service today, I need to make my message brief. For simplification I believe that we could say that Paul’s intent was – “Let the grace of God fill your lives and let it spill over into the lives of others.


Those who receive God’s grace are to give God’s grace. We are the ambassadors of His grace to a world in need. This illustration comes from Moody Monthly, December, 1983, p. 81. It is a wonderful example of what it means to be gracious to others.

Charles Spurgeon and Joseph Parker both had churches in London in the 19th century. On one occasion, Parker commented on the poor condition of children admitted to Spurgeon’s orphanage. It was reported to Spurgeon however, that Parker had criticized the orphanage itself. Spurgeon blasted Parker the next week from the pulpit. The attack was printed in the newspapers and became the talk of the town. People flocked to Parker’s church the next Sunday to hear his rebuttal. “I understand Dr. Spurgeon is not in his pulpit today, and this is the Sunday they use to take an offering for the orphanage. I suggest we take a love offering here instead.” The crowd was delighted. The ushers had to empty the collection plates 3 times. Later that week there was a knock at Parker’s study. It was Spurgeon. “You know Parker; you have practiced grace on me. You have given me not what I deserved; you have given me what I needed.

As the stewards of God’s grace we are to give to others, not what they deserve, but what they need. What an impact the church could make upon the world if only we as God’s children would determine to be better stewards of His amazing grace.

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