SERMON SERIES:

STANDING STRONG IN A SHAKEN WORLD: GRACE

10/17/2021



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In our sermon series Standing Strong in a Shaken World our sermon is Grace.  Grace is underserved kindness, or unmerited worth.  Grace stands opposite to entitlement.  One Christian writer traces the source of anger in our time to the basic entitlement of “you owe me.”  This causes us to feel like we deserve more. We find that we are never content and we don’t find the goodness in our lives.  It also creates a baseline of anger which we have seen explode during the election and the pandemic.  Entitlement says, “I am owed,” but grace says, “I have received what I did not deserve.”  If we are going to stand strong in a world filled with condemnation and the cancel culture, we will need a powerful grace.  We turn to Ephesians 2:1-10.  Paul begins this letter by praying for this church, he writes: “I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him.”  (Ephesians 1:19, (NLT)) Through the Holy Spirit this Apostle tells the Ephesians and all of us that the path to this power is through acceptance, not accomplishment.  It is not through “you owe me” but it is found in “I have been given more than I deserve.” This is contrary to our human nature and natural instincts, but that is precisely the point.  In order for us to stand strong in a shaken world, it can only be by grace!  As you read Ephesians 2:1-10, it is our prayer that you will experience the power of grace lifting you into God’s transforming love. Ephesians 2:1-10: As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions– it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith– and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God– 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (NIV)