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Sermon #63 — Romans Series
Title: The Reign of Grace
Text: Romans 5:21
Subject: Grace Reigning
Reading: Luke 10:21-42
Date: Sunday Morning — August 16, 2015
Open your Bibles to Romans 5:21. As God the Holy Ghost will enable me, I want to try once more to preach to your hearts about the grace of God. The title of my message is THE REIGN OF GRACE — THE REIGN OF GRACE (Romans 5:21). In our text the Apostle Paul tells us four things about the grace of God.
1. Grace Reigns! — The throne of God is called “The Throne of Grace” (Hebrews 4:16), because grace always operates sovereignly. Grace always operates from a throne. Grace is never the result of something. It is always the cause. Grace is never the response. It is always the instigator. When Paul tells us that grace reigns he means for us to understand that grace always has its way. Grace, like God, from whom grace proceeds, is sovereign.
2. Grace reigns through righteousness. — Grace never disregards righteousness, but always operates upon a principle of righteousness. If grace forgives sin, it does so because righteousness demands it. If grace saves, it saves upon the grounds of righteousness, upon the grounds of law established and justice satisfied. Grace comes to sinners upon the grounds of strict righteousness and justice. And wherever grace comes, it promotes and produces righteousness (Titus 2:11-14).
(Titus 2:11-14) “The grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; 13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; 14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”
3. Grace reigns through righteousness unto eternal life. — Wherever grace comes, eternal life is the result. Grace does not offer eternal life. Grace produces eternal life. Grace is more than a divine attribute. It is a divine action. Grace is more than a divine initiative. It is a divine intervention. Grace is more than an offer to the sinner. It is an operation for and in the sinner! Grace is something God does for us, something God does in us, and something God does with us.
4. Grace reigns through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord! — The grace of God comes to sinners only through the mediation and merit of the Lord Jesus Christ, our Surety and Substitute. Grace comes to every sinner…
Grace is in Christ (Ephesians 1:3). You cannot get grace unless you get Christ. And you cannot miss grace if you get Christ.
Proposition: This is what I want you to see: — The religion of the Bible is a religion of grace, not a religion of works, or a religion of grace and works, but a religion of grace alone; and grace, as it is described in this Book, is a reigning monarch, invincible, irresistible, and omnipotent! — Grace always has its way!
When Paul says that “grace reigns through righteousness unto eternal life,” he means for us to understand, first, that The grace of God is omnipotent grace. — GOD’S GRACE IS MORE POWERFUL THAN MAN’S SIN. — Until you are born again by the Spirit of God, you will never know it, but this is the sinner’s only hope. No one can rescue himself from the tyranny of sin. Sin is a foe no man can conquer. You may reform yourself; but you cannot regenerate yourself. That is the work of grace (John 3:3-8; Ephesians 2:1-10).
(John 3:3-8) “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? 5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. 8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.”
(Ephesians 2:1-10) “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.”
“4 ¶ But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. 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. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
You may give up your crimes and vices; but you cannot give up your sin (Jeremiah 13:23).
(Jeremiah 13:23) “Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? Then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.”
Man by nature is under the rule of three cruel masters from whom there is no escape but by the grace of God.
But, blessed be God, grace is more powerful than sin! Grace stopped us, children of God, in our mad rush for hell, turned us to Christ, and gave us life and faith in him! — Oh, where would I be, were it not for grace?
“Amazing grace! How sweet the sound!
That saved a wretch like me;
Once I was lost, but now am found,
Twas blind, but now I see!”
Illustration: Grace Grabs – “That is just what grace does!” “You sho nuff right ‘bout dat, honey! You sho nuf right ‘bout dat!’”
Secondly, when the apostle says, “Grace reigns through righteousness,” he means for us to understand that THE REIGN OF GRACE IS A RIGHTEOUS REIGN. I touched on this earlier, but it deserves emphasis. I want all who hear this message to understand that the grace of God and the righteousness of God are friends, not enemies. I want all who hear me to realize that the only friends and promoters of righteousness in this world are those who are the friends and the promoters of God’s free and sovereign grace in Jesus Christ. I want every one of you to understand these three things.
1. Salvation is by grace alone, without any legal works of righteousness whatsoever (Romans 3:20, 28; Ephesians 2:8-9; 2 Timothy 1:9-10).
(Romans 3:20) “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.”
(Romans 3:28) “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.”
(Ephesians 2:8-9) “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.”
(2 Timothy 1:9-10) God “hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, 10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.”
2. Works have no place in the scheme of grace (Romans 11:6).
(Romans 11:6) “And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.”
3. Salvation by grace is a perfectly righteous and lawful salvation (Romans 3:24-26; 1 John 1:9; Isaiah 45:20-25). — He who is God our Savior is “a just God and a Savior!”
(1 Peter 3:18) “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit.”
Behold the crucified Christ and understand that grace reigns through righteousness!
See the love of God (Amazing!),
In the sacrifice of Christ.
See His justice, truth and mercy,
In our Savior’s sacrifice!
Look, O sinner, see God’s glory,
A just God and Savior, too—
Justly, now, in holy mercy,
God can save and pardon you!
Justice called and mercy answered—
Jesus’ blood has satisfied!
Yes, the blood our debt has cancelled,
By the blood we’re justified!
Thirdly, God the Holy Spirit tells us in our text that God’s grace, being righteous, is mediatorial grace. —GRACE REIGNS THROUGH THE DIVINE MEDIATOR, JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD. We are Trinitarians. We recognize that all three Persons in the Holy Trinity are involved in the saving operations of grace (1 John 5:7; Ephesians 1:3-14).
That means that grace is divine; and if it is divine, it is irresistible, invincible, and immutable. That simply means, God’s grace is sufficient. It can never fail.
“`Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed!
Through many dangers, toils, and snares
I have already come,
`Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home!”
Fourthly, when the Scriptures declare that, “Grace reigns through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord,” the Spirit of God is teaching us that GRACE REIGNS OMNIPOTENTLY IN EVERY PHASE AND STEP OF SALVATION. — What a big word “salvation” is! It is such a comprehensive term that it includes every aspect and stage of the deliverance of a lost soul from sin into the glorious consummation of eternal life. Every aspect and stage of salvation is by grace alone. This declaration excludes human merit entirely. Salvation, from start to finish, from eternity to eternity, is by grace alone.
“Boasting excluded, pride I abase,
I’m only a sinner, saved by grace!”
Trace out the steps of salvation and realize with grateful hearts that the whole business of salvation is owing not to the will of man, but to the will of God, not to the goodness of man, but to the grace of God!
(Psalms 115:1) “Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth’s sake.”
Grace reigns in foreknowledge (Romans 8:29). The first thing God ever did for his people was to foreknow them. Divine foreknowledge is…
Grace reigns in election.
“`Tis not that I did choose Thee,
For Lord, that could not be;
This heart would still refuse Thee,
But Thou hast chosen me!
My heart owns none before Thee,
For Thy rich grace I thirst;
This knowing – If I love Thee,
Thou must have loved me first.”
Grace reigns in predestination. Yes, the Bible does teach the doctrine of divine predestination (Romans 8:29-30; Ephesians 1:5-6, 11). Predestination is God’s everlasting determination to make chosen sinners like Christ. Everything in the universe has been arranged by God from eternity and is disposed of by God in providence to accomplish this glorious destiny for his elect (Romans 8:28; Ephesians 1:11).
Sons we are by God’s election,
Who in Jesus Christ believe,
By divine predestination,
We God’s saving grace receive!
Grace reigns in redemption (Ephesians 1:7).
Grace reigns in justification (Romans 3:24). Justification is God making sinners righteous by justice satisfied. Justification is by a gracious, divine imputation. Actually, the Bible reveals three acts of imputation by God.
Grace reigns in regeneration (John 3:8; Titus 3:5; Ephesians 2:1-4). Regeneration, the new birth, is God’s work alone. He gives life to whom he will (James 1:18; Romans 9:16).
Grace reigns in effectual calling (Romans 8:29). In the Scriptures the word “called” is used in two different ways. Sometimes it means an external, outward call, or command to come to Christ. But more often than not, it signifies and inward, effectual, irresistible call that always produces faith in Christ (2 Timothy 1:9; Galatians 1:15).
“`Twas sovereign mercy called me
And taught my opening mind;
The world had else enthralled me,
To heavenly glories blind!”
Grace reigns in conversion (2 Corinthians 5:17). In conversion a change is wrought in the sinner. There is a change from darkness to light, from death to life, from the power of Satan to the kingdom of God. There is a change of opinion causing us to believe what we once rejected, a change of affection causing us to love him we once hated, and a change of will causing us to desire what we once despised, the rule of Christ! The cause of this change is grace. — “By the grace of God I am what I am” (1 Corinthians 15:10).
Grace reigns in sanctification (Hebrews 10:10-14; Galatians 3:1-3; 1 Corinthians 1:30). Sanctification too is a work of grace alone. We were set apart for God by eternal election. We were washed from our sins by the blood of Christ. We have been made holy by the Spirit of God in regeneration. Never in the Bible is sanctification attributed to the work of man.
Grace reigns in the preservation of believers (John 10:28). It is the power and immutability of grace that secures the preservation of every saved soul.
“Grace taught my wandering feet
To tread the heavenly road,
And new supplies each hour I meet,
While pressing on to God.
Grace taught my soul to pray
And made mine eyes o’er flow,
`Twas grace that kept me to this day
And will not let me go!”
Once more, grace reigns in glorification. Heavenly glory and bliss is the reward of grace, not the reward of works. — “Whom he justified them he also glorified!” — “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” — Glorification is the crowning work of God’s grace, by which we shall be delivered from all the evil consequences of sin; from al sin itself, and made personally holy. Then we shall possess the inheritance of grace and glory that is rightfully ours in Christ (Romans 8:17; 1 Peter 1:13; 1 John 3:2).
(Romans 8:17) “And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.”
(Romans 8:18) “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”
(1 Peter 1:13) “Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
(1 John 3:1-3) “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. 2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. 3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.” (
Grace, like the Good Samaritan, not only meets the sinner’s present crisis, but also provides all things for the future.
1. There are infinitely, bountiful provisions of grace in Christ for needy sinners (1 Timothy 1:15).
2. The Son of God graciously calls sinners and assures all who come to him of a hearty welcome (Matthew 11:28-30; John 6:37-40).
(Matthew 11:28-30) “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
(John 6:37-40) “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. 38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. 39 And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. 40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that everyone which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.”
3. The grace of God is unconditional. —– No preparations!
Illustration: The Artist and the Beggar
4. Child of God, grace is both sure and sufficient!
“How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord
Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word!
What more can He say than to you He hath said,
To you who for refuge to Jesus have fled!”
“My grace is sufficient for thee!” — Bless his name! His grace is sufficient for me!
“Grace all the work shall crown,
Through everlasting days;
It lays in heaven the topmost stone
And well deserves the praise!”