Amazing Grace - notes on a series of sermons at St Johns Continuing Church, Colliers Wood, 2008

The last verse of the Bible reads:
22:21 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

I like to read the beginning and end of books. It has advantages and disadvantages. Nevertheless the endings are always vital.
The Bible’s ending is, as we would expect, very clear - We need God's Grace!

So what is this grace and how do we obtain it? Most simply grace is God’s help!

A run through many Scripture verses will show our point which is as follows and should be underlined!

We need God’s Help because He says we need it and because he promises to give it! That is grace!

Now let us be amazed as we look at some Scriptures and see how huge this principle is. And I suspect we will only scratch the surface.

So let us see how we really need God’s help because he says we need it and because he promises to give it!

Please turn to your Bibles and with me to:

Genesis 15:1 After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.

Now if God is to be Abraham’s shield what a powerful shield must be needed.
We think in terms of reflectors on spacecraft to shield them from heat but that is small compared to this.
If the shield needed is so great then the grace of God needed must be so great.
Do you think in these terms?

Psalm 121. Let us read the whole Psalm:
1 I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.
2 My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.3 He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.4 Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.5 The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand.6 The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.7 The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul.8 The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.Again we see what tremendous power is exerted by God in helping his people. Therefore to be without this power or grace must be a disaster.

Now turn with me to the Prophet Isaiah where I will give you many many examples. If they were not excellent examples of God’s grace then the number of these examples would be tedious but I trust that you will find them to be exactly the opposite!

Isaiah 26:3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.

Meditation upon God, whether in good or bad times, by the man who trusts God, is said to keep one in perfect peace. D you think it does that because of the skill of the meditator? NO, it is because God is the subject of the meditation. This too is God’s great grace that we need. O for perfect peace. But grace is there to provide! How amazing in these troubled days in which we live!

Isaiah 28:16 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.
We know from several quotations of this vers in the New Testament that Jesu Christ is that precious stone. Now while some stumble at this rock of offence those of us who believe are told that we will not make haste! Now that is a miracle in today’s 24/7 world of busy busy! By God’s grace we actually have enough time to do what we should! We certainly have enough time to love the Lord and our neighbours! What grace!

Isaiah 32:2 further describes the power of God’s grace in the person of our Lord Jesus Christ.
And a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.
In this verse we have four examples of amazing grace! See again here how God shows us exactly how much help we need and yet he promises to supply all we need.
Isaiah 40:6-8
6 The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field:
7 The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the LORD bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass.
8 The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.
In these verse we see that man is like a piece of dying grass! What a miserable state! How hopeless! What can possibly help him? The Word of our God! It shall stand for ever!
Yet do you see the amazing race in this? This Bible is not written to stand for ever on a dusty shelf. Neither is it written to stand in a world in which all men have perished like the flowers. No, we are here now and we have this Bible be God’s grace!
O will you now see the need God says we have of His grace and see yet more His grace in providing such grace!

Can we continue? I believe there is still much more grace abounding to us chiefs of sinners!
O what are the glorious prospects as we look at a dying world around us that has no more spiritual life in it than dying grass and dead flowers!

I have in my notes here that we should be ending our sermon now and that we must continue this theme of Amazing Grace on another occasion.
Indeed has not our God in His amazing grace granted us time to go from here and enjoy some lunch and perhaps some rest or some fresh air and then to return again this evening!

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