Sunday Morning Soundbytes 4/29/2007

Doing Church Together | Lou Kochanek

Yesterday’s message was the third in the Doing Church Together series from the book of 1 Timothy. The message was called, Praising God for His Amazing Grace, taken from 1 Timothy 1:12-20.

1 Timothy 1:12-20 – 12 I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service. 13 Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. 14 The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.
15 Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners — of whom I am the worst. 16 But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life. 17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.
18 Timothy, my son, I give you this instruction in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by following them you may fight the good fight, 19 holding on to faith and a good conscience. Some have rejected these and so have shipwrecked their faith. 20 Among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan to be taught not to blaspheme. (NIV)

The main idea of the message was that we should praise God for his amazing grace given to us in Jesus Christ. Here is a brief recap of the message:

1) God’s grace is greater than your sin and your past (verses 12-14)

God’s grace was greater than Paul’s past. Paul had sinned against Christ and his church, and yet God poured out his grace on Paul abundantly. It doesn’t matter how badly you have sinned against God in the past. God can forgive you. God can restore you. God can still use you to serve him today.

2) God’s grace displays his unlimited patience (verses 15-17)

Jesus displayed his unlimited patience in Paul, the chief of sinners, as an example for you, so that you would put your own faith in Jesus Christ and receive eternal life. Knowledge of God’s grace should prompt a response from us. Like Paul we should be filled with thanksgiving and praise for God’s grace. We should never take it for granted. We should always be praising God for his amazing grace.

3) God’s grace should motivate you to persevere in your faith (verses 18-20)

Paul reminded Timothy of his call to ministry and encouraged him to stay the course. We too are called to fight the good fight by holding on to faith and a good conscience. We should turn away from sin in our lives and confess our sins to God so that we may have a clear conscience before him. The church has a responsibility to discipline those believers who choose sin over a good conscience. Removing a fellow believer from the fellowship of the church is one of the hardest things a church can do. But it is also one of the most loving things a church can do. And it has to be done if the church is to be obedient to Jesus Christ.

Example: John Newton was a slave trader before he became a Christian and wrote the song, “Amazing Grace.” When Newton was eighty-two years old, and his health was failing, he said, “My memory is nearly gone, but I remember two things, that I am a great sinner, and that Christ is a great Savior.” Never presume on God’s grace or take it for granted. We should praise God every day for his amazing grace.

Note: To read the complete message, go to the Sermons tab at the top of the blog.

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