From a sermon entitled, Grace That Sanctifies
Preached on July 26, 2009
Almost four years ago, I went on a Father-Son camping trip with my son, Dylan, who was then six years old, along with some of the other fathers and sons from our church family. It was a lot of fun…at least as much fun as you can have with a bunch of six-year old boys who need to go to the bathroom at the worst possible times – especially in the middle of the night. But seriously, it was a great time that I’ll always cherish. We had fun, acted silly, made a fire, hiked in the woods… all the things you’re supposed to do on a father-son campout.But what was really special about our time together was the spiritual theme of the weekend. We told the boys that they were in training to become godly men. And the “bigger-than-life” vision that we gave them… was that they were going to be “Knights for Jesus.”
We told them that a knight, back in the middle ages, was called to be faithful to Christ, selfless, courageous, and wise. After he became a knight he was no longer to pursue his own agenda, but God’s. He wasn’t expected to fight in his own strength, but with the strength of God. There was a great celebration on the day the man became a knight. And the rest of his life would be dedicated to living out that commitment.
Well, I see a big connection between what I was sharing with those six-year old boys on that camping trip and what we’re going to talk about this morning. This morning we’re going to finish up our three-week study on GRACE by focusing on Sanctifying Grace.
Over the last two weeks we’ve looked at what GRACE is. Remember the definition? Grace is the undeserved or unmerited favor of God.
We’ve also looked at different aspects of GRACE. We learned what Prevenient Grace is. That’s the grace of God that goes before us, ever drawing us to God (even before we’re aware of God) – and awakening us to our need for Christ.
Last week we looked at Justifying Grace. God’s Justifying or Converting or Saving Grace is the grace of God that enables us to say YES to what God has done for us in and through Jesus. It’s the grace that enables us to enter into a right standing or right relationship with God.
But as I’ve continued to point out, what we need to remember about all these understandings of GRACE is this: All grace is God’s grace – from beginning to end.
Now, if I may continue my to use my knight metaphor…before the boy became a knight he would have to spend his life in preparation to become one. He would first serve as a page and then a squire. He would learn all about what it meant to be chivalrous, godly, and so forth. He would be on a track that would one day lead him to becoming a knight…and then living as one.
I think that looks a lot like prevenient grace in the Christian experience. It’s that time of preparation. Remember that Prevenient Grace is that work of God that prepares you… from the time you were born… to give your life and trust to Christ.
Then there’s the great ceremony where the boy who grew into a man finally becomes a knight. And with a great ceremony he pledges his loyalty to his king. Similarly, Justifying Grace is when we pledge ourselves to our King – the King of kings – and enter into a deep and personal relationship with him.
And so that leads us to our subject this morning…Sanctifying Grace. A good place to start is to ask: What is “Sanctifying Grace?” Sanctifying Grace is the grace of God that provides us with the desire and the power to grow in our relationship with God.
Stay tuned for part 2 on how God makes a godly man..