1. These verses reveal some special information. a. For one thing, a special blessing is mentioned in vs.28a -- we have received "a kingdom which cannot be moved." b. In vs.28c a special responsibility is mentioned in connection with this blessing -- serving "God acceptably with reverence and godly fear." c. A special warning is given in vs.29 -- "God is a consuming fire." d. Finally, a special request is made in vs.28b -- "let us have grace." 2. We are emphasizing this special request for grace in our lesson. Discussion: I. THIS REQUEST REQUIRES A PROPER UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT GRACE IS
A. Grace: kindness or favor that God extends to us, even though we do not deserve it ["unmerited favor"]. B. To help us better understand what grace is, let us consider: 1. a demonstration of God's grace in Deuteronomy 7:6-8 a. The word "grace" is not found in these verses. b. God demonstrated His grace when He chose the Israelites as His "holy people." 2. an illustration of God's grace in Luke 15:20-24. a. This young man did not deserve any kind treatment from his father. b. He decided to go home and ask to be made a servant (vs.18-19). c. When he arrived, he received kindness he did not deserve -- his father received him back as a son. d. This helps us to appreciate the statement in James 4:6: "God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble." C. Now that we understand what grace is let us turn our attention to the fact that . . . II. WE BECOME SERVANTS OF GOD THROUGH GRACE
A. Before we can serve God faithfully in His kingdom, we must become God's servants, and we must become members of His kingdom. B. The Bible teaches in Ephesians 2:8-9 that we are saved by grace through faith. 1. We become God's servants when He makes us free from sin as we obey the doctrine delivered to us (Romans 6:17-18). 2. This occurs when we are baptized into Christ (Romans 6:3-4). 3. When we are saved God translates us into His dear Son's kingdom (Colossians 1:13-14). C. We need grace to become servants of God in His kingdom; however, . . . III. WE NEED GRACE TO SERVE GOD FAITHFULLY IN HIS KINGDOM
A. (Hebrews 12:28) God's people are to serve Him "acceptably with reverence and godly fear," and we need grace to do this. B. We learn from Titus 2:11-14 that God's grace teaches us how to live. 1. (vs.12a) We are to deny "ungodliness and worldly lusts." a. Some people think that God's grace allows us to live as we please. b. However, this simply is not true (Romans 6:1-2). 2. (vs.12b) We are to "live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world." 3. (vs.14) We are to be "a peculiar people, zealous of good works." 4. (vs.13) This will allow us to look forward to the Lord's return. Conclusion:
1. Have you become a member of God's everlasting kingdom? 2. If you have, are you serving God "acceptably with reverence and godly fear?" 3. Do you need to make a special request for God's grace?