HOUSMAIL HM#048 - GRACE IN "GOSPEL PERSPECTIVE" 3 December 1999 _________________________________________________________________________
“Go therefore and MAKE DISCIPLESof all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, TEACHING THEM TO OBSERVE ALL THAT I HAVE COMMANDED YOU; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age." (Matt 28:19-20)
“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation. He who BELIEVES AND IS BAPTIZED will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.” (Mark 16:15-16) _________________________________________________________________________
Did you know that it is possible to preach the Gospel without using the word “GRACE”?
Careful now! ..... Before some of you explode with accusations of HERESY, let me hasten to assure you that it is a solidly based Bible question with an equally solidly based and serious Bible answer! And let me also say at the outset, that by the time we have completed this short study, it will be obvious that the answer to the question is going to be a loud “YES”!
How could that be true? WHO could possibly preach the Gospel without introducing the subject of Grace?
Well, I did a word study of the use of the word in the FOUR Gospels. (KJV Version) Guess what ..... the word “Grace” does not appear at all in Matthew and Mark! Luke uses it only once, and John all of 3 times. But here is the most remarkable thing of all:
JESUS NEVER USED THE WORD “GRACE” ..... NOT EVEN ONCE!
That’s right! It was JESUS Himself who preached the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, for three and a half years, without ever mentioning “Grace”! So what DID Jesus preach about then?
The content of His Gospel can be briefly summarised from Mark 1:15 - “The KINGDOM OF GOD is at hand. REPENTandBELIEVE the Gospel.”
Note the threefold emphasis on the Kingdom, and repentance, and belief.
- “Kingdom” means the everlasting KINGDOM OF GOD ON EARTH, prophesied in theThe way Jesus taught it, entry to this Kingdom is CONDITIONAL.
Old Testament, which Jesus will establish and rule over, when He returns from Heaven.
- “Believe” is about FAITH in what Jesus taught ..... not just a couple of selectively chosen
comfortable “proof texts”, but ALL of it ..... including believing that He meant what He said
- “Repent” means forsaking our sins to OBEY the commandments of Jesus ..... not just those
that suit us, but ALL of them!
- We must HEAR the Gospel. (Mark 16:15)From this we understand why Jesus did not need to mention GRACE in His preaching. Grace certainly is a Bible word, and it is an important word. It is used often by other NT writers. But Jesus was much more concerned with establishing the CONDITIONS on which Grace is received. (Which is VERY practical, isn’t it?)
- We must BELIEVE the Gospel. (Mark 16:16)
- We must ACT on what we hear and believe, by REPENTING of our sins, and being BAPTISED.
- And then we must learn to LOVE Jesus and OBEY Jesus. (Matt 28:19-20, John 14:15, 23-24,
1 John 2:4-6)
Especially note that you can’t receive Grace simply by TALKING about it. And you can’t receive it, if you use it in a way that CONTRADICTS what Jesus said about obedience. You receive it ONLY by meeting the conditions spelled out by Jesus! Meet the conditions and it happens “automatically”, regardless of whether you heard the word “grace”, or not!