* No limit to God’s grace
Israel was devastated by the times of intense rebellion and sin. Yet when the people repented and returned to God, he delivered them. God puts no limit on the number of times we can come to him to obtain mercy, but we must come in order to obtain it, recognizing our need and asking him for help. This miracle of grace should inspire us to say, “What a gracious and merciful God you are!” If there is a recurring problem or difficulty in your life, continue to ask God for help, and be willing and ready to make changes in your attitude and behavior that will correct that situation. (NLT)
Nehemiah 9:28-31 – “But when all was going well, your people turned to sin again, and once more you let their enemies conquer them. Yet whenever your people cried to you again for help, you listened once more from heaven. In your wonderful mercy, you rescued them repeatedly! You warned them to return to your law, but they became proud and obstinate and disobeyed your commands. They did not follow your regulations, by which people will find life if only they obey. They stubbornly turned their backs on you and refused to listen. In your love, you were patient with them for many years. You sent your Spirit, who, through the prophets, warned them about their sins. But still they wouldn’t listen! So once again you allowed the pagan inhabitants of the land to conquer them. But in your great mercy, you did not destroy them completely or abandon them forever. What a gracious and merciful God you are!
* God’s grace is for everyone
Not only was this man a leper, he was also a Samaritan—a race despised by the Jews as idolatrous half-breeds. Once again Luke is pointing out that God’s grace is for everybody. (NLT)
Luke 17:16 – He fell face down on the ground at Jesus’ feet, thanking him for what he had done. This man was a Samaritan.
* Grace of God in granting salvation
This parable is not about rewards but about salvation. It is a strong teaching about grace, God’s generosity. We shouldn’t begrudge those who turn to God in the last moments of life, because, in reality, no one deserves eternal life.
Many people we don’t’ expect to see in the Kingdom will be there. The criminal who repented as he was dying will be there along with people who have believed and served God for many years. Do you resent God’s gracious acceptance of the despised, the outcast, and the sinners who have turned to him for forgiveness? Have you ever been jealous of what God has given to another person? Instead, focus on God’s gracious benefits to you, and be thankful for what you have. (NLT)
Matthew 20:15 – [Jesus said] “Is it against the law for me to do what I want with my money? Should you be angry because I am kind?”
* The picture of the law as a guardian is similar to a tutor giving a young child supervision. We no longer need that kind of supervision. The law teaches us the need for salvation; God’s grace gives us that salvation. The Old Testament still applies today. In it, God reveals his nature, his will for humanity, his moral laws, and his guidelines for living. But we cannot be saved by keeping that law; we must trust in Christ. (NLT)
Galatians 3:24-25 – Let me put it another way. The law was our guardian and teacher to lead us until Christ came. So now, through faith in Christ, we are made right with God. But now that faith in Christ has come, we no longer need the law as our guardian. So you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
* Why we must depend on God’s grace
When Paul’s letter was read in the Roman church, no doubt many heads nodded as he condemned idol worshipers, homosexual practices, and violent people. But what surprise his listeners must have felt when he turned on them and said in effect, “You are just as bad, and you have no excuse!” Paul was emphatically stressing that we have all sinned repeatedly, and there is no way apart from Christ to be saved from sins consequences. (NLT)
Romans 2:1 – You may be saying, “What terrible people you have been talking about!” But you are just as bad, and you have no excuse! When you say they are wicked and should be punished, you are condemning yourself, for you do these very same things.
* No one is good enough to save himself or herself. If we want to live eternally with Christ, we must depend totally on God’s grace. This is true whether we have been murderers or honest, hardworking citizens. We have all sinned repeatedly, and any sin is enough to cause us to need to come to Jesus Christ for salvation and eternal life. Apart from Christ, there is no way for our sin to be forgiven and removed, (NLT)
Colossians 1:21-22 – This includes you who were once so far away from God. You were his enemies, separated from him by your evil thoughts and actions, yet now he has brought you back as his friends. He has done this through his death on the cross in his own human body. As a result, he has brought you into the very presence of god, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before hi without a single fault.
* Explanation of grace
God showered his kindness on us—this is also called God’s “grace.” This is his voluntary and loving favor given to those he saves. We can’t earn salvation, nor do we deserve it. No religious, intellectual, or moral effort can gain it, because it comes only from God’s mercy and love. Without God’s grace, no person can be saved. To receive it, we must acknowledge that we cannot save ourselves, that only God can save us, and that our only way to receive this loving favor is through faith in Christ. (NLT)
Ephesians 1:7-8 – He is so rich in kindness that he purchased our freedom through the blood of his Son, and our sins are forgiven. He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.
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