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3. Marks of God’s Abounding Grace (1 Timothy 1:12-17)

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I am grateful to the one who has strengthened me, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he considered me faithful in putting me into ministry, even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor, and an arrogant man. But I was treated with mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief, and our Lord’s grace was abundant, bringing faith and love in Christ Jesus. This saying is trustworthy and deserves full acceptance: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them! But here is why I was treated with mercy: so that in me as the worst, Christ Jesus could demonstrate his utmost patience, as an example for those who are going to believe in him for eternal life. Now to the eternal king, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever! Amen.

1 Timothy 1:12-17 (NET)

What are marks of God’s abounding grace in a believer’s life? Each of us has received grace not only for salvation but for many other things. In 1 Timothy 1:12-17, Paul reflects on God’s abundant grace over his life. In verse 14, he says, “and our Lord’s grace was abundant, bringing faith and love in Christ Jesus.” When Paul says the word “abundantly,” it actually means “super-abundantly” or “an exceeding abundant amount.” Paul added the Greek prefix “huper” to intensify the word “abundant” (pleonazo). The prefix “huper” has made its way into the English language. It is used of “hyperactive” children or “hypersensitive” people.1

Though grace is only mentioned once in this section, it flows throughout 1 Timothy 1:12-17. After Paul declared how the false teachers were misusing the law (probably as a means of salvation) (v. 4, 7), he began to think about his salvation, and the abundant grace, God poured over him. He was a violent persecutor of Christianity who God radically saved and transformed—calling him as an apostle to preach the gospel.

But as we consider Paul’s testimony, we must realize that it is no more radical than ours. Before Christ, we were rebels in our hearts towards God (Rom 8:7), dead in our trespasses and sins (Eph 2:1), and yet God, by his amazing grace, saved us (Eph 2:8-9). As Paul considers this, he cannot help but praise the eternal and immortal God. In verse 12, he says, “I am grateful to the one who has strengthened me, Christ Jesus our Lord,” and in verse 17, he says, “honor and glory” be to God forever. Maybe, we struggle with being thankful and praising God because we don’t remember what we previously were and how God’s grace radically changed us.

In this study, we will consider marks of God’s abounding grace. God’s grace is so powerful it always changes us. However, it is not only available for salvation, but also for sanctification. James said, God “gives greater grace” (4:6)—there is more grace available. God loves to lavish his grace on his children. As we study this text, we should ask these questions: “Do we bear the marks of this grace?” and “How can we have more of God’s abundant grace in our lives?”

Big Question: What are the marks of God’s abounding grace in the life of believers as displayed in Paul’s testimony?

God’s Abounding Grace Calls and Equips Us to Serve God

I am grateful to the one who has strengthened me, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he considered me faithful in putting me into ministry

1 Timothy 1:12

Observation Question: In what ways did God equip Paul for the task of ministry?

When Paul considered God’s amazing grace, he recognized how God called and equipped him for ministry. Paul was appointed to service as an apostle (v. 1, 12). When he says that he was “strengthened,” it can also be translated that he was made “equal to the task” (NEB). Paul was not equipped in his own strength to serve as an apostle and to suffer the persecution that came with that ministry. God made him equal to the task, and this is true for us as well. In whatever way God has called us to serve, he makes us equal to the task.

Consider how God speaks to Jeremiah, who felt unequipped to serve as a prophet. In Jeremiah 1:6-10, he says:

I answered, “Oh, Lord God, I really do not know how to speak well enough for that, for I am too young.” The Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ But go to whomever I send you and say whatever I tell you. Do not be afraid of those to whom I send you, for I will be with you to protect you,” says the Lord. Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “I will most assuredly give you the words you are to speak for me. Know for certain that I hereby give you the authority to announce to nations and kingdoms that they will be uprooted and torn down, destroyed and demolished, rebuilt and firmly planted.”

When the Lord called Jeremiah, he put his “words” in his mouth and he said he would protect him. In fact, in verse 18, God says he made him “a fortified city, an iron pillar, and a bronze wall” so he could stand against the attacks that would come against him.

God does the same for us. His grace is so amazing that he makes us “equal to the task”—able to stand up against the trials and attacks that come. He makes us like a fortified city and an iron pillar.

But not only did God give Paul strength, he also made him faithful. When Paul said that God “considered” him “faithful,” or it can be translated “trustworthy (NIV),” it was not because of Paul’s innate faithfulness or trustworthiness (v. 12). Paul was a persecutor of Christ and Christians. God made him trustworthy. In 1 Corinthians 7:25, Paul said, “With regard to the question about people who have never married, I have no command from the Lord, but I give my opinion as one shown mercy by the Lord to be trustworthy.” It was the Lord’s mercy that made him trustworthy for the task. It was the Lord’s mercy that kept Paul from falling away when encountering attacks. It was God’s super, abundant grace poured out on his life.

William Barclay said this about Paul being entrusted with such a great mission:

“It was to Paul an amazing thing, that he, the arch-persecutor, had been chosen as the missionary and the pioneer of Christ. It was not only that Jesus Christ had forgiven him; it was that Christ had trusted him. Sometimes in human affairs we forgive a man who has committed some mistake or who has been guilty of some sin, but we make it very clear that his past makes it impossible for us to trust him again with any responsibility. But Christ had not only forgiven Paul, He had entrusted him with His work to do. The man who had been the persecutor of Christ had been made the ambassador of Christ.”2

As we consider God entrusting Paul with the ministry of apostleship, we must remember that it doesn’t matter how often we failed or made mistakes, God still wants to use us. He wants to strengthen us and make us trustworthy for service through his hyper-abundant grace.

Now, certainly people can reject this grace; many do. They reject it because they love sin and the world more than God. They reject it because they feel unworthy. They reject it because instead of seeing God’s grace, all they see is their ability or lack of ability. They declare, “I can’t speak,” “I can’t lead,” “Lord, you have got the wrong person.” Many miss this grace, but not Paul. He said, “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me has not been in vain. In fact, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God with me” (1 Cor 15:10). He accepted it and allowed God’s grace to work through him, and so must we.

As Paul considered all that God did in calling and equipping him for ministry, he praised God. Thank you, Lord, that even though we are weak and untrustworthy, you make us strong and trustworthy through your grace!

Application Question: In what ways have you experienced God’s hyper-abundant grace making you strong and trustworthy for the ministry God gave you?

God’s Abounding Grace Forgives Our Sins

even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor, and an arrogant man. But I was treated with mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief

1 Timothy 1:13

Not only does God’s grace call and equip us, it also continually forgives and removes the guilt of our sin. Paul said that even though he was a blasphemer, persecutor, and violent man, he was given mercy because he acted in ignorance and unbelief. As a blasphemer, Paul blasphemed Christ. As a persecutor, he imprisoned and put Christians to death. As a violent man, he delighted in hurting believers—he was like a bully or a sadist.3 It seems that Paul is showing an “ascending scale of wickedness in the three words blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent.”4 It goes from speaking words only, to hurting people, and then to enjoying it. Though Paul was so sinful, God’s grace still forgave him.

God does the same with us; his super-abundant grace and mercy meets us in our failures. First John 1:9 says, “But if we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous, forgiving us our sins and cleansing us from all unrighteousness.” What we must notice about this verse is that when we confess, not only does God forgive the sins we confessed, but he purifies us from “all unrighteousness.” This means that when we confess known sin, God cleanses us even from unknown sin. This is super-abundant grace.

Interpretation Question: In what way did Paul’s ignorance and unbelief affect the mercy he received?

Interestingly, Paul says, “I was treated with mercy ‘because’ I acted ignorantly in unbelief.” Did Paul receive mercy from God because of his ignorance and lack of belief in Jesus? Does our ignorance make us less responsible for our sins?

When Paul mentions his ignorance, he is probably referring to the Old Testament’s teaching on unintentional and intentional sins. Numbers 15:28-31 says,

And the priest must make atonement for the person who sins unintentionally—when he sins unintentionally before the Lord—to make atonement for him, and he will be forgiven. You must have one law for the person who sins unintentionally, both for the native-born among the Israelites and for the resident foreigner who lives among them. “‘But the person who acts defiantly, whether native-born or a resident foreigner, insults the Lord. That person must be cut off from among his people. Because he has despised the word of the Lord and has broken his commandment, that person must be completely cut off. His iniquity will be on him.’”

The one who sinned accidentally could make atonement for his sins through sacrifice, but for those who were defiant and sinned intentionally, no sacrifice was available. In a sense, our knowledge makes us more responsible and guilty before God, and our lack of knowledge makes us less responsible and guilty.

We see this teaching in the New Testament as well. Consider these passages in Hebrews:

For it is impossible in the case of those who have once been enlightened, tasted the heavenly gift, become partakers of the Holy Spirit, tasted the good word of God and the miracles of the coming age, and then have committed apostasy, to renew them again to repentance, since they are crucifying the Son of God for themselves all over again and holding him up to contempt.

Hebrews 6:4-6

For if we deliberately keep on sinning after receiving the knowledge of the truth, no further sacrifice for sins is left for us, but only a certain fearful expectation of judgment and a fury of fire that will consume God’s enemies.

Hebrews 10:26-27

Even in the New Covenant, there is sense in which our willful rebellion against God’s commands brings a greater judgment. In fact, continual rebellion can actually harden the heart to an extent where it is impossible to repent. At that point, a person cannot be brought back to repentance (as they will not desire it) and no sacrifice for sins is left.

Some believe these verses refer to those who lose their salvation. However, that is unlikely, since the broader counsel of Scripture teaches the eternal security of believers (cf. John 3:15, 10:27-31, Rom 8:28-39). It seems to refer to those in the church, who hear God’s Word, experience the Holy Spirit, and yet still rebel. As they continue to rebel, their hearts become hardened so much that they cannot repent. These are professing believers who never truly knew Christ. They are like the Pharisees who witnessed Christ’s miracles and heard his Word, and yet, with that knowledge, rejected Christ—committing the blasphemy of the Spirit (Matt 12:31-32). It would be like Judas who tasted of the Holy Spirit and cast out demons and yet was still a child of the devil (John 6:70). Though he received great knowledge, he never truly accepted Christ or repented of his sins.

When Paul says he was shown mercy because he acted in ignorance and unbelief, he was not saying he earned God’s mercy—mercy was a result of grace (v. 14). He was saying, “I am not an apostate Christian rebelling against God. I sinned in ignorance. I didn’t believe that Christ was the messiah, and because of this, God was very merciful with me.”

God’s super-abundant grace overflowed onto Paul—teaching him the truth and bringing repentance in his life.

Application Question: How should we respond to the fact that our knowledge makes us more responsible before God?

Certainly, it should give us a holy fear in rebelling against God’s revelation. There is no such thing as “cheap grace”; there is always a cost to the grace we receive. We must respond to God’s grace or it can actually harm us. The grace of hearing and knowing God’s Word makes us more responsible, and it can actually harden our hearts. By preaching God’s Word, Isaiah was called to harden Israel’s hearts. In Isaiah 6:10, God says: “Make the hearts of these people calloused; make their ears deaf and their eyes blind! Otherwise they might see with their eyes and hear with their ears, their hearts might understand and they might repent and be healed.”

As we hear God’s Word and receive his grace, we have a responsibility to respond. If we don’t respond, it can lead to God’s discipline and a hardening of our hearts and consciences. It has been said, “The same sun that melts the ice, hardens the clay.”

Paul said God was merciful because he acted in ignorance and unbelief. How much more responsible are we who know God’s truth—especially those raised in church and who have heard the Bible since the time we sat on our parents’ knees? Luke 12:47-48 says,

That servant who knew his master’s will but did not get ready or do what his master asked will receive a severe beating. But the one who did not know his master’s will and did things worthy of punishment will receive a light beating. From everyone who has been given much, much will be required, and from the one who has been entrusted with much, even more will be asked.

God’s super-abundant grace lavishes mercy and forgiveness on us, but we must faithfully respond to his grace—lest we become more accountable to God. You have received God’s super-abundant grace through his witness in creation and the hearing of God’s Word. How will you respond to it?

Application Question: What are your thoughts about the analogy of grace being like the sun—it softens some and hardens others? How should this reality affect believers?

God’s Abounding Grace Changes Our Hearts

and our Lord’s grace was abundant, bringing faith and love in Christ Jesus.

1 Timothy 1:14

God’s super-abundant grace not only called, equipped, and forgave Paul, but also radically changed his heart. He mentions two other blessings that came from God’s grace: faith and love. This is also true for all believers.

Interpretation Question: In what ways did Paul, and all believers, receive faith and love in their salvation?

1. At salvation, God lavishes the gift of faith on believers.

Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God; it is not from works, so that no one can boast.” When Paul considered the saving faith that he received, he realized it was a gift from God. There was nothing intellectually or spiritually special about Paul that made him accept Christ as Lord and Savior; it was grace. God’s super-abundant grace opened his blind eyes so that he could see Christ’s beauty.

And this is true for each one of us. First Corinthians 2:14 says, “The unbeliever does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him. And he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.” Before salvation, we were all unbelievers, at one time, consumed with ourselves and blinded to heavenly realities. However, God through his grace sent the Holy Spirit to capture and wake us so we could see and respond to Christ. God lavished faith on us, but not just faith for salvation, faith to follow him daily.

Are you living by faith? Has God’s super-abounding grace drawn you to trust Christ as your Lord and Savior? Is it drawing you to trust God more daily? This is what God’s grace does; it enables the just to live by faith (Heb 10:38).

2. At salvation, God lavishes the gift of love on believers.

Romans 5:5 says the love of God has been shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit. Even our affections for God, his Word, and others, all come from God. Before salvation, Paul hated Christ and believers, in fact he persecuted and had them murdered. However, when he got saved, God’s super-abundant grace was poured out on Paul, enabling him to love. The one who hated Christ, now loved Christ and counted everything as nothing compared to knowing him (Phil 3:7). The one who hated Christians, now loved Christians. The one who despised Gentiles, now devoted his life to preaching the gospel to Gentiles. And, the one who defamed women, now became the liberator of women.

And this is also true for every genuine believer. If we don’t love God and others, then we have not received God’s super-abundant grace and therefore are not saved. First John 3:14-17 says,

We know that we have crossed over from death to life because we love our fellow Christians. The one who does not love remains in death. Everyone who hates his fellow Christian is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him. We have come to know love by this: that Jesus laid down his life for us; thus we ought to lay down our lives for our fellow Christians. But whoever has the world’s possessions and sees his fellow Christian in need and shuts off his compassion against him, how can the love of God reside in such a person?

If a believer lacks a sacrificial love for other believers, they are not saved. True love isn’t just something people say but something they do. It is even demonstrated in how they handle their material possessions. Because they love, they sacrifice for others (cf. Acts 2:44-45). The super-abundant grace of God works in us to love this way.

Are you loving others? Is God’s super-abundant grace drawing you to love and serve Christ’s body? Is it provoking you to greater faith in God? God’s super-abundant grace always pours out love and faith in believers. Love and faith mark them, as God changes their hearts.

Application Question: In what ways have you experienced God’s hyper-abounding grace drawing you to trust God and love others more? In what ways is God calling you to pursue growth in faith and love?

God’s Abounding Grace Convicts and Humbles Us

This saying is trustworthy and deserves full acceptance: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them!

1 Timothy 1:15

When Paul says, “This saying is trustworthy and deserves full acceptance,” this means he is about to give a statement of special importance. He uses this phrase five times in the Pastoral Epistles.5 Many think these were well-known quotations possibly from an early hymn or creed.6

After this statement, Paul gives the Gospel in miniature: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them!” (v. 15). What stands out most is the fact that Paul calls himself the worst or chief (KJV). What did he mean by this? Was he really the worst sinner?

Interpretation Question: Why did Paul call himself the worst sinner?

Obviously, Paul was not the worst sinner on the planet. His sins were certainly heinous and evil, as he persecuted Christians and blasphemed Christ. His statement appears to reflect genuine conviction and humility coming from his receiving of God’s abundant grace.

This is common for people who are graced to encounter God. When Isaiah saw God in Isaiah 6:5, he declared, “Woe is me. I have unclean lips and I come from a people of unclean lips” (paraphrase). Similarly, Peter cried out, “Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!”, when he recognized Christ as Lord (Lk 5:8). God’s abundant grace creates genuine conviction of sin and humility in its recipient.

“It is significant that Paul makes this statement, not as a new believer, but after he had walked with God for over 25 years.”7 Paul does not use the verb “was” but “am”—meaning present tense. William MacDonald outlines this progression in the following verses:

In 1 Corinthians 15:9 (written about a.d. 57), Paul called himself “the least of the apostles.” Then in Ephesians 3:8 (written about a.d. 60), he called himself “less than the least of all saints.” Now in 1 Timothy 1:15, written some years later, he calls himself the chief of sinners. Here we have an outline of Paul’s progress in Christian humility.8

Walking with God and experiencing his grace, continually makes us aware of our unworthiness and sinfulness—creating humility in us. Pastor Steven Cole shared these quotes from Alexander Maclaren and C.S. Lewis:

Alexander Maclaren said, “The sign of growing perfection is the growing consciousness of imperfection.... The more you become like Christ the more you will find out your unlikeness to Him” (Expositions of Holy Scripture [Baker], 15:332, 333). C. S. Lewis wrote, “When a man is getting better, he understands more and more clearly the evil that is still in him. When a man is getting worse, he understands his own badness less and less” (cited by Nathan Hatch, “Purging the Poisoned Well Within,” [Christianity Today, 3/2/79], p. 14).9

Are you experiencing God’s super-abundant grace? It’s like a light exposing darkness and bringing clarity of sight. This is true for every believer. That is why the most seasoned (and sometimes the most successful) are often most humble. Moses who undoubtedly received much grace from God was considered the “humblest” man on the earth (Num 12:3).

Are you growing in awareness of your sin or are you becoming increasingly dull to your sin and that of the world? God’s super-abundant grace convicts and helps us grow in humility. These are marks of drinking from the fire hydrant of grace.

Application Question: How can we protect ourselves from becoming desensitized to sin? How have you experienced both a progression and a decrease of sensitivity to sin and why?

God’s Abounding Grace Displays God’s Glory to Others

But here is why I was treated with mercy: so that in me as the worst, Christ Jesus could demonstrate his utmost patience, as an example for those who are going to believe in him for eternal life.

1 Timothy 1:16

Interpretation Question: In what way did God demonstrate his immense patience through saving Paul?

Next, we see how the display of God’s amazing grace is meant to glorify God. By giving Paul, a blasphemer, super-abundant grace in salvation, God displayed his immense patience to the world. God continually came after Paul, though he was in great rebellion. God is immensely patient; he desires that none should perish but that all would come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). He holds back his wrath, in hope, that people will repent and turn to him.

By saving a tremendous sinner like Paul, God displayed the glory of his attributes to the world. Sometimes, people handle Scripture as though God’s primary goal in redemptive history is to save souls, but it is not. His primary goal is his glory, and the salvation of the lost is ultimately a vehicle for that. Ephesians 1:11-12 says,

In Christ we too have been claimed as God’s own possession, since we were predestined according to the one purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to the counsel of his will 1:12 so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, would be to the praise of his glory.

And this is not only for the world and believers to see, it is also for angels. Ephesians 3:10 says, “The purpose of this enlightenment is that through the church the multifaceted wisdom of God should now be disclosed to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly realms.” God is not only displaying his patience but his wisdom to heavenly beings. When God lavishes grace on people, he does it in such a way that it brings glory to himself. Man was made for God’s glory (cf. Rom 3:23).

Application Question: How should we apply the fact that God distributes grace and mercy in salvation to glorify and magnify himself?

If we truly understand that our lives and our salvation are meant to display his glory, then it should encourage us to daily live for God’s glory. Paul said, “So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God” (1 Cor 10:31). God’s super-abundant grace saves us for his glory and therefore we should seek to honor and glorify him in all we do. We do this by cultivating both right hearts and actions in how we live.

Are you living to glorify God? Is that the motive behind your eating, drinking, working, and playing?

Application Question: How is God calling you to seek to glorify him at home, work, school, and recreation? What have you learned about God by watching his work in and through others?

God’s Abounding Grace Makes Us Models for Others

But here is why I was treated with mercy: so that in me as the worst, Christ Jesus could demonstrate his utmost patience, as an example for those who are going to believe in him for eternal life.

1 Timothy 1:16

Interpretation Question: In what way did Paul become an “example” or “pattern” for others in his salvation?

Paul’s salvation not only reflected God’s glory but also became a model for others. By saving a chief sinner like Paul, it gives hope to others who are far away from God and those praying for the salvation of others. If God can save Paul, he can save anybody! This should encourage us to never stop praying for even the most hardened sinner. God saved Paul in such a way that he became an example or pattern that encourages others to believe in God.

This is true for us as well. Our salvation and therefore our testimonies are powerful tools meant to be shared with others. In the story of the demoniac, when he tried to follow Christ, the Lord denied him saying: “‘Go to your home and to your people and tell them what the Lord has done for you, that he had mercy on you’” (Mark 5:19). God says the same to us; Psalm 107:2 (ESV) says, “Let the redeemed of the Lord, say so”.

Yes, we all have different testimonies—some dramatic and others less dramatic—but they are all marked by God’s grace. And God uses them to lead others to Christ. Therefore, we must faithfully share our salvation stories with others, as well as the stories of God’s daily grace. These stories are not ours to keep; they are God’s, and we must faithfully use them to glorify him and to bless others.

Application Question: Why is it so important to share our stories of grace with others? Do you have any stories of God’s grace that you feel like he wants you to share? In what ways has the faith stories of others affected you positively?

God’s Abounding Grace Provokes Us to Worship

Now to the eternal king, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever! Amen.

1 Timothy 1:17

As Paul considers all that God did for him, he breaks out into praise. In his doxology, he gives four wonderful designations for our great God.

Observation Question: What designations does Paul use to ascribe praise to God and what do they mean?

Kent Hughes’ comments on these designations are helpful:

  • Paul calls him “the King eternal.” God is the King of all ages who sovereignly governs every age before creation, after creation, to the final age, and on into eternity.
  • Paul calls him “immortal.” God is not subject to decay or destruction and therefore is in the most absolute sense “imperishable, incorruptible, and immortal.”
  • Paul calls him “invisible,” for the physical eye cannot see him. He “lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see” (1 Timothy 6:16). All that human beings have ever seen of him (other than the incarnate Christ) are glimpses of his glory.”
  • Paul calls him “the only God” (mono theo). He alone is what he is. Of himself God has declared, “I am the Lord, and there is no other” (Isaiah 45:18).10

We are also called to constantly worship God for his grace. First Peter 2:9 says, “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may proclaim the virtues of the one who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”

Application Question: How can we live lives of worship and thankfulness to God, as Paul did?

Certainly, many of us have lost the joy of our salvation simply because we have forgotten what God has done for us. Like Paul, we must constantly remember our experiences of grace. No doubt, we see this in many of Israel’s festivals. In the Passover, they remembered God delivering them from Egypt. In the Feast of Booths, they remembered God’s protection in the wilderness. This type of remembrance happens when we practice the Lord’s Supper; we remember the grace God lavished on us while we were sinners. Christ died for us; his blood was shed and his body was broken for us, so that we may know God and have eternal life. Let us think often of this, like Paul. He mentions his conversion experience frequently in his epistles (cf. 1 Cor 15:9-10, Phil 3:4-9). He keeps revisiting it, and we must as well. We must remember our experiences of God’s super-abundant grace.

Do you remember it?

Application Question: Share your experience with the gospel: how God saved you and how he is changing you currently into his image.

Application

What if we lack these marks of God’s abundant grace? What if we don’t know our callings? What if we lack love for God and others? What if we lack humility and many of the other marks of grace?

  1. To receive God’s abundant grace, we must accept God’s grace for salvation (Rom 10:9-10). Is Christ our Lord and Savior? Have we committed to follow him the rest of our lives? This is when we first accept God’s hyper-abundant grace. Romans 10:13 says that whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
  2. To receive God’s abundant grace, we must repent of sin (1 John 1:9). Unconfessed sin blocks the blessings of God. Jesus said if we don’t forgive others, he won’t forgive us (Matt 6:15), and David said if we cherish iniquity in our hearts, the Lord will not hear us (Ps 66:18). Do you have unrepentant sin in your life?
  3. To receive God’s abundant grace, we must abide in Christ (John 15:5). Our relationship to Christ is the door way to his grace—all fruit comes from it. We must abide in prayer, his Word, and fellowship with the saints.

Are you marked by God’s hyper-abundant grace?

Conclusion

What are the marks of God’s abounding grace in the believer’s life?

  1. God’s Abounding Grace Calls and Equips Us to Serve God
  2. God’s Abounding Grace Forgives Our Sins
  3. God’s Abounding Grace Changes Our Hearts
  4. God’s Abounding Grace Convicts and Humbles Us
  5. God’s Abounding Grace Displays God’s Glory to Others
  6. God’s Abounding Grace Makes Us Models for Others
  7. God’s Abounding Grace Provokes us to Worship

1 Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 2, p. 212). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

2 Teacher’s Outline and Study Bible - Commentary - Teacher’s Outline and Study Bible – 1 Timothy: The Teacher’s Outline and Study Bible.

3 MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1995). 1 Timothy (p. 27). Chicago: Moody Press.

4 MacDonald, W. (1995). Believers Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 2078). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

5 Guzik, D. (2013). 1 Timothy (1 Ti 1:15). Santa Barbara, CA: David Guzik.

6 Stott, J. R. W. (1996). Guard the truth: the message of 1 Timothy & Titus (p. 52). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

7 https://bible.org/seriespage/lesson-4-grace-abounding-chief-sinners-1-timothy-112-17

8 MacDonald, W. (1995). Believers Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 2079). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

9 https://bible.org/seriespage/lesson-4-grace-abounding-chief-sinners-1-timothy-112-17

10 Hughes, R. K., & Chapell, B. (2000). 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus: to guard the deposit (pp. 47–48). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

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