The Grace of God
Grace is the most important concept in the Bible, Christianity, and the world.
Grace is the love of God shown to those we find hard to love and accept—it’s the peace of God given to the restless—the unmerited favour of God.
It is most clearly expressed in the promises of God revealed in Scripture and personified in the life of Jesus.
Max Lucardo says, “Grace is God’s best idea. His decision to ravage a people by love, to rescue passionately, and to restore justly—what rivals it?”
Lucardo continues to say, “Of all His wondrous works, grace, in my estimation, is the magnum opus.”
Magnum opus comes from the Latin, meaning a great work; the greatest achievement of all.
Philip Yancey says, “Grace means there is nothing we can do to make God love us more and Grace means there is nothing we can do to make God love us less.”
Did you know the word grace is mentioned 170 times in the Scriptures?
In the New Testament, “grace” takes on a special redemptive sense in which God makes available his favour on behalf of sinners, who actually do not deserve it.
God makes available His goodwill—His loving kindness to you and me.
Grace means that God already loves us as much as an infinite God can possibly love.
In our quest to understand God’s grace it is important to realise that God’s grace is available to everyone.
The Apostle Paul gives us his version of grace in Titus 2:11, “For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people.”
Grace has been available for 2000 years.
And it’s available to all people.
Our Castle Hill Church Family
Paul in his mission to make disciples of all people—writing to the Ephesians explains grace so powerfully.
Ephesians 2:8-9 (NIV)
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast.”
The gift of grace was Jesus life for yours.
Eugene Peterson in the Message paraphrases Paul’s words,
“Now God has us where He wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all His idea, and all His work.
All we do is trust Him enough to let Him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing!
No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving.”
Paul is saying we contribute nothing to God’s grace.
Do you get the point? We contribute nothing to Grace.
Nancy Spiegelberg a Christian author says of grace,
“Lord, I crawled across the barrenness to you with my empty cup… If only I had known you better, I’d have come running with a bucket.”
It’s what we do:
Many of us crawl through life.
We never feel worthy enough and we say to ourselves:
“Everybody else is better than me Lord"
“I’m hopeless Lord”
"I’ll never make it.”
"I've sinned too much"
I marvel at Jesus’ grace and tenderness in dealing with people who expressed such longings.
John gives the account of Jesus’ impromptu conversation with the woman at the well.
In those days the husband initiated divorce—this Samaritan woman had been dumped by five different men.
Jesus could have called her immoral, evil, he could have pointed at her mess of a life.
Do you have friends who are always pointing the finger at others?
Do you know of anyone who’s always attacking?
I love Jesus response.
Instead—Jesus speaks to the woman at the well in the most loving way, he says,
“I sense you are thirsty.”
Jesus went on to tell her that the water she was drinking would never satisfy and then offered her living water to quench her thirst forever.
That's what I call Grace on Tap.
Available to everyone.
I try and recall this spirit of Jesus when I encounter someone of whom I morally disapprove or disagree with.
I quickly remind myself and say—"Jesus offers Grace on Tap to everyone."
This must be a very thirsty person—I tell myself.
Grace is not a one-time event in the Christian experience.
Romans 5:2 tells us “We stand in grace...”
The entire Christian life is driven and empowered by grace.
When I picture Jesus dying on the cross, I see the free gift of God’s grace in Christ reconciling the world to Himself.
And I sing with the songwriter:
“Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now am found, was blind, but now I see.”
A famous evangelist once said:
“The grace of God has been tested in the crucible of human experience, and has been found to be more than an equal for the problems and sins of humanity.”
Sing with me, “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me...”
Yours—because of Jesus
Pastor Pablo Lillo
The Local Church Is The Hope Of The World
There’s nothing like the local church when the local church is working right—it’s the hope of the world.
When it’s going well it is amazing.
When people are coming to faith in Christ, and hurting people are finding deep healing, and young people are alive with excitement in following Jesus, and the beauty and power of true community is being expressed across the generations and the cultural diversities—it truly is a sight to behold.
May this continue to be our dream and aspiration at Castle Hill. Even though we're living lives away from church—where many are living in isolation—we can still be the most loving church. We can be the hope of the world.
May: Preaching Roster
16. Marvin Malcolm: "Lockdown Blues—A tale of four people"
23. Dr Don Roy "The Fanny Crosby Story"
30. Pastor Nicholas Kross
May: Offering Schedule
16. SPD Health Ministry
23. Adventist Education
30. Castle Hill Seventh-day Adventist Church
Our Church Vision:
The vision of Castle Hill Seventh-day Adventist church is to be the most loving church.
Our mission is for us to take the good of Jesus Christ to every place we can, in every way possible. Whatever the means, we want to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ to our School, friends, family, neighbours and the wider community.
1. To honour God through worship.
2. To share the Gospel message of Jesus with others.
3. To connect with others in meaningful relationships.
4. To prepare disciples to fulfill their purpose.
5. To encourage leaders in their God-given destiny.
Senior Pastor – Pablo Lillo
M: 0412 588 827
Associate Pastor – Nic Kross
M: 0423 107 766
Youth Pastor – Jessica Laws
M: 0424 370 294
Senior Elder - Marvin Malcolm
M: 0414 430 688