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The Power of Practicing Grace (Luke 15:11-32)

Sermon on 23 June 2024 by Pastor Justin Chia



Luke 15:11-32 - “To illustrate the point further, Jesus told them this story: “A man had two sons. The younger son told his father, ‘I want my share of your estate now before you die.’ So his father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons. “A few days later this younger son packed all his belongings and moved to a distant land, and there he wasted all his money in wild living. About the time his money ran out, a great famine swept over the land, and he began to starve. He persuaded a local farmer to hire him, and the man sent him into his fields to feed the pigs. The young man became so hungry that even the pods he was feeding the pigs looked good to him. But no one gave him anything. “When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, ‘At home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger! I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant.”’ “So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.’ “But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast, for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began. “Meanwhile, the older son was in the fields working. When he returned home, he heard music and dancing in the house, and he asked one of the servants what was going on. ‘Your brother is back,’ he was told, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf. We are celebrating because of his safe return.’ “The older brother was angry and wouldn’t go in. His father came out and begged him, but he replied, ‘All these years I’ve slaved for you and never once refused to do a single thing you told me to. And in all that time you never gave me even one young goat for a feast with my friends. Yet when this son of yours comes back after squandering your money on prostitutes, you celebrate by killing the fattened calf!’ “His father said to him, ‘Look, dear son, you have always stayed by me, and everything I have is yours. We had to celebrate this happy day. For your brother was dead and has come back to life! He was lost, but now he is found!’””


The Grace of God is a manifestation of salvation to the sinner like you and me. We are saved by the marvelous grace of God alone. It is a free gift to us, not given by our own works. We are created to do good work for the glory of God. Grace is the act by which God gives us undeserved rewards and blessings.

Ephesians 2:8 - “God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.”

Luke 15:21-24 - “His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.’ “But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast, for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began.”

Romans 12:6 - “In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you.”

Grace can be described as God’s unmerited favour toward the unworthy and undeserving.


  1. Grace is all abundant

Romans 5:15 - “But there is a great difference between Adam’s sin and God’s gracious gift. For the sin of this one man, Adam, brought death to many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of forgiveness to many through this other man, Jesus Christ.”


2. Grace is all sufficient

2 Corinthians 12:9 - “Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.”


3. Grace is all rich

If you have love, you have God in you. Jesus is grace. The Holy Spirit is the communion.

Ephesians 2:4 - “But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much,”

Grace, when received, teaches us how to live. Righteous living is when we live a life pleasing to God. Grace will teach us how to live rightly.

Titus 2:11-12 - “For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people. And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God,”

We need to practice the grace of God in all aspects of our lives. Be a good steward to work out the grace that is in you. Edify one another.

John 1:16 - “From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another.”

Romans 6:14 - “Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace.”

Practice the power of the Grace of God by:

  1. Resisting the evil temptations of this world, living godly lives in this present age.

  2. Stand firm in faith

2 Timothy 2:1 - “Timothy, my dear son, be strong through the grace that God gives you in Christ Jesus.”

Your faith needs to be tested to see if it’s genuine. In trials and challenges, your faith is stretched. The suffering of Christ brought salvation.

  1. Excel in giving

2 Corinthians 8:7 - “Since you excel in so many ways—in your faith, your gifted speakers, your knowledge, your enthusiasm, and your love from us—I want you to excel also in this gracious act of giving.”

‭‭2 Corinthians 8:9 - “You know the generous grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty he could make you rich.”

2 Corinthians 9:8 - “And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.”

Jesus is rich but was made poor. Let us be rich in helping the ministry for the advancement of the kingdom. Be rich in helping one another.


  1. Grow in the grace of God

2 Peter 3:18 - “Rather, you must grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. All glory to him, both now and forever! Amen.”

We need to discern between the spirit of error and truth so that we stand firm in growing our faith and knowledge. Growing Christian grace means praying, thanksgiving, speaking, and walking.  


  1. Speak with grace

Ephesians 4:29 - “Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.”

Colossians 4:6 - “Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.”

Let your word be seasoned with salt. If your word is not edifying, remain silent.


  1. Have grace in serving God

Hebrews 12:28 - “Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe.”

Create a powerful ripple effect that will transform our relationships by loving one another. Are we practicing the power of grace or are we eating and squandering the grace of God? Are we walking in grace or in disgrace?

1 Peter 4:10 - “God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.”

Hebrews 12:15 - “Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.”


Amen.

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