Where the grace of God is missed, bitterness is born. But where the grace of God is embraced, forgiveness flourishes.
Archives For grace
You wonder why God doesn’t remove temptation from your life? If he did, you might lean on your strength instead of his grace. A few stumbles might be what you need to convince you: His grace is sufficient for your sin.
Because of God’s grace we go from being people whose “throats are like open graves” (Ps. 5:9) to being participants of God’s glory. We were washed up and put out; now we are called up and put in.
Grace fosters an eagerness for good. Grace doesn’t spawn a desire to sin. If one has truly embraced God’s gift, he will not mock it. In fact, if a person uses God’s mercy as liberty to sin, one might wonder whether the person ever knew God’s mercy at all.
As a Small Groups Pastor of a local church there are three topics that I encounter most when interacting with Christians: grace, faith, and justification. They are essential topics that every Christian learns about, wrestles with, and tries to live out. Growing as a Christian leads to improved understanding of these three topics and should result in living them out better and better. As I continue my series of soteriology blog posts, I hope to give you a biblical description of each of these topics and point you to some ways you can live out grace, faith, and justification in your life.
Grace, Faith, and Justification
Photo Credit: Rembrandt, “The Return of the Prodigal Son”
We have been given a gift we don’t deserve.
A. In Grace, God Punishes Jesus, Not Us
In Paul’s letter to the Romans he talks about grace in the third chapter saying,
Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight [literally “declares us righteous”]. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past. (Romans 3:24–25, NLT) 1
Let’s take each part of this verse and examine grace.
1. God Takes Initiative
Paul tells us that God “in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight” (v. 24) and “God presented Jesus” (v. 25). It’s clear that God takes the initiative to provide grace to us. This is something he does for us, and it is not something we have caused. Continue Reading…
- Unless otherwise noted, all translations are from the New Living Translation, 2015 revision ↩
Today I take a brief look at the doctrine of the church. This is commonly known as “ecclesiology.” I’m using the Evangelical Free Church of America’s statement of faith. That statement reads:
The Church. Article #7. We believe that the true church comprises all who have been justified by God’s grace through faith alone in Christ alone. They are united by the Holy Spirit in the body of Christ, of which He is the Head. The true church is manifest in local churches, whose membership should be composed only of believers. The Lord Jesus mandated two ordinances, baptism and the Lord’s Supper, which visibly and tangibly express the gospel. Though they are not the means of salvation, when celebrated by the church in genuine faith, these ordinances confirm and nourish the believer.
Photo Credit: Russ Harlan
I. JUSTIFICATION, GRACE, AND FAITH
A. Justification Continue Reading…