It's all about Grace. Specifically God’s Grace. There is a force called Sin in this world that wreaks havoc. We do not have to look far to see its effects. Whether it is the senseless acts of violence in Sri Lanka or Laos against Christians, or the destructive pattern of sin in our own lives, we see the results of this force the scriptures call Sin. God responds to Sin with Grace. Grace moves you from a person of Sin to a person of Grace. It does this through the faithfulness of Jesus – his life, teachings, atoning death for our sins, and of course his resurrection. Jesus was faithful to God, and God gifted Jesus to us. Grace changes us. But how?
This series is all about the habits of Grace. So we came up with an acronym to help us remember.
G – Gift; R – Repentance; A – Attitude of Mind; C- Communion with Christ; E – Evangelism and Justice.
Grace is a gift. That’s what the word means in the ancient world. It is a gift from a higher being to a lower being who does not deserve the gift. Paul uses this word to describe what happened to him and what happens to us when we receive God’s gift. It’s Grace. It’s unearned. It changes us. What exactly was that gift? Jesus! It's Jesus life, teachings, actions, death, and resurrection. Jesus is God's Grace gift to the world and to you.
This Grace leads us then to repentance. We turn around in our lives. We were going down a destructive road, but now we have turned around. Why? Because of our own will power? No. Because of the gift of God! God’s Grace turns us around. God's good gift hels us to see who we truly are - created in God's image, but marred by Sin. We need God's Grace to live fully.So we receive the Gift. We then Repent. Next week we will talk about what comes next
Ray, my favorite quote on Grace from Brennan Manning: “The forgiveness of God is gratuitous liberation from guilt. . Paradoxically, the conviction of personal sinfulness becomes the occasion of encounter with the merciful love of the redeeming God. "There will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner repenting..." (Luke 15:7). . In his brokenness, the repentant prodigal knew an intimacy with his father that his sinless, self-righteous brother would never know.” ― Brennan Manning