Grace Accomplished and Applied

In a fortnight, Granada Church begins a new cycle of community groups that tracks with our Sunday worship messages.  The title of the new series is Character Counts: Putting on the Character of Christ.  During our nine week study we will consider the seven deadly sins and also the beatitudes of Jesus as a means of developing Christian character.  Even now I wonder what came over me to brave such a journey together.  Rather than apologize, let me explain.  I love the gospel because it’s true and probably because I need it so much.  We have been pleased to see the modern church refocus her attention on grace. We have rightly challenged teaching that said: God does some of the work of salvation but we have to do the rest.  We know better.  Jesus does it all.

However, our focus on grace has had unintended consequences.  We have rediscovered the giving of grace, that God receives the least, the lost, the littlest and the losers (which pretty much describes me). But, we have not explored and enjoyed the extent of this grace.  We’ve been captured and enthralled by one glint of light shining from one facet of the gem.  In a sense, we’ve sold grace short.  We believed that Jesus came and died so that we could be ourselves and live authentically.  We’ve believed that nothing should diminish my true wonderful self, and Jesus came and opens the way for me to live my life, and to the fullest.

The problem with this is that God promises and plans far more. God intends with grace not only to bring us to himself, but also to conform us to the image of Jesus.  He intends to make us like Jesus.  Being a Christian isn’t really about self-actualization or self-fulfillment.  It is about Jesus and his kingdom coming to you.  It is about making a completely new you.  “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation…” captures it pretty well.

Now if this is true, how is this going to happen? It doesn’t wait until your death as some teach.  It takes place here and now through this applied grace of Jesus. This is what we will be looking at in the weeks ahead.  How is it applied? How can we we experience and live this grace promised and supplied in the gospel? This is what we will explore together over the coming weeks.

Next post: Why the Seven Deadly Sins?

One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Sandy on August 6, 2018 at 2:49 am

    Praying we will become more and more like Jesus, through His work in us.


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