Friday, November 18, 2005

By Grace Alone

Ever tried answering this question? "I am saved because..."
What was your answer? What is our (personal) answer to that today?

Gotten from here: Stronger Church: Three Implications for Grace Alone! Today. Check out the pdf link for more details on what the sermon (preached from Eph 2:1-10) was about, a very good reminder that dead people (us all) can't save themselves; no, not even cling on to any life-buoy that's thrown to them.

Some of the implications (shown by contrary examples) are mentioned, am not saying that any group of people in particular are like that, but rather that in all our various circumstances, at different points of time, it certainly is also very possible for us (evangelical or not) to become like that. If it were ever to be so, let us remember God's grace, that it's only by this grace we can be saved, and not be conceited.

While evangelicals would certainly affirm the essential nature of Grace, sometimes our behavior betrays that we really don't practice what we say we believe. I shared three indicators of this kind of thing: (interested parties, should there be any, can read the entire sermon at http://www.faithcom.org/resources/textmessages/2005/051113pb.pdf, and also listen to it at http://www.faithcom.org/resources/default.htm.)


1. We show that we don't understand "grace alone" when we present salvation as something that is the result of what we do. We've developed our own vocabulary in relation to the Gospel that lacks biblical root. As a result, when we ask people how they know that they are saved, they are likely to respond with something that they did: "I prayed a prayer" or "I went forward in an evangelistic meeting" or "I turned my life over to Jesus," etc. Semantics? I don't think so. If it were just sematics, there wouldn't be so many people questioning their salvation because they aren't sure that they "really meant it" or "really understood it." Sadly, security for some is in their response.

2. We show that we don't understand "grace alone" when we depend on marketing, techniques, having the right tools, etc., to reach people and help them grow. Our pragmatic approaches to ministry may be popular, but faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. People are not saved because of our cleverness.

3. We show that we don't understand "grace alone" when we think that our access to God is based on how well we're performing.

1 comment:

The Hedonese said...

Amen! I'm being more careful with my language too... ie 'accept Jesus' seems to cast our Lord, hat in hand, knocking at the door for our sympathy...

I'd now prefer to say "follow Jesus", which sorta give a more accurate picture of Him calling us to walk after Him :)

Keep blogging soli deo Gloria!