Thinking About Grace

Prevenient , Justifying, Sanctifying. It’s all about Grace. God’s grace. 

Ever think about grace?

It’s sometimes called “underserved merit”.

Many people I see and read about seem to not be full of grace even though they say they are Christian. It makes people wonder.

In the Wesleyan tradition of the United Methodist Church, we follow John and Charles Wesley’s attempt to describe God’s grace in three ways it manifests itself in our lives. A guy I know once asked me why Methodists have three types of grace when grace is just grace.

Well, there is just God’s grace. It’s where he offers freedom and salvation through no effort of ours. There is nothing we can do to earn it.

That drives rule followers crazy. Surely there are rules so that we can divide people into us and them? How else can we measure ourselves and find ourselves better than everyone else?

Wesley was simply saying that God’s grace precedes us. It’s there before we’re born and there when we are rebellious adolescents. Then one day we wake up to grace and understand the justifying power of God’s grace–making us right with God. Then we discover that with God’s grace and help we can mature spiritually as we mature physically–sanctifying grace.

I really like what John Fischer is doing and teaching–Grace Turned Outward.

It’s another was grace manifests itself in our life. We acknowledge the grace we have received, and instead of keeping it to ourselves, we turn outward to help other people discover grace.

John wrote yesterday about grace and gave a little test about whether you know grace. I’m going to give you a taste. Check out his post (linked above). I like these. Made me stop and consider.

Here’s a little test:

If you feel guilty all the time, you do not know grace.

If you are competing in your own mind for spirituality, you do not know grace.

If you are counting up points, good or bad – for you or for someone else – you do not know grace.

If you are comparing yourself to anyone, you do not know grace.

If you are thinking that God is lucky to have you on His team, you do not know grace.

If you are trying all the time and not quite making it, you do not know grace.

If you are always thinking about yourself, you do not know grace.

If you are thinking so-and-so will not be in heaven, you do not know grace.

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