Summary: Christianity never becomes about human effort. We do not move on from grace – we move deeper and deeper into it. The gospel not only ignites us to faith, it fuels our entire journey.
Dakota Community Church
September 25, 2011
Grace Transforms 3
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.
1. What is biblical grace?
2. Where does grace originate?
3. Grace transforms; but how?
If you hadn’t realized it I am fired up about grace.
I have known and preached the gospel for years; at Christianview I was always the speaker for “Salvation Sunday Services” which were gospel focused.
Those services were directed toward visitors; we challenged the congregation to bring non-believing family and friends because those people need the gospel.
Something new is happening in me where the gospel is concerned.
I think it is happening in pastors and churches all over the world, the blogs and podcasts seem to be exploding with a fresh passion for the power of the gospel for today, for long time Christians, for preachers like me – it is revolutionary and exhilarating because it is so liberating.
For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
Paul tells the Colossian Church that He is praying for what we all want – changed lives!
He wants them living worthily, pleasing God with their lifestyles, bearing fruit, growing, becoming stronger, more tenacious, patient, joyful and thankful to God.
Who doesn’t want that?
So we read the passage and others like it and we do what?
WE GET BUSY - We miss where Paul says the power for that transformation is found!
A. When the gospel is central.
12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
“The gospel is not simply the ABC’S of Christianity; it is the A-Z of Christianity” – Tim Keller
Even though I have been in full time ministry for the last 22 years, I missed a part; a vital part of the message I was commissioned to announce.
Like most evangelicals I believed the gospel was simply what non-believers need to believe in order to become “saved”. Then I thought God moves us on to the work portion of this event also known as spiritual growth or discipleship.