Summary: This sermon is intended to help you prepare for the Means of Grace talk on a Walk to Emmaus. I have never used this sermon in a Worship Serive. I wrote this talk using the required information in the Spiritual Directors Manual.
*I’ve tried to give credit to the source when credit is due, but much of the information hase been in my file for some time and I cannot remember the source. If you see any information in this sermon and can identify the source, please let me know so I can give due credit.
MEANS OF GRACE
by Byron K. Maynard
(Reflections of God’s Goodness)
So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace . And if by grace , then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace .
Rom 11:5-6 NIV
Of all the talks given this weekend this is the one which could cause the most disagreement. We must agree that there will be some disagreements.
Means of grace are tools that God uses to produce and strengthen faith in a person.
Means of Grace are means of illustrating God’s grace at work. They are conduits which help us better understand God. They are not an end in themselves. They are not means of attaining grace. Only through Jesus Christ can we obtain such grace. Means of Grace help us understand real grace. The means of grace are the visual aids God uses in our lives to accomplish the goal of grace, transformation though the atoning work of Jesus Christ.
Real grace which calls people to real holiness. The means by which we can understand how we can rise above our bankrupt and ruined lives. Real grace draws us closer to Jesus than ever before. "Prove" the Bible says, "what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." That is, live it out, put it to the test, test the character of what God is willing to do through you. By grace we live an experience that is "good."
But so many who claim to be living under grace are not living an experience that is good; they are living an experience that is at best marginal. So many Christians are living beneath their privileges. Why settle for an enhanced experience of death, when we can live an exchanged experience of life? The Christian life is not a modification or improvement of the old, but a transformation into the new life. There is a death to self and sin, and a resurrection into a new life.
We have already heard about prevenient grace - God wooing us to himself, and justifying grace - us receiving this marvelous grace that God has to offer. The means of grace helps us to see that living a consistent life of daily anointing in Christ is ongoing possibility. Real grace transforms the minds of those who let it into their minds. Real grace will really change you. Otherwise it is not real grace. The means of grace teaches you the daily object lessons to help you maintain strength to experiences this victorious life in Christ.
The Christian life is the uninhibited response to the gospel, a life that stretches our abilities and imaginations.
The gospel invites us to abundant and eternal living. It comes to us as our lives are weak, stuck, battered, burdened, broken, and perishing. We are still in a mess, God is watching us, working among us, and weaving even unlikely elements of creation into place to bless us and redeem our misdirected, mistreated lives.
The gospel calls us to personal, radical, and urgent conversion. We are called to a new and liberated way of living, the Way of Jesus. As we take up the path of discipleship, we are transformed more and more into the likeness of Christ, living our lives as Christ to one another.
What are means of grace? They are first of all, created things, thing that belong to our world, to the world in which we live, with which we have contact. There are adapted to us, they touch us, and are able to influence us. We can see them, we can touch them, we can understand, intellectually apprehend them. We can use them, eat them, drink them.
The preaching of the Word means that Christ and salvation, which in themselves belong to another world than ours, to the supernatural, heavenly world, now, through the means of grace they are proclaimed in our language. The purpose of the means of grace is to help us see Jesus more clearly on a daily basis.
The means of grace, when separated from the end (God), are less than nothing and full of hollowness; if they do not actually draw us to the knowledge and love of God, they are not acceptable in his sight.
Definition of the Means of Grace:
The means of grace are those acts of worship, instituted by Christ and celebrated by Christians, in which we are visited in a special way by God’s Holy Spirit.