Summary: 3 common misconceptions about grace (Material adapted from the book, God Attachment, chapter 10 The Risk of Grace)
Take library card out of wallet. This is a membership card to the Public Library. Do you have a library card? If you don't already have one, you should get one. One of the great things about a library card is that it is available to everyone. It doesn't matter if you are young or old. It doesn't matter if you are a boy or a girl. It doesn't matter if your skin is red, brown, yellow, black, or white. It doesn't matter where you were born or who your parents are. Everyone is welcome.
Another great thing about the library is that once you become a member, you are entitled to all the benefits and services that the library provides.
Oh, by the way, do you know how much it costs to join the library? Nothing! It’s free
You know, that is a pretty good picture of what it is like to be a member of the family of God. The Bible tells us that when we trust in Jesus and are united with him in baptism, we all become the children of God. It doesn't matter if you are a boy or a girl. When we become a part of the family of God, we are all brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus.
The Bible also tells us that when you belong to the family through Christ Jesus, you are entitled to all the benefits of being a child of God. All of the promises that God has made in His Word belong to you! Isn't that great?
How do we get a library card? Just fill out some forms and it is yours.
Repent, confess and be baptized and abide in the family. (Seedthought from Sermons 4 Kids: http://www.sermons4kids.com/family_of_god.htm)
Been talking about the family of God lately. God is our Father, Jesus is our elder brother, and we have brothers and sisters in the family of God, the church. How is all of this possible? “it is by grace you have been saved.” Ephesians 2:5, NIV. By grace- what is grace? I like Dr. Cottrell’s definition: getting the opposite of what we deserve. We deserve condemnation but through grace we get forgiveness, and we are taken into the family of God.
Thesis: 3 common misconceptions about grace
1. We are basically good people who need a little help from God
In the late nineteenth century, Darwin’s theory of evolution was all the rage. Gradually people began to apply it to human development and relationships. They were convinced that because animals and plants were evolving into higher forms (according to the theory of evolution), surely man is getting better and better, too. Many began to teach that man is basically good; sin and evil are illusions. The horrific events of the past two centuries like WW1, WW2, the holocaust, 9-11 and others should close the book on any belief that man is naturally good, but it hasn’t. Our culture, especially our schools, still contain the germ of this idea that blinds people from seeing this powerful truth about humanity. Especially in counseling and psychology courses, a common belief is that human beings are basically good. The concept is that if people are presented with a choice between good or evil, they will choose the good. Interestingly, most of the people who believe this are probably the same ones who keep their doors locked at night.
From Scripture we know that we are made in God’s image. Because of this people will occasionally chose the good. However, the fall of mankind has seriously warped that image. We aren’t “good people who make mistakes from time to time.” We have set ourselves up as our own gods, living for our own success and pleasure, and not caring about what God wants for us. Listen to the Apostle Paul’s summary on the condition of humanity: “As it is written: “There is no-one righteous, not even one; there is no-one who understands, no-one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no-one who does good, not even one.” “Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit.” “The poison of vipers is on their lips.” “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.” “Their feet are swift to shed blood; ruin and misery mark their ways, and the way of peace they do not know.” “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”” Romans 3:10-18, NIV.
In essence the Apostle Paul says that we are helpless, hopeless, enemies of God, desperately in need of a savior. And that is what God provides. Jesus didn’t come just to be a good example for nice people to follow. He came to ransom us from our cells of sinfulness, and to find those who are lost and restore them to the family. God’s grace teaches us that God doesn’t love us because we are good, but in spite of the fact that we are not. That’s grace.