Last Sunday we launched into a new chapter of our church's history. As Sojourn Church, we want to see more and better disciples of Jesus Christ. In the sermon, I tried to help us answer some questions about "how" we live in light of our condition as children of God, as "sojourners" on this earth. (1 Peter 2:11-12) We love life, we love people and we thank God for this beautiful earth but we also recognize that as Christians, this world, as it is, is not our home any more. So with the goal of seeing more and better disciples (it all flows from this desire), how do we posture ourselves as a church? In other words, how do we live as sojourners?
The last few years have been a learning curve for us. God has provided many articles, books, sermons and people that have impacted and clarified our values and our goals. On Sunday I briefly shared a list of things that we have come to value and over the next few weeks I will share them here on The Journal so that we can continue digesting their impact. Don't miss the fact that these values are not just for our pastors or our staff or our leaders. These values are for every one of us.
THE CENTRALITY OF GRACE
People are messed up. We fail. We fail a lot. But God has unbelievably good news in the gospel of Jesus Christ. God tells that Jesus died for us in spite of our failures. Jesus died for us to pay for our failures. The Bible tells us that Jesus' death in our place is a gift. It is not something we deserve or earn. It is a free gift...the Bible says it is a gift of grace. So grace is a theme that we want to marinate everything we do. We should be gracious people because we have received grace from a perfectly gracious God. Judgemental and condemning attitudes desolve in the face of this glorious grace. The Bible tells that as bad as our sin is, God's grace is greater. God's grace covers our sin! But...grace is even bigger! Grace not only covers the sin we commit, it shows us the sin in our lives that we don't even know about. We all have messed up attitudes, habits, patterns and even motivations that we are blind too. God's grace opens our eyes and shows us a better way. God's grace shows us our sin so that we can repent of it and turn to God. But...God's grace is even bigger! Grace not only covers the sin we commit and shows us the sin we are blind to, it also keeps us from sin. God grace shows up in the moment of temptation and gives us the strength to say "no" to sin and "yes" to godliness. God's grace doesn't just watch us fall...it is a gift that is actively keeping us from falling. So - grace covers our sin, grace shows us our sin and grace keeps us from sin. And, boy, do we need every ounce of God's grace!