I have really enjoyed preaching and preparing the sermons for the current Grace Wins series that we are have been studying in worship throughout Lent. What really has been great is all the ideas that you, the congregation have come up with. You have suggested other possible sermon ideas that tie into Grace Wins, and I have added two of those to the series, “Grace Wins: Zacchaeus”, and “Grace Wins: The Good Samaritan”. There have been other suggestions on how to use the song by Mark West as well, and I am very excited to hear it offered up in worship this month.
The topic of Grace has been appearing a lot lately. I am hearing grace discussed at meetings within our church, in gatherings with my friends, and in other situations I am involved in away from First Presbyterian Church. Grace is a basis of our faith, but it is showing up more and more among the people of faith as they move about, work, and participate in the world outside our doors.
Grace is incredibly powerful. Grace received is what changes the Christian person to respond to situations in their own lives with increased grace. Grace given reminds us of the incredible gift we receive from God each time we are forgiven of our failures.
It takes more than Grace to be a Christian. To be a Christian you also must receive that grace….You must have faith in the one who extends that grace to all.
Faith in the one who saves
Faith in the one who died for you
Faith in the one who lives again
Faith and grace go hand in hand. Grace is given, and faith receives it. To the faithful, we know of a gift that has been given which was undeserved, but exactly what we needed. However, grace alone is not enough for sin and death to be defeated.
Faith is necessary. Scripture tells us “if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and be-lieve in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9)
So, while grace conquers sin, accusation and death, faith must then step in to truly allow us to be saved, forgiven, changed and empowered. Thanks be to God for that opportunity!