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Bible Word for the month

Bible Word for the month

Following our monthly Wednesday Morning Communion Services we will be focusing on a specific bible word.  Our word for this month is GRACE.

 

Bible Words (1) – GRACE

This short talk was given at the midweek Wednesday Communion Service on 6th April 2022 at St Luke’s.

For Christians, “Grace” is a word we often say or sing.  Grace describes God’s activity in this world, and there are differing forms of His grace.

1. First of all, there is Common grace

A verse from the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew’s Gospel explains this clearly:

“God causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous …” (Matthew 5:45)

God’s common grace comes to everyone, irrespective of how good, or bad you are. 

Common grace is the grace of God by which He gives people innumerable blessings that are not part of “salvation.”

We experience this in: -

  • The Physical realm

We see God’s grace in the beauty of the natural world (watch a David Attenborough programme on TV).

  • The Intellectual realm

All science and technology carried out by people (Christians and non Christians) is a result of common grace, allowing them to make incredible discoveries and inventions.

  • The Moral realm

Honesty, hard work, sharing love and kindness to others.  These are outworking of God’s common grace, since we are all made in the image of God

  • The Creative realm

We see many examples of God’s common grace in for example the arts and sport.

  • The Societal realm

Human law and order, the world of education, our government.  All these function to bring some measure of good to human beings, and are expressions of the common grace of God

 

  1. Secondly there is Saving grace

“For it is by grace that you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no-one can boast”. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

  • our acceptance into His presence
  • our being adopted into His family
  • our status as children of God

    ...  are all because of His grace

Let no-one think that they can earn their way to God - it is the riches of His grace, expressed in Jesus Christ that enables us to be Christians.

 

  1. Thirdly there is Serving grace

“for we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10) 

“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.” (1 Peter 4:10-11)

Having saved us, God’s serving grace now enables us to serve Him in this world.  When we become Christians, we don’t go straight to heaven!

I recall a particular Physics experiment at School.  A white light was shone on a glass prism, and it split into all the colours of the rainbow.

I have this picture of the light of God’s serving grace comes upon the prism of a congregation and splitting into all the differing gifts.

 

  1. These three aspects of God’s grace are brought together wonderfully in the

General Thanksgiving Prayer

Almighty God, Father of all mercies,
we your unworthy servants
give you most humble and hearty thanks
for all your goodness and loving-kindness.
We bless you for our creation, preservation,
and all the blessings of this life;

(COMMON GRACE)

but above all for your immeasurable love
in the redemption of the world
by our Lord Jesus Christ,
for the means of grace and for the hope of glory.

(SAVING GRACE)

And give us, we pray,
such a sense of all your mercies
that our hearts may be unfeignèdly thankful,
and that we show forth your praise,
not only with our lips but in our lives,
by giving up ourselves to your service,

(SERVING GRACE)

and by walking before you,
in holiness and righteousness, all our days;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
to whom with you and the Holy Spirit,
be all honour and glory,
for ever and ever.  Amen.