The Means of GRACE
August 18- September 29, 2019
A closer look at the means of grace available to us as followers of Jesus through which we experience the grace and presence of God in a deeper, more personal way. We do not earn God’s grace through the means of grace, we experience His grace through them.
August 18: Baptism- The Sacrament of Initiation Baptism is the initial act which brings us into communion with Jesus Christ. This sacrament forms a covenant between us and God so that the rest of our lives become a matter of “learning to swim in our baptismal waters.”
August 25: Searching the Scriptures As we search the scriptures, we’re doing more than mere reading: we’re receiving the story of God and thereby the grace of God. We study the Bible so it will master us and so we can learn and pass it on to the coming generations.
September 1: Partaking in the Lord’s Supper When we come to the table, we connect ourselves with the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This means of grace, Wesley says, “conveys the power of God’s grace to us now. “ this is why Wesley believed so strongly that we should take it as often as we can, so that we can experience the power of Gog’s Grace.
September 8: Prayer and Fasting Simply put, prayer is a means through which people draw near to God and fasting is a means through which we are emptied so that we might be filled with grace. These two often go together so that in being emptied by fasting, we are filled through prayer.
September 15: Fellowship Fellowship emphasizes that the Christian life is never done in solitude. If we are going to grow and about in love, we need other people to model love, to give love, and receive love. We can’t do this in private, but together we will.
September 22: Classes and Bands Flowing out of fellowship, classes and bands are a careful way of attending to our own holiness, which can never happen apart from relationship with other people. This is what Wesley meant by “social holiness.” One cannot become holy apart from others (the social aspect.)
September 29: Works of Mercy Works of mercy are the ways in which we carefully attend to others. In other words, we take seriously the second part of the great commandment, to love our neighbors as ourselves, Engaging in works of mercy teaches us how to love our neighbors better.