Lent Course 2012 (11 Apr 2012, 10:53 - Neil Oosthuizen)
Round Words in a Square WorldWeek 1 What's so amazing about Grace? Ephesians 2:1-10
Living in the amazing Grace of God
Grace is God doing for us, in Christ, what we cannot do for ourselves. We cannot earn God's grace, but can only open our lives to it in Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9).
We will look at God's grace in our lives through John Wesley's process of salvation.
Week 2 Responding to Grace. John 16:5-16
We experience God's prevenient grace as He ministers in our lives before we are aware of Him or His overwhelming love for us... slowly drawing us closer to Him.
As we become aware of His love, and open our lives more fully to His Spirit, so we are convicted of our sin, and our need for salvation (John 16:8-11). Wesley called this convicting grace. As we realise our inability to save ourselves so we are driven into despair, until we can only entrust ourselves fully to His grace (Romans 7:25a).
Week 3 Re-created in Grace. John 3:1-21
We experience God's converting grace as we repent of our sins and open our lives to Jesus, accepting Him as Saviour and Lord (John 3:3-7).
As we are "born again" in Christ so we experience God's grace in four ways...
Through reconciling grace we are brought back into a loving relationship with our heavenly Father (John 1:12-13), and are now a part of His eternal Family (Ephesians 2:11-22). Some theologians refer to this as "atoning grace", as I am now "at one" with God again.
Secondly, God recreates us through justifying grace (2 Corinthians 5:17), as He sees us "just-as-if-I'd" never sinned. This means that my life is now lived in His grace and joy (Romans 5:1-2).
Week 4 Growing in Grace. John 15:1-17
Thirdly, assuring grace gives me the assurance that I am a child of God, living in fellowship with my Saviour, Lord and Friend (Romans 8:15-17).
Finally, through sanctifying grace we grow in holiness and wholeness (Matthew 5:48, Hebrews 12:14), as our lives are lived in God's perfect love (Mark 12:28-34).
As we grow in God's grace (Galatians 5:22-23) so we are freed and empowered to grow one another within the Church (Romans 12:3-8, 1 Corinthians 12:7-11, Ephesians 4:7, 11-16). We are then able to reach out with God's love to our hurting world (Matthew 5:13-16, Acts 1:8).
Week 5 Living in the amazing Grace of God. 1 Corinthians 15:3-8, 50-58
Finally, having lived in Christ we die in Christ, as we are glorified in His presence through glorifying grace (1 Corinthians 15:57), and grow in His love eternally (Revelation 7:13-17, 21:1-4).
As Christ-followers, our lives are lived in and through the amazing grace of God, as we open our lives to His grace each day (Micah 6:8, Romans 12:1-2, John 15:5).