One of the most common views of salvation in evangelicalism is an Arminian view of the place of God in initiating salvation in a person coupled with a non-Arminian understanding of God’s place in retaining salvation in that same person. In other words, under this view, God is not seen as the first mover in an individual’s faith in Christ, but he is relied upon to keep a person “once saved, always saved.”
The view that a person who is saved will always be saved is a biblical one. Scripture is filled with promises of God’s perfect hold on those who are believers in Christ (John 10:28-29).… Continue reading
In the first part of this series, we looked at an often-overlooked role of grace: its empowerment for spiritual growth in a believer.
But this is not the only part of God’s grace toward Christians that gets overlooked. The other major work of “grace” in the Christian life is God’s empowerment for ministry.
The foremost example of this is the apostle Paul, who repeatedly cited the grace of God that was give to him for the particular ministry to which he was called: taking the gospel to the nations (Romans 1:5; 15:15-16; 1 Cor. 3:10; 15:10; Galatians 2:9; Ephesians 3:2, 7-8).… Continue reading
The grace of God as the way of salvation is a central tenet of the Christian religion.
One of the key doctrines that was highlighted in the Protestant Reformation of 500 years ago was sola gratia – salvation is by grace alone. This doctrine is a precious truth that prevents Christians from taking any credit for how they have come to be Christians – God is the one who is responsible for their salvation.
As a result, Christians are rightly eager to defend the gospel against slipping into anything that would undermine the grace of God. In this eagerness, they are like Paul, who said, “I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.” (Galatians 2:21).… Continue reading
Last Friday, I attended a conference at my former church where Dr. Stuart Scott gave an excellent presentation of bad methods Christians use to make decisions (among other dimensions of decision-making). It was very helpful and I encourage you to download it here when available: Sermon Audio – Grace Community Church. To provoke your thinking on the matter, here’s what I wrote a while back on one of the many “wrong” ways to make decisions.
Previously, I wrote a post talking about the dangers of misusing prayer in the decision-making process. But I neglected to specify the ways God does get directly involved in influencing the decisions we make.… Continue reading
In many ways, serving your church is difficult. It involves sacrifice (1 Cor. 10:24). It involves deference (Romans 14:15-21). It requires bearing others’ burdens (Galatians 6:2). It requires love (Galatians 5:13).
But it doesn’t have to be as difficult as we often make it. It is something done not by our own power, but by the “grace” that God gives – strength for ministry (Romans 12:6, 1 Cor. 15:10). The selfish desires that naturally rule us can be overcome by a changed heart that desires to please Christ instead of serving one’s own self (2 Cor. 5:13-15). The motivation of future reward should be sufficient to help us not seek the ease and comfort that ministry often takes away.… Continue reading