COMMISSIONED FOR GRACE
The church is most appealing when the message of grace is most apparent.
If the people aren't following, it's because someone's not leading.
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8 NLT
If the church is God’s primary vehicle for dispensing the message of grace, then the local church is clearly not for church people. It’s for everybody.
While Paul and Barnabas were at Antioch of Syria, some men from Judea arrived and began to teach the believers: “Unless you are circumcised as required by the law of Moses, you cannot be saved.” Acts 15:1 NLT
He made no distinction between us and them, for he cleansed their hearts through faith. So why are you now challenging God by burdening the Gentile believers with a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors were able to bear? Acts 15:9-10 NLT
We believe that we are all saved the same way, by the undeserved grace of the Lord Jesus.” Acts 15:11 NLT
Peter knew that if you start shaving layers off of grace or adding things to grace, it’s no longer grace.
“And so my judgment is that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. Acts 15:19 NLT
The church should not make it difficult for people who are turning to God.
Grace was saved.
Grace plus anything is anything but grace.
God's grace is for people people.
A community of grace
The church has been assigned the task of exposing the world to the grace of God. This is our responsibility. There is no plan B. We are it.
Tax collectors and other notorious sinners often came to listen to Jesus teach. This made the Pharisees and teachers of religious law complain that he was associating with such sinful people—even eating with them! Luke 15:1-2 NLT
We had to celebrate this happy day. For your brother was dead and has come back to life! He was lost, but now he is found!’” Luke 15:32 NLT
God celebrates, first & foremost, restored relationships. In God's story, you are the focus of a celebration - not what you've done - You!