What is a Christian? (Sermon notes)

Last Sunday I gave the sermon at Grace @ Night as part of our Ephesians series.  I had to jump out of the baptism, change clothes, and jump up front, but I forgot to grab the jawbone mic we use to record the podcast, so I thought I’d at least post the notes.  Here they are, after the jump.

Grace to Faith to Works

Ephesians 2:8-10

8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9not by works, so that no one can boast. 10For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

This passage shows us what it means to be a Christian.  When we live out these three verbs in their proper proportion and order, we are living out a healthy, robust Christianity.

  1. Grace
  1. The hope of grace is that we are free from trying to be good enough.

–         This is contrary to what we often assume “religion” is: It is not simply being a good boy or girl.

–         Grace does not equal God’s forgiveness, even if it does include that.

–         Grace = Getting the opposite of what you deserve.

(Our faith does not end here at Grace, however. That would be negligent.)

  1. Grace  à   Faith
  1. God’s grace manifests itself in our faith
    1. Whatever faith we have can be traced to God’s grace.

–         Our faith comes as a response to grace (Sleeping Beauty kiss)

(Why does Paul want us to realize that our faith is not from ourselves? – Otherwise we’re tempted to boast)

  1. Why is boasting such a danger?
  1. Why is boasting tempting?

–         The threat of grace is that we must admit that we are no more deserving of God than anyone else.

  1. Grace    à     Faith    à   Works

We have been re-created by Christ for a purpose – to carry out the good works he has prepared for us.

–         The results of neglect are atrophy

–         What are “good works”?

  • How does this relate to our original creation purpose of work?
  • How are they different from person to person?
  • How do you identify which good works you’ve been re-created for?

Grace to Faith to Works

Ephesians 2:8-10

8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9not by works, so that no one can boast. 10For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

This passage shows us what it means to be a Christian.  When we live out these three verbs in their proper proportion and order, we are living out a healthy, robust Christianity.

I. Grace

a. The hope of grace is that we are free from trying to be good enough.

This is contrary to what we often assume “religion” is: It is not simply being a good boy or girl.

Grace does not equal God’s forgiveness, even if it does include that.

Grace = Getting the opposite of what you deserve.

(Our faith does not end here at Grace, however. That would be negligent.)

II. Grace à Faith

a. God’s grace manifests itself in our faith

i. Whatever faith we have can be traced to God’s grace.

Our faith comes as a response to grace (Sleeping Beauty kiss)

(Why does Paul want us to realize that our faith is not from ourselves? – Otherwise we’re tempted to boast)

b. Why is boasting such a danger?

c. Why is boasting tempting?

The threat of grace is that we must admit that we are no more deserving of God than anyone else.

III. Grace à Faith à Works

We have been re-created by Christ for a purpose – to carry out the good works he has prepared for us.

The results of neglect are atrophy

What are “good works”?

o How does this relate to our original creation purpose of work?

o How are they different from person to person?

o How do you identify which good works you’ve been re-created for?

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