Sunday, October 9, 2011

Holy Trinity: A Community of Grace

Grace refers to the unearned favor of God showered upon our lives.  It is God dealing with us not on our worthiness or merit, but on our needs, simply because we are the object of His unconditional love.  This is the foundation upon which the “Kingdom of God” is being built.  Holy Trinity, as an outpost of the Kingdom of God, is therefore called to become a “Community of Grace.”

We who are tainted with the ways of this world find that being a grace-filled community doesn’t come naturally; however (thanks be to God!), it does come supernaturally through the inner working of the Spirit of God in us and in our community.  It is God who makes us a “Community of Grace.”  We are the recipient of God’s grace and therefore called to be an instrument through which that grace is extended to others.  We are therefore a community who is becoming…
Ø  A place of unconditional love that is a sanctuary for the sinner, the broken- hearted and the wounded.
Ø  The workplace of the Holy Spirit and a crucible for transformation and healing.
Ø  A community from which God’s Truth is shared with the world. 
Ø  A place where people can be invited in just as they are, but knowing that God loves them too much to leave them where they are.
Ø  A people learning to be loving and gracious because we ourselves have been treated with love and grace.
We are also a fellowship that is moving day-by-day toward holiness of life, not by our own works or merits, but by the grace of God’s activity within the community.  Holiness is within our grasp because God has “graced” us with His Holy Spirit. The Church calls this “Sanctifying Grace.”  Through God’s Sanctifying Grace, God has given us access to the marks of holiness, which are the “Fruit of the Spirit,”- love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).
Jesus showed what grace-filled life living looks like: 
Ø  He treated all people as having great value            ,                                     (Luke 7:36-50)
Ø  Regarded each person as a beloved child of the Father,                          (Matthew 18:10-14)
Ø  Hung out with the least desirable and the marginalized,                         (Matthew 9:9-13)
Ø  Conveyed to God’s people unambiguous and un-compromised Truth,  (Matthew 5:17-20)
Ø  Taught that only God is to judge,                                                            (Matthew 13:24-30)
Ø  Demonstrated that we are not to judge, but to forgive                            (John 8:1-11)
Ø  Cared enough to listen and be the instrument of change for the stranger (John 4:4-30)
Ø  Provided redemption and salvation to those who were lost to God.,      (Luke 19:1-10)
Ø  Conveyed a hope and a purpose for this life.                                          (Matthew 6:25-32)
 So, how are we to be a Community of Grace?  By…
Ø  By not condemning, but helping others become aligned to God’s call on their lives
Ø  understanding that others are a work in progress, just as you are (Matthew 7:3-5)
Ø   unconditionally loving the unlovely, even when they are unable to love us back.
Ø  caring for the stranger. (The Good Samaritan- Luke 10:25-37)

In other words, extending grace to others the way Jesus extends grace to you.                       

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