Grace and Unity
"Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God." - (Romans 5:1-2 NIV)
Thoughts for Today
Yesterday we discussed two foundational biblical truths that must shape our understanding of worship: The character of God and Christ's leadership. Today we will look at two more: the covenant of grace and the biblical vision of the Church.
The Covenant of Grace
Grace is undeserved favor. God showers us with his grace. The greatest example of that, of course, is giving his son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross, paying the penalty for our sins. Did any of us deserve that? Absolutely not! But he offered forgiveness because of his unconditional love for us.
But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) (Ephesians 2:4-5 NLT)
God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. (Ephesians 2:8-9 NLT)
Think about it! Jesus suffered a horrendous death on the cross for us. He offers us eternal life with him in a perfect place called heaven. Eternal. Forever. Let's not ever reach the point where we don't get excited about that. When we just think about how much Jesus loves us and what he has done, we should be drawn immediately into passionate worship.
Consider this …
The Biblical Vision of the Church
As a church, our worship should flow together. We should all worship him as individuals. But we should also worship him together as a corporate body . . . in unity.
Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. (Colossians 3:16 NLT)
May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus. Then all of you can join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 15:5-6 NLT)
As believers, we form the body of Christ. Together let us honor him in all we do. May we teach and encourage one another and worship him in unity.
Father, please forgive me for the times I have taken your grace for granted. As I worship, help me keep my eyes on Jesus and the grace that abounds because of your unconditional love and sacrifice. May I join others in the body of Christ as we honor and worship you with one voice. In Jesus' name . . .
These thoughts were drawn from …
A Passionate Pursuit of God: Drawing Nearer to Him by Dr. Mike Chapman. This study teaches participant how to move into God's inner circle, how to listen for the voice of God, how to enjoy the freedom of worship, and how to embrace the mission of worship. This 45-minute format will accommodate groups with limited meeting times. Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study for individuals or couples.
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