Lean into the Means of GraceWednesday, October 2, 2013
To say that we are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone is the essence of the gospel. Our fundamental hope in life and death is that we are saved by God's grace and not by our efforts. And one of the wonders of God's grace is that it abounds to us through means. From our conversion to Christ to our ongoing transformation into his image God uses divinely appointed means to sanctify us.
My favorite confession of faith says it this way,
Our confidence in God's grace to save and sanctify us should never encourage the "let go and let God" mentality, as if the only thing left to do to grow in faith and godliness is to stop seeking it. We must seek it. Yes, we must seek it in Christ, but we seek him through the means he has given us. So we should rightly point to such means, promote them, and rejoice in them as God's gifts to us.
Sure, there is the danger of practicing spiritual disciplines as an end in themselves. But there is also a danger of neglecting the means of grace (foregoing spiritual growth and health as a result) for fear of misusing them.
Lean into the means of grace that you may lean on Jesus himself. You know the promise stands that if we seek we will find. But where will you look for Christ? How will you lay hold of him by faith if you neglect these gifts? Open that Bible, hit your knees, gather with the saints, not to check duties off a list, but to cling to Jesus himself.
Joe Thorn is Lead Pastor of Redeemer Fellowship in St. Charles, IL and blogs at joethorn.net. His book, Note to Self: The Discipline of Preaching to Yourself, was released through Crossway/ReLit. You can follow him on Twitter @joethorn.