How do we live on the basis of grace?
In this series we will look at the issue of grace and works by studying the turnings points in the letters of Paul. We are not looking at Paul's personal turning point that occurred when he met Jesus on the road to Damascus, though that serves as the biographical backdrop to Paul's teaching. The turning points in Paul's letters are not necessarily literary turning points in his letters, though some are. The turning points we speak of are places in his letters where Paul turns from the subject of our salvation by God's grace to how we should live in response.
The classical theological articulation of our subject is: We are justified by grace through faith alone, but the faith that justifies by God's grace never stands alone. It transforms us by the power of God to produce a life of love and obedience. A familiar expression of it is: We do not work for our salvation, but we do work out our salvation.
I think you will find, as I have, these turning points in the letters of Paul are powerful and convicting in calling us to that life of love and obedience. And as we pursue that life we will grow in our awareness of our brokenness in sin, but we should not be growing in our sinfulness. We will discover the power of God at work within us both to will and to do what he calls us to do as we apply ourselves to working out our salvation.
Beginning September 22, 2013:
Romans 6:1-15 Wallowing in Grace?
1 Corinthians 3:10-15 Building on the Foundation of Grace
2 Corinthians 5:6-10 Will Our Works Be Judged?
Galatians 5:13-23 The Fruit of the Spirit
Ephesians 2:8-10 God’s Workmanship
Philippians 2:1-13 Your Attitude
Colossians 3:1-17 The Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful
1 Thessalonians 1:2-10 Thanksgiving for Changed Lives
1 Timothy 1:12-17 Thanksgiving for Salvation