“And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.” – Colossians 2:6-7 NLT
“Rather, you must grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. All glory to him, both now and forever! Amen” – 2 Peter 3:18 NLT
Peter tells the churches to grow in grace and knowledge of Jesus. But what is grace? “Grace” is a very churchy word that we use often, we consider God’s grace one of the basics of Christian faith and life, but what does it mean? Why is grace so essential to the Christian Life? And how does that relate to other practices of the Christian faith? Maybe we need to go back to some basics!
When I went back to seminary for the second time, I was glad I did not have to retake courses such as church history 101. However, with the Bible Classes, although I did not have to retake Old Testament 101 or New Testament 101, I was happy to review, and to make sure I still knew the important basics, so I could stay on track! When you learn a new sport, it’s best to begin with the basics, with the fundamentals of the game. And it’s important to review the basics regularly.
God has provided us a tool box to help us to grow in grace and knowledge of Jesus. In the church we call these tools spiritual disciplines. John Wesley called them “means of grace.” As we use these tools, these spiritual practices from God’s tool box, God’s Spirit works within us, transforming us into Christ-likeness and keeping us on track with God.
So this October, we are going to go “Back to Basics” in our worship preaching series and in small groups. We are calling this series: Discipleship 101: Key Ingredients to Growth in Christ. Each week we will be considering the key ingredients or tools for growing in Christ, starting with God’s grace. We will then be looking at methods of prayer, Bible study practices, the practice of worshipping with other Christians, and how to use our Spiritual gifts in service to the church and the Kingdom of God.
I have a tool box at home, (the kind of tool box that includes hammers and wrenches, etc.) but I’m not very proficient in using the tools in my tool box. I have not practiced with them and I’m not really sure how to use all the tools in there. Nor have I taken time to learn how to use them well.
How proficient are you with God’s tool box? This October we will be taking each of these tools out of the tool box for a closer look, and for some lessons in how to use these tools to grow our Christian life. Maybe some of you are already proficient with all these tools, but a trip back to basics can help all us of grow in grace and knowledge of Jesus.
Be sure to invite someone to come to worship with you on October 7, our next Big Day, as we rediscover the greatness of God’s grace! See you in worship!
Grace and Peace,