"… Surely you have heard about the administration of God's grace that was given to me for you,…"
Key point: Our task in the church is to understand holiness so we can proclaim Christ--His Lordship as well as His character, righteousness, peace, and joy, all by the Holy Spirit. This will effectively be the catalyst for building a quality, lasting, and effective church.
Christianity is all about the grace we received that we did not deserve. This was the prime factor for Paul; it must be ours, too--that we be filled with the presence of Christ, His Truth and Love. Consider that Paul was in prison--a heinous place--yet all he can do and think about is how he can be a better steward of God's grace and spread the Good News as we lead His Church! The Gospel is for all people! This was a great shift in worldview--that salvation was now not only for those of Abraham's lineage, but for all people. In this Good News, there is a duty to go out and spread God's Word. Now, no one is ever excluded who does not reject God's saving grace. God's promise is for all who will receive in faith, Christ and His work on the cross.
What we exemplify and teach is God's love and power to reconcile us. What we do not deserve to be in His family; yet, He does. God loves you and accepts you more powerfully, passionately, purposefully, and deeply than you could ever fathom! You are secure. God "guarantees" you with a clear, powerful, loving, impacting, and lasting relationship with Him. When you are in Christ, God is pleased with you! You have no need to fear; you are a person of deep value and worth before our Lord! You are forgiven because of Christ and His righteousness that covers you—not because of your deeds or performance. You are unique and complete in Him; and because of this, you are a special person whom God loves and will use to further impact His kingdom (John 6:37, 44, 65;13:1; 15:16; Rom. 5:1-8; Eph. 1:4-5; Phil. 1:6; Col. 1:21-22; 2:10; 1 John 4:9-11)!
What we exemplify and teach is we are the church! We are one body, not a building; rather, a people in relationship of unity, deriving life in and from Christ our Lord. Being of His membership means our identity is in Him; thus, we are affected personally and publicly, synergizing as a community that is formed, indwelt, and empowered by the Spirit.
What we exemplify and teach is that we are all precious! We are important, and have a job to do as a moving, living temple, reflecting His love and holiness. The Church is God's dwelling place and legacy, His training and worship center where people are empowered by Him to worship Him (Ex. 19:6; 2 Sam. 7:5-7, 12-16; Matt. 16:18; Mark 12:10-11; John 2:19; Acts 2:33; Rom. 12:1; 1 Cor. 3:16; 15:45; 2 Cor. 6:16; Eph. 2:19-22; Col. 3:15-17; Heb. 3:6; 7:26; 10:10; 1 Pet. 2: 4-10).
Perhaps there is nothing more significant for us personally in the universe than who we are in Christ. We have a God who is all-knowing, all-loving and has a purpose for you; He knows you more deeply than you can ever imagine. Because of Christ, we have His grace. Thus, we are deeply loved and have meaning. We have redemption and an eternal inheritance. You matter and are complete in Christ. We are a new creation of infinite worth. We are completely forgiven and accepted by God. So, who we are is not what we do to earn a living in this world, it is our identity in Christ. Therefore, we can be a reflection of His redemption.
© 2016 R.J. Krejcir, Ph.D., Francis A. Schaeffer Institute of Church Leadership Development www.churchleadership.org/