August 17, 2014
United Methodism 101: Justifying Grace: Romans 3:21-26
Key Verse: “…all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,” (Romans 3:23–24 NRSV)
Background: John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, identified three forms of God’s grace: Prevenient Grace, Justifying Grace, and Sanctifying Grace. Grace is God’s unmerited mercy and favor. That is, God’s mercy and favor is a gift from God, and not dependent on our worth or our earning it. Our sins and our resistance to God’s calling disrupt our relationship with God. Prevenient grace makes us aware of our sin and our need for forgiveness. Justifying grace is the grace that restores our relationship with God. (Something theologians and Biblical authors like Paul call “justification” or being “justified.”) Paul writes to the Christians in Rome, to remind them that we are all justified by God’s grace, not by our own actions.
Community: When relationships are damaged in our community, what steps are needed to repair them? Are we a community that extends grace to those whose sins are publicly known?
At Home: What does it feel like when someone forgives you? Do you believe that God has forgiven you?
Read This Week:
Monday, August 18 It is God who Justifies Romans 8:31–39
Tuesday, August 19 Justified Through Faith Galatians 2:15–21
Wednesday, August 20 Justified Through Faith Galatians 3:6–11
Thursday, August 21 Saved By God’s Mercy Titus 3:3–7
Friday, August 22 1 We are not our own 1 Corinthians 6:9–20
Saturday, August 23 A New Self Ephesians 4:22–32
United Methodism 101: Sanctifying Grace: 1 Peter 1:13–16