Readings and Reflections for August 24-31

August 24, 2014
United Methodism 101: Sanctifying Grace
Matthew 5:43–48; 1 Peter 1:13–16

Key Verse: “it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’”

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. Prevenient grace makes us aware of our sin and our need for forgiveness. Justifying grace is the grace that restores our relationship with God. Sanctifying grace is God’s grace that molds us into the image of Christ, allowing us to live holy lives. Wesley believed that God’s grace could make us “perfect in love” in this life. Not without error, but able to consistently choose to love God with all our being and love our neighbors as ourselves.

Community: In our understanding, one outgrowth of sanctifying grace is “social holiness.” That is, living in such a way that we seek to make our communities holy places that honor all people as God’s beloved children. Where is holiness needed in our community? How are we as a church and you as an individual involved in making our community more holy and whole?

At Home: What does it mean to be like Christ? Does your faith in Christ guide your decisions about work, home, and friendships? How are you striving to live a holy life? What help do you need from God to live a holy life?

Read This Week:

Monday, August 25 A Holy and Living Sacrifice Romans 12:1–2
Tuesday, August 26 Clothe Yourselves with Love Colossians 3:12–17
Wednesday, August 27 Hearts Strengthened in Holiness 1 Thessalonians 3:11–13
Thursday, August 28 Sanctification is God’s will 1 Thessalonians 4:1–8
Friday, August 29 A Holy Priesthood 1 Peter 2:4–10
Saturday, August 30 Giving Attention to Scripture 1 Timothy 4:13–16

Next Week: United Methodism 101: Interpreting Scripture: 2 Timothy 3:10–17

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