FUNDAMENTAL BELIEF #11: GROWING IN CHRIST
by Pastor Mike Fortune
September 27, 2014
- Grace is not cheap (Ephesians 2:4-8; Matthew 27:41-43; Manning Quote)
- Grace without discipleship is cheap (1 Corinthians 15:10; 2 Corinthians 5:11-15; Bonhoeffer Quotes)
- We grow in Christ when recall that we are indebted to grace (1 Corinthians 3:10-11; Ephesians 2:10; Joshua 24:14; Ephesians 4:21)
4 But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, 5 that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God's grace that you have been saved!) 6 For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. 7 So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus. 8 God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can't take credit for this; it is a gift from God.
41 The leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the elders also mocked Jesus.42 "He saved others," they scoffed, "but he can't save himself!
It's not cheap. It's free, and as such will always be a banana peel for the orthodox foot and fairy tale for the grown-up sensibility. Grace is sufficient even though we huff and puff with all our might to find something or someone it cannot cover. Grace is enough. He is enough. Jesus is enough. - All Is Grace, p.194
1 Corinthians 15:10
10 But whatever I am now, it is all because God poured out his special favor on me—and not without results. For I have worked harder than any of the other apostles; yet it was not I but God who was working through me by his grace.
2 Corinthians 5:11-15
11 Because we understand our fearful responsibility to the Lord, we work hard to persuade others. God knows we are sincere, and I hope you know this, too. 12 Are we commending ourselves to you again? No, we are giving you a reason to be proud of us, so you can answer those who brag about having a spectacular ministry rather than having a sincere heart. 13 If it seems we are crazy, it is to bring glory to God. And if we are in our right minds, it is for your benefit. 14 Either way, Christ's love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life. 15 He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them.
Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession, absolution without personal confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate. - The Cost of Discipleship, p. 47.
If our Christianity has ceased to be serious about discipleship, if we have watered down the gospel into emotional uplift which makes no costly demands and which fails to distinguish between natural and Christian experience, then we cannot help regarding the cross as an ordinary everyday calamity, as one of the trials and tribulations of life...When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die...it is the same death every time—death in Jesus Christ, the death of the old man at his call. - The Cost of Discipleship, pp. 78-79
1 Corinthians 3:10-11
10 Because of God's grace to me, I have laid the foundation like an expert builder. Now others are building on it. But whoever is building on this foundation must be very careful. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have—Jesus Christ.
10 For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
14 "So fear the LORD and serve him wholeheartedly.
You have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him.