How (not) to be a guilt driven church

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#TheDailyDose – Ephesians 2:8-10

The book we bought and the book we read

Rick Warren’s best sellers “The purpose driven life” and “The purpose  driven church” –but a lot of churches and Christian lives feel “guilt driven” …not purpose driven

What do I mean ….

Trying to bridge a gap

“For it is by grace you have been saved …. To do good works.”

Now – you know that in the … bit is quite a bit of Biblical text ( 2 verses worth) – but what we can end up doing is taking out the two verses and infilling with a lot of our own stuff. And that’s where you get the alternative book.

So I find it helpful to sum up how we do church and how we play around with guilt under 3 headings

Legalism …

Licence …

Magic ….

Solving the problem

Well it’s actually so incredibly obvious really isn’t it? Go back and see what those verses say

The flow is ….

  1. For it is by grace you are saved ….   – note “for” pushes us back –we were dead …. You can’t save yourself (v 8)
  2. Yourself/works are contrasted/sandwiched around “God’s work” –salvation is God’s work (v 8)
  3. In order that ….The purpose is to rule out boasting
  4. But note this follows through. V 10 includes a “for” too …we cannot boast because we are God’s workmanship – he is the one who equips us./prepares us for service (nb links back that his aim is to be glorified by showing off the riches of his grace and kindness)

So the good works are something that God recreates us for and equips us for. It is grace all the way. I don’t get saved by grace and keep going by something else.

I am saved by grace and I go on by grace

This means we need to keep going back to the Gospel. The Gospel is for mature Christians too.

To think about

When I am challenged to do something

               -life change

               -service in God’s family

What drives me –grace or guilt?

In what ways am I/is our church tempted to fall into legalism, licence or magic? Which of the three is the greatest danger to us?