What does this mean?
The Gospel of John teaches that when Jesus Christ came, grace and truth moved in beside us; life moving in right next door (John 1:1-14). To us, this means that we're just ordinary folks sharing life together and, from our life experiences, we testify to the truth that Jesus Christ is risen from the dead! For us, baptized into the life of Christ, God's grace (God's love) is a four pillared foundation. These four pillars anchor us in what it means to be growing in being God's Grace Ev. Church for this world:
1. God's grace is personal
- Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost but now am found, was blind but now I see.
- Grasp this and you are grasping something far deeper than the thought that Jesus Christ would be good to imitate. Listen to Luther: "Before you take Christ as an example, you accept and recognize Him as a gift , as a present that God has given you and that is your own. This means that when you see or hear of Christ doing or suffering something, you do not doubt that Christ Himself , with His deeds and suffering , belongs to you.... this is what it means to have a proper grasp of the gospel, that is, of the overwhelming goodness of God, which neither prophet, nor apostle, nor angel was ever able to fully express, and which no heart could adequately fathom or marvel at. This is the great fire of the love of God for us, whereby the heart and conscience become happy secure and content. This is what preaching the Christian faith means. This is why such teaching is called gospel, which in German means a joyful, good, and comforting 'message'; and this is why the apostles are called the 'twelve messengers.'"
2. God's Grace is empowering
- 'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, and grace my fears relieved!
How precious did that grace appear, the hour I first believed.
3. God's Grace is persistent
- Through many dangers, toils, and snares, we have already come.
'Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home.
4. God's grace is generous
- The Lord has promised good to me, His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be, as long as life endures.
Our Guiding Principles
On the four foundation pillars described above, the Holy Spirit guides our growing through five core guiding principles.
1. Jesus is Lord!
2. Christ is with us always - we need to talk to Him as our intimate friend
3. We don't have it all together but God empowers us to go on - we are God's
4. No matter what ... loved by God
5. We are an active force of God's