Grace in Action

Western NC Via de Cristo - Rollo Series  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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The work of the Holy Spirit in us (Sanctification); what we can expect when we live in union with Christ

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Earlier today you heard a rollo from Pastor Bucky on the nature of God’s grace. You learned that God is the initiator of this grace and that their are volumes of evidence of His grace being given throughout scripture, both in the Old and New Testaments. You heard that the grace of God is a gift to us, the undeserved love and favor of God both free and unearned, that invites us into a ‘New Relationship’ with the Father, one that is both personal and intimate.
From this point on, it is important to understand the relationship that God has establish with us in Christ, our justification, through the work of the Holy Spirit, our sanctification.
The title of this rollo is ‘Grace in Action’, please write that down. [Grace in Action]

I. Actual Grace

What is Actual Grace?
Bishop Juan Hervas defines it this way, “A spiritual, inner, and transitory aid, with which God enlightens our understanding and strengthens our will to accomplish spiritual acts.”
A. It’s free - it is an extension of God’s habitual grace.
B. It is God choosing to intervene in our lives to help us.
C. It flows from our intimate relationship with Christ.
D. It can be momentary - given to us in specific circumstances.
E. It sheds light - imparting insight and understanding.
F. It gives strength that enables our will to want and do God’s will.
G. It leads to gracious action on the part of the believer.
To summarize, Grace in Action is the presence of Christ in mankind, always cleansing, renewing, and transforming; imparting the very principles of knowledge and power, obedience and love. It embodies the entire work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

II. The Need for God’s Active Grace

A. Our intelligence and will, if left alone to their ‘own devices’, will not seek God’s purposes.
What will we do? We will seek out our own selfish purposes! Humankind is not born inherently good, but evil, as scripture reads in , “There is no one righteous; not one!”
B. We are physically and spiritually incapable of following the will of God without Him. reads, “Apart form me you can do what?…NOTHING!”
C. Our entire ability to respond at all comes from God; that’s why it is called ‘response - ability’. Hear the words of , “Such confidence we have through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.”

III. When God Gives This Actual Grace

A. At ‘opportune ‘ moments, when needed, not necessarily when we want it.
we hear Jesus say, “When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour.”
B. When necessary to carry out His will.
Have you ever heard it said that, “God will never give you more than you can handle”? In this day of social media, catchy verses like this are laid out there with spiritual background and take on a Biblical connotation. This quote actually comes from the book of 1 Memes 7:77! But, it’s simply not true! Because God loves us, He must give us more than we can handle so we come to the realization that we need Him!
C. To enable us to overcome temptation.
In St. Paul writes, “13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

IV. How This Grace Comes to Us

A. Through the work of the Holy Spirit. In Martin Luther’s explanation of the 3rd article of the Apostle’s Creed, he expounds on this, as I did earlier, when I said that Actual Grace embodies the entire work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
B. It comes to us directly - to our mind, our heart, our will in the context of our daily walk with Christ.
C. It also comes to us indirectly - through external circumstances or persons in our worship life, our family life or our work environment. {Blackabee Study - Experiencing God}
D. Through the Via De Cristo Weekend - this entire weekend is a spiritual shower of actual grace! Can you feel it?
The point here is that the Lord is not limited in the ways in which to communicate God’s gracious will to us!

V. The Place of Prayer

A. Prayer is our ‘touchstone’ with or conduit to God. It is our direct link, opened and made possible through the saving act of Jesus Christ on the cross. reads, “And when Jesus had cried out again with a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.”
B. Communication leads to a deeper relationship with Christ. {Remember when you first met your wife…?}
C. It is the path to peace. reads, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”
D. Effective for use in human affairs. Once again, scripture is clear on this matter, as we read in , “Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.

VI. Palanca

The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
A. Lever - is a Spanish word that literally means lever; the power to lift or lift up.
B. Prayer, Sacrifice and Honest Communication. - in the context of this weekend and for the rest of your life, for that matter!
For example...
The team that is here for you
Someone is praying every minute of every day since you set foot here and will to the very end.
Someone is praying during each rollo, for the professor, for you and for all noted concerns; all the while praising and glorifying God.
The little things you may have been finding along the way.

VII. Conclusion

This entire Via De Cristo weekend is Grace in Action! God brought us here, all of us, to talk to us, to enlighten us, and to encourage us. Have you been hearing Him? Have you been warmed by His gracious presence? And, now, how are you going to respond to this grace from this time on?

VII. Closing

I want you to remember something:
God loves you, my brothers, and so do I!
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