Two Kinds of Faith

John 14 b.png    Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us,” Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, “Show us the Father?’ Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves.   John 14:9-11

People travel different road to find faith in God. Some have a dramatic experience with Him and never doubt Him again. Others struggles with conflicting and perplexing ideas that they finally resolve. There are those that live a promiscuous, and ungodly life, only when they are on the verge of despair, do they seek a better road and find it in Christ.

Jesus here speaks of two ways in which we can come to faith in Him: to see Him as He is or to get to know Him in all his fullness. In the first way, the person takes Jesus at his word, form, and responds in love and surrenders. It can be called “intuitive faith,” where people meet Christ in a deeply religious experience that fills their whole life with meaning, purpose and direction.

In the second way, the person reasons things out. On this road to faith, the person says, “I see the world and it looks wonderful. It must have a Creator. I read about this remarkable man who healed the sick and died a brutal death on a cross. He must have loved us very much. I see the impact he has on many lives where he reveals miraculous grace. I will now walk this word myself.” Whichever route you choose to faith, just make sure that you know Jesus Christ as your Friend; that you worship Him and serve Him as your Lord and Savior.

Grace and Peace to You My Friends 

God’s Gift Called Grace

Ephesians 2a.pngBut because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions–it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-not by works so that no one can boast.                                                 Ephesians 2:4-9

John Wesley the founder of the Methodist movement, grace was the powerful process by which believes came to experience God and know God’s salvation. Wesley believed grace was ever present and influential in believers coming to repentance. He believed grace could lead believers to love God with all their being and to love neighbors and the world as they loved themselves. Mr. Wesley understood God’s grace as a unified piece, but teaching he defined grace as having three aspects; prevenient, justifying, and sanctifying.

Prevenient Grace: Is the grace that comes to us even before we know God. God showers it upon all people whether they are aware of it or not. Through prevenient grace, God takes the initiative in beginning a relationship with us. Prevenient grace is God’s way of showing us that no matter who we are or where we are, God is already there ahead of us, waiting for us. God’s prevenient grace precedes us wherever we go.

Justifying Grace: Brings a big change to the relationship we have with God. Through justifying grace we begin to realize and trust (have faith) that we are restored to relationship with God. We come to acknowledge our sinfulness and trust that we are forgiven by God’s grace. Just as justifying text in a document aligns it a certain way, (right or left-justified) justifying grace aligns us with God through Jesus Christ. This is when “God reaches out to a person with accepting and pardoning love.” This change includes feelings of peace, hope, and joy. Such as experience “may be sudden and dramatic, or gradual and cumulative. It marks a new beginning, yet it is part of an ongoing process.”

Sanctifying Grace: Prevenient grace is God meeting you at every corner. Justifying grace is God reaching out to you with love. When you say yes to the invitation of justifying grace, you turn a corner in your faith journey. One of the most controversial teachings of the early Methodist movement was that it is possible for us to realize Christian perfection in this life, perfect love, loving perfectly. Wesley called this process “going on to Christian perfection,” or sanctifying grace. This part of grace challengers believers to go deeper in faith, to love the world more energetically, and to keep growing in the knowledge and love of God. For Wesley, God’s sanctifying grace led believers to have their hearts “habitually filled with the love of God and neighbor. For you, this might mean coming to understand your life as more and more focused on living by faith. Faith becomes the center out of which you live. Little by little, God’s sanctifying grace uncovers more and more of God’s image in you. As one who has been forgiven, you become more forgiving. As one who is loved, you become more loving. Wesley emphasized that we are continually filled with God’s love, we are led more fully to acts of mercy and works of justice.

 

Grace and Peace to You My Friends npoty