Thursday, 13 December 2012

Grace Through Ourselves

As Christians we believe that because of the cross we are saved by God's grace.  It is grace alone that gives us peace with God - so does the idea of self examination, or then rejoicing in our gifts and talents point to an attitude of 'works based faith'?   Should we simply refer back to God's grace and Jesus without ever looking at ourselves?  Some would say yes, but I think there is a good opportunity to display the grace Jesus brought through looking at our own actions.

Neither self-denial (a repudiation of our sins) nor self-affirmation (an appreciation of God's gifts) is a dead end of self-absorption. On the contrary, both are means to self-sacrifice.  Self-understanding should lead to self-giving.The community of the cross is essentially a community of self-giving love, expressed in the worship of God... and the service of others... It is to this that the cross consistently and insistently calls us.
~John Stott - The Cross of Christ p330

Just as Stott says, when self-denial and self-affirmation are aligned as a means to self-sacrifice not self-absorption then the focus remains, and in fact, highlights God's grace.  In looking at our own actions in a humble and selfless manner we are actually referring back to Jesus just as we should be.  Christmas and the end of the year is a usual time of reflection.  When you do so, make sure you allow your reflections to bring glory to God,.

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