In the introductory post in this series, we explained the idea of what a mission statement it. A mission statement is a rallying cry, a purpose to exist, something to call the people of the church to. Why then did we choose to put something that seems passive in our mission statement? It was certainly not because we wanted to be novel or original. Instead, this part of the mission statement was born out of the realization that all of the Christian life is one of grace.
Saved by Grace, Kept by Grace
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” This stunning declaration in Ephesians 2:8 is the central tenet of the Christian faith. Receiving God’s grace starts with a recognition that we are sinful and that we rightly deserve God’s judgement. However, because God is rich in mercy, he has chosen to save men and women from every nation, language, and people group on the earth. And this salvation does not come from our efforts. We are not saved by “trying harder” or “doing our part.” No, the stunning declaration is that we are saved entirely by God’s grace and by his grace alone.
But the gospel doesn’t end there, because the good news is that the grace that saves us is the same grace that will keep us to the end. We don’t “get in” to the family of God by grace but are then expected to make it to the end by our sheer willpower. No, those who belong to Jesus will make it to the end by his grace. As Jesus promised in John 10:28, “I give [my people] eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.” Or as the famous hymn “Amazing Grace” puts it, “‘grace has brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home.”
Always Receiving Grace
The Christian life is all of grace. Everything we have is a gift from God. The mere fact that we woke up this morning, have breath in our lungs and have blood flowing through our veins is by God’s grace. How incredible is it that God constantly pours out “grace upon grace” on us? And here’s the kicker: the more we realize how gracious God is toward us, the more we are able to be gracious toward others.