The Means of Grace

 

I. How do people change, or, How do we grow as Christians?

We speak of the  Means of Grace.

What constitutes the agency of Growth? How does the Holy Spirit change people?

 
  • The Bible - reading , study, memorizing.
    (Heb 4:11-13; II Tim 3:16; Ps.119.)
  • Preaching and teaching
  • Prayer - (Ex 17:8-13)
  • Worship, public and private
  • Lord’s supper
  • Baptism
  • The Body of Christ, "one another”:  Mutual encouragement and gifts; a study of the extent, nature, and function of spiritual service which will result in sanctification ( Growth in Godly character ).

Some Functions of the body:

i.   Connection, belonging, devoted, honoring.

ii.  Discipline and structure; support and strengthening.

iii. Hospitality.

iv.  Accountability.

v.   Confronting.

vi.  Mentoring, Modeling.

vii. Grieving.

II.  HOW TO REACH YOUR POTENTIAL: Romans 1:8-12

 ENCOURAGEMENT as members of the body of Christ - WHO ARE THE MINISTERS ? DIAKONIA

1. "Each One", "One Another"

a. Service: I Peter 4:10-11

2. Give spiritual gifts: Romans 1:11

a. Give: Romans 1:11

b. Gift = Charisma from Charis = Grace - I Peter 4:10

c. Spiritual: From the Holy Spirit - Galatians 5:22; 
Romans 12:3-8 

 

3. Encourage Personally

a. Desire to be with them

b. Mutually encourage: "Comfort together", SUMPARAKALEW

c. "Comforter", "Counselor" = PARAKLETOS - John 14:16, 26;     15:26, 16:7

d. Three-fold repetition: Romans 1:12

"Yours and mine"

"Mutually encourage"

"One another"

e. "Fellowship", "Sharing", "Communion" = KOINONIA

Acts 2:42,44; Philippians 2:1; I John 1:3, 6-7;
I Corinthians 10:16

f. Together for one purpose: Acts 2:46, Acts 1:14, Acts 4:24,    Ephesians 4:1-4

g. Devoted: Acts 2:42, 46

4. The Means Of Grace: A Commitment To Service in the body of Christ.

a. "To make strong" - Romans 1:11; 
I Thessalonians 3:2-3, 10-13; 4:1

b. A process: "Sanctification"

c. Identify the need: Galatians 6:1-6

d. Pray specifics: James 5:16-20

e. Serve humbly - Ephesians 5:15-21; II Timothy 3:14-17 (Study "One Another" and "Each One" verses).

III.  Questions:

1. Why did Paul want to be with the believers?

Believers as "Catalyst", "Reagent" (chemistry),

"Global variable vs. Local variable" (computer language): compare / contrast.

2. Is this sharing optional? How often should we "meet"? Heb 3:13

What kinds of changes are desired in this participation (koinonia)?

1 Peter 3:8 (Amplified Bible)" Finally, all [of you] should be of one and the same mind (united in spirit), sympathizing [with one another], loving [each other] as brothers [of one household], compassionate and courteous (tenderhearted and humble)".
 I Thess. 4:1-12; 2:7-13, 17-20; 3:1-13; Mt. 5:48.

Sanctification = hagiasmos, I Thess. 4:3. “HOLY”, NIV

3. The Model of perfect belongingness, unity, Love. John 17:20-23.

4. What causes lack of belongingness, intimacy? How can being connected, increase?

What do you most fear in relationships?

How do you attempt to protect yourself from that?

Compare Prov. 29:25; I Thess. 2:3-6

5. WHAT ARE YOUR GIFTS? Are You Using Them To "ENCOURAGE?"

List The Ways You Do That. After reading Galatians 5:22-23 (Fruit of the Spirit), what are some of your strengths? What are some ways you desire to grow?

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 W. R. MERCER COUNSELING SOLUTIONS

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BRYN MAWR, PA  19010
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