Lesson for Confirmands
Blackboard notes when talking about
God's work of salvation in our lives and
his plan to use us as vessels of his grace in
the lives of other people.
This Sunday we will receive our confirmands into church membership. Part of the work they have been doing in preparation for this event is considering how God has been at work in their lives.
As United Methodists we believe that our discussion of theology must begin with a discussion of the grace of God. For us, this work of God is ever present in the lives of all people. Well before we are born God is at work preparing us for a life of eternity with him. This is his desire for us. This is his desire for all people.
During Easter we celebrate the life and work of Christ. We rejoice in his victory over the grace and how he allows us to share in that victory by faith. Christ has accomplished the work of salvation on the cross, once for all. We share in that by our justification -- that is the pardon or forgiveness of God. It is a relative change done for us. God now looks upon us as innocent rather than guilty. This is the power of Justification.
Now we look to Pentecost and we celebrate the wornderful work of the Holy Spirit. Especially his role in our salvation. This work of regeneration is done in us. It is New Life. It is being reborn. It is the beginning of sanctification.
This life of sanctification -- or growing in holiness -- is recognizing that we are being set-apart to be God's vessels of grace to the world. One person at a time. When we go back and reflect on God's prevenient grace in our lives I imagine it usually took the form of other people and their involvement in your life. Who did God work through to reach you? For me, I think of my grandparents, parents, Sunday School teachers, even a girl I dated.
It is God's plan that we will continue this process. The evidence of our salvation is to be found in our fruit. The Holy Spirit bears fruit in our lives (Galatians 5) and so do we produce fruit by being vessels of God's grace to others.