Means of grace

Grace is central to our understanding of Christian faith and life.

photo of community blessing by laying on of handsGrace can be defined as the love and mercy given to us by God because God wants us to have it, not because of anything we have done to earn it.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God—not the result of works, so that no one may boast.”

Ephesians 2:8-9 (NRSV)

Our United Methodist heritage is rooted in a deep and profound understanding of God’s grace. This incredible grace flows from God’s great love for us. This one verse from John’s gospel summarizes the gospel (the good news).

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.”

John 3:16 (NRSV)

The ability to call to mind God’s love and God’s gift of Jesus Christ is a rich resource for theology and faith.”

John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist movement, described God’s grace as threefold:

  • illustration of John Wesleyprevenient grace (the grace that “goes before”—God loving and seeking us before we were even aware of it)
  • justifying grace (the forgiving grace that, when what God has done for us in Jesus Christ is realized and believed, makes one “right” with God)
  • sanctifying grace (the ongoing process of God’s activity in our lives to make us more “holy,” as was God’s intention for us from the beginning)

> more on grace and our Wesleyan heritage (takes you off site)