The Sacramental Life

I had some thoughts from Sunday that didn’t make it into the gathering time so I wanted to share them here. We talked about the word ‘sacrament’ and what it meant; it’s history and current usage in the church, especially the Catholic church. We talked about the need to perform ‘maintenance’ on our salvation to keep it running correctly and how rituals could ‘confer grace,’ not saving grace: even confession of Jesus Christ as Lord is a means to the end of Salvation, saving Grace comes from God and His love only, always. But common grace, everyday lifestyle kind of grace, sanctified grace, we receive every day. This is the grace commonly conferred through sacrament, except for confession of Christ, as stated earlier.

We talked about action as our sacrament, not an original idea; I read it in a book called The Shaping of Things to Come by Michael Frost and Alan Hirsch. And we used Romans 12:1 to talk about ourselves as sacraments. That’s the thought I would like to talk about. If we are sacraments for each other then our job would involve helping our brothers maintain their walk and salvation and conferring grace to one another. Okay, what does that mean?

Well, I believe that helping our brothers in their walk is mainly a prayer thing. Stop right now, who have you prayed for today? Is there someone, a brother or sister in Jesus, who is involved in some kind of sin issue? Of course there is! Have you prayed for them? Not confronted, not complained about, prayed for? We are supposed to encourage on another. The positive spin keeps us from becoming self-righteous. Justice, the harsher brother of Grace, is to be dispensed by God and God alone. In any case, if you haven’t spent as much time praying for your brother as you have thinking on their sin, you have no right or foundation from which to judge. We must encourage one another and pray for one another as we love each other with the love of Christ.

How do I confer grace? This one is easy. No one actually deserves grace, that would change the definition of it. So any random act or word of kindness, blessing, encouragement, love etc. (basically all the best parts of the Bible!) would be conferring grace. This part is fun, you should try it. Just randomly disperse grace to the people around you today. You may have to work harder for some than for others đŸ™‚ but I promise it will bless you.

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