Pastor's Note | Monday, April 29th
For the past few weeks we have been engaging the roots of biblical Christianity in a series we're calling Rooted: In the Soil of a Vibrant, Growing Faith. Each week in our sermon based study guides and each weekend in our messages, we have engaged one of the Five Solas, hallmarks of the Protestant Reformation. If you missed a week, you can catch up on our Dig Deeper page.
As we have engaged in study and worship through this series, you might notice an interesting process - or better yet, trajectory. That is, each week builds upon the previous week.
Notice, we began our series weeks ago asking what it means to be Rooted in Scripture, engaging the good news of God's Word revealed in both the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures. It's only that by starting with the Bible that we're able to engage the following roots.
After clarifying Sola Scriptura, we were able to engage a second sola: how we're Rooted in Jesus, the one to whom the Hebrew Scriptures point, and whom the Christian Scriptures reveal. Perhaps a clarifying note is in order: We are not holding up Jesus only as high as Scripture, or as high as the other solas. We hold up Jesus as the highest! Only Jesus is our Savior and Lord! However, engaging in deep theology allows us to think systematically about these doctrines. So, while they are each true, they are not of equal importance. Again, only Jesus is our Savior and Lord! Amen?
So, to recap so far:
Scripture → Jesus
After engaging Sola Scriptura and Solus Jesus, we were able to think theologically about the life Jesus has invited us into. As such, the third sola we engaged was grace, Sola Gratia. What does it mean to be Rooted in Grace? To do so, we thought through a remarkable passage in Paul's letter to the Ephesians, where he asserts "it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast." We discussed Luther's statement that "Grace is the hinge on which all turns," that in Jesus God has burst through the door to ransom us.
Which brings us to:
Scripture → Jesus → Grace
So, if Scripture reveals the mission of God, and Jesus completes the story of God to save us, and grace is God bursting through the door to ransom us, what is our response? That brings us to a fourth root: Faith! Or as the Reformers would have said Sola Fide, what Jim helped us engage this weekend, that faith is our response to God's gift of grace.
Scripture → Jesus → Grace → Faith
May God's grace and peace be with you,