members, click to sign in..


4,714 active users!!Bandwidth
TUESDAY
JUL 22, 2014
Home
NewsSITE
Events & Blogs
New Audio & Video
BroadcastersNew Stuff!
Local Church Finder
Live Webcasts
Sermons by Bible
Sermons by Topic
Sermons by Speaker
Sermons by Date
Staff Picks
CommentsALL -33 min
Top Sermons
VideosPDFs
Daily Log
PhotosNew Stuff!
StoresNew Stuff!
Online Bible
Hymnal
Daily Reading
Our Services
Submit Sermon
Members Only

Mobile Apps | Info
Enjoy sermons from this broadcaster
on a variety of mobile devices.
MyChurch: denverprovidence
Church Apps | Info
Creating your own Church App is
as simple as turning ON the option.
More + Podcast + Codes
Sermon Browser Info | Demo
HTML Embed | Demo
Our Picks | Info | Demo
Latest Blog | Info | Demo
Single Sermon | Info
To embed a single sermon,
use the "Email & Share" button.
Our Blog
Older
Newer
Blog
Post+
Search
  
Filter By

I. Understanding the Means of Grace: What Are They?
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2007
Posted by: Providence Orthodox Presbyterian Church | more..
4,750+ views | 40+ clicks

In today’s Christian bookstores you can barely find one book on the subject of the means of grace. Indeed, many Christians are not even sure what that phrase entails. Furthermore, these means of grace are either ignored (think of the many Christians wandering from church to church without a regular diet) or taken lightly (think of the lack of proper preparation). Hopefully, in this upcoming series the significance and proper place of the public means of grace will be explained in a useful fashion for all of us.

The Larger Catechism summarizes exactly what these means of grace—“outward means”—are:

Q154: What are the outward means whereby Christ communicates to us the benefits of his mediation?

A154: The outward and ordinary means whereby Christ communicates to his church the benefits of his mediation, are all his ordinances; especially the word, sacraments, and prayer; all which are made effectual to the elect for their salvation. [Matt. 28:19-20; Acts 2:42, 46-47]

Just as exercising and eating helps create a healthy body, so, too, spiritual exercise, using the means of grace (both private and public), helps us grow our spiritual body. Many Christians intuitively understand this fact. Thus, they strive for a five-step plan toward better living, or seek after forty-days of a purposeful life. Yet, examining the Bible shows a more simple approach to spiritual growth: the Word, sacraments and prayer. The proof texts used above show that continuing in the truths of the Bible (Acts. 2:42 “apostles’ doctrine”), partaking of the sacraments (“breaking bread”, v. 42; baptism in Matt. 28), and exercising prayer endorses a healthy church: “And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.” These “outward means” are used by the Spirit of God to grow the church. This is proper church growth. Again, many Christian friends of ours intuitively understand this fact and attend weekly worship.

In the Reformed faith we distinguish between public and private means of grace. Such a distinction is implied in the above Catechism answer when it differentiates between “all his ordinances” and “especially the word, sacraments and prayer.”

“As used in theological works and the Confessions, the means of grace are strictly limited as public and official elements of public worship. It is not simply any such action of a believer that is a means of grace in this stricter sense, but only the preaching of the Word, the Sacraments and prayer. It can be argued that there is also a broader, private or unofficial means of grace in the lives of the Christians: Bible reading, study and memorization, daily prayers, fellowship, and private and familial worship. Although neither public or official, the reason these could be called “means of grace” is found in the fact that they are tools used by the Spirit for spiritual growth—it is inconceivable that Reformed communities would downplay the significance of private and familial worship let alone Bible reading, Bible studies or private prayers. Thus, there must be some sense in which these are means of grace.

“The importance of this distinction is discovered in the balance that it presents. If the public ordinances are emphasized to the neglect of the private ordinances, an unnatural Christian life develops. Amongst other problems, believers more readily become mechanical in their worship and less spontaneous in their private devotional lives. On the other hand, with a neglect of the public ordinances through a disproportionate emphasis on the private means (as especially demonstrated in contemporary Evangelical circles), the public ordinances are regulated to a position between tradition and irrelevance. In short, both sets of means are needful for a healthy Christian life. They must be properly integrated.” [Excerpt from “Words of Life” S. Mathis].

Christ does not call us to be spiritual couch potatoes. Rather he calls us to an active life of faith and obedience through the power of the Spirit and the tools He fashions for our benefit. Most Christians grasp the unofficial means of grace. So, it behooves us to take seriously the public means of grace. Next: the Word.

Web Link:  CLICK TO FOLLOW EXTERNAL LINK
Category:  Theology

post new | clone this | rss feed | blog top »
Text feature this blog entry
Our Blog
Older
Newer
Top


The Prodigal Son
Bill Parker
Living & Walking in the Spirit

Galatians 5:19-26
Sunday Service
13th Street Baptist Church
Play! | MP3 | RSS


Jon Couch
Grumblers And Complainers

This Day Ministries
Radio Broadcast
Play! | MP3

Scott T. Brown
How God Judges the Nations

Hope Baptist Church
Sunday Service
Play! | MP3

Sponsor:
Paul Washer: "Most Useful Bible Study"

See what Paul Washer calls the most useful Bible study tool in hist­ory. Click here!
www.puritandownloads.com/pa..

Sermon:
The Cross of Christ
Pastor James Mansfield

Sykesville, MD | zip
Liberty Church, PCA

The den­om­in­at­ion of RC Sproul and Tim Kell­er.
www.libertychurchpca.org






                   
If you fall, don't give up, get up! ... Anonymous

City: Austin, TX
Gospel of John
Cities | Local | Personal
MOBILE
iPhone + iPad New!
Church App New!
Android New!
Church App New!
Kindle + Nook New!
BlackBerry
Windows Mobile, Nokia
Chromecast TV New!
ROKU TV
Pebble Smartwatch New!
Kindle Reader


HELP
Knowledgebase
Broadcasters
Listeners
Q&A
Uploading Sermons
Uploading Videos
Webcasting
Tips & Tricks
YouTube Screencasts

FOLLOW
Weekly Newsletter
Staff Picks Feed
Site Notices New!
RSS | Twitter | Facebook
SERVICES | ALL
Local Church Finder | Info
MP3 Play & Download
Mobile Apps
Podcasting
Video Support
Live Webcasting
Transcription Service
HIFI Option
Business Cards
SOLO | MINI | Domains
Favorites
QR Codes
24x7 Radio Stream
INTEGRATION
Sermon Browser
HTML Codes
WordPress
Twitter
Facebook
Logos | e-Sword
SOAP API

BATCH
Transfer Agent
Protected Podcasts
Upload via Email
Auto-Upload Sermons
Auto-Blog Import
Picasa | FTP | Dropbox
ABOUT US
SermonAudio.com is the largest library of audio sermons from conservative churches and ministries worldwide. All broadcasters must adhere to the Articles of Faith.

Our Services | Testimonials
Broadcast With Us!
Support Us
Advertising | Local Ads
CONTACT
info@sermonaudio.com
Copyright © 2014 SermonAudio.com.