Explaining Biblical Themes :
Called To Be Disciples Of Jesus
Called To Be Disciples Of Jesus
Suggestions for how we can become a Church Without Walls, while still
working in and from our building .
The Cycle of Grace
Our belief about what God is like is the basic belief from which all our other
thinking about how we as individual Christians working together as a
congregation can be Christ's Church in a rapidly changing world.
A Theology of Grace
We believe our God is gracious and that he wants us to be to each other as he
is to us. God loves us, is merciful and forgiving, accepts us as we are,
imperfect, wilful human beings who more often choose our own way rather than
his. As we live in the grace of God so we should try to live out his grace in
our dealings with each other.
In the Gospels and Letters of the New Testament we find expressed two
possible ways of responding to the grace of god - trying to win God's favour by
doing good works or accepting we are loved and forgiven because we believe that
in Jesus we see our gracious God and that he is as Son of God our Lord and
Discipleship and the Cycle of Grace
Jesus calls us to learn from him and to follow him to be his disciples. Jesus
became aware at his baptism that he was God's beloved Son and accepted by his
heavenly Father; that the Spirit of God would sustain him and give him
strength; that his work of preaching the Good News of the coming of God's
Kingdom would give meaning or significance to his life that this would lead to
the achievement of the salvation of mankind however costly to himself. Jesus
lived in the grace of God and he lived out that grace in all his teaching and
Illustrating the two Approaches of Works and
Grace It is possible to illustrate the two approaches of doing good
works or accepting the grace of God by moving around the four quadrants of a
circle in two directions - in a "doing" or "working"
direction - A Cycle of Works - or in a "graceful" direction -
A Cycle of Grace. This model of explaining these two ways of living has
been borrowed from the clinical psychologist Dr Fank Lake.
Jesus moved through the Cycle of Grace and so achieved the purpose to which
God called him - telling and showing mankind the forgiving grace of God; the
way of salvation.
As individuals and congregations we more often live in the direction of
works expending our energies in achieving in order to have a sense of meaning
and importance, hoping to have the strength to sustain the effort to be
accepted as worthy members of society or of the Church as a whole. Life becomes
a constant struggle to achieve.
If we live in the opposite direction accepting that we are loved by God;
believing that we are sustained and strengthened by his Spirit and that we are
of importance to our heavenly Father then we will fulfil our calling to love
each other as he loves us - to be gracious to each other as he is gracious to
We should not be surprised to learn that the members of the Special
Commission anent Review and Reform whose Report is now better known as The
Church Without Walls Report, were tempted to call the Report simply"
More about Discipleship
A fuller consideration of the meaning of discipleship in to-day's world is to
be found in the booklet entitled "Following Jesus To-day" by the Rev
Peter Neilson in the series "Church Without Walls", price 50p which
can be ordered from The Church bookstall or Wesley Owen in George Street.
More information about the "Church Without Walls" report, can be
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