George Vineyard Church

Teachings / Sermons

The Church has left the building
Part 3 - Learning the unforced rhythms of Grace

by Derek

Learning the unforced rhythms of grace

In ‘the Church has left the building’ we need to understand that our acceptance and significance does not come from what we do but from God. Doing flows from Being and not the other way around. Jesus said ‘If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love.’ This sounds like we must do to be accepted but we obey because we are accepted. Obedience lows out of our being in Christ. Because he first loved us, we love.
We work from Christ as our centre…

Eph 2:8-10 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- (9) not by works, so that no one can boast. (10) For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Mat 11:29 Walk with me and work with me--watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you
[The Message]

Grace Cycle
1. Acceptance: Matt 3 17

Rom 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Eph 1:13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit,

John 1:12 Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God--

1Jn 3:1 How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.

2. Sustenance: Matt 17 3
[ We are also responsible for our own sustenance eg. Prayer/ relationships / sleep / etc.]
Grace is apposed to earning not effort – Trevor Hudson

John 17:20-24 "My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, (21) that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. (22) I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: (23) I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. (24) "Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.

1Cor 1:3-9 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (4) I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. (5) For in him you have been enriched in every way--in all your speaking and in all your knowledge-- (6) because our testimony about Christ was confirmed in you. (7) Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. (8) He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. (9) God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.

3. Significance: John 13 3
[what we impart to others before we even minister]
Flows out of acceptance and sustenance

Mat 28:18 - 20 Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

4. Fruitfulness: John 17 4

John 15:5 "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

Php 1:6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Works Cycle:

Works Cycle

Eph 2:8-10 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- (9) not by works, so that no one can boast. (10) For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

• The works cycle is the reverse of the Grace cycle
• The works cycle’s aim is to try and earn our acceptance by God (earn his love) or to work in order to rest (or ‘be’ instead of us working out of the rest of God’s love and acceptance.
• The works cycle starts with us trying to be fruitful (in our own strength) in order to gain significance. “often we look at fruitfulness as significance and we promote people on that basis and sometimes the fruit doesn’t last and the person flounders’ – Trevor Hudson
• The works cycle causes us to get our sustenance out of our significance and fruitfulness without reliance on God
• The works cycle says that in order to be loved more by God we must more for God, the harder we work the more we are loved and accepted. “there is nothing we can do to make God love us more (or less)”
• The works cycle also makes us work for the approval of others in order to gain significance in this world but that is fleeting.

Date Added: 2010-07-06
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