09
May
09

Grace in the 21st Century part 6

In a book called ‘The Relentless Tenderness of Jesus’ Manning comments on the parable of the workers in the vineyard (Matthew 20:1-16). He states, ‘Two thousand years later the Christian community is still scandalized by divine generosity’.[1] The nature of human self is that people do not like everyone to be let in to the kingdom because of their costly efforts, just like the workers who had been there all day. Some Christians struggle when people give their life on their deathbed because they haven’t behaved in a right way for their whole life. The reformation was a time in history when the nature of church was transformed by grace. Grace is the single concept that reconciles Christians with God, the world and each other.  Grace materialised for Christians when God incarnate on earth. The church of the 21st century has a problem in that the church is out of date and out of touch with this grace. It has lost the raw and imaginative power that is held deep within the model of grace.

gracesign1Hans Küng says of a church that does not that it is a group of sinners when he says;

‘It deserves neither God’s mercy nor man’s trust. The church must constantly be aware that its faith is weak, its knowledge is dim, its profession of faith halting, there is not a single sin or failing which it has not been guilty of… But if it is constantly aware of its guilt then it can live in joyous awareness of forgiveness.’[2]

Justification through faith by grace means we have all been brought into a right relationship with God, an all-inclusive acceptance of Jesus Christ as Saviour. It is from this Christians must search deeper within our faith to gain a wonderful insight through an understanding of grace into God’s reconciliation of this world to God, to the world and to each other.


[1] B Manning, The Relentless Tenderness of Jesus, p.20

 

[2] H Küng, On Being A Christian (New York: Doubleday, 1976) p.507-508

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