What do we value at Good News Gathering?
CORE VALUE NO. 1 - GRACE
Go to page 13 in your CLASS 101 syllabus and take a few moments to read the Scriptures listed under Core Value No. 1. There are two aspects of this Value. First, it's imperative that we personally accept God's grace. It is impossible to connect with God and grow spiritually unless we accept God's grace. What does that mean?
Grace is defined as "unmerited favor." Everyone has sinned and fallen short of God's moral and ethical standard in thought, word and action. Romans 3:23. "But, God demonstrated His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8 (NIV). God sent His Son, Jesus, to pay the penalty for our sins. It's something we could never earn or deserve. We can be made right with God not by anything we do, but by what Jesus has done for us. That's "unmerited favor."
But there's more. God not only forgives our sins through the sacrificial death of His Son. Grace also means that God is FOR US. He is on our side and desires good for us and not evil. Too often we view God as angry that we are imperfect and ready, willing and able to punish us for our sins. The Bible presents a very different picture of God. The Bible teaches that God is inclined to help us in our failure and that He sees our sinfulness as part of the reality that we live in a fallen world. He is not mad at our weakness. II Corinthians 12:9-10. On the contrary, grace includes God's provision of resources and tools to help us grow.* We do not grow because of "will power" or "self effort", but because of God's provision. God offers the help we need (that's grace), and then we have to respond to that provision.
The second aspect of GNG's Grace Value involves extending the grace we have received to others. When we correctly view ourselves as "sinners saved by grace", it impacts our view of others and how we interact with them. We understand that "but for the grace of God" we would still be lost in our sin. Thus, we are not better or morally superior to those who are far from God. We are simply "saved" because of what He has done for us. As we like to say at GNG, "the ground is level at the foot of the Cross."
So, how does this impact how we treat others? As the Apostle John wrote, "... since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another." I John 4:11.
*Some of the resources and tools that God provides for us include the following: the indwelling Holy Spirit, the Bible, prayer, and the Church.