Thursday, May 23, 2024

Grace sufficient

My denomination has an annual conference to conduct business, but also for worship and study, and the latter is planned by the conference president. This year the president is Johnmark Camenga (a first cousin, once removed), the pastor of a Seventh Day Baptist church in West Virginia. He has a blog called "Unearth the Church." That is also his chosen theme for the conference sessions and also the title of his recent book. The newest post on his blog is "Yes, Christ Alone" which asks whether there needs to be a "means" of achieving grace.
...[M]eans of grace theology establishes an expectation for ordinances that is not Scriptural and ultimately sets people up for disappointment (at best) and harm (at worst). ....

The means of grace demand more of Christ than he’s already done while also demanding of him something that he never promised. The declaration of Jesus that it is finished (John 19:30) and his promises to always be with us (Matthew 28:20) are indications of sufficient work and a sufficient presence. We don’t need more and Jesus didn’t promise more on this side of eternity. That which “manifests” grace within the believer is the work of Jesus and the believer’s participation in it through their belief. That’s it. ....

When Christ alone is insufficient, you can never have confidence about your eternal destiny. When there are hoops to jump through, hurdles to clear, booths to enter, bread to eat, wine to drink, and waters to traverse, each of those things only takes you further from grace, not closer to it. ....

I don’t need more means, I need to more fully understand the meaning of the life death and resurrection of Jesus. I don’t need more grace, I need to more deeply appreciate how much his grace has already accomplished; to know and trust that it is finished, that he is with me, and that he is sufficient.

Christ alone and nothing more. (more)

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