Discipline and grace

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

There are occasions where 'nothing new' creeps up on me and catches me off guard. Sometimes it is a result of spotting a new thing in something old. Other times it happens when you look at something from a different angle. At Trinity on Friday night it was a new angle that showed me something new in something that was not new.

The Bible talks a lot about work, it is part of how this planet works and how it was designed. I've recently just finished reading a commentary of the Biblical view of work, there is a lot to be said. Similarly, the Bible talks about about grace - we don't deserve God to love us, but he does, it is not something we can earn of work towards. Even longer books have been written about grace.

But it is so difficult to balance the two against each other: in one hand you have grace which says Jesus has done everything, you do not need to work hard to earn his favour. In the other hand you have sections of the Bible that say that unless you show your faith through work it is dead.

We were looking at 2 Timothy, seeing how Paul trains Timothy to train others who can then train more still. This is one of the core parts of the vision for Trinity. Paul goes onto talk about soldiers, athletes and farmers, and it was the final illustration of the farmer that struck a chord with me, bringing together grace and discipline.

The farmer works hard, ploughing the field, sowing the seed, watering the crop and finally reaping the harvest. But it is not the farmer who makes the seed grow, that is out of their hands. Similarly as a church (or business, or just as an individual), there is a lot of work to get on with, but there is a lot of grace involved with the growth of it.

Discipline meets grace.

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