Introduction to our Culture of Grace!

The goal is to share with you the Gospel of Jesus and include you in the culture of grace that we strive for here at Friendship Baptist Church. The Gospel, and the culture of grace are in many ways one in the same. For us to live in a culture of grace is to be continually aware of the Gospel.  So what does that look like?

First is Humility.  Each one of us is aware that we are sinful and selfish.  We know that even when we try not to be, there are parts of our life where we are motivated by the old saying, ‘looking out for number one.’  The problem is that when we say that we usually have the wrong number one.  God is first all the time and in all things.  Anytime we put ourselves, or our priorities ahead of God, we have not loved Him the way He deserves.
Second is Grace.  God knows we don’t deserve His Love, His presence, or even life itself.  But He gives it all to us.  Our sin has separated us from God.  Sin is when we behave as described above, putting our desires ahead of His.  This puts us in a state of rebellion against God Himself.  But due to His great love for His people, He intervened on our behalf.  God sends His Son, Jesus Christ (aka, God the Son) to take and become our sin and transform us into righteous children of God.  That is what the cross is about.  Jesus literally takes our sin on himself and suffers and dies in our place.  He did no wrong to deserve this, but did it because He loved us and knew it was the only way to save us from eternity in Hell.  From there, He rose from the grave and is alive today calling us to trust in Him.
Third is Mercy.  It is knowledge that we didn’t deserve His grace, rather we deserved His wrath, but He had mercy on us.  God loved us so much that while we were still sinners (rebels agains Him) Christ died for us. (see Romans 5:8).  He did not wait for us to come to Him and promise to be good.  Quite the opposite, He came to us first.  This is how God showed His love for us and how we are to show our love for one another.
Fourth is Love.  Jesus taught us that we are to Love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength.  And to love our neighbor as ourselves.  Love is more than a feeling.  It is action.  God took action to show you His love for you when Jesus came into this world (Christmas) and as Jesus died and rose again to give you life (Easter).  Now that His love is shown, we are to love Him with all that we have, and we are to love those around us as though they were our very own selves.
Because of these things, we seek to treat one another the way Christ has treated us.  Receive one another regardless of wrongs done or past events.  Include each other in our family of faith because Jesus has included us.  Forgive without waiting for apologies or ‘righting of wrongs’ in our personal view.  And love others.  Love with reckless abandon to all that might stand in our way.  Love in feeling and in action.  Love because He first loves us.

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