Newfrontiers Vision & Values | 3a. The Gospel of Grace: Grace – a distinctive of the church – Pt.1 | Terry Virgo & Simon Virgo

[Transcript of Video]

The Gospel of Grace

3a. Grace – a distinctive of the church part 1

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>> Grace – a distinctive of the church part 1

>> Grace – a distinctive of the church part 2

>> Discovering grace part 1

>> Discovering grace part 2

>> In Christ

>> Our new identity

>> Grace and sin

‘A church whose people are assured of the grace of God in their lives and are clear about the full New Covenant benefits of being in Christ.’

Simon Virgo, “Often people from outside church can tend to view church as a place where you would receive instruction in moral behaviour and if you perform well enough you qualify if you don’t then you don’t qualify. And there can be an atmosphere of legalism that is kind of rife in many churches. Would you say that was the case when you first encountered church that legalism and trying to work your way up to impressing God was common in Christians?”

Terry Virgo, “Yeah I think that is very true. I think that we tend to forget that the word gospel is telling good news. In fact it didn’t start as a religious word it was the announcement of a victory, something had happened and I think that if we just learn rules – things that you need to do before you have grasped the good news, have you heard the good news, the good news of what God did in Christ and nearly every one of the New Testament Epistles starts with a real statement of the good news and it ends up with now in view of that here are some things you want to do this is a lifestyle you want to adopt. But it always starts with the good news and sadly people can hardly have got hold of the good news before they are then told, “no do this, do this, do this” and sometimes people get that very confused. So is a Christian just someone who is just trying to keep the rules, is that what it is down to? And when that happens we really lose the plot.”

Simon Virgo, “Yeah so quite often people would say grace Newfrontiers and grace kind of go together synonymously. Would you say that grace is a distinctive of Newfrontiers or do you think it is just a distinctive of the gospel itself?

Terry Virgo, “Well I am very happy for it to be seen as one of our distinctives but that is just because we want to be true to the Bible and I would say that the gospel of grace is what it is all about really and it is a wonderful declaration of what God has done in Jesus, in removing our guilt, our shame, giving us righteousness as a gift and you can come in and on the very day that you believe the gospel you are declared righteous by God and no-one can charge you, no-one can condemn you, God has declared you righteous. I think I most evangelicals would say amen to that but then sadly fail to apply it so often and are quick to add to it, “now don’t forget you must do that, and you must not do that, and don’t wear that, and can’t you get your hair changed.” So they put on a lot of rules and so people can feel instead of coming to some  good news they came to actually pick up actually a lot of responsibilities. They have taken on a lot which oppresses them instead of feeling, “hey I have been free, I have been set free by the gospel.”

Simon Virgo, “So you would say that any church that is failing to reflect the grace of God is not merely out of step with Newfrontiers if you like but out of step with the gospel itself.”

Terry Virgo, “It seems like in the New Testament there was that danger so that for instance when say Paul went to a certain town, preached the gospel of grace as we would believe it to be and then sadly on the back of his clear declaration, “for freedom Christ has freed you.” People coming behind sometimes formerly Jewish people or maybe existing Jewish people were coming behind him into churches and saying, “hey it is great that you have understood our Messiah is authentic and you know what are prophet said that this would happen, the Gentiles would embrace our Messiah, our religion” and then they said, “well we have known what he requires for centuries so you better add circumcision, keeping the Sabbath, shouldn’t eat those foods,” and so right from the beginning in Bible days when the gospel of grace was preached on the back of it often came, “ahh and you need to keep these rules, you need to embrace this law” and so Paul fought that from the beginning, and I guess Galatians would be his firmest letter saying, “hey come on step away from that rule book religion and the danger of reducing Christianity to another religion which is just rules and regulations, which is totally missing the point. So it is there in the Bible and it is alive and well today sadly among churches around the world and sometimes like whole nations you think, “boy the church in this nation it is very heavy with rules you can go to a place and think wow is this really Christian?” Because the rules and regulations are so in your face that the gospel is almost forgotten.”

[End of Video]


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