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Essential Elements: God’s Grace

At Gateway Church in Austin we concluded a series called “Essential Elements: Building Your Core Faith.” This week John Burke shared at the McNeil campus, and I shared at the South campus. Here are some of our thoughts:

“In a broken world filled with challenges and failure and pain, we can still find security in a relationship with God. In a relationship with God, we are freed to take the risks we would normally avoid.

Too often we look towards success, sex appeal, marriage, kids, or religion to find meaning in life or to attain security.

When it comes to religion, we can never do enough good or eliminate enough bad to earn a relationship with God. All world religions and all peoples have a common moral law, but the moral law indicates we have a problem. The moral law is not the solution since no one can live up to it.

Some say all religions are on the same path up the same mountain and will lead to the same destination. This may be partially true. All may be going towards God, but none of them will ever get us to the top of the mountain.

God came down the mountain to commune with us, and His name is Jesus.

God allows pain, suffering, and evil continue in the short window in human history (between the fall of Adam and the return of Jesus) to remind us that we need Him. We all need His forgiveness, and to all of us He offers us His undeserved love and grace (Rom. 3:19-24).

God longs to adopt us into His family (Jeremiah 3:19, 22).

In a relationship with God can experience unconditional love, forgiveness, confidence, freedom from what had enslaved us, beauty and wonder we would have missed due to worrying, and so much more (Romans 8: 15-38).

The 0nly barrier God did not remove between us and Him is our free will. Each person can receive and experience God’s grace through faith in Him (Romans 4:16).”

You can watch the message John shared here in a couple of days and the rest of the series at http://www.gatewaychurch.com/podcast.

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Dr. Eric Michael Bryant serves with Gateway Church in Austin as the team leader for Central and South Austin and as part of the teaching team. Eric previously served at Mosaic in Los Angeles and his books include Not Like Me: A Field Guide to a Influencing a Diverse World and A Fruitful Life: Becoming Who You Were Created To Be. Eric coaches church planters and campus pastors, teaches on Post Christian Ministry, and leads a cohort for a Doctorate of Ministry in Missional Effectiveness through Bethel Seminary where he earned his Doctorate of Ministry in Entrepreneurial Leadership.