SERMON TITLE: “Saved by Grace: Glorious Grace”
SERMON TEXT: Ephesians 1:3-14
PREACHER: Rev. Kim James
OCCASION: September 17, 2017, at First UMC
I’ve never been very coordinated. My body just doesn’t always do what my mind tells it to. When I was a kid, growing by leaps and bounds, my body was even more awkward. When I would bump and bumble around, my mom would sometimes say to me, “Kim, we should have named you ‘Grace.’ Maybe then, you’d have been less clumsy.” Yes, it would’ve been nice to have been born more poised and nimble, to have inherited more athletic competence and confidence. Fortunately, though, gracefulness isn’t completely determined by our physical aptitude. As I grew from childhood into adolescence, I learned about a kind of grace that comes not from our bodies but from the heart of God. I learned that I could be saved by God’s glorious grace.
As I told you last Sunday, this is the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s posting of his 95 Theses on the door of the Catholic Church in Wittenberg, Germany. All over the world, Christians of various types are taking time this fall to commemorate the important actions, ideas, and beliefs that initiated the Protestant Reformation. Here at First United Methodist Church, we’re celebrating this anniversary by considering the very Protestant theme that we’re saved neither by our own good works nor by the excess merits of the saints. Rather, we’re saved by God’s grace. Last Sunday, as we read from Genesis and from Paul’s Letter to the Romans, we saw that we, like Abraham, can gain righteousness through faith, as we trust in God’s gracious gift of salvation. Today, we turn to the New Testament Epistle to the Ephesians, a letter which revels in God’s glorious grace.