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Fireside chat, series one, Our Wesleyan Way: Movements of Grace

By: Rev. Kris Mutzenberger, Northeast District Superintendent, Rev. Scot McKirdy, Canyon Lake UMC, and Rev. Katie Ricke, Yankton First UMC

United Methodists recognize God's grace at work throughout our spiritual journeys. John Wesley, the historic founder of the Methodist movement, wrote and preached about the role of God's grace to prepare us, redeem us, and continually shape us into the people we were created to be.

Wesley taught that God’s grace is with each of us throughout our lives. According to Wesley, there are three movements of grace: prevenient, justifying, and sanctifying.

Scripture references:
At one time you were like a dead person because of the things you did wrong and your offenses against God. You used to live like people of this world. You followed the rule of a destructive spiritual power. This is the spirit of disobedience to God’s will that is now at work in persons whose lives are characterized by disobedience. At one time you were like those persons. All of you used to do whatever felt good and whatever you thought you wanted so that you were children headed for punishment just like everyone else.

However, God is rich in mercy. He brought us to life with Christ while we were dead as a result of those things that we did wrong. He did this because of the great love that he has for us. You are saved by God’s grace! And God raised us up and seated us in the heavens with Christ Jesus. God did this to show future generations the greatness of his grace by the goodness that God has shown us in Christ Jesus. You are saved by God’s grace because of your faith. This salvation is God’s gift. It’s not something you possessed. It’s not something you did that you can be proud of. Ephesians 2:1-9, CEB

Key questions:
How do you see or understand grace as part of the Wesleyan way?
How do you experience and live out the movements of grace in your life?

What do you hear in Ephesians 2:1-9 about grace or in other scripture?
Why is grace important in our lives and what does it look like in everyday life?

Resources for Movements of Grace:
2016 Book of Discipline reference to grace: Grace pervades our understanding of Christian faith and life. By grace we mean the undeserved, unmerited, and loving action of God in human existence through the ever-present Holy Spirit.

Our Wesleyan Heritage: John Wesley taught that God’s grace is with each of us throughout our lives. By grace God prepares us, justifies us, and then continues grow us as followers of Jesus Christ.

A Wesleyan understanding of grace: At the heart of Wesleyan/Methodist theology and practice is a profound understanding and vital experience of grace. Grace, as understood, experienced and proclaimed by the United Methodists and others in the Wesleyan tradition, remains as relevant and transformative in the 21st century as in the 18th century.

In his sermon "The Scripture Way of Salvation," John Wesley summarized his understanding of the work of grace in saving and transforming human existence. 

Chuck Knows Church: Episode 67 | Grace: The word seems to have multiple meanings. It's said at the dinner table, yet also has deep theological meaning for United Methodists. In this video, Chuck takes a few minutes to explain prevenient, justifying, and sanctifying grace.

The Wesleyan Concept of Grace: In this three-part series, learn more about God's amazing grace at work in our lives through prevenient grace, justifying grace, and sanctifying grace.

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Download an audio file of this episode.
View past episodes of Fireside chats.


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