Everything here represents my own opinion and not the opinion of The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection or the United Methodist Church.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Humanity and Need for Divine Grace

This is post 3 of 17 in the Probationary Membership and Commissioning series.

Response to ¶324.9 of the 2004 Book of Discipline

What is your understanding of humanity, and the human need for divine grace?

I understand humanity to be a part of God’s good creation. The book of Genesis provides a description of this creation:

Then God said, ‘Let us make human beings in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.’ So God created human beings in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. … God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.”10

Humanity is created in relationship - relationship with God and relationship with each other. Evil distorts humanity’s relationship with creation and with God. Humans need divine grace to be able to be in right relationship with God, neighbor, and creation. When one accepts the need for God and a relationship with God as a beloved child, one is enabled to move toward perfect love of God and neighbor.

Divine grace convicts people and draws them to God. Divine grace comes before humans do anything. It is what prevents creation from being hopelessly lost. Divine grace restores us to right relationship with God through the forgiveness of past sins. Divine grace is not only something that God does for us, but something that God does in us. Divine grace gives us the ability to follow Jesus. An excellent description of the need and work of divine grace is found in the Articles of Religion of the Methodist Church:

Sanctification is that renewal of our fallen nature by the Holy Ghost, received through faith in Jesus Christ, whose blood of atonement cleanseth from all sin; whereby we are not only delivered from the guilt of sin, but are washed from its pollution, saved from its power, and are enabled, through grace, to love God with all our hearts and to walk in his holy commandments blameless.”11

10 Genesis 1:26-27, 31 (TNIV).

11 The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church, ¶103.


The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church. Nashville: The United Methodist Publishing House, 2004.

Subscribe in a reader