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God’s Heart For The Poor

• Greg Boyd

We know that we are saved by God’s grace, not our own good deeds—but God still intends that we do good deeds. In fact, God saved us so that we can be restored to right relationship with God and all of creation. This restored relationship includes the activity (good works) that God has planned for each one of us.

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We know that we are saved by God’s grace, not our own good deeds—but God still intends that we do good deeds. In fact, God saved us so that we can be restored to right relationship with God and all of creation. This restored relationship includes the activity (good works) that God has planned for each one of us.

To gain some clarity on this, Greg pointed us to Ephesians 2:8-10. The first part of this we are familiar with—no one can boast in their salvation because it is a gift from God. But the second part of this is equally important. Salvation is not only salvation “from”, but also salvation “for”. We are saved from sin, death and the devil, but we are saved for abundant life and the good work that God has prepared for us. When we ask what good works we are to be about we can look back to Micah 6:8 for a clear answer.

Greg made a case that the confusion we experience about grace and works is a matter of spiritual warfare (Eph. 6:12). Greg quoted Pascal as saying this about war:

Can anything be stupider than that a man has the right to kill me because he lives on the other side of a river and his ruler has a quarrel with mine, though I have not quarreled with him?

The foolishness is in the fact that people who probably don’t even know each other—much less hate each other for personal reasons—get played off one another because of the influences and powers at play in that social environment. This happens frequently between the rich and the poor. But as Greg reminded us, if it has flesh and blood, it is not our enemy. There are other forces at work

here that we need to be resisting. Those forces are driving wedges between us and the people we need to be united with the most. The way to over come this is to fight off the temptation to judge the rich (if you are poor) or the poor (if you are rich). To overcome the injustices and depravities of both poverty and overabundance we need to come together, walk along side one-another and learn from one another.

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Topics: Poverty, Reconciliation, Spiritual Warfare

Sermon Series: Compassion by Command


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Focus Scripture:

  • Micah 6:8

    He has shown all you people what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

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