Step 7: Part 2–Grace Based Discipleship


“Life Change from the Heart” is a sermon series on how God changes us from the heart through the gospel. How does it work? After we surrender our life to God, we start the process of cleaning the inside of the cup, our heart. We go through an extensive process of self-examination to find self-indulgence in our heart, confession of what we find, and repentance. Then, step 7 says we “humbly ask God to remove our shortcomings.” How does God remove our shortcomings? It is through grace. But, does that mean we do nothing? No! We are called to take up the cross and follow Jesus. We are called to a discipleship. But, there are wrong ways to do discipleship and the right way to do discipleship. The wrong way is to do discipleship based on fear and pride. This kind of behavioral compliance, while seeming good on the surface, is superficial and ultimately does not work to change us at our core. The right way to change is to change out of experience of God’s grace.

Now, what kind of discipleship is God leading us into? He is calling us to a kind of discipleship that only graced-soaked people can live. He is calling us to move from a life based on the law to a life based on grace in every way. Jesus’ teaching, life, and death on the cross centered on the movement from living by the law to living by grace. And so, God is now calling us to live by the ethics of grace.


This is a series about how God changes us from the heart. We saw that the fruit of the Spirit is a picture of a changed life—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. That’s the destination. The way we get there is by living in the Spirit. The Bible tells us what it means to live by the Spirit and Bill W. and Dr. Bob who wrote 12-step recovery program did a great job distilling it from the Big Big Book, the Bible. So, we are going to look at what it means to live by the Spirit as we look at the process outlined in the 12-step recovery program; and as we do this, we are going to do this from the perspective of its biblical roots just as the co-founders did.
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