Grace-Driven

What does it mean to cultivate an ethos that is Grace- Driven? It means that we live with an understanding that real transformation is motivated by what God has done for us in Christ and not by what we have to do to earn His favor or people’s approval. More than just understanding it, we want our lives to reflect the massive implications that being “Grace-Driven” has for how we relate not only to God, but to ourselves and others.

Being Grace-Driven produces a new way of relating to God.
The Gospel takes us from an impersonal “boss-employee” relationship with God where we work to earn favor from Him to a grace-driven personal “Father-child” relationship with Him—from a self-centered, fear-based motive to act morally to a love-based desire to delight in God. If we are saved by God’s grace at such an infinite cost to Him, then He can ask anything of us and it can still be a joy for us to obey.

Being Grace Driven produces a new way of relating to ourselves.
Being grace driven frees us to no longer base our identity on what others think of us—or even what we think of ourselves—but on what God thinks of us in Christ (1 Cor. 4:3-4). The Gospel produces neither an inferiority complex (since God sees us as beautiful in Christ) nor a superiority complex (since we know we are sinners saved only by grace). The transforming power of the Gospel simultaneously produces in us both confidence and humility.

Being Grace Driven produces a new way of relating to others.
The Gospel makes us a new people, united to Christ and to each other. Being Grace-Driven both humbles us and yet assures us that we are loved, making us now free from both envy and pride — both inferiority and superiority. We no longer receive our sense of worth through approval from people or through power over people. We neither use people nor are overly dependent upon them; rather we are free to serve, affirm, or confront others — whatever is best for them. Being Grace-Driven also removes cultural pride and diminishes race as a component of identity, making it possible to avoid idolizing one’s cultural strengths while appreciating those of others.

How will we cultivate a Grace-Driven culture:

  • We must learn to preach the gospel to ourselves and to one another.
    Grace drives us to examine our hearts and repent of the things that we have functionally trusted in and encourage one another to place our trust in Christ as the only true provider of all that we are longing for.
  • We must commit to be “new” people and not “nice” people.
    The Gospel transforms us, it doesn’t just polish us and give us a glossy shine. When we simply aim for behavioral change, we cheapen the cross and end up encouraging people to trust in their own ability to behave differently. Grace drives transformation at the deepest levels of motivation, not just outward behavior.
  • We must commit to believe that the Gospel can change anyone.
    Grace drives us to declare that there are no hopeless people or cases. Grace levels the playing field and enables us to have respect and hope for the most hardened sinner because it was by grace and not our behavior that we were transformed.
  • We must commit to seeing grace, not guilt, drive transformation.
    It is the grace of God in the Gospel alone that can drive us to serve others before ourselves, give sacrificially, and bear witness to the power of the gospel unashamedly. We must commit to bury the guilt trips. Instead, we commit to treasure the riches of the Gospel that motivate us to live out of gratitude for God’s grace.
  • We must commit to living with one another (friends, family, and children) in grace-driven relationships. Being grace driven commits us to defining our relationships and solving their problems by the Gospel. We will challenge each other to grow — not conform one another to a pattern of behavior.