Why do we need the means of grace?

Photo Credit: trustypics via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: trustypics via Compfight cc

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’”) For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. (John 1:14-16 ESV)

Back when I started my journey toward a sacramental theology, I was hesitant to consider the Lord’s Supper and Baptism to be “means of grace.” In my mind, this seemed to be adding something–works–to faith in Jesus for my justification and sanctification.

Thankfully I was hanging out with some Lutherans at the time, and one pastor helped to set me straight. I asked him, “Why do we need ‘means of grace’ if the grace we receive in our simple faith in Jesus is sufficient?”

He said, “Because, Nathan, God doesn’t want to give you just sufficient grace. He isn’t just giving you enough grace, he is giving you more than enough grace!”

The sacraments aren’t works, they are gifts from God.

What a shift in thinking.

What a great God.

He makes even our principal act of corporate worship (Holy Communion) a gift for us.

Even as we worship him he gives us himself.

I often say, “Jesus is enough.”

As I remembered this conversation from years ago, I was reminded that not only is Jesus enough, he is more than enough. (Tweet this)

“Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!” (2 Corinthians 9:15 ESV)