Ordinary Means of Grace, Part 1
So much about how All Saints is organized and what informs the way we worship and fellowship is captured in a simple phrase, “the ordinary means of grace.” Those of you who have attended the Exploring All Saints class have heard us talk about it. It is a classic expression within the Reformed faith that helps keep us anchored in what matters by reminding us what is most important in the life and work of the church.
It’s an expression we learn from the Westminster Standards. Larger Catechism 154 tells us that all the benefits that are ours in Christ are provided to us according to “ordinary means”—that is, ordinary ways in which God works to give us Christ’s benefits. Those ways, as the answer to 154 goes on to say, are the Word, sacraments, and prayer.
In this series of brief articles, I want to talk about what makes these things ordinary, rather than extraordinary, look more closely at the three means listed above, and then look at the hope they provide to God’s people. In the meantime, I would encourage you to pull out your Larger Catechism and turn to 154. Read the question and the answer, and meditate on that beautiful truth.