Flow of Grace

Teaching of Virtue

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Flow of Grace

Faith, the first of the chiefly virtues, is the doorway through which all the other virtues flow into one’s life. Pride, the first of the chiefly vices, is the precursor of all sin whereby one puts the will of self before the will of God—turning from the flow of grace.

Just as a tree sprouts more good fruit when planted in good soil, the fruits of the Holy Spirit sprout more from a good soul.

The virtuous life, by grace, flows from the Holy Spirit within.

Therefore, when one places their confidence in self (pridefulness), they act contrary to the flow of grace and diminish in virtue. When one places their confidence in the spirit (faithfulness), they cooperate with the flow of grace and increase in virtue.

Living a holy and virtuous life is unattainable on your own. If you try, you will forever fail, be ridden with guilt, and fall into despair. One who thinks they are wise is not wise...just, not just...faithful, hopeful, and charitable, is none of these. It is only by the grace of the Holy Spirit these virtues may have life within you.

It is true—you are saved by the grace of God through faith, not works. Living a virtuous life alone will not save you. Yet, Scripture tells you to “...live a holy life...[and] guard against turning back from the grace of God….” (Hebrews 12:14-15). Thus, the virtuous one pursues a virtuous life not for their own sake—but for God’s sake, God’s glory, God’s will, and God’s grace.

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Related Scripture

“Remain united to me, and I will remain united to you. A branch cannot bear fruit by itself; it can do so only if it remains in the vine. In the same way you cannot bear fruit unless you remain in me.” — ‭‭John‬ ‭15‬:‭4‬ ‭(GNTD‬‬)

"...try to live a holy life, because no one will see the Lord without it. Guard against turning back from the grace of God. Let no one become like a bitter plant that grows up and causes many troubles with its poison." — Hebrews 12:14-15 (GNTD)

“But the Spirit produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility, and self-control. There is no law against such things as these. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have put to death their human nature with all its passions and desires. The Spirit has given us life; he must also control our lives. We must not be proud or irritate one another or be jealous of one another.” — Galatians 5:22-26 (GNTD)

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” — 2 Corinthians 12:9 (ESV)

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you; it is the gift of God; it is not from works, so no one may boast.” — Ephesians 2:8-9 (NABRE)

“But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” — James 4:6 (ESV)

“But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me has not been ineffective. Indeed, I have toiled harder than all of them; not I, however, but the grace of God [that is] with me.” — 1 Corinthians 15:10 (NABRE)

“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.” — Titus 2:11-14 (ESV)

“You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus,” — 2 Timothy 2:1 (ESV)

“Moreover, God is able to make every grace abundant for you, so that in all things, always having all you need, you may have an abundance for every good work.” — 2 Corinthians 9:8 (NABRE)

“Yet truly, increase in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory, both now and in the day of eternity. Amen.” — 2 Peter 3:18 (CPDV)

“May the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. May grace be with you.” — 2 Timothy 4:22 (CPDV)

“But I reckon my own life to be worth nothing to me; I only want to complete my mission and finish the work that the Lord Jesus gave me to do, which is to declare the Good News about the grace of God.” — Acts 20:24 (GNTD)

Related Quotes

“Trying to do the Lord's work in your own strength is the most confusing, exhausting, and tedious of all work. But when you are filled with the Holy Spirit, then the ministry of Jesus just flows out of you.” — Corrie Ten Boom

“It is futile for us to try to serve God without the power of the Holy Spirit. Talent, training, and experience cannot take the place of the power of the Spirit.” — Warren W. Wiersbe

“Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you.” — St. Augustine

“I want to help people understand how to study the Scriptures with other people, to give them an overview of Scripture and assume that by understanding the Scriptures better, the Holy Spirit will bring to mind the right stories, the right teachings.” — Francis Chan

“We take what we think are the tools of spiritual transformation into our own hands and try to sculpt ourselves into robust Christlike specimens. But spiritual transformation is primarily the work of the Holy Spirit. He is the Master Sculptor.” — Jerry Bridges

“Every growth of spiritual life, from the first tender shoot until now, has been the work of the Holy Spirit...The only way to more life is the Holy Spirit. You will not even know that you want more unless He works in you to desire it...The Spirit of God must come and make the letter alive, transfer it to your heart, set it on fire, and make it burn within you, or else its divine force and majesty will be hid from your eyes...Prayer is the creation of the Holy Spirit. We cannot do without prayer, and we cannot pray without the Holy Spirit.” — Charles Spurgeon

“Grace is the voice that calls us to change and then gives us the power to pull it off.” — Max Lucado

“For grace is given not because we have done good works, but in order that we may be able to do them.” — St. Augustine

"The will of God will not take us where the grace of God cannot sustain us." — Billy Graham

"Grace...expresses two complementary thoughts: God's unmerited favor to us through Christ, and God's divine assistance to us through the Holy Spirit." — Jerry Bridges

"The Bible makes it really clear that if I am not receptive to the grace of God I am headed toward wrath." — Rick Warren

"The greatest security we can have in this world that we are in the grace of God, does not consist in the feelings that we have of love to Him, but rather in an irrevocable abandonment of our whole being into His hands, and in a firm resolution never to consent to any sin great or small." — St. Francis of Assisi

"The pursuit of holiness must be anchored in the grace of God; otherwise it is doomed to failure." — Jerry Bridges

"Salvation is all about the grace of God. There is absolutely nothing that you can do to save yourself or earn God's favor." — Francis Chan

"Conversion is not only changing the faith. Conversion is changing the heart and working over there is the grace of God. Then only comes the question of change of faith. Nobody can force you, not even the holy prophets." — St. Mother Teresa

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Lesson Plan

For your family, small group, or personal reflection.

STEP 1: Introduction

Example: "I'm going to play a short video on the topic of the flow of grace. After the video, I have some questions to gather your thoughts and get the discussion started. We’ll then wrap up with a closing prayer."

STEP 2: Watch Video (or listen)

Watch (or listen to) the video of the teaching (cast to your TV via YouTube). If time allows, also read the teaching, related Scriptures, and related quotes.

STEP 3: Discussion / Reflection

  • In what ways can you better nurture faith and weed out pride in your life (enriching the soil of your soul for the fruits of the Holy Spirit to grow)?
  • How can you better give God the glory in your life—not taking credit for your own doing, but giving it to the grace of the Holy Spirit working within you and through you?
  • What are some simple reminders (mini prayers) you can tell yourself throughout the day to keep your heart and soul open to the grace of the Holy Spirit to flow within you and through you?
  • Did any of the related Scriptures or quotes stand out to you (please elaborate)?
  • Any other thoughts you’d like to share?

STEP 4: Wrap Up & Closing Prayer

Summarize and wrap up the discussion. Then, conclude with a sincere and humble prayer from the heart.

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