What do those words really mean?
As we seek to follow Jesus in community with other people, we usually start using words that have biblical and theological significance. Sometimes we think we know what these words mean, but if we were asked to define them we might struggle. Fortunately Dallas Willard thought about this and developed some definitions. In recent weeks we have been posting them on facebook.com/encounterbaptist (and in our facebook group). They are collected below. Here is the link to the source page: http://ow.ly/RRums.
Grace: God acting in our life to bring about, and to enable us to do, what we cannot do on our own. (2 Tim. 2:1)
Grace is for whole life and not just for forgiveness. Grace is not opposed to effort (action)-though it is opposed to earning (attitude). Grace is inextricably bound up with discipline in the life of the disciple or apprentice of Jesus. —“Grace,” of course, as an active agency in the psychological and biological reality of the disciple.
Faith: Confidence grounded in reality. It sees the reality of the unseen or invisible, and it includes a readiness to act as if the good anticipated in hope were already in hand because of the reality of God.
Joy: Joy is not pleasure, a mere sensation, but a pervasive and constant sense of wellbeing. It claims our entire body and soul, both the physical and the non-physical side of the human self. Hope in the goodness of God is joy's indispensable support.
Hope: Joyous anticipation of good.
Love: The will for the good of others. This is not delight. You don't like everything you love. Love is the foundation of the spiritual life.
Peace: The rest of will that results from assurance about how things will turn out.
photo credit: truth via photopin (license)