Today At Covenant…No Longer Slaves

It’s been a couple of weeks since I last updated you on the preaching of Pastor Travis Davenport at Covenant Church in Grove City. So many things have been happening in our congregation. Last week I had the privilege to pray for others during our first altar call (due to the fact that we meet in a movie theater…altar calls are quite the challenge.) Today we moved from Romans Chapter 5 into Romans Chapter 6 as we began a new series entitled No Longer Slaves.

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Romans 6:1-4

 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?  By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?  Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?  We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

No Longer Slaves

Let’s be clear right off the bat: There is a difference between RECEIVED righteousness and EARNED righteousness. Received righteousness requires nothing but our openness to receive in order for us to gain salvation or grace. Earned righteousness requires one to complete a task list or to at least balance their good and bad deeds using a process similar to weights and scales. Of all the major world religions Christianity is the only one which claims that salvation a received righteousness. We believe it is not a product of our behavior or lack of sin, but rather a product of God’s love given freely to those who receive. In the same way we know that messing up doesn’t cost us that gift. Sin does not define who we are in God because His grace is great enough to cover our screw ups.

In case you didn’t get that: You don’t have to EARN God’s love!

There is something inherent in all of us that makes that a difficult bite to swallow. We sometimes struggle with feeling like we have to be cleaned up and fixed up before we can be righteous, when in reality we became righteous the moment we accepted the grace of God. So in other words: you who believe are now free from sin and are righteous.

You have died to sin!

But the age old question which Paul addresses here at the beginning of the chapter is then if we have been made righteous already then is it okay to continue sinning? God gave us grace and if he is continually forgetting our mess ups then what’s so wrong about going back to some of our old addictions, struggles, or sins? Isn’t it okay with Him? Can’t he just forgive us afterwards?

Again, Paul answers correctly in verse 2: BY NO MEANS!

Once you accept the gift of righteousness you are free to serve a God of love instead of the sin to which you were formerly enslaved. Why would you experience the life and fullness of God only to return to the death and destruction from which he saved you? It doesn’t make sense. And this mentality that “God will just forgive me if I ______ if I ask for forgiveness later” is harmful because it is essentially taking advantage of God. And although he is a God of love and forgiveness no one wants to provoke God like that. It never ends well.

Now just because you died to sin doesn’t mean you won’t sin it just means that sin is no longer your master. You now have the power to tell sin to leave you alone. With God in your corner that power is available. But, we are all human and every day we will still struggle with sin.

We will still have desires to sin. But sin does not reign in us. We are new creations who are no longer subject to sin as a master.

So live a life of righteousness. With the help of the Holy Spirit you have the power to silence your addictions, struggles, and sins. In Jesus’ Name you have healing from a past of following the wrong master and you are forgiven to move forward in truth.

I hope that message was as empowering to you as it was to me on this beautiful Sunday.

The Ameri Brit Mom


Love and Grace


This Sunday morning my husband is on the road with a basketball show and I am nursing my daughter back to health after an ear infection. This winter has brought sickness after sickness for my little girl, but on Friday we received some potential answers as to why. It looks like our little girl has allergies and all of these upper respiratory issues lately are rooted in that condition.

For the third time in the past month I’m missing church again today so I won’t be posting a Covenant message. However, I do look forward to catching up via podcast later in the week.

Today, my message was brought to me from my biblical coloring book, Live Loved.

Jeremiah 31:3- I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.

Because God loves us with an everlasting love it means that He always has and always will continue to love us. No matter where we’ve been or what we’ve done His love for each of us is eternal. His unfailing kindness refers to the fact that while we may not deserve it He has chosen to love us anyway.

When God looks at us He chooses not to see our sins and mistakes. Out of His unfailing kindness He chose GRACE. And His grace covers all of our weaknesses.

I’m so thankful for a God who loves, forgives, and covers us with grace!

The Ameri Brit Mom


Today at Covenant…Sola Gratia

It was a bit rough getting up and out the door this morning as snow began to fall and stick to the ground for the first time this season. The thought of venturing out into the blustery wind and giant snowflakes made me want to pull the blanket back over my head and spend this Sunday in bed.

However, I looked forward to hearing about grace today from Pastor Travis at Covenant Church. I felt the need for some grace in my life. If we are all honest grace is necessary every single moment of every single day. So at around eight this morning I awoke the rest of the family and we began our weekly ritual of manically trying to get ready at the same time. Some weeks that’s a bigger struggle than others. Today it was a struggle.

I’m so glad that I finally found my motivation to get out the door because God was speaking today. Below is a synopsis of today’s teaching from Pastor Travis Davenport at Covenant Church in Grove City. For more information about Covenant Church check out the link.

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Sola Gratia:

The focus scripture for today’s sermon was Romans 3:10-12; 23-24

10 As it is written:

“There is no one righteous, not even one;
11     there is no one who understands;
    there is no one who seeks God.
12 All have turned away,
    they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good,
    not even one.”[b]

23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

In Latin, Sola Gratia represents the ideas that grace alone justifies us before God. The first portion of the scripture above seems like bad news. No one is good not even one. And no matter what we do or how hard we work we can never do enough to earn for ourselves the title “Good.” By those standards even the best among us can never achieve goodness. That’s bad news, right?

Wrong! Verses 11 and 12 are not meant to be read in isolation. Because on their own they do declare the reality that we could never do enough to earn our salvation. These verses were meant to be examined in the light of verses 23 and 24. This is where the good news come into play.

Because we are all naturally sinners we can only be justified by grace. Grace changes everything.

What is grace? Grace is the unmerited favor of God and the Good News of grace is defined in Ephesians 2:8-9:

 For it is by grace you have been saved,through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.

Along with the Good News of salvation presented in these verses comes the good news that it’s not about us. So often we can become focused on what we can do to earn our salvation or God’s love. But, there is nothing we can do to make God love us any more or any less. He sees us through a lens of grace and all of our efforts to be “good” are futile as a result.

So get rid of the notion that if you would only _____ (fill in the blank) that God would love you more. His love is not conditional upon your acts or your works. We can do nothing to earn grace all we can do is accept it.

And for those of you who are making excuses for why God would never accept you please understand that it’s never been about you. He isn’t waiting for you to “clean up” or “get  your act together.” You would never take a bath in preparation for a shower. In the same way God isn’t waiting for you to get yourself together before offering you grace. Your grace has already been paid for in full and God is waiting for you to accept it. God expects you to show up dirty, bloody, and broken. Let Him clean you up and fix you. That’s the beauty of grace.