Dean’s Lent Addresses 2017: Grace – God restores all life

On this page you can find details of the fourth of the Dean of Melbourne’s Lent Addresses 2017, “Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done” – Knowing Jesus Christ: Finding Salvation. You may also watch or read the first address, the second address, and the third address.

For Christians, Lent is a period of renewal and growth.

In this address, the Dean of Melbourne, the Very Revd Dr Andreas Loewe, reflects on God’s gift of grace – God’s work of healing and restoration.

You can read the readings Dean Andreas reflects on in his talk, and you can watch his talk.

When you have done so, you may wish to use the questions for group reflection our congregations are using for their Lent discussion, and the ‘thought for the week’ for your personal reflection. You may wish to conclude by praying the prayer used at our Lent discussion.

Readings for the Fourth Sunday in Lent:

You first may wish to read the three Bible readings on which this talk is based.

Do read the following Bible readings: 1 Samuel 16.1-13: David is anointed KingJohn 9.1-41: The man born blind, and Romans 5.12-21: Adam and Christ.

Dean’s Address:

You may read a transcript of the address here.

Questions for Group Discussion or Individual Reflection:

  • Reflecting on Dean Andreas’s sermon and our readings today, how would you explain “Grace” to someone who had never heard the term?
  • Reflecting again on Dean Andreas’s sermon and on the words of Romans 5:12-15, try to answer these questions:

(i)        How did sin enter the world?

(ii)       What is the result of sin?

(iii)      How did God’s grace overcome the effect of sin?

Rom. 5:12   Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death came through sin, and so death spread to all because all have sinned— 13 sin was indeed in the world before the law, but sin is not reckoned when there is no law. 14 Yet death exercised dominion from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sins were not like the transgression of Adam, who is a type of the one who was to come. 15  But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died through the one man’s trespass, much more surely have the grace of God and the free gift in the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, abounded for the many.

  • In his sermon, Dean Andreas stated that Grace is God’s gift to humankind. Later he reminded us that St Paul assures us that many found eternal life through the gift of the one man, Jesus Christ. Dean Andreas said, “The free gift does not enslave; its sets free, so that all may have life forever.”

(i)        What does it mean to be “set free”?

(ii)       How can a person have “life forever”?

  • John Newton, who wrote the hymn, “Amazing Grace”, spoke of being healed from spiritual blindness through God’s grace. In what ways might people be spiritually blind? How do those who believe obtain spiritual sight? 

Dean Andreas’s invitation for the Week ahead:

In the week ahead continue to pray with me that God’s kingdom would come, that he would bend our wills to his, so that his will be done for you and for me, and through us, for this world. Pray also that God’s love would be manifested to the five people for whom you and I began praying at the beginning of Lent – and if you are coming new to this, it is not too late to start praying that five friends, work colleagues or acquaintances come to love Jesus, God’s gift of grace to us. Pray that we may be signs of God’s grace in our world, and that we may be thankful day by day for his amazing gift.

 A Prayer at the end of your Study Time:

“Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now I’m found, was blind, but now I see.”

Gracious God, whose love for your creation is beyond measure, we thank you for your blessings to us and to all people. Embolden us with your love that we might show forth that love in the world, to our families, neighbours, fellow workers and friends. May your kingdom truly come, may your will be done on Earth as it is in heaven. May the Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us all, now and always. Amen

© The Dean and Chapter of St Paul’s Cathedral Melbourne, 2017