The Grace of Jesus Christ is amazing and makes no sense if you think about it.
To make sure we are all on the same page, here’s the Cliff’s Notes definition of the Gospel and the Grace produced from it.
At a point in time, God in His Trinitarian beauty created the Earth and man to live in it. It was a perfect union between the Divine and His creation designed by God Himself. As part of this creative beauty God provided freewill to be given to man. This freewill was a gift so that the relationship between God and Man was not forced but freely chosen.
Our first parents, Adam and Eve, abused this freewill and disobeyed our Loving God by choosing sin over Him. As a result, the perfectly designed relationship was fractured beyond our repair, but not beyond God’s.
Enter into this creation Jesus Christ the second member of the Trinity, the Son of God, the Messiah sent by God to repair our fracture. His undeniable perfect life, unjust crucifixion, and unbelievable defeat of death were the only way for man to be reconciled back to God.
However God didn’t force this reconciliation to take place, but rather allowed our freewill to again come into the picture.
By freely accepting Christ’s gift of Grace we gain freedom not only from sin and an eternity apart from God, but freedom to live free in this life. Free from the bondage of sin and in rhythm with the Creator of the Universe.
THIS is the most amazing of all realities and one that is staggering to consider. That the God of the Universe after being spit in the face with our sin and told “I will be my own god” did not turn His back on us, but instead gave us His very best in Jesus to provide a way out. To provide a second chance to the creation that turned from Him. A second chance to live in relationship with God and apart from sin.
That is Gospel and that is Grace.
If we as Christians really let this set sink in, it should bring us to tears of daily. They should be tears of joy, amazement, and appreciation, but tears that should propel us to live lives of gratitude with ever breath we are given.
However many Christians take this gift of Grace and arrogantly use it as a reason to continue to sin. Their war cry is “Why stop sinning when Grace covers them all anyway!”
Seems like a heck of a deal on face value doesn’t it? This version of grace has all the benefits of eternity with none of the nasty aftertaste of having to change my lifestyle.
This grace says, I don’t need to listen to any spiritual direction because I can keep sleeping with whomever I want, never get married, cheat on my business partner, lie on my taxes, look at anything on the computer I want, cuss out anyone I feel like, and do anything else I want to do that may make me “happy”. After all, I just have to pull out my grace debit card, punch in my password of J-E-S-U-S and my fines are paid! Then I’m free to jump back into the sinning pool. Wooo-Hoooo!!!
I’m sorry. I can’t even type that without laughing out loud and getting sick.
Even a person with a moral compass without a needle has a better grasp on reality than that! When we arrogantly use Grace to justify our sinful lifestyle we are cheapening God’s Grace.
- The Christian couple that is having sex before marriage even though they know God disapproves cheapens grace.
- The Christian woman that knows divorce is against God’s plan for marriage but yet divorces her husbands anyway cheapens grace.
- The porn addict that continues in his addiction despite the effect it has on his family and God cheapens grace.
- The Christian leader that lives his life one way on Sundays, but Monday – Saturday there is not distinction between them and a non-Believer cheapens grace.
Now, am I saying we need to be perfect and if we aren’t God should strip us of His Grace?
God’s Grace is for sinners like you and me, but its design was that after realizing our sin, repenting of it, receiving forgiveness, we should stop doing it. Grace is best seen in it’s beautiful application as broken people leave their sin at the foot of the cross and walk away to live new lives.
If we choose to flaunt our freewill and live our lives with a cheapened view of grace we are fooling ourselves not God and may not really know Christ at all. We shouldn’t just thank God for the grace refill and keep on keeping on.
The Apostle Paul cuts to the core of this issue in Romans 6 when he says,
“What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We 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.” – Romans 6:1-4
The Apostle John speaks to the effect of ignoring of sin this way in 1 John 1:
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.” – 1 John 1:9-10
I know what some of you may be thinking, “Man Brian this is harsh. Where’s the love?”
Believe me, the Love is still there.
Christ’s love for us is always there, but it’s a Love that wants us to turn from sin not back into it. It’s a Love that died so that sin might die in us. It is a Love that if you and I truly know it, see it, desire it, and grasp it, will make us want to change from our wicked ways not find more wicked to try,
It’s a Love that doesn’t want us to arrogantly spit in it’s face, but with tears in our eyes look at it with adoration and give our life to follow It.
By thinking we can abuse the gift of grace God has given us we truly are the ones that are foolish and lost because God isn’t fooled. He knows our hearts, He knows that we know what we are doing is wrong, but yet He still allows us freewill in our lives.
Freewill that can allow us to fall into the lies of sin, or freewill that propels us into the arms of a loving God. Arms that love us, desires good for us, and even though we may have to say no to what we “want” now we will be told “yes” to what we don’t deserve later because of them.
I pray we can all start to feel the full effects of the Authentic Grace the way God designed it and stop fooling ourselves with the imitation cheap kind.