Grace – God’s Power To Become
Understanding God’s grace is one of the greatest challenges of God’s people. We sing about it, thank God for it, quote scriptures which mention it, yet in reality seldom do we understand it. Some are challenged by it, because it means freedom from the ‘out of balance’ thnking of legalistic, check list systems they try to enforce. When truly understood, it means freedom from the guilt feelings of “I haven’t given enough, done enough, won souls enough, attended enough.” When grace is properly understood, it means real power, power to actually ‘become’, to grow, to serve from the most powerful of motives, love. Paul said, “the love of Christ constrains me”, not guilt, not fear of hell… THE LOVE OF CHRIST.
How many Christians have withered on the vine as it were, not using their gifts and talents? Well, let this be a clarion cry, for all Christians to open their Bibles and study the “riches of His grace”, grace that gives power to become what God wants you to be.
Some of this may be ‘old hat’ to some who already know about his grace. The challenge is to study with a renewed desire passages memorized years ago, in search for new truth, great principles, which will bring life to the soul, transform the life. The shackles of guilt that have been carried for years for sins of the past were never meant to be carried by the Christian.
The story is told of a man walking along a country road. He had travelled for miles it seemed, when a man in a horse drawn wagon came along. He offered him a ride, which was gratefully accepted. He climbed on the wagon, and the old man drove on. After a while he looked back, and saw that the man on the back of the wagon was still carrying his heavy nap sack. He stopped and asked him why he was still carrying it. The man said, “I didn’t know you wanted to carry my burden as well.” This is so much like us when we come to Jesus. We repent of our sins and are immersed for remission of sins like Peter said in Acts 2:38, but then we insist on continuing to carry the burden while trying to walk with Jesus. We wonder why it is so difficult, and why the joy is not there. Fact is, Jesus not only wants us, He wants to carry that old ‘sack of burdens’ that have weighed us down for so long.
Take time to re-read the first article in this series, GREAT AMAZING GRACE, and get your coffee and sit and just think about this wonderful subject. The series will continue to grow as more and more we discover together what the Bible teaches, and it is my prayer, that we will grow, in grace, applying it to every aspect of our walk in Christ (as well as our recovering from sins in our lives).
There will be no appology offered for the study, for it is much needed. Where the Bible leads in this study, that’s where we will stand. Some traditions may have to fall, some ‘old ways’ may have to change, but if it is because of understanding God’s great grace better, then so be it. Yet all will be because of a deep desire to know the truth, and be set free, not to ’cause trouble’. Our hesitancy about preaching on the subject, our fear of ‘reprocussions’, will have to laid aside if we are to truly “search the scriptures’ and “speak where the Bible speaks”.
John Newton was confronted while preaching one Sunday, by a man who stood up during his sermon. He said, “How dare you preach about Jesus when you have raped and beaten slaves.” To this John said, “That’s right, I have, and that’s why I preach. Amazing grace how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now am found, was blind but now I see.”
The problem is, many look at the forgiven and say, “THAT’S NOT FAIR… YOU DESERVE PUNISHMENT… NO FORGIVENESS.” “You have to un-do what you did in the past or we cannot accept you!” The fact is, we all have committed sins in our past that have not been ‘un-done’ by us. We have simply leaned on and continue to lean on His grace as we should. We realize, that we cannot ‘unscramble the eggs’. Even if we could, it wouldn’t pay the price, and that is what grace is all about.
Does this mean take his grace for granted, or abuse it. “God forbid”. Even though I (we) all must admit that I (we) have abused grace at one time or another, and that we are ashamed of it, as I have been ashamed, and repent. But we certainly do not want to make it a habit, for that would lead to being lost forever.
Praise God for His great, big, awesome, GRACE (Romans 5:9).
(As we continue this study, please understand that I claim no attitude of ‘knowing it all’ nor some ‘special knowledge’. I am sharing with you, what I have learned through my ‘sit downs’ with dad, and others who have helped me tremendously with over-coming guilt and shame. I ask if you can help me, and all of us, grow in this subject, that you contact me by email.)
(More to come)
Grace – God’s Power To Become