Thursday, January 5, 2012

Gospel is Grace

Following Tullian Tchividian on Twitter he had a tweet, that I think was a retweet of Trevin Wax, it went, "Too many times, we think, "I know we're saved by grace, but..." that "but" is deadly."

Why is it that we can understand the grace of God in the context of raising dead, lifeless sinners from death to life by the faith that the Spirit gives but when it comes to living the Christian life, all of the sudden we make it about what you do?  Of course there is life change, of course there is a depth that salvation brings that does not belong to us but instead of exploring that depth we step out of the ocean of God's grace into the desert of legalism.  It is as if we're saying, "Hey God, thanks for that, obviously you saved me because you saw something real special in me and so I'll get to it from here." 

Isn't that about what you feel like at times about this Christian life?  I mean, God saves you but you better get to work as soon as that happens.  So instead of enjoying the Savior, King Jesus, we stray back to the life of trying to impress someone who is already impressed but not with what you can do.  This is something that has perplexed me since I've been learning the doctrines of Grace, I mean you could be talking with someone about salvation and how great it is that God brought you to Himself and how he awakened a dead man and how I could do nothing for that, wretched, blind, pitiful...etc...

Then in the same conversation talking about the walking out that grace they become rabid Arminians. :)  It is again perplexing and I've heard it explained as "degrees" of Law, under grace, and how this is a matter of realizing where we are and working it out from there.  This is a problem because there would be oppostion to those who would try, like in the holiness movement, to say that there is a fuller fullness of the Holy Spirit that has to happen.  So there is grace, yes but that grace enables you and it becomes a type of comparison, "Oh, so you haven't gotten as far as I down the 'grace road', let me show you."  Again, the problem is that I'm comparing myself to someone else, not to God, not to the perfect example of grace.

Legalism so easily herds us in to categories and definitions that are outside of God's grace, the Gospel that he called us with is the Gospel that keeps us.  It defines Jesus as the worthy One and that he has all authority in the life of that individual whom he calls.  But just because he has that authority and some of us, in the eyes of others, do great things "for" God, leaving out Eph. 2:10, we develop patterns that will make it depend on us.  It goes back to my first point, God sees someting special in me and so I need to "git er done". :)  Actually, God sees something special in His Son and so our sacrifice is for naught outside of his working in us or not acknowledging that he has "before ordained" those works.

Here is the final, I'll call it "kicker" in this argument and that would be, "What sin or sins do you struggle with right now, just as much or moreso than you did as a new Christian?"  So, if we are truly seeing the grace of God we realize that there is nothing we could do to earn it, before or after coming to Christ.  The fact that we struggle with the same things is testimony to the hopelessness of trying to "work this thing out" by looking at our progress, rather than Christs' work on behalf of His children.  So I encourge an outward look to the Savior and it will surprise you how much joy will come from that, then our boasting in the Gospel becomes, not a grind but a grace filled walk.

Boasting with you in the work that Christ has done,



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