Wednesday, December 19, 2012

God's Grace Is Awesome

God's grace is awesome and yet so terribly misunderstood. In fact, I would say that the vast majority of Christians just don't get it. Of course a three minute read is not going to delve into the great depth of God's marvellous grace but there is something about it I want you to understand: It presents you as perfect before God. I didn't say you are perfect but his grace makes it so you are perfect to him. That's the part we just don't get.

The apostle Paul was far more than an evangelist. Yes, he brought Jesus to the gentiles and reached out to a world that did not know God. But Paul did more than that. To him was given the gospel of grace and Paul saw it as his purpose to drive that gospel home to the hearts of sinners because it is what God's love is all about. The cross is all about grace. Paul wrote about his purpose in bringing the gospel of grace to believers:

We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. (Colossians 1:28)

Perfect in Christ. Not perfect to the world but perfect in Christ. Not perfect in yourself but perfect in Christ. It is fantastic that you hate the imperfections in you. That is a good sign of the power of the Spirit working in you, breaking, melting, transforming you into the image of Jesus, but do not allow those imperfections to keep you from a full relationship with God. He saved you to restore you to the position of friend. He has proclaimed you as perfect, covering you by his grace so that he can enjoy fellowship with you again.

This teaching is so vital that Paul spent a great deal of his time "admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom" what God's grace meant. He warned us not to be a grace abuser. It is a matter of the heart. If you are using God's grace as an excuse to sin then you are in danger. We are no longer "married" to sin, it no longer controls us. If we are controlled by sin we are lost. However, if in our imperfection we sin, we are devastated; repent and seek God's forgiveness; it does not impact our relationship with God. There is no need to try to make it up to God. There is no need to beat yourself up. There is no need to "hide" from God as Adam did. Bring it out in the open, talk it over with God, allow the Spirit to heal, to cover it in the blood of Jesus and get on with the enjoyment of your friendship with God.

Being controlled by sin is not the same thing as being imperfect. Paul summed it up:

What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. (Romans 6:15-18)

It would be good for you to read Romans 6 to grasp the whole matter but the general rule is that you belong to whatever has mastery over your heart.

God's grace is incredible and it presents you as perfect to him. So stop hiding from him because of your imperfections. Stop hiding your sin. Stop no trusting his love. He is all that he says he is and you are exactly what he proclaims you to be. You are his child who he loves with a mountain of love. All he asks you to do is love him with all your heart, mind, soul and strength. He wants all of you. All of your intellect, passion, energy. He wants to enjoy every part of you and he wants you to get lost in his ocean of love and with so much love obedience becomes a simple thing. If you truly love him you will obey him.

Stop hiding and live abundantly in his grace.

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