Crazy Thing Called Grace

yourgreatgrace

I love grace.
I need grace.
I am lost, dead, and weak without grace.

God’s grace finds me in the right moment.
God’s grace sustains me when nothing else can or will.
God’s grace is sufficient in times of discontentment.

It is a crazy thing, this grace of God.
I cannot comprehend it fully; much less think I deserve it altogether. However, God does, and that’s all that matters really.

From a biblical standpoint, grace is getting what we do not deserve. Therefore, everything I’ve been given – seen and unseen, is a gift of grace from God; not because I deserve them but because He wanted to bless me with them.

Grace is always God-centered.
Grace always declares the gospel and points to the glory of God.
Grace extends vertically (God & me) and horizontally (others & me), challenging me to be a receiver and a giver.

These are the basics of grace. So why is there debate among us church folk about God’s grace and who it extends to? Why is there debate of how we should live as receivers of such grace?

One extreme side holds that people must clean themselves up before being counted worthy of God’s grace. The other extreme holds that no matter how a person lives, God’s grace covers everything and surpasses holiness.

I think both extremes fail to communicate the purity of God’s grace. While one extreme touts legalism, the other extreme touts a free-for-all, Paul would say. So where is the balance? Where does the grace of God fall in this spectrum, and how should my life align accordingly?

I’m convinced the correct balance is a life of “both/and,” not an “either/or.”

Scriptures Balance of Grace

Ephesians 2:4-10
God is the author of grace, which is penned by His merciful love for us. In the midst of our sin, God’s grace, through Christ, found us, saved us, and raised us to new life in Christ. Our own merits do not earn us grace, but we receive it through faith in the work Christ alone. Grace is 100% God, so that there is no boasting. By grace, we were created in Christ “for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

John 1:16 & Romans 5:20
From the fullness of Christ, He lavishes us with grace upon grace, and were sin exists, His grace abounds all the more.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10
God’s grace is greater than our weaknesses, sin, situation, and position. It is sufficient for every need and longing, and through it, God’s power is made perfect in weakness: “For the sake of Christ … when I am weak, then I am strong.” The grace of God extends to all people without restriction and hesitation.

This isn’t hyper-grace, but God’s great grace. This is what He lavishes upon us, freely, day-to-day, and it never runs dry.

“So, then,” the apostle Paul asks, “should sin continue in our lives so that grace can abound more?” “Certainly not,” God’s word says!

Titus 2:11-15
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people.
The grace of God trains us to renounce godliness and worldly passions.
Grace trains us to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age.
Grace creates within us a longing for the blessed hope and appearing of Christ Jesus, “who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession who are zealous for good works.”

Spiritual disciplines, methods, and structures have their place within our journey as believers. However, long-lasting transformation begins by us encountering the powerful work of God’s grace. The good news of the gospel calls us to conform not to ourselves but to Christ, because Christ redeemed us for His own possession and purpose. Our lives are not our own, therefore, we are called to honor God with what belongs to Him.

This is not legalism, but God’s great grace. This is the standard He calls us to, daily and gladly submitting to Him all we have and all we are. In this giving up, we receive all Christ is and possesses, through this crazy thing called grace.

Oh bless the Lord, for His great grace!

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2 responses to “Crazy Thing Called Grace

  1. Shawn – I come to your blog regularly & absorb everything you have to share,
    and I don’t write on forum comment forms at all but I need to express to you just how much your blog means to me —
    I came to your site just under a year ago after months of searching through internet clutter, trying to find an unbiased discussion on the issues regarding homosexuality, and was totally disillusioned with the sea of articles that were either utterly ‘science’ or utterly ‘sinner’ . Six months earlier my 24 y/o son had shared with my husband and I that he was gay. I was enveloped in a deep deep Love for him and thanked him for his honesty but I felt conflicted on how to honour my God & my wonderful son without contradiction or compromise
    So of course I searched for understanding, scripturally, scientifically, and prayerfully until I found a true oasis in your website :).
    I wish to share that I was reading your testimony through streaming tears because with a mother’s need, it gave me a little insight on how he may have struggled (though of course everyone’s story is different) and left me with a refocussed understanding, a lifted hope that I could faithfully be a better example of Christ’s love to those around me, and a feeling of finding the right path.
    I continue to tell others of your website . I am not from your country and I am sure there will be many others like me who have been silently thanking God for you, your family and your true obedience in following Him into this invaluable missionary work
    Thank you Shawn –
    Trace.

    PS I enjoyed your lovely depiction on Grace…
    If you are interested, I have included a link to an old article I love, using an example of the kindness of King David, that was also immensely helpful to my understanding on the beauty and the simplicity of God’s Grace
    It seemed to me to give clarity to the ‘Servant – Son/ Grace – works’ insight, and though the writing style may feel a little patronizing and wordy to some ( it was written in the mid 1800’s) it contains some true gems from another wonderful pastor’s heart :
    stempublishing.com/authors/stanley/Mephibosheth.html

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