August 12, 2009

rethink: Grace

rethink grace

In light of a new perspective on sin can we only begin to understand how incredible the grace of God truly is. If grace has been some sort of “get out of jail free” card that has allowed you to do whatever you want because you know that God’s grace is always available, then you need to rethink:grace.

Grace is free but it is certainly not cheap. Paul says in his first letter to the Corinthians that we have been “bought with a price.” A price that is beyond anything you or I could ever afford on our own; the very blood, sweat and tears of God’s very own Son. If the things that Jesus endured on the cross in order for you and I to experience grace seems cheap, then I would suggest that we need to rethink:grace.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, when talking about grace being costly said,

Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life. It is costly because it condemns sin, and grace because it justifies the sinner. Above all, it is costly because it costs God the life of His Son: "ye were bought at a price," and what has cost God much cannot be cheap for us.

Maybe you and I need to begin to rethink:grace in order to better understand its weight. When we stop for a second to rethink the grace we have been shown, despite all that we have done, we begin to see how much of a difference this can make if we are willing to rethink:church.


Matt said...

love the topic of grace and agree we do need to re-think it. Paul chooses an interesting way to word how grace works and for whatever reason the translation reads "buy". I wonder if we really understand what it means to be "bought" or the fact that Jesus "defeated death".

John 10:10
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full

Galations 5:1
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery

In my opinion we underestimate the true power of Christ's death on the cross and for whatever reason conditionalize Jesus's grace. It doesn't say he only bought Christians. He bought everyone. He didn't come so only christians may have life. He came so that everyone may have life.

I think we try and base our salvation off of our sins when in reality grace has covered sin. We are now free from our slavery to sin.

Jeremiah 17:10
I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve.

It is our heart in which we need to be concerned with. Not our sin. And i think until we realize that Christianity for many will be a guide book to life and not a relationship with God.


Steven Slomkowski said...

I cannot live without grace even if I am not aware of its presence at any given moment in space and time.

Matt Lipan said...

Matt: thanks for the read and comment.

some great points, thanks for sharing. i really like that you pointed out the word "buy" because i think it's important. Paul is writing with this sense of being bought out of slavery to sin, which you mentioned when you quoted Galatians and commented on earlier. it's as if Paul is suggesting that we have been bought as one who was once a slave to sin but is now to be a slave to righteousness (Rom. 6:18) because of the price that Christ paid.

i think that sometimes we do put too many conditions on Jesus' grace. i say "too many" because i think the only condition in regards to this grace is the condition that we acknowledge and accept it. God's grace is always there whether we realize or accept it (prevenient grace as Wesley would call it) but we are set free as a slave to sin when we realize and accept it (Wesley would call this justifying grace).

i think your point about the heart is dead on. from our heart comes our life (Prov. 4:23) and if sin has corrupted the condition of our heart then we need to reevaluate our relationship with God.

good stuff. thanks again!

Matt Lipan said...

Steven Slomkowski: thanks for the read and comment.

so true!