Monday, December 03, 2007

Unlimited Grace

Warning - This is a very long post.....Sorry. I am just really beginning to understand this whole thing.....truly, from my heart of hearts. It takes time and is such a continuing process to give up some the preconceptions and misconceptions of what has always been....but man, when you catch this you can't help but fall so very desperately in love with Jesus. The Law is good and it has a purpose, but Man was never created to live by principles and the Law....Man was created to live by Life and that Life is Jesus. This study on Romans and just asking for understanding.....true understanding leads me to write this very long post. Skim it if you must.
Open your heart and mind to the Truth and He will reveal it. Don't trust what someone else tells you.....Open the Word and get ready for the Thrills that come from doing just that. If you have already caught it, then together we shout a mighty "AWESOME", to God who we know as Romans 8:28 tells us..... "And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose."

God's Grace: License or Liberty?

Thoughts by Jim Kirkwood

Author of the above book - Unlimited Grace

Could you and I be trusted if God's back were turned: Must we be watched every moment to ensure our good behavior? Are we believers incapable of handling freedom? Is Law, a system of commands and penalties, the only way for God to govern us? Having been saved, are we now totally incapable of loyalty? Having received the divine nature and been indwelt by God Himself, have we still no capacity for gratitude? Is God's Word "alive and powerful," (Hebrews 4:12) except in the life of the believer?

That God's Grace brings the believer into the sphere of total freedom is the consistent testimony of the Pauline Epistles (Galatians 5:1). That Christians have traditionally shrunk from this great Scriptural Truth is the record of history. Look around you! How many professing Christians do you know who aren't trying to live with one foot in Grace and the other in Law? Look within yourself! Isn't it the hardest thing for you to believe that God is not playing "Tit-for-tat" with you, that He isn't keeping track of your failures and withholding blessing from you until you "make things right?" Look at the people of Paul's day! His footprints weren't cold before they were turning away from the Grace that had saved them to the folly of approaching God on the grounds of human merit.

Two cultists rang my doorbell and, upon hearing me tell of my unalterable position "in Christ," said, "Oh! If you are already saved and tomorrow's sins are already forgiven, then you can do anything you want." I couldn't help but wonder what sin it was that they wanted to commit and only refrained from committing because they thought it would cost them a chance to be saved. Well, we expect that kind of thinking from the cults but it ought to shock us that it is so prevalent among real believers.

Grace is Grace and Law is Law and a broken law demands a penalty, but how does one break Grace? It is unmerited favor, undeserved kindness. Law prescribes limits; Grace is limitless. One might sail off the edge of Law because it is the nature of the Law to have an edge, a boundary, a perimeter. But how would one sail off the edge of Grace when it is limitless? The Law says, "Do this and live," but it says it to people who can't "do this." Grace says, "Stop your doing....lay your deadly doing down and trust". Trust in what your Substitute has already done, and done not for Himself, but for you....for all who cease from their labors and trust in His Saviorhood - trust in His finished work on the cross as the purchase price in full for the sinner's salvation.

The objection will always be raised that this much freedom from all condemnation...will be an open invitation to sin. This type of thinking overlooks several things. First of all, that Christ teaches the superior motivation of Grace. Grace is not an incitement to sin, but an inducement to holiness. Our Lord said to the woman taken in adultery, "Neither do I condemn you." If the woman could appreciate the forgiveness of sins at all she could appreciate even more the unconditional forgiveness of sins. If I can appreciate God erasing a mark from my blackboard, would I not appreciate even more His refusing to record a mark?

Second, it is Law and not Grace that incites man's sinful nature and prompts more sin. Law is a system of conditional blessing and cursing. The Law hangs like a Sword of Damocles over the head of the sinning one. It never saved or sanctified one single Israeli in its 1500 year course. The Law has no power to change the nature. Grace brings with it a new nature that cannot sin, that can only respond positively to the indwelling Spirit of God.

" 'Do this and live', the Law commands,

But gives me neither feet nor hands.

A better word the gospel brings,

It bids me 'Fly', and gives me wings."

Everything that God has done for the believer is meant to free us to serve Him. God meant that we should so appreciate our total freedom that we would respond by serving Him. His love for us displayed at Calvary is the perfect motivation for our service (2 Corinthians 5:14).

If you could lose what you have by being bad you must have had it by being good. But the Bible says Christ justifies the ungodly.


GuyMuse said...

Everything that God has done for the believer is meant to free us to serve Him. What a great and comforting thought! This goes along well with what we are praying throughout the month of December in our network of house churches. We are asking God to make us into true servants--a la Phil.2 example that Christ set for us. When we understand that everything that God does in our life is meant to free us to serve him, it only encourages us the more to pray that God would make us into his servants.

Anonymous said...

Preach it Sister!

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