Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Can grace save us with out some effort on our part?

Can grace save us with out some effort on our part?  Or must we obey the laws in God’s word? 

I had a lady tell me the other day; “Grace is not enough to get us into heaven.  No way can I embrace Jesus only as the way.  God’s laws are in the bible and He means for us to obey them.”  I sensed a sincere heart that was repeating things she may have been taught for years.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not Jewish, and the law was given to the Jews.  Gentiles were never included in God’s law.  Beside that often over-looked fact, there has never been one person successfully able to follow every detail of the law (except Jesus Christ).  Jesus said if you offend the law in one point you’re guilty of the whole law. 

People try to apply the law to guilt themselves (or others) into being more godly.  1 Co.15:56 says the law gives sin its strength.  Applying the law will actually cause people to sin more because the strength of sin is the law.  The law was designed to reveal sin (Ro.7:7).  The law is also meant to lead us to Jesus (Ga.3:24). Jesus came and fulfilled the old covenant law.  He.8:13 says the old covenant is obsolete.

For years we have heard that Grace is not enough to get to heaven (not as blatant as that, but through the implication  “come to Jesus and then do all these things to secure your salvation”) but is that bible?  Jesus said “it is finished”, was He incorrect?  If the blood of Jesus isn’t enough, what more could I possibly add to satisfy God?  You see, a pastor can fill an altar with fearful people by dangling them over hell.  That’s “manipulation”.  Jesus said we shall know the truth and the truth shall set us free.  We’re told to rightly divide the word.  We have to know what is written to us and what was written to a specific person or people group.  Many people find that takes too much effort to rightly divide so they erroneously try everything or reject everything.  Neither approach works.

If you ever see Jesus, guess where you will find Him?  Sitting on a throne of Grace He.4:14-16.  I love Jesus Christ. One day just as I was about to stand and preach before a large crowd of people I said “Father I’m sorry I’m not perfect”.  He immediately said back to me “so you think your perfection is better than the blood of Jesus?” I said “no Father that’s not what I said.”  He said “that’s exactly what you said.”  In that brief moment I decided I would rather be forgiven that self-righteously perfect any day.  I’m not looking to change your mind, that’s not my job, I’m presenting Jesus who bids you to jump off the performance plan and find the rest in what Jesus accomplished for you

We choose to tell people what’s right with them.  They have enough people telling them what’s wrong.  David said “my sin is ever before me”.  The most miserable person is a Christian who is self-condemned.  Ro.8:1 says there is therefore now no more condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.  You see the church has reduced Grace to a doctrine. That way they can accept only as much as they want or can tolerate.  Grace is a person, His name is Jesus, and you either accept Him entirely or not at all.  You can’t accept Him just a little bit.

The message of God’s amazing Grace will not bring unity in the body of Christ.  The organized religion didn’t receive it that way from Jesus or any of the disciples.  We’re likely going to meet similar resistance.  The elder brother refused the Father’s request to celebrate the return of his once lost younger son.  The elder brother felt more deserving, yet he never enjoyed his relationship with his father.  Both boys were extended the unconditional love of the father.  That’s what’s so amazing about Grace, no one deserves it, it’s unmerited favor.”

Someone has His eye on the horizon, looking for you.  Yes, He’s just that into you

Happy Father's Day Paul! We Love You! -The Team at THE WELL