So many today talk about Grace but do so in a bad way. Indeed, its rare to breech the topic without cautions being quickly floated about "hypergrace" or the abuses of Grace. I wanted to blog today about real, true Grace to help people better understand what it is. I believe once we understand it better, the fear of it's abuse will lift and the freedom it provides will be more readily enjoyed by all.
The dictionary defines Grace as seemingly effortless beauty of movement, form, or proportion. That is what God's Grace truly looks like. It is God's effortless beauty revealed to us by Jesus death and resurrection.
A further definition of Grace goes on to include "A favor rendered by one who need not do so".
Real Grace is what I like to call a "Spiritual Absolute". It is offered freely to every person who will simply be humble enough to take it for and apply it to themselves. Unlike Truth that is universal, Grace is personal. Let me say that again as that is a Revelation in one sentence right there... a powerful Mark Kenney life Key (#MKLifeKey) Truth is universal but Grace is personal.
God's Grace must be applied to the individual life at the personal level to be of effect. Even in a group meeting, the Holy Spirit instills Grace as each heart accepts it, not as a giant blanket on everyone.
Grace will not produce deception in your life. It just doesn't work that way. Over and over I see people who confuse being tolerant with moving in Grace but they really are different things. Being tolerant would be a fruit of long-suffering but being full of Grace is having a working understanding of God's elegance and desire to quickly have you draw closer to Himself. That means at times the most gracious thing we can do as individuals is back off from others. At other times Grace will lead us in closer with others. It's a person by person, case by case basis because unlike Truth that is universal, Grace is personal.
All thru the bible Grace is something that people discover. Moses found himself in God's Grace. In fact, in Exodus 34 God comes down and actually stands with Moses who instantly worships and discovers that he is in God's Grace. Upon the revelation of Grace, Moses' leadership rises to his personal destiny as he asks the Lord to be with the entire nation and to lead them to their inheritance which is why God called him to begin with.
Like Moses, when we truly see that the Holy Spirit of God has come to dwell in us, we will be instantly driven to worship. That worship will reveal God's Grace to us and that Grace will unlock our true destiny which ultimately leads us to our promised inheritance. Just as the dictionary says, this is a seemingly effortless and beautiful movement of the Holy Spirit of God, defining it clearly as God's Grace!
Paul is very clear that we are saved by Grace in multiple passages. This has led to great confusion as to what is truly "required" of a person to be saved. Some folks get into the error of inclusion, a dangerous teaching that suggests everyone is saved no matter what. Of course we know that not everyone is saved, but then if we are saved by Grace, clearly there must be something that is required, yes? The answer is yes, there most certainly is a requirement. Two requirements actually. Both requirements are rooted in what is called humility.
You must first admit that you are damned, 100%, completely and utterly helpless and hopeless, on your way to Hell just as sure as if you were already there. This takes great humility as our animalistic nature absolutely loves to feel like its in full control. Only with humility can a human being approach a Holy God and admit that they are completely and utterly helpless. Said a different way, you pray something along the lines of "God, I'm completely screwed and if you don't step in, my goose is completely cooked, period". Humility brings the cold reality of our fallen nature into a proper place of focus so it can be dealt with appropriately by God.
The second requirement is to believe that while you are completely worthless and helpless in your sin stained condition, you see, understand and make a willful choice to ACCEPT that Jesus took your helpless condition upon Himself while He hung on the cross. In short, while He was on the cross, you were on His mind. This again takes humility to believe and accept. To truly believe deep in your heart of hearts that Jesus took upon Himself 100% of the wrongs you have ever done AND 100% of the wrongs you will ever do... is perhaps the most humbling thought to ever cross a human's mind in their lifetime.
The Bible is clear, if you believe with your heart and confess it with your mouth, you are saved! Both steps require humility and that humility is available just like salvation is... because of God's Grace.
I understand why folks get all up in arms about Grace using those terms like "hypergrace" because there is a valid frustration that our culture is morally slipping. That same fallen, animalistic nature that loves to be in control is still alive and well in many well meaning believers. It still searches to assess blame or to be in control of the "why" the culture is slipping. The reason the culture is slipping is simple... the body of Christ at large has fallen back into earning their salvation thru good works and self denial, thus frustrating the Grace of God. With God's Grace frustrated (not being able to flow freely) the beautiful ability to choose against willful sin is also frustrated and the amount of sin in a person's life goes on the rise. This is why 1 Cor 15:56 says the power of sin is the law. I would add that the power to overcome sin is God's Grace!
We need more Grace, not less. In fact, we have been lied to on many fronts. We have been told that if we do not repent, there will be no Grace. In the Kingdom of God it doesn't work like that. In the Kingdom, if there is not enough Grace, you will never really repent. In a Graceless environment, nothing remains except the Law of God which of course stands forever. The purpose of God's law is to reveal sin.
This creates a catch 22 in the minds of many well meaning teachers, pastors and leaders so when they see moral failures, they are very tempted to go back to preaching the law when in reality, it takes unusual humility to instead embrace and preach Grace. Where sin abounds, there Grace does that much more abound.
Last point today, someone will almost assuredly accuse me of being OSAS or trying to label me or my beliefs here. Check your collectivism and religious spirit at the door please and thank you. Instead of trying to marginalize me, instead have a drink of that humility I spoke of earlier and go to the Holy Spirit yourself. Ask Him for his opinion on Grace. Ask the Lord to reveal to you mysteries that you have yet to learn. if your heart is sincere, you will find that any honest period of seeking always leads to an honest period of finding. Just knock, it shall be opened to you.
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