GRACE ALONE

It is not a lot of faith that saves, it is faith alone in not merely a lot of Christ but Christ alone, on the authority of way more than a lot of Scripture but on Scripture alone for the glory of a lot of His glory ... No! No! for the glory of God alone!!! And it is all driven grace, not grace alot but grace alone! Sometimes it seems it would be better for many of us Christians to convert to Catholicism (no offense to my Catholic Brothers) because we just don't seem to get this. It is always, yeah grace but ... and than we have this list of all the right things to do and not do. We have to look the right way and pray the right way and listen to the right music and the stipulations go on and on and even change depending on who is doing the defining If you do your part God will do His, if you do such and such things or follows these steps and you will be blessed. God helps those who help themselves, take the first step and God will see your faith and reward you ... you want a financial blessing than you must give in order to get and on and on it goes. As one who is recovering grace plus person, I know all to well about this. As soon as you add a condition to grace, it is no longer grace (Rom. 11:6) and you have moved away from Biblical Christianity. This is where the fight was during the reformation. You can't work your way to Heaven and you can't work to keep yourself on the way to heaven. Grace is The Father who sent His son Jesus to die for sinners that did not deserve it and could never repay it. Grace is resistible (people resist) until it is not (who can resist His will) but it is irresistible in the sense, that it is always bringing about its intended purpose. (Eph. 1:11, Isaiah 46:10) Hardening some, softening some and awakening others. Has the potter no right over the clay? (Romans 9:21) Grace gives freely and it takes away freely. Grace is not fair. Grace is wild and free. Someone once said that trying to control the grace of God is like trying to catch a tiger by the tail or as was even more famously said in the famous little world of Narnia; "Safe, who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. and He's the King, I tell you. Gods grace is pure and it wild and it is free. Because God is God, He is sovereign, and He is good. He has no needs outside of Himself, nor is He lacking or of any want. He is completely satisfied in Himself. Therefore there are no strings attached, no conditions to be met. Because He is the only one who is like this, we have no prior experience on which to figure this out by, we have a really hard time understanding - unless He allows us to get a glimpse - and then my friends get ready for a ride.

I was reading a book the other day and I came across this.

“The Reformation was a time when men went blind, staggering drunk because they had discovered, in the dusty basement of late medievalism , a whole cellar full of fifteen-hundred-year-old, two-hundred proof Grace— bottle after bottle of pure distilate of Scripture, one sip of which would convince anyone that God saves us single-handedly. The word of the Gospel— after all those centuries of trying to lift yourself into heaven by worrying about the perfection of your bootstraps —suddenly turned out to be a flat announcement that the saved were home before they started.

It has been roughly five hundred years since the Reformation. And looking at the church today, it is obvious that we are overdue for another one. Indeed, what a terrible irony it is that the very pack of people who claim that God has unconditionally saved and continues to sustain them by His free grace are the same ones who push back most violently against it. Far too many professing Christians sound like ungrateful children who can’t stop biting the hand that feeds them. It amazes me that you will hear great concern from inside the church about too much grace, but rarely will you ever hear great concern from inside the church about too many rules. Indeed, the absurdity of God’s indiscriminate compassion always gets “religious” people up in arms. Why? Because we are, by nature, glory-hoarding, self-centered control freaks— God wannabes. That’s why. But the situation is more than ironic; it is tragic. It is tragic, because this kind of moralism can be relied upon to create anxiety, resentment, rebellion , and exhaustion. It can be counted upon to ensure that the church hemorrhages the precise people whom Jesus was most concerned with : sinners. Are you exhausted? Angry? Anxious?

Fearful? Guilty? Lonely? In need of some comfort and genuinely good news? In other words, are you at all like me? In other words, are you at all like me?

It is high time for the church to honor its Founder by embracing sola gratia anew , to reignite the beacon of hope for the hopeless and point all of us bedraggled performancists back to the freedom and rest of the Cross. To leave our ifs, ands, or buts behind and get back to proclaiming the only message that matters— and the only message we have—the Word about God’s one-way love for sinners. It is time for us to abandon, once and for all, our play-it-safe religion and get drunk on grace. Two-hundred -proof, unflinching grace. It’s shocking and scary, unnatural and undomesticated, but it is also the only thing that can set us free and light the church— and the world— on fire.”