This is the first of what could become a few posts, but I need to at least put something out there. So much has been transpiring in my mind and, whether I like it or not, I’m going there.
You know, those places we aren’t supposed to go.
Where I ask the hard questions that I’m not supposed to ask.
And I take the liberty to think freely that I’m not supposed to take.
And this journey is happening whether I like it or not! The more of the Gospel I drink down, the more Holy Spirit brings me to this place… this exciting, invigorating, beautiful place… where I get to ask questions that I’ve been told not to ask, and I get to discover invaluable treasures that I’ve been told didn’t exist!
Having said all that, there is still so much being worked out in my heart and I certainly have yet to arrive at all of the conclusions. But that, to me, is the beauty of the whole thing. My life is a sentence, and I am nowhere near the end! I am not looking high and low for a period – I am simply enjoying the comas, apostrophes, and semi-colons along the way.
So, to get this party started, I felt the need to at least define what it is I AM convinced of. There are so many things that I don’t know, and I am perfectly comfortable with that.
But there are many things that I have come to a resolved persuasion concerning. So here they are… the launching pad, and the homing beacon, for my journey into the great unknown place of “there.”
August 17, 2011
I have been persuaded that…
A) The love and grace of God are far greater, and more effective, motivators of the human heart towards God, than fear and consequence (namely, Hell as an eternal punishment) could ever hope to be.
- Focusing on the ‘problem’ will never present a solution. Christ’s salvation and His free gift of Grace are the solution to the ‘problem’ of sin.
- “His grace is out of all proportions to the fall of man…” [Rom. 5:15 AMP]
- The focus should never, ever, leave the free gift of Grace made available through the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, and the effortless salvation from sin that He has provided once and for all mankind.
i. Grace, and not Law (religion, God-pleasing, obligation, performance), lead men to God. “His kindness leads us to repentance.” [Rom. 2:4]
ii. The promise of eternal and abundant life, not the fear of eternal punishment and damnation, lead men to God. “The enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy. But I’ve come to give you life, and to give it to you in abundance.” [John 10:10]
B) Few men, if any, having seen an accurate portrayal of Christ, His nature and His unrelenting passionate pursuit of mankind, would deny Him.
- Their embrace and experience of Christ might differ from the person next to them, based on the degree or nature of their understanding (as well as their life experience, the cultural context of their environment, the ‘language’ available to them for articulation, etc).
- But a difference of experience or expression does not confirm or deny a man’s fellowship with Christ.
- It is, instead, the fruit of the experience that gives testimony to its source.
C) There is more to the Grace of God than we have yet to understand. It has far-reaching consequences that we cannot conceive. And it, being expressed and revealed in a Person (Jesus Christ), and finding its origin in the Triune Being of God, is relational in nature and in operation.
- God’s Grace cannot be defined. You cannot set boundaries on it, give it perimeters within which it must operate, or create rules that determine its reach.
- Grace if gray. It is not black and white. It is rebellious, offensive, and outrageous – it is the very essence of the scandalous Good News of the Gospel. Being that it is relational, it operates individually within the unique expression of every man’s life, and we cannot know its beginning and end in the heart of any man.
And just because we all forget what He looks like sometimes…