Grace – Pardon AND Power

Grace – Pardon AND Power

Don't Put the Cross of Christ in Vain

We can’t force holiness on people. No matter how we would like to do it. There’s no way we can dictate how people should act. That’s not how grace works. That’s law all over again. That’s living like Christ had not died for our sins. That’s like saying Christ died in vain.

When we force outwardly changes on ourselves or others, we have not truly understood grace. If we could create a living relationship with God by good behavior, then Christ died unnecessarily. If we could make ourselves holy on our own, then Christ’s death had no purpose.

[Therefore, I do not treat God’s gracious gift as something of minor importance and defeat its very purpose]; I do not set aside and invalidate and frustrate and nullify the grace (unmerited favor) of God. For if justification (righteousness, acquittal from guilt) comes through [observing the ritual of] the Law, then Christ (the Messiah) died groundlessly and to no purpose and in vain. [His death was then wholly superfluous.] (Gal.2:21,AMP)

God sent his only son because we could not live according to God’s will. Grace makes us right with God. But grace is not only pardon but also power. And if we forget this, we think being a Christian is about following outwardly rules and forcing them on others. We might do it with good intentions. But it is wrong nonetheless.

We are saved only by God’s grace. And we are also sanctified only by God’s grace.

God’s grace works within us and creates change naturally and beautifully. The desired change does not come from rule-keeping. We have been made free by grace and we need to guard this freedom so God’s grace can continue to work in us.

Of course this freedom does not mean that we can do whatever we please. No, that would be cheap grace. But we can’t dictate that “holy people wear only black clothes”. God treats each of us individually and what one Christian is called to do does not necessarily fit the other one. We can’t earn God’s blessings by outwardly behavior. God sees our hearts and that’s what matters.

We should never accept substitutes for God’s grace.
We should never make God’s grace superfluous.
We should never nullify the grace of God.

God’s grace is free but costly.
God’s grace is pardon AND power.
God’s grace is wild but gentle.
God’s grace is holy.

Let’s let the Holy Spirit change us inside out
…to desire to be holy.
…to desire to abide in Christ.
…to desire to forever love God.

 

Gracious God,
Thank you for your amazing grace.
Thank you that all is done.
Thank you for this freedom in Christ.
Send the power of the Holy Spirit
to change us,
to make us holy,
to empower us.
So we could be more like you!
So we could live in your grace!
So we could share your love with others!
In Jesus’ name,
Amen

Q4U: Is it hard for you to keep legalism out of grace?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you keep legalism out of grace!

P.S. Check out also the series on “How to keep legalism out of Christianity”.

Image courtesy of Ben Parker. Linking up today with Thought-Provoking Thursdays and  Faith Filled Friday.

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