Ever wonder about grace?
• How do you get grace?
• Where does grace come from?
• Who gets grace?
• When do you get grace?
• What does grace REALLY mean?
I have been purposefully pondering grace for weeks now and discovering some surprising things in scripture about it. My dilemma – too much to share at once!
Hence, a series on exposing the misunderstandings of the how, where, who, when, what of grace – then concluding with scriptural clarity to explain true grace. I realize several of these posts will be offensive to some, but if you hear me out through this series, you just might welcome the slaying of some sacred cows that you had no idea were such.
If you have grown up in religious Christianity you may identify with some of the typical explanations of grace below. But, have you ever thought past those religious meanings to their implications about who God is?
1) God’s unmerited favor
2) Getting what you don’t deserve (of course mercy is then defined as “not getting what you deserve”!)
3) God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense
Are these definitions true and accurate about grace? NO!
Let’s examine religion’s explanations and implications.
According to the dictionary
• favor – has to do with approval; preferential treatment; a kind or obliging act freely granted
• unmerited – not deserved
• deserve – you are qualified for or have a claim because of actions, qualities, or situation
In essence religion is saying – you don’t deserve any approval or kind act by God. You are not qualified or have any claim to receive His approval, but in spite of that He will oblige you with kindness. After all, remember you are a “wretch” (think “Amazing Grace” song).
Religion’s acronym for grace – “God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense”
Not sure who came up with this, but it is catchy, easy to remember, and recite. At the surface it seems appropriate.
However, what does this really say about you and God?
What are God’s riches? What is Christ’s expense?
The ‘riches’ are the riches of His love? The ‘expense’ is Jesus’ horrific death on the cross?
Does that make you feel all warm and cozy inside? Or does it make you feel guilty? How about, it makes you feel like an awful rotten person when you consider what Jesus had to do for you – you wretched person, you.
Does God want you to feel guilty? Does God want you to feel miserable about what your rottenness made God have Jesus do? Does God want you to be remorseful and regretful about what your sin did to Jesus’ life? No, no, no.
Is this what grace is about? NO!
• Have you ever thought about the ‘pat answers’ you have been taught?
• Have you ever considered those ‘pat answers’ from religion just might be wrong?
• Is grace really undeserving, or is it something way beyond religion’s grasp?
P.S. Next post – “How you get grace” according to traditional religious Christianity.