Recently, I have been reading a lot of materials about this movement within the churches of Christ toward becoming more grace centered. It is quickly becoming the most important and at the same time, the most controversial movement within the church today.
With that being said, most automatically discount it as nothing more than an attempt to change the church to be like the world. That is not true and let me warn us all, be very cautious judging the motives and hearts of those we don’t know. From my own experience and from reading what those who are in this movement say, this is a movement toward Jesus, and to embrace fully the teachings of Bible.
Personally, I think this movement toward grace is necessary and long overdue. I don’t know about you but I cherish and depend on God’s grace in my life and the church. I would not willingly choose to return to my old way of thinking which was devoid of spiritualism and totally dependent on me. I would not choose to return to the past and how our attempts at righteousness and being the Lord’s church caused us to cruelly treat those who failed to live up to our standards. Church, we are humans, flawed, in need of love, and acceptance. We need God’s grace and mercy desperately! We need His undying love for sinners just like us.
Without God’s grace, all that remains is a works based religion that is totally dependent our own abilities to think and perform. A system meant to achieve personal righteousness in the eyes of God (I truly believe that) but yet, a system that has proven to produce people who are anything but Christ-like.
In most of these articles and sermon outlines, that I have read, the arguments against moving toward God’s grace can be summarized quite neatly. I will cover the first one today and the last two next week. So, stay tuned for the rest of the story.
The first argument used against embracing God’s grace is based on tradition. By saying, “that’s not what we do or that’s not what was taught by those before us” we reduce our faith to something other people had and we emulate them. All I will say about this is that tradition is not scripture, while the scriptures do teach “God’s Grace” and thereby building a beautiful picture of God’s grace extended to us through Jesus Christ.
I hope you will keep your heart open to the idea that Jesus has a better way.