Last week we started this article on becoming grace centered. I believe that this is a necessary and long overdue shift within the church. A move toward a gentler and more compassionate faith seems to be more in keeping with the heart of Jesus himself. Today we will continue with the second half.
The second point that is usually proposed is that “Grace” removes our motivation to obey Jesus. The idea that fully embracing God’s grace and mercy in my life will reduce my motivation to love and follow Him is sheer foolishness. God’s grace motivates me to be a better Christian. It teaches me how to live and act every day without trying to instill fear. Having a God who loves and chooses to be gracious to us, motivates us to be better since we wouldn’t want to hurt the giver of such amazing grace. I have concluded that only those who depend on the ability to know and keep the rules as their means to salvation are worried that God’s grace will create worse Christians.
Third, the argument moves to abusing God’s grace. Typically, they spend great amounts of time talking about how grace is abused and our personal responsibility to obey the commands of Jesus. I must agree that the potential to abuse God’s grace is real but the argument does not prove anything. Just because alcoholics abuse their freedom by drinking and driving doesn’t equate that I should avoid driving because he abused it. I am responsible to use my freedom to drive in the safest way possible and to the best of my ability. In the same way, the potential to abuse God’s grace does not equate a necessity to avoid it. I am responsible to God to live for Him to the best of my ability. This responsibility, in and of itself, necessitates God’s grace. Without it, we are ruined. God’s grace, in all its glory, inspires and motivates far better than fear and legalism.
In my humble opinion, the church moving toward a more grace-centered existence is necessary and the logical outcome of sincere Christians reading their Bibles. The more convinced I become of Jesus’ sacrifice for my sins, the more I become aware of my great need for His grace. Without it, we are hopelessly lost in sin and condemned to a devil’s hell. If I had to choose between moving toward grace and faith or moving toward the legalism of the past; I will choose grace every time. I don’t want to return to a way of life that is centered on what I can accomplish versus what Jesus can accomplish. If I must choose, I will always choose Jesus and “His Amazing Grace.” I hope you will as well.