But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and forever. Amen. 2 Peter 3:18
We have been in a series of study concerning His over the top, too good to be true but true, Radical Grace. Recently we began to dismantle the myths often associated with Radical Grace. True Grace isn't advocating pursuing sin, fashioning a lazy, purposeless way of living or disregarding God's Word.
Over the last couple of posts, we have been addressing the misnomer that there is no more correction or instruction under Grace. Certainly, God is grieved when we miss it or act contrary to our true righteous nature. Scripture makes it blatantly clear that God our Father will correct us if we stray off the righteous path. The key principle for understanding Grace is the how He corrects.
Whenever a minister threatens loss of sonship or salvation in order to alter behavior, know this isn't Godly correction. We have established from Scripture that God corrects us by reminding us who we already are. God's correction leaves us hopeful and restored not dejected and distraught. This leads us to answer yet another myth.
What about obedience and holiness?
Get the Root right and the Fruit will be right.
Interestingly how Paul mentions obedience to the gospel and to the faith. In John's epistles, he lists the commands under the New Covenant. They are to believe and to walk in love. Paul, by the Spirit, is conveying the same message essentially. Obeying the gospel and faith also means to add nothing to our salvation.
Our salvation is by grace alone through faith alone. When we add to it with stipulations like doing this more or abstaining from that, we are adding to our salvation. Salvation is simply placing our trust and all hope in Jesus alone and what He did on our behalf. Is obedience then defined as following the tenants and dictates of a denomination or a minister?
Certainly not, obedience is complying with and following the leading of the Lord. In essence, obedience is really just simple trust in a loving Father. Oh if I had known this years ago! In my mind, based upon the teachings I had sat under, I saw God as the harsh taskmaster and obedience as a servant and master relationship. God wasn't a loving Father. He was a stern and austere master who always kept score when I blew it or didn't perform just perfect enough.
God is a good, good Father. This image of God and this concept of obedience needs to be eradicated out of the minds of His Children. Obedience or rather, simply trusting in His love will produce the right fruit. Certainly, there are rewards for following His leading and living from our new creation. We aren't earning or achieving anything, we are following His leading and guidance to a place of abundance and rest that is available to all His kids. There is no preferential treatment, therefore there is no need for competition.
Trusting in Him brings about great rewards. It leads us away from temptations and out of the realm of poor choices. It leads us to a place of rest and peace. Does Radical Grace discount obedience? No, we properly define it and strip away the wrong concept so many have clung onto in the past. Grace brings freedom and a more fruitful relating to God. We have the right root (the Finished Work) and thus the right fruit is produced.