Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Understanding Grace: Freedom from shame and fear

18 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

 In all of your getting, get understanding. This sums up the motive and objective of these last few posts. I strongly desire for you to get a clearer understanding of God's amazing grace. Let's take another journey to discover how much more beautiful this gift of grace is.

Understand grace: freedom from shame

 Before we received this beautiful gift of new life in Christ, we all had a past. For some the past represents a multifaceted realm. Meaning there is a mixture of good and bad. Some have a past where they've been victimized and traumatized. Others have a past where they want the words they spoke or the actions they participated in, to never be made known.

 The gospel of God's amazing grace has some too good to be true but still true good, glad news. He has washed away our past. He is the God of the turn around. His grace gives us new life and new hopes and dreams.  
11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” Romans 10:11
 That is an exciting promise from God's Word. When we receive Christ's free gift of newness of life we are guaranteed to never be ashamed again. His grace frees us from all shame.
 “Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed; Neither be disgraced, for you will not be put to shame; For you will forget the shame of your youth, And will not remember the reproach of your widowhood anymore. Isaiah 54:4

 This passage references shame three times. In the original Hebrew there are three different words that are translated as ashamed or shame in this verse.  Each of these have a distinct and significant meaning.  The word translated ashamed means to be put to shame. To be disappointed because of your shame, to feel shame. In other words shame says your disqualified.

 The next word translated as shame carries the idea of being detected. To literally blush. To bring reproach. In other words your mess ups and foul ups are plain for all to see. Therefore, you hide your face from people. You live with regret.

 The last word translated shame carries an interesting meaning. It means the feelings and condition of shame. It also means the cause of shame. This idea includes our memories and the actions that cause us to experience shame.

 God and His grace removes disappointments and qualifies us. He causes us to lift up our heads even when we miss it. His grace removes the source of our shame. Grace frees us from past regrets. To summarize, He washed us clean and our actions don't get to determine who we are. The blood of Jesus and the judgment of our Father is where our identity is founded upon. He judged us not guilty. He declared us righteous. The blood of Jesus is the shame remover. 

Understanding Grace: freedom from all fear

 We have a fresh start under grace. That is glad news, but what about my tomorrow? What about the future? His grace provides freedom from all fear.
“For this is like the waters of Noah to Me; For as I have sworn That the waters of Noah would no longer cover the earth, So have I sworn That I would not be angry with you, nor rebuke you. Isaiah 54:9 
 His grace provides freedom from judgment and wrath. God is not mad at you. He loves you. He isn't even in a bad mood. When He thinks of you He rejoices. He looks at you as His most prized creation. His highly valued one. We are in right standing with God. He will never be mad at you.

 In righteousness you shall be established; You shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear; And from terror, for it shall not come near you.      Isaiah 54:14

 When you receive the Lord, you receive the free gift of His righteousness. It is the great exchange. He took our sin and old life and gave us His righteousness and new life. In this right standing with our Father fear and oppression have no right to us.

18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. 19 We love Him because He first loved us. 1 John 4:18-19

 This is wonderfully good news. His perfect love for you means fear has no place in you. His perfect love removes all torment and oppression and fear. When fear says to your mind God will abandon you for this reason or that you just rest in the truth. Remind yourself, He loves me and will never leave me or forsake me. 

 Religion and tradition and Covenant mixing preachers, preach an uncertain future, a conditional salvation and performance based relationship with God. Grace, on the other hand, teaches us how much our Father loves and cares for us. His love removes all fears from us. His love has gone before us. His favor has made a way for us. Resting in the finished work, we relax with God knowing all shame and fear is done away in Christ. Our best days are ahead of us. Rejoice in His grace, what an amazing gift. 


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