Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Understanding Grace: Does Radical Grace teach that God isn't grieved by our sins?

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

 We've been in a series of study concerning God's Radical Grace. This too good to be true, but true good news. We have seen how we are forgiven, loved and free from all shame and fear because of what Jesus has purchased for us in the Finished Work. 

 Currently, we have been dispelling the myths often associated with Radical Grace. Radical Grace isn't a message that promotes laziness or advocates living in sin. In our last study, we allayed the myth that Radical Grace promotes the idea that there is no longer any correction. 

 With that foundation laid, I felt impressed to build upon the truths of how God corrects and in doing so, dispel yet another myth that our detractors accuse us of. Does Radical Grace convey the idea that God is no longer grieved by our sin? When a truth is presented people will always draw conclusions from it. We want to ensure we draw the right conclusions.

 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God...Ephesians 4:30a NKJV
30 And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption. Ephesians 4:30 NLT
 The Scripture is quite clear. Yes God can be grieved by our actions and choices. The key to truly understand this concept though is to rightly divide the Word. It also comes when we rightly define what grieving Father God actually means.
 In Our last study, we saw from God's Word that our loving Father in Heaven does correct us when we stray or miss it. We saw the how He corrects. He reminds us of who we are in Him. He brings to our remembrance whose we are and our value and worth to Him. 
 Couple this understanding with the truth that He can be grieved by our actions and we see a clearer image of a good Father. Why is He grieved? He is grieved for a few reasons. 
 Firstly, He is grieved because sin is destructive. Sin hurts His kids. He loves us with an everlasting love. He doesn't want to see us hurt or damaged or jeopardizing our family, career or other relationships by foolish choices. 
 When temptation arises rest in who you are, and whose you are. Remind yourself you are the righteousness of God in Him. If you are loved and secure in Him then what would He not freely provide for you that is consistent with Godliness and love? 
 Married and feeling tempted by another person in your community or on the job? Then, begin to ask God to begin to send the rain of refreshing and passion upon your marriage. We are tempted when we believe God has forgotten us or we fail to recognize and understand He is a good, good Father who always loves us and has our best in mind. 
 Secondly, He is grieved by our poor choices and actions because we are stepping out of our identity. We are succumbing to the lies of the enemy and accepting a false identity. The enemy loves to present a false identity to us so we will accept it and walk in it.
 For example, Our Father declared we have peace and joy in Him. The enemy comes to our minds with lies that depression and despair and anxiety is part of who we are and to just accept it. We should reject these lies. When we rest in our new identity in Him we will walk in victory. 
 Lastly, He is grieved by our actions because this is a poor witness and example for others to see. Granted, we don't live to please people. We don't exist to make sure we have the approval of all around us. We are, however, created to be beacons or lights upon a hill for all to see. Our life can be a great witness to the lost that there is a good God in Heaven who desires a relationship with them.

 Grieved, but not disappointed

 With this truth presented I feel compelled to uproot an error often associated with any teachings along this line. When Ephesians stated God can be grieved by our actions it never said He was disappointed.
 It is important to distinguish this truth. When we miss it or foul up the enemy and religion seem to revel in this concept that God is now disappointed in you. The enemy comes with his accusations.
 "You call yourself a Christian. Look at this sin and mess up. God is so disappointed in you."
 Religious tradition also begins to point fingers with condemning and accusative words. They begin using words like,
"You let God down."
"You are such a disappointment to God."
"You sinned so much, there is no way God's plans or calling is that important to you. If it was you wouldn't have been sinning."
"You need to get right with God."
 With such accusations, we may feel we can't go on. Why even pursue a relationship with God? We will just let Him down again. We might as well just go back to our old life. 
 Well, I have some good news. God is not disappointed in us. The price Jesus paid in the Finished Work was more than enough for God. He is always pleased with us. When we miss it, He is always there rooting us on. He reminds us we are better than this sin or poor choice. Jesus never leaves us hopeless.

 As believers in Christ, we rest in the Finished Work and our new identity in Him. We are already "right with God", even when we miss it. He has made us the very righteousness of God in Christ. We are just as righteous as God is. Knowing and trusting in this right standing we can rejoice knowing He isn't ever disappointed in us. 



Unknown said...

Glory be to God. Hallelujah! This is the message people need to hear. Yes and Amen. Because of the absolute perfect work of Jesus Christ for us we are blessed, forgiven, redeemed and set free. We are accepted in the beloved. When God the Father looks at us He sees JESUS ... Praise God. That's beautiful news.

John W Reed said...

Thank you. Yes grace is the gospel.