Wednesday, January 16, 2019

The Gospel of Grace: It's not a Religion!

I am shocked over how quickly you have deserted the grace gospel and strayed away from Christ who called you to Himself by His loving mercy. I’m frankly astounded that you now embrace a distorted gospel of salvation by works! 7 That is a fake “gospel” that is simply not true! There is only one gospel—the grace gospel! Yet you have allowed those who mingle law with Christ’s grace to confuse you with lies. Galatians 1:6-7 TPT first edition

We've begun a new study examining the Gospel of Grace in its fullness. Last time we looked at the idea of effortless Christianity. On the fringe, some view the Gospel as a message affirming lethargy. Seeing any aspect of the Faith as works and performance. 

 When we examine the Gospel, we will naturally quell foolish errors as well as the accusations presented by the religious traditioned minded. What is best is to stay centered, stay focused on the truth. We mustn't allow bitterness or wounded emotions to form and fashion a "god" acceptable to our sentiments. 

 Today, I sense the leading to focus on the truth that life in Christ is not a religion. This is not a do this or perfect that and God may finally find you acceptable. In my time under performance-driven ministries, they often ascribed reasons as to why people weren't blessed. 

 They would say there is nothing wrong with God. There is nothing wrong or faulty with His eternal Word. Then there must be something wrong with you. They would say you must not have employed some spiritual discipline. Or you did but you didn't do it correctly. Or you didn't do it long enough. 

 Grace says, this New Covenant wasn't made between you and God. This Covenant was cut between the Father and the Son, Jesus Christ. You don't have the power to nullify it. This New Covenant doesn't disqualify God's people. We come to God based on Jesus faithfulness, perfect obedience, and worthiness, never on our own merits. We receive God's goodness, favor, blessing by simple Faith, resting in Jesus Finished Work, not our own works or performance.

 The Gospel of Grace is predicated on Jesus Finished Work. It rests on the truth that the Father accepted Jesus work. The Gospel of Grace makes Jesus bigger in our eyes. It puts the Lord Jesus as the central focus of it all. For too long, our works, our performance, our track record had too much focus and Jesus was out of focus.

Living the Christian life under Grace

 I am going to give you some life-altering, amazingly Good News. I am going to simply and practically explain the Christian life. Here is the extra Good News that accompanies the Good News. None of what I am going to tell you is rooted in perfectionism or always getting it right. It is living the Christian life under Grace.

 So here it is, the simple, practical Christian life. Looking at the four Gospels, where we get to know Jesus better, seeing how He interacted with the sinner, the saint, and even His enemies. Going through Acts, seeing the Church in its beginning stages, how it navigated through life in good times and bad. Onto the Epistles and the Revelation, seeing day to day living, all the while patiently awaiting the triumphant return of our Savior.  All this together sums up the Christian life.

 You may say, brother, you haven't said anything about how to live. I am going to make it plain and simple right now. First things first, receive Jesus as Savior. We can debate this next point if you will and if you do then just move on, then receive the Baptism in the Spirit and that beautiful Grace gift of a prayer language. Follow the Lord in the waters of baptism. This is merely a public display of personal identification of faith in Jesus, not a work whereby you're saved. Now nothing we see so far is works or self-effort.

 Now putting the rest of the Scriptures together we see how to live as a believer under Grace, living out this relationship. How does this look? In a relationship, the two parties communicate, they fellowship, they enjoy each other. 

 Spend time with God. Read the Scriptures often. Meditate on them. This simply means ponder them. Take a passage, think about it and how it applies to you, in your daily life. Get to know who you are in Him, and continually remind yourself of who you are in Christ. Fellowship with God by spending time in prayer. When we pray, we are communicating with God. He gives us wisdom and insight on issues we personally face. Find some fellow Christians and get to know them. Build each other up. If you can, go to church. Bring your supply of His gifts and favor on your life and bless and minister to others. 

 Realize His great unconditional love for you. See and understand His amazing forgiveness He has bestowed upon you. Now walk in love and forgiveness to others. Be a generous giver. God gave us His Son. Be a blessing no matter how small the gift. 

 Guess what, I just laid out a simple way to live. This is performance free. All I have said is simply a byproduct of relationship, not religion. Loving people, forgiving people, fellowshipping with other believers, studying God's Word, gaining a better understanding of it the more you study, recognizing your true identity in Christ, ministering to others, devoting some time to God, spending time with Him in prayer, hanging out with your Father, none of this is based on perfection, always doing the right thing, or always getting it just right. Jesus already got it right, just lean on His righteousness, not yours. 

 As an added bonus, whenever New Year's rolls around you don't need to worry about some word for the year or some new discipline you need to be doing. Staying steadfast and immovable in the basics, relationship, and you will always see successful growth and maturity and fruitful living. 

 This is the Good News. Jesus perfectly performed the work. Rest in that. That is the foundation. On top of that, we begin a healthy relationship with God, first by understanding one important truth. That God loves you unconditionally. That He finds you perfectly acceptable right now. He has made you just, that is in perfect right standing, He has made you holy once for all time and given us His Spirit. We did nothing to earn, achieve, or merit any of this. 

 In summation, this Good News Gospel of Jesus, the Gospel of Grace is rooted in Jesus unconditional love, God's approval, and Jesus perfectly completed Work. It is not dependant on your perfect obedience, or faithfulness or performance. The work is to believe in Jesus. The only labor is to enter into the rest. Jesus made the finish line, our starting point. 
Image courtesy of bugtiger at


Donna Sweigart said...

You write…."and that beautiful Grace gift of a prayer language." Implying each believer will have this gift.
This interpretation is unbiblical for the following reasons:
1- How could praying in tongues, be a private prayer language if it is to be interpreted? 1 Cor 14;13-17
2- How could praying in tongues be for self-edification when scripture says that the spiritual gifts are for the edification of the church, not the self? I Cor 12:7
3 -How can praying in tongues be a private prayer language if the gift of tongues is a 'sign' to unbelievers? 1 Cor 14:22
4 - The Bible makes it clear that not everyone possesses the gift of tongues. 1 For 12:11, 12-30
How could tongues be a gift for self- edification if not every believer can possess it?
Do we not all need to be edified?

Just a few truths that stand out against a teaching that everyone should have the gift of tongues. It can be a crippling thing for babes in Christ. Thank you.

John W Reed said...

Donna you’re wishing to debate tongues and I’m not going to do that because it’s not profitable. I do believe however that you have misunderstood the passages you site. The Bible is clear in Jude that we are to build ourselves up praying in the Spirit. Building ourselves up is edification.
Tradition surrounding tongues runs deep. Sparring with words over a comment thread won’t change your mind. Prayer language is a gift from God, and He is not a respector of persons. God doesn’t have elite kids or kids who get things and others don’t.