Why the emphasis on Grace?
For some odd reason, I often find myself in the midst or among a conversation with fellow believers hovering over the topic of Grace. Usually, if not always, the conversation sways toward the question of wondering why so many pastors are now preaching the Grace of God. Its become more than apparent that there is a real widespread God-ordained movement now and pulpits all over the globe are shifting and making corrections in doctrine towards what the early church taught and believed.
What is Grace? Grace is simply the unmerited, undeserved and unearned favor of God. Still, many believers in our community are of the opinion that there is to much preaching on Grace nowadays and not enough on keeping the law, preaching on sin and the likes. Yet, scripture plainly states we are saved by Grace (Eph 2:5, 8, Rom 3:24, 4:16, 11:5, 6, Titus 3:5). So, Grace must be a pretty big deal and something we should ask the Lord about. Down through church history you can see how many things that were ignored and misinterpreted led the church down an eerie path and got us off course. For example Martin Luther and his discovery of righteousness by faith, Oral Roberts tent meetings during the healing revivals and the list goes on. All these were corrections that God intended for the church we now accept as the norm. Maybe there are corrections that the church needs concerning the true essence of the Gospel which is Grace. A cool footnote on the word "save" here can also mean, healed, delivered, set free, blessed, etc. It's the greek word sozo'.
The book of Romans talks about "MUCH MORE GRACE" in chapter 5 when illustrating the calamity of Adams one sin in light of Jesus atoning work on the Cross on account of many sins. In other words, if one sin lead to the fall of the entire human race and the innumerable sins of the world led to the crucifixion of Jesus then we can bank on there being MUCH MORE Grace as over-payment for all our sins now that He is risen again!
The problem is we aren't believing in this Grace and therefore not receiving it which is what prohibits its intended revolution in our daily lives. Sometimes I think we, like Israel at Mt Sinai, all subconsciously presume upon our own self righteousness and are saying to God after we get born again "Thanks for Jesus God but, I can handle it from here!" Instead of growing in Grace, and resting in the Finished Works of Jesus and all that He has accomplished, we do just the opposite and get the "big head syndrome" and start thinking we can do it on our own. Then, wonder why we still come up short not enjoying our lives. Its easy to do!
Some will always say, as in Apostle Paul's day "Well, if I'm under Grace pastor then it doesn't matter what I do - right?" Basically, they're tampering with the thought of "license to sin". But, the truth is people are going to sin with or without the license. So preaching the Grace of God is not going to cause people who truly love the Lord to sin more. Instead, people who understand Gods amazing Grace fall deeper in love with Jesus.
Let me ask you the question: Do you think there is anything you and I can do above what Jesus has already done for us on the Cross? Can we add to His finished work? Maybe, the reason we aren't getting answers to our prayers, or enjoying our relationship with God is because we're still trusting to much in our own strength and ability. What we need to start doing is magnifying Jesus and His finished work instead of ourselves. We need to come to a realization, and believe, that Jesus Finished the work over 2,000 years ago!
Start your day today with a sense of accomplishment instead of a sense of guilt and insufficiency trusting that Jesus was and is enough. That's exactly the words from the Lords mouth before He gave up His Spirit on the Cross. He literally said, "It is accomplished"....
Last thought: When you were born again you, in essence, stepped inside the door of all the goodness and greatness of the Lord Jesus Christ and all His Finished Work affords you. Go on inside the house, so to speak, and take a seat on the sofa with Jesus instead of standing at the door wondering if we're the ones He beckons to come in! The revelation of His Love for you will conquer all...
In the end, with this belief put into practice, you'll be an over-achiever through His abundant Grace while at rest!