Following on from last week I want to add something else to a subject the enemy of our souls certainly doesn’t like – the grace of God. He hates it with avengence because it’s about what God does, not man. He hates it because it brings glory to God and doesn’t give him or man any glory. He hates it because he knows the power of a grace filled life and he knows that if he can back foot us on it we are in trouble – I know by personal experience, I know by pastoral experience. The moment we lose sight of the grace of God we are like a drowning man thrashing around trying to keep ourselves afloat rather than trusting ourselves to the Lifesaver!
Paul wrote to the Galatian Christians with great sorrow of heart because this is what had happened to them. Over time they had been wrong-footed by false teachers who suggested they needed to go back to some aspects of the Law to prove that they were really saved (faith and works). The result, they lost their way, and their sense of blessing/joy (Gal: 1:6-10; 4:15). In fact Paul goes so far as to say “O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth?” (3:1). Foolish? Bewitched? Strong words, but necessary. Might they be said of you?
Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones one time pastor of Westminster Chapel, London, once said that unless we are preaching the gospel in such a way as to get the accusation that it doesn’t matter how we live, we aren’t really preaching the gospel! Some challenge, but one that is needed. Can that accusation be made of you, in your witness or preaching?
The Good News of Jesus Christ is truly the most liberating and radical message this world has ever heard – it is also the most empowering, to quote Dr Steven Cosby, “Being “in grace” or “under grace” is to participate/share in the overflow of the covenant life, love, and power of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. That obviously is a “status” of unmerited favor, but it is also a transformative and empowered state of being.” Oh yes!
It is grace that saves and transforms,
Grace that liberates and keeps us free.
Grace that grants every blessing and fills us with joy unspeakable and full of glory.
And grace that will keep the praises of God upon our lips.