We all know what it is to be frustrated, whether a puncture, computer virus, overlaying and being late for work etc.. very often we are frustrated by things that mess with our agenda and impede our progress.
Now, I wonder whether you have ever thought whether you could frustrate the grace of God in your life, sounds strange doesn’t it? And I must admit I have never really thought of it in this way. But it’s there in scripture, Gal. 2:21, where Paul talks about the potential for nullifying/setting aside/making void/ignoring/rejecting the grace of God (depending on which translation you are using), or as the old King James Version refers to it as frustrating the grace of God.
To frustrate means to hinder, get in the way of, to prevent from progressing or advancing.
Was Paul seriously saying we could do that? The answer is yes.
The Galatians had lost sight of the fact that Jesus was everything as far as the gospel and transformation were concerned, and were adding to the gospel of grace, religious practice, human effort and believing lies about God.
At the other end of the spectrum some of the church in Rome had kind-of got the message of grace, it’s bigness and vastness and were saying it didn’t matter then if they carried on sinning because God would be magnified in the demonstration of his grace towards them.
Both are wrong.
Attempting to live the victorious Christian life by law, being religious, determination and tenacity is not walking in victory, is not the way to transformation, and will only last as long as we can keep the effort up.
Abusing the grace of God is to miss the whole point in the first place that grace is not only about saving us and getting us to Heaven, but delivering and transforming us from the low-life level of sin and all it’s abusive and destructive behaviour.
Both stances frustrate the grace of God in our lives and therefore cannot produce the desired result.
The desired result? As Paul puts it in Gal 4:19 ‘that Christ be formed in you’ or Romans 8:29, ‘predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son.’
It is not only the unsaved who need the gospel of grace, so does the Christian.
The gospel (good news) of grace is a BIG subject, the enemy hates it and our flesh will seek to frustrate it. The enemy knows the power of it not only to save but to transform. The flesh always wants to help and get some credit for it.
How might you be frustrating the grace of God in your life?
Next time we will look at some ways we can frustrate the grace of God.