We are continuing to look at why born-again people who love the Lord, are missing the grace message.
Q: Why do you think they are not experiencing the freedom and peace that is ours through Jesus?
A: I think there is a huge number of people who only make it to the starting plate of their Grace journey and then become beaten down by religion. I was certainly one of them. We find it easy to conclude that we fall into the category of “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23). We had acknowledged that within our humanity, we could contribute nothing towards our salvation; that we could not do enough good works to gain the acceptance of God. So we came to Jesus with nothing to offer Him and received His forgiveness and the adoption papers. We accept that it is all up to Jesus and we accept his free gift.
Having made it this far, the apostle Paul counsels the Colossians (2:6)
6 Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him.
At the time we received Jesus, we were falling short in our actions/works every day. (That’s actions & works of thought and deed) We could see that it was all up to Jesus and the power of His blood to cleanse us from sin and impute righteousness to us. BUT, now, “as we walk in Him” we are dismayed that even though we have within us the Spirit which raised Jesus Christ from the dead, we still fail in our actions every day.
You are not alone, if you thought you were the only one who falls very short after having been born again. It simply means you are not dead yet. Contrary to popular opinion, there is NOT a bunch of super-Christians out there who have succeeded in perfecting every thought, work and deed. In fact there is NOT ONE. So if salvation was dependent upon Christians exhibiting perfect behaviour, we are all doomed and Jesus died for nothing. So as we ‘Walk in Jesus” it is STILL all up to Jesus. Just as it was when we first came to Jesus, we still can’t produce enough good behaviour or good works to maintain our salvation or keep us in the good books with God. Saying exactly the same thing in a different way, bad works or law breaking doesn’t cause us to lose our salvation or get us struck from the Book of Life. So the message is – You were saved by Grace – and Grace continues to save. If we can get a hold of this message, it would set us free. We would experience the peace of God which passes all understanding.
Q: That all sounds great. But if you were to look out into ‘Christendom’ right now, you would find a whole lot of messed up defeated Christians who are relating to God out of fear rather than love and peace. What do you think is the main reason that Christians feel they are not measuring up to God’s expectations?