Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Grace Destroys...

Grace tears down the walls of legalism and fear that have been held up for so long as the pattern for the New testament church but have only resulted in a secluded and sterile group of lonely and self-righteous tyrants. Grace destroys the mentality that the criteria for judgment is the proper understanding on all points in scripture and puts the price for our sins and misunderstandings on the one who has already paid it all. Grace dismantles the shackles that have been placed on hearts by well-intentioned men who thought they had cornered the market on God's affection by their own righteousness. Grace breaks down the schemes of the evil one who seeks to distort our view of God and rely on ourselves as the ultimate authority. Grace destroys attitudes of envy and hatred through followers who practice the grace they have received from Christ toward others. Grace breaks all obstacles to the in-breaking kingdom of God and removes all hindrances and excuses making the pathway to God accessible to all regardless of race, social status, or popularity. What is more, grace reconciles all those previously mentioned under one head and puts us all on equal standing in the sight of God. The legalist, the self-righteous, the "wishy washy," the calloused, the proud, the doubtful, the depressed, the tyrant, the manic, the (fill in your worst quality here ________) are all brought together and sanctified by that same grace because God is in the business of making broken people whole.

9 comments:

Neva said...

Amen---without His grace---we would be hopeless.

Peace
Neva

DJG said...

Great post....I think you covered my worst quality....

Mark said...

It is such a prominent theme in the prophets especially that God has to break down the proud and rebellious in order to rebuild something better. We can remember Jeremiah who observed the potter as he refashioned the marred clay, making it as he desired.

I think it might be helpful to contrast this theme to the way God treats people who are already broken. I love Isaiah 42:3 "A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out." Those who are bruised, he doesn't snap in two. Those who barely keep their candle burning, he won't snuff out.

When Elijah was discouraged and fearing for his life, God didn't come to him in the mighty gusts of mountain-toppling wind, nor in the earthquake, nor in the fire. He came to Elijah in a gentle whisper (I Kgs 19).

Excellent post! Really cool way of approaching the subject!

Neva said...

Mark, that is one of my favorite passages. Very appropriate here.
Peace
neva

Tim Archer said...

Neat word play. I'd never have thought of that.

Grace and peace,
Tim

Chris said...

Isn't that why we call it AMAZING GRACE?

Good post.

Stoned-Campbell Disciple said...

Excellent blog Matt. I am glad I read it today. Grace does destroy ... the old man.

Shalom,
Bobby Valentine

Frank Bellizzi said...

Sweet!

Matt said...

Neva,

Thanks for the encouraging and kind words. I really appreciate your generous spirit.

DJG,

I knew it!

Mark,

Great passages that remind us of the compassion of God and how he meets us in unexpected ways.

Tim,

I could say that about much of what I have read in "The Kitchen" so many times in the past.

Chris,

Absolutely!

Bobby,

The old man...I knew I left something out. That is certainly one of the most important things that gets destroyed.

Frank,

Thanks for stopping by and encouraging me.

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