Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Totality of God's Grace

We are commissioned to proclaim the totality of God’s grace. Any trace of law, self effort, self reliance or behavior modification is eradicated from our message. We speak Christ and Him crucified, and we encourage everyone with ears to hear to take that leap of faith to where we see God only, that is, our Father manifested in human flesh. Our faith is a divine faith. It is the quality of faith which has its origin in Christ and which Jesus wondered whether He would find when He returned to the earth. Our identity is firmly fixed in the fact that Christ lives in us.

It is only from this vantage point that verses like this makes any sense: “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Tess 5:16-18).

The beauty and simplicity of our message is completely at odds with the world. We died when we disappeared in Christ at the cross. We are resurrected and ascended with Him and placed in the heavenly realms. As vessels, once dead, on account of the spirit of error who occupied us, we are now made alive by the Spirit of God who has joined Himself one spirit with us. That is our righteousness, our justification, our holiness and our sanctification. More than that: As genuine sons He has granted us to have life in ourselves (John 5:26).

Ezekiel was given to foresee the complete and whole transformation that takes place in those who enter into the cross: “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” (Ez 36:26) This is a done deal. His love doesn’t transform us by virtue of that we are already transformed, but it persuades us to increasingly enter this reality of completeness, and when we do fleshy patterns melt away and the new creation in revealed in increasing measure. In other words: God reveals Christ in us (Gal 1:16).

When we through faith have seen the magnitude of the cross its radiance irrevocably fills our entire vision and we can’t refrain from speaking about what we have seen and heard. The totality of God grace has captured and enchanted us, and this is the gospel that we proclaim.

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