There is this dilution and exaggeration of the word ‘Grace’ today. Almost all religions believe in some sort of ‘Grace’. It’s not too hard to believe that there is something called a ‘general grace’ (or common grace).
Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount, said, "Your Father in heaven gives the sunshine and the rain to the just and the unjust alike." Unbelieving farmers get rain for their crops just as much as believing farmers do.
Christian denominations have a great love for the word ‘Grace’ and there is nothing wrong in it as long we understand grace is not bigger than God (It’s giver). When we say it is by Grace through faith we are saved, we should be meaning that it is God who saves, not grace or faith. It has become a fashion among Christians to insert ‘grace’ in almost all conversations, sermons etc.
May be it’s time to take a step back and wonder if we made grace bigger than its giver. It shouldn’t be the ‘grace theology’ what drives us, but it has to be the love of Jesus, the originator of grace.
Indoctrinated philosophy can have a very strong, but negative impact. As an example I would take ‘communism’. I am little familiar with that ‘ism’ and I personally know that there are people willing to even die for that philosophy. The question is, are they motivated by love? Not at all. They are not even motivated by the founder of communism. But they have been indoctrinated and brain washed to believe that is the way of life and the more people they get to believe it, the more successful (and secured) they are as a group (or sect). Their security is in their community.
When grace becomes a ‘theology’ or a ‘philosophy’, I wonder if it has an effect like communism, ultimately producing some ‘grace Pharisees’. Such proponents would try to inject that philosophy to others to believe in grace and everything about grace and use that word very often, adding a few more people to their community.
Believing in grace is not what saves us or sustains us, but both are done by believing in Jesus and as He lives His life through believers.
I love the word ‘Grace’. It is one of the most important and most beautiful word in the English vocabulary (in the biblical perspective). But, I just don’t want to lose its true meaning by its over-use (if you know what I mean).
I think we shouldn’t even use the term ‘grace’ if we are not motivated by love (love of Jesus). When we use grace to show the badness of law (legalism), are we operating by the love of Christ or the love for the ‘grace community’?
Communists oppose when they are challenged for their beliefs because of their ‘spirit of community’. Catholics oppose when they are challenged for their beliefs because of their ‘spirit of community’. The concept of community itself is built around the idea that everybody need encouragement, mutual edification and some kind of security in it. But when the ‘spirit of community’ (or the love of community) replaces the ‘love of Christ’, could it have a lot of negatives?
I am all for community. But my prayer is, I don’t want community as the source of my security (even if it’s called ‘grace community’). My security has to be in the perfect love of God which drives away any fear (even the fear of not having any community). It is easy to say but hard to live. As I am writing this, apart from the small 'blog community', I have no other community that I am genuinely part of. Sometimes I worry about it. What if something happens to me or my wife or my kids? Where do we look for that human support? I prayed (still praying) hard to bring a handful of people in our way to have fellowship, sharing and encouragement. Why I am praying such a prayer? Yes, it is because of my longing to have fellowship. But deeper than that, what is the root cause of that prayer? It is some kind of fear! It is some kind of inability to 'rest' in the all sufficiency of Christ! It is that fleshly unwillingness to trust Him and Him alone. (That is my confession).
This is what I am thinking today: May be (just may be) God is not answering (or answering?) my prayer for the need of a 'immediate' solution to this, is to take that traits of people-provided security away from my life and to open my eyes to see the important (but sometimes painful) truth that all I need is Him.