I try to not rant, however...
There is a great verse in Corinthians. It asks the question,
"What do you have that you did not receive?"
The answer, of course, is nothing!
Which prompts the next question...
"Then why do you glory as if you did not receive?"
What a very appropriate verse for the grace community... ALL OF US!!!
We know this glorious love and grace of God ONLY because we received it from His gracious hand. Why then, do we act so arrogantly and with such great judgment against others who do not know grace, especially religious people?
I hear things like "Religious people make me sick." "I get nauseous just listening to legalists"...
My friends, were we not one of them before? How many of us called ourselves and others - SINNERS before we understood that we are saints!? How many of us judged others and condemned others when we lived under law ourselves? Now that we have come to know grace, judgment and condemnation should no longer be on our lips - only the life and love that is available from God. After all, we only know what we know because we received it by grace... but allow me to meddle for a moment...
I have another question. Are we not free enough to sit under a legalist or religionist without it effecting us? If sitting under a legalist or a religionist makes us nauseous, maybe we are not as free as we think we are?
Oh, and another question... Who is going to win the religionist and the legalist if we don't have the love to associate with them? The only way to have an impact is if we have contact!
I have been through legalism wars in the church. They are not fun and they can grieve your soul. But we have the Spirit of God in us Who always ministers life to us even when others are ministering death to us. Is that not true?
Funny, but years ago I taught through Galatians, which instructs the church to pursue church discipline and remove legalists who persecute the free. One of my elders informed me after the messages that we were too lenient with the persecuting legalists and should have moved sooner (in a war which took 7 years by the way)...
I laughed and reminded him that if we had done so, he would not be here. He was one of the legalists who had his eyes opened to grace as we patiently loved him in his bondage FOR MANY YEARS!!!
We have an awesome responsibility because we have received grace, to live out grace with others…. Even those who do not know grace!
Enjoy this blog post?
If so, you'll probably really like Frank's monthly emails.
Get on the list here.