Grace is scandalous. Plain and simple, if we understood where grace trafficked we would gossip about it. We would tell stories of the places grace went, who grace hung out with the way grace entered into the darkest and seediest places of the human soul. If we understood grace we might get lost in its wake and end up upside down in our living. Grace defeats more than we know and triumphs where will power and self discipline cannot stand. Grace. Wow, what a friend.

I grew up in the church by the way but this is not the grace I discovered. The grace I grew up with was more like a gritty soap, getting stains off of mostly clean people. We didn’t celebrate it as much more than a stringent cleaner, getting out the tough spot.

We used phrases like “easy believism” to describe the teaching of those who brought us scandalous grace. We said that too much grace would be like giving people “a license to sin.” We even said we had to be careful about teaching grace or “people will abuse it.” Sadly, many of us never got grace, at least the scandalous kind. Our brand of grace produced two kinds of people.

One kind is the person who slid from guilty to self righteous – which by the way is never what scandalous grace produces. This is the person whose journey from death to life was never seen as that long a trip. In reality it was more like a journey from a severe head cold to good health. The other kind is the person who lived in the reality of spiritual poverty without ever finding freedom. Interestingly enough, both of these persons spend a lot of time trying to do to their sin what only grace can.

When we get grace, truly get grace, it becomes like an unending onion and after we peel a layer off there is another layer and then another and another. Each layer points us to a new level of love, humility and hope and holiness. Wanna know a secret? There has never been a person alive who did not abuse grace and if it cannot be abused, it is probably not grace.

Paul writes these words, “Therefore having been justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ through whom we have gained access into this grace in which we now stand.” Romans 5 Justified, Peace, Access, Grace, Stand. WOW! Take those words and understand them. Dig into their richness and you will discover that if it cannot be abused, it probably is not grace.

If we dare fall into these words and splash around in them like a giant spring rain puddle, we will soon discover that each of us already had a license to sin and what grace offers is actually a license to live free from sin. WOW, WOW, WOW!

Grace is not about God being good to sinners; it is about God raising the dead. Grace is not about God cleaning us up; it is about God applying His own righteousness to our lives in such a way as to declare us once and for all NOT GUILTY!

For what it’s worth, I don’t have to feel like this is true in order for it to be true nor do I have to feel it to live it. What I do have to do is get out of the way of myself and live as one whom God loves. I do need to tell myself daily that I am saved by grace, kept by grace and taught by grace.

Here is how I know when I am getting the scandal of grace deep within my soul. I love God enough to let him change me. I live better not because it is how I measure myself but because I can. Grace teaches me to grow. Grace makes me generous. Grace shifts the focus off of me and on to the generous and amazing Father. It is good to be back, Off… we go now.

~ by OFF we go now on March 29, 2011.

One Response to “”

  1. Such great thought Leonard. I want to go splash around a bit this morning.

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