Over time, it seems I keep coming back to certain things about God's grace that mean so much to me. These truths are the ones I need to hear every day, the ones I need to "preach" to myself, the ones that just make my heart sing! Sometimes I have trouble believing them, but still they're true! I'd like to post them one at a time.
GOD ACCEPTS US
We're accepted. "He made us accepted in the Beloved" (Eph. 1:6). The word translated accepted means "to grace, to favor". He has graced us and favored us. We are standing in His grace (Rom. 5:1)! He has welcomed us in and embraced us. We're adopted into His family and are His beloved children. The Spirit confirms this and tells us to call Him "Daddy"! He loves us with the same love He has for Jesus (John 17:23)! We're accepted no matter what happens, no matter what we do. We are accepted at our lowest, even. We are accepted as we are, not as we should be (Brennan Manning). We are taken in, brought into His circle of love. He is totally okay with us. And this acceptance is never based on us our our performance but always on Him and His nature of love. His acceptance is freely given and never needs to be "earned".
This was one of the first big grace truths that God showed me, and I'm still needing to hear it daily. It changed my life to find out that what I had been trying so hard to get - His acceptance - was mine already. The cross is God loving us, embracing us, ACCEPTING us. So we are okay to God! He's not angry with us, disappointed with us, or frustrated with us...He's happy with us, content with us! We are accepted! Thank you for that, Jesus!
I would say this a little different:ReplyDelete
Reflecting on Romans 1:18-32, I realize with new clarity what our real problem is. Our real problem is not our sins. If our sins were the problem, we might muster the will-power to pull out of this nose dive. But the good news of the gospel begins with some really bad news. Our sins only provoke a bigger problem: the wrath of God. Our real problem is not our sins but God. He is angry, he isn't going away, and there is nothing we can do about it. If God is against us, who can be for us?
But here is the good news. God has made God our salvation. He did it at the cross. God has provided a way of escape from God: in God. We run from his wrath by running toward his grace in Christ. And if God is for us, who can be against us?
I don't think God has ever been against you. I think He has always loved and cared for you and His passion (wrath) was aroused at what sin did to you and your relationship to God. He loved you from the beginning of time and wasn't about to let sin, evil, or the devil keep His beloved one from living in His embrace. So He acted to take all that sin upon Himself and absorb the consequences of that sin. Sin brings death, but God used death itself to defeat sin!
I hope you don't see God as an angry God, especially thinking there's any anger in His heart toward you. I have struggled with that myself. I have often worried that He was disappointed or frustrated with me. His heart is full of love toward us all! So much so that it makes Him angry to think of sin ruining our lives! I'm so glad He took our sin away at the cross and it never comes between us again. He has accepted us in the Beloved!
I'm not talking about Christians....God is angry every day with sin. His common grace restrains Him....but someday it will be unleashed as you can read in Revelation.ReplyDelete
I'm glad to know Jesus is the turning aside of God's wrath (or the satisfying of God's perfect demand for justice) for the sins of the whole world. He was angry at what sin did to us, so He took sin away on the cross. The prison doors are open and He invites all to come out and enjoy new life in Him. That is what I see as the big issue with Him - not sin, because that's been taken care of already at the cross - but Life in His Son.
I just don't see Him as an angry God. His eyes look with love on every person, and His heart is most tender toward all. After all, it's His kindness that leads us to repentance!
Sparrow girl....I really like the way you write and talk about God's grace. Sometime...why don't you come over to my son's blog and type in Paul Washer/regeneration.ReplyDelete
We will probably never agree on many things....but I appreciate your willingness to listen...and I respect your standing your ground. I know "we" are brother and sister in the Lord:)
Thank you so much for your kind words! I want you to know that I really agonize over many of my responses to comments because I really want my words to be gracious!
You are right, we are family in Him and can respectfully disagree and still accept one another. To me, that is the essence of grace and graciousness - God fully accepts and loves us, and He shows that same acceptance and love to others through us! And it is all Him, not of us, to the praise of His grace!
Thanks for the invite - I will check out the website..
Grace and peace to you!
Isaiah 54 is a prophetic declaration that God makes an oath never to be angry with us again! God has dealt with sin once for all time, he is no longer angry with us or anyone for that matter for he poured out all his wrath on Jesus at the cross once and for all. That is good news!!! Peace to you Sparrow, keep reveling in every facet, angle and view of God's abundant rich lavish grace............ReplyDelete
Oh, Lydia, Isaiah 54 is my favorite Bible chapter! Yes, full of good news! Makes me happy to hear it again and again..ReplyDelete