03
May
09

Grace in the 21st Century part 2

The Post-Christendom world is in turmoil. The church is losing its grip on being the anchor that holds this world to the love and grace of Jesus Christ. The roots that were once vast and deep are now weak and venerable. The grace and love of Jesus is the only anchor that can redeem this world. If God is dead everything is justifiable.[3] We focus on the failings of the church or maybe even go as far as to argue for the absence of God. Another revolution could transform the post-Christendom society, and it would be a revolution of grace.

The church has misunderstood the real transformative power and meaning or grace. Swindoll writes ‘For too long grace has been misunderstood as punishment avoidance.’[4] But God’s grace was flourishing long before the first sin was ever committed. The grace crisis has plagued the western church and it is this crisis that we will try and address here. Lets firstly try and address the term itself. You maybe surprised to find that Jesus never actually used the term grace. He just taught it, and more importantly lived it out. Furthermore the bible itself never gives us just one definition for the term, however, it is littered throughout the pages of the bible. [5]

The church has turned inward in its understanding and dispensing of grace. It believes that only place that grace is dispensed is inside the walls of the church and that everything and everyone outside are heathens and don’t deserve the grace of God. Yet God gives people a different image of grace when in Matthew he tells the parable of the ‘crazy farmer’. The farmer paid all his employees the same whether he employed them at the start of the day or at the end of the day (Matthew 20: 1-16).[1] This divine generosity is one that still scandalizes the church. The second example of a different view of grace can be see in the parable of the prodigal son, when the son arrives home after wasting away half of his father inheritance and even before the father finishes his first sentence he is embraced and loved by the father, yet the older brother after all his years of being good and faithful I appalled at the father foolish love (Luke 15: 11-32). Both of these instances allow us to see how important the role of grace is in the church and how, if understood properly, and dispensed correctly with the love of God, could start a revolution, just like it did in the days of the reformation.

 


[1] B Manning, The Relentless Tenderness of Jesus (Grand Rapids: Revel, 2004) p.20

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1 Response to “Grace in the 21st Century part 2”


  1. May 4, 2009 at 12:56 am

    Hi, interesting post. I have been wondering about this issue,so thanks for writing. I will definitely be coming back to your site.


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