Saturday, May 15, 2010

Chandler Update

Grace Part II

I did a post on Grace on 1/8/10 that was well received. In the past couple of weeks I have heard some good teaching on grace that expands the way I think about it. I have always had a concern over "cheap grace" in my life. Do I get complacent about my sin because I know God is going to forgive me? That thought is echoed in Romans 5:21 by Paul where he states that where sin abounds, grace abounds much more. Now, I have never thought, "Hey, I should sin more so even more grace can happen." But I have always been aware that I may not take sin as seriously as I should at times and that I don't always do a good job of dying to self each morning. In that sense, grace can actually be a stumbling block to my sanctification.

So, recent preaching from Piper and Chandler has caused me to look at this even more deeply. Grace can actually become a bad thing as it impedes our holiness. As Piper says in the video below, as soon as we sin we should face a penalty. What kind of penalty? How about death? The wages of sin, right? So, when I wake up and thank God for another day of life, I haven't really been thinking of that gift in the right context. It's not just, "Thank you Lord for bringing me safely through the night and keeping me healthy,"'s more like, "Lord, I don't even deserve another breath because you have every right to end my life at this moment." We think that because we are relatively young and in good health that another day of life is to be expected. What a colossal loss of perspective on God's justice simply because we no longer consider His justice in light of His unending grace.

Remember in the Old Testament when God would kill those who sinned directly against him? (I have more to fill in here)

When we become comfortable with God's grace, we begin to feel that we are entitled to forgiveness. I believe Christ is my Savior. I am basically a good person. I try to do good things. Of course, God is going to forgive me because He said He would. So, if we believe that God's grace is a right than it is only natural to not take our sin seriously. There is no way to pursue holiness under that mindset. Paul comes back in Romans 6 and says, "Shall we sin that grace may abound? God forbid! For how can you who died still live in it?"

My boss has a saying..."It's easier to ask for forgiveness later than it is to ask for permission upfront." Not a great ethical saying but I think we often approach God this way. This article speaks well to this dynamic: