Grace wins hands down

no_condemnation There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Romans 8:1

In our Bible class Sunday morning, a guy raised his hand. He wanted to share how much he remembers his mess-ups. How he wishes he had been different back then. How he wonders why he had been so stupid.

But...

He wasn’t sharing it because he feels condemned.

Instead, he was rejoicing in how much he has been forgiven. He sees his past in light of his present and future. And he’s found grace. He’s found acceptance.

He’s found Jesus.

Each time he returned to the church after another failure, he was loved by the believers. So each time he returned, he felt more confident in God’s love. Amazing love. Amazing grace.

God took his condemnation and replaced it with grace. When grace is the gift, the receiver feels loved. And when the church delivers the gift, the glory goes to God.

The church is most appealing when the message of grace is most apparent. 

~ Andy Stanley, The Grace of God

Can you do this, church?

Can your church, my church, be the one that does what Jesus constantly does—shows grace? Aggressively forgives?

Can you and I—stewards of grace—be the ones that help someone accept more forgiveness, the more they’ve messed up? The more we’ve messed up?

We can—but only if we’ve received the gift to give away. Once we’ve traded in our own condemnation for the Lord’s grace, we’ll have bucket loads to pour on others.

 ...But sin didn't, and doesn't,
have a chance in competition with the
aggressive forgiveness
we call grace.

When it's sin versus grace,
grace wins hands down.
Romans 5:20 (The Message)

* * *

Have you been shown grace? Can you tell others where to get it?

Related:

11 comments:

Mari-Anna Frangén Stålnacke said...

...But sin didn't, and doesn't,
have a chance in competition with the aggressive forgiveness
we call grace.

When it's sin versus grace,
grace wins hands down.
Romans 5:20 (The Message)

This is one of my favorite Bible verses. Grace simply rocks. Grace is more than enough and there's always more where it came from: JESUS.

richd said...

But if we forgive, won't "they" just take advantage of the freedom?

Hmmm...there's that little voice that seems to interrupt from time to time. Maybe I should replace "they" with "I" and focus on my encounter with the source of that freedom. Maybe I should remember the price He paid. Maybe I should believe He knew what He was doing when that He chose grace over condemnation.

Lisa notes... said...

Mari-Anna,
Yes, Grace does rock. And how can it be a bottomless pit? Because Jesus is a bottomless pit. What a Savior.

I enjoyed reading your post today also on grace:

“Let my default mode toward others be grace, not judgment!
Let my default mode towards me be grace, not judgment!”

May it be so!

Lisa notes... said...

Rich,
Isn’t your first question one of the first ones we ask ourselves? We’re so concerned that we’ll be taken advantage of. And sometimes that does happen, to be sure. But more frequently, the more someone is loved, the more they want to change and do better. I thank God that he chose that route with us. Yes, we should believe he knew what he was doing, choosing grace over condemnation. Where would we be otherwise?

Ryan Tate said...

Wow, I love this post Lisa. Thank you.

The gospel has come to us on its way to someone else. Amen. That is the charge for the church. Thanks for sharing this.

HisFireFly said...

Amen! Wake up church and BE the church Christ died for!

lainiegallagher said...

Wow. I really like how you said that sin doesn't have a chance against forgiveness. What a beautiful word picture!

Hazel I Moon said...

Enjoyed your post very much. Amazing isn't it that after John 3:16 comes verse 17, that God did not send His son to Condemn the World, but to save it!

B. Meandering said...

I'm often reminded of a comment made by Joyce Meyers, "God doesn't condemn; He convicts, so that you might seek change, but condemnation comes from Satan."

Bridget Chumbley said...

I certainly have been shown grace. I try to extend grace in return, but I'm human and constantly fall short.

Thanks for these great thoughts!

caryjo said...

Even though Romans 8:1 is the main anti-condemnation verse, my favorite section is the last portion of the chapter: :31 -- If God is for us, who can be against us?...:34 Who is there to condemn us?...:35 Who shall ever separate us from Christ's love?....and then :38-39... NOTHING can. WOW! I rely on those verses, big time, when I'm struggling in any way with my less than perfect life.

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