A Revolution, Not A Rebellion

A grace revolution isn’t a rebellion against church or God. I’m not advocating that you leave your church because you’re upset you haven’t been taught the message of grace, and I’m not starting a new denomination. When you and I experience God’s grace everyday, the truth of God’s Word becomes even more precious, and the Spirit of God will lead us in fresh ways to make a difference. I’m not offering a new text of truth; I’m trusting God to take the scales off your eyes so you can see the glorious truth that has been there all along. Many of us are already quite involved in the activities of the church. The everyday experience of grace probably won’t change what we do, but it’ll certainly change why and how we do it. Rebels want to destroy institutions, but revolutionaries want to restore and rebuild.

Sometimes people ask me, “Pastor, when are we going to move beyond the gospel?” I tell them, “Never. It’s everything we need all the time in all circumstances.” Grace is the foundation for all truth about God, ourselves, our relationship with Him, and how we live. Paul explained this fact in his first letter to the Corinthians: “By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 3:10-11).

One writer observes that most of us have “hymnal theology”—we focus on the past or the future, and we have little hope to experience the power and love of God in the present. Yes, we need to be grateful for the cross, and yes, someday we’ll be with Jesus face to face, but we often have a huge hole in our theology and experience: we have a very limited expectation of God’s presence and power today. This hole, though, isn’t completely empty. We fill it with “oughts” and “shoulds.” We hear a message that has twenty-five minutes of grace and five minutes of application, but all we hear is “You’d better do this or that for God to love and bless you!” (So, in many cases, the problem isn’t that grace hasn’t been taught. It’s that we haven’t had ears to hear it.) Any belief in conditional acceptance only makes the hole wider and deeper, and after a while, it’s really hard to climb out.

The good news…the revolutionary news…is that God has already given us everything we need to experience His presence and power. In Peter’s second letter, he assured us, “Everything that goes into a life of pleasing God has been miraculously given to us by getting to know, personally and intimately, the One who invited us to God. The best invitation we ever received! We were also given absolutely terrific promises to pass on to you—your tickets to participation in the life of God after you turned your back on a world corrupted by lust” (2 Peter 1:3-4). Isn’t that what you long for—”participation in the life of God”? Of course it is!

The legal aspects of redemption are in the past tense: Jesus died for us—and actually, as us, He rose from the dead, and He ascended to the throne at the Father’s right hand—again, for us and as us. These are done and complete. The vital part of our salvation is happening now as we experience the wonder of His love, our motives are transformed, our hearts are filled with gratitude, and we begin to live the life He intended for us. The gospel truly gives you your life back!

This devotional is taken from the book Captured By Grace—Be Freed From Fear So You Can Really Live!

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