Thursday, July 24, 2008

Unmerited (Grace)


I’m wondering if the church has been trying to live vicariously via paltry intellectual knowledge that has filtered down through the centuries meaning, we usually rely upon what people have said versus having experiential knowledge. But is there any ‘knowledge’ we can claim as ours apart from the Father revealing it to us?

Let’s take a look at an absurd illustration for a moment: let’s say you desperately need to get into a room within your house but the door is stuck. You have become intensely focused on doing your best to open this door! You fail to realize in your heated frenzy that you are in fact already in that very room. “Balderdash!” you say, “How could I be so dense? I am in my right mind…aren’t I?”

Maybe being in our “right mind” isn’t going to attain what grace has already achieved for us!

There has and continues to be so much carnal maneuvering and attempted manipulation of the scriptures on our part to try and get God to cooperate with us or for us to ‘get it right’. However, Paul emphatically stated that his encounter with and ongoing transformation by Christ was NOT received of man, nor was it taught by man, but in fact was a direct revelation of Jesus Christ, by Jesus Christ himself. Parroting truthful facts are no substitute for the Lord’s ability to awaken within me an inner knowing of this same Christ Paul knew.

I have to believe that our introduction into God’s marvelous grace was precipitated by an awareness of how empty and depleted we really are, and the knowledge of that bankruptcy prepared us to simply receive of His unmerited favor. Does it stand to reason that although we started on this miraculous journey by God calling us unto Himself that we can now resort to fleshly means of seeing this walk brought to completion?

It is ludicrous to think that the power of His grace, having been made available to helpless, needy and lifeless creatures, was going to be pushed aside for what we think we can do to merit that grace - rather than acknowledging that the Christian life is all about Him living it in us as us.

Is it possible that much, if not all, of institutional religious ware-housing has fostered a mentality where we keep learning, but never come to the knowledge of the Truth - as if the truth were something separate from the embodiment of truth (Jesus)? The price we pay for not accepting God’s justification as born-again believers is that we continue to toil fruitlessly in a vain attempt to earn what we already have!

My conclusion to all of this is that we have gone dreadfully wrong in allowing such overwhelming pressures, of trying ‘to get it right’ to come upon us. The Father is opening our eyes to see that ‘unmerited’ grace is already ours - not something we have to attain by our own efforts.

The reality of this Christ must invade our souls with a
despair so intense that we throw ourselves at his feet in a fresh recognition that what we think He requires us to do, apart from what He has already done, is impossible and fruitless. Somehow in the heated frenzy of trying to ‘get it right’ we fail to recognize Him! He said, “I will build My church”! It is crucial that we learn the answer to His relentless question, “Who do you say I AM”?

Rich

2 comments:

Dave A. said...

Bro... I'm not sure how to respond here with this blog entry and so many others you've been writing here and over at de other place (and then Life happened). I love what you've been sharing and my heart says that Papa has been busy stirring up Richard a lot lately.

Keep going Bro. I love your constant invitation to others to join you in the water 'cause the water's just fine.

Rich said...

Dave,

Isn't that one of the radical realities that seems to keep sneaking up on us, there is no right or wrong way to 'respond'!
Meaning this life we're learning is NOT static, it is very messey especially to our finite intellect :)

Thanks for your encouraging love bro, "I love seeing Jesus being so real thru you!" :)