Creating Caring Communities That Transform Lives
Creating Caring Communities That Transform Lives
Creating Caring Communities That Transform Lives
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Friday, February 28, 2014 @ 12:30:00 PM - Written by Doug Hignell -

Walking in freedom requires a clear understanding of the grace and forgiveness we've received without any effort on our part. On the cross, Jesus lovingly forgave humanity for all of our sins, past, present, and future. However, activating this forgiveness requires our responding to Jesus by believing and committing our lives to Him.

Activating this forgiveness is similar to purchasing a cell phone. Your new phone has everything it needs to provide you with its benefit, yet when you take it out of the box, it still doesn't work. You can look at it and handle it all you want, but you won't get anywhere. It needs to be activated and connected to a cellular network. Once activated, it can provide you with its many benefits. God's grace and forgiveness are like the phone: it’s all there, but we must make a decision to activate that grace and forgiveness. I believe that this is accomplished by committing and entrusting our lives to Jesus. In an instant, the network is activated, the Spirit of God indwells us, and we have a direct line to God and His grace and forgiveness.

Unfortunately, once activated, we often forget that we have received total forgiveness and that God's grace surrounds and guides us. Like a dropped cell phone call, when we don't sense God's presence, we fall back on trying to perform to receive God's full blessings. We tend to live by a mixture of grace and law.

Paul Ellis, in a blog post earlier this month on his Escape to Reality website, challenges this mixture perspective, which says: "The Law doesnt save us, but it sanctifies us. The grace of God gets us into the kingdom but it's our observance of the Law - with a capital L - which keeps us there, or at least keeps us from upsetting a temperamental God who is intolerant of our sin."

Wrong! The truth is that it’s Grace + Nothing. We’re saved by grace and we’re kept by grace. It’s grace alone.

But many believe that it’s Grace + Law -- that is, we are saved by grace, but must work out our salvation by keeping the law.

Matthew 11:28-30 from The Message makes it clear that we live by grace alone:

"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and youll recover your life. Ill show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me - watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I wont lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and youll learn to live freely and lightly."

To walk in freedom, we must understand this truth: it is grace alone, both for salvation and for living day to day. I’ve been reading many excellent books on this topic in order to renew my mind with this truth. In the next few blog posts, I’ll give brief reviews of several of the best ones. Do you have a book that has helped you in this area?

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