The Good News is still good news! It really is true that all who believe in Jesus have eternal life. Jesus didn’t add any qualifiers. Whoever believes will receive everlasting life and have passed from condemnation into freedom. The Grace of Jesus really offends religious controllers because He offers Eternal Life on the basis of His own ability to give it to all who believe. No strings attached. Wonderful news! The Apostle Paul states that we now live in the New Covenant and under a new “administration of grace” (Eph 3), and have the living presence of the Holy Spirit. We are now empowered and governed by the Holy Spirit. Grace, therefore, needs to be redefined in the context of that New Covenant.
Jesus was filled with grace and truth.
He was not in need of “unmerited favor”. He was sinless and yet was full of grace. so grace needs to be defined with much more power. I am not the first to suggest this definition but it’s a good one. Grace is God’s empowering presence upon and within us because of the indwelling Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit present within us makes a huge difference in how we relate to God and His grace. If I hear the apostle Paul correctly, Grace is much more powerful and represents the energizing and transforming power of God so much more than “unmerited favor” definition appropriate to the Old Covenant.
This blog is devoted to exploring the many facets of grace and living in the empowered freedom of the Holy Spirit. There is much to cover, but here are a few key points I want to present, and there will be more…
You who are trying to be justified (righteous) by the Law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. For through the Spirit we eagerly await by faith the righteousness for which we hope. – Galatians 5:4-5
The Holy Spirit is able to do what the Law could not do
Paul makes a powerful point in the book of Galatians. The Holy Spirit brought salvation and righteousness to the Galatian believers. They lived joy-filled, supernatural lives that allowed them to work signs and wonders and be an example of what Christian believers should be. It was obvious from what Paul was saying that all these righteous benefits came about not through Law but through the Holy Spirit and belief in Jesus. In fact, when Law was presented and people started to follow Law, they lost their Grace, became disunified and confused. Paul strongly confronted them by asking “You stupid Galatians, who has bewitched you?” (Gal 3:1)
It is still true today. Embracing Law signifies distrust of Jesus and one loses the empowering presence of God (“alienated from Christ” Gal 5:4).
One cannot understand Grace without understanding the pivotal role of the Holy Spirit
Outside the presence of the Holy Spirit, we do need Law to govern our behavior, and grace does mean “unmerited favor”. Being filled and empowered by the Holy Spirit we are not only declared righteous we also are empowered to become more and more righteous in our behaviors. The Holy Spirit is fully capable of enabling us to live lives of righteous fruitfulness, love, joy, peace, patience etc., otherwise known as “fruit of the Spirit” (Gal 5). The Law cannot even begin to produce righteous fruit. It was never designed to do so. By intentionally pursuing a life in the Spirit, we ‘accidentally’ fulfill all that the Law requires. That is not an endorsement of Law it is an endorsement of the abilities and power of Jesus through the Holy Spirit. We obtain all the benefits through faith.
The New Covenant totally redefines our relationship with God and redefines the authority structure, or government, of God. We are now living by faith in the Kingdom of God, ruled by Jesus, empowered by the Holy Spirit and enabled to live and develop holy and righteous lives without the need for Law (Torah).
Let’s engage in a Grace Revolution!
I can’t, in the space of a few paragraphs, begin to cover the key points, issues and so-called problems with Grace. But it’s a start! It’s going to be a fun journey and I hope this site will be an encouragement to every believer that we indeed have a glorious gospel. I hope this is a suitable “snapshot” of where I’ll be heading with various articles and blogs over the next few months. I certainly hope that it will be of interest and help to you.
If you’ve got a moment I encourage you to check out the following pages…
A Grace Gospel
Crucial Points about New Covenant Grace
Toward a Fresh Definition of Grace
Do we need another Grace Revolution?
Grace to you!