We’ve gone off track.
We’ve stapled so many addendum’s to the Gospel that it looks tattered, and the only thing legible is the freshly printed addendum. A list of stipulations.
What I mean is, when you tell people about God’s grace and what Jesus did for them, you make sure they understand that they ‘have to believe it’ first. That’s not how it works, because you’re turning the attention from God to the person. People and their actions never come before God and His. You can compare it to starting a car. The Truth is the fuel, the physical act of hearing the truth is like turning the key, and belief is what happens as a result.
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. –Romans 10:17 ESV
God’s promise (Jesus and the aggressive forgiveness of grace, [the fuel]) is the only sure thing there is. There are no stipulations. Forgiveness of sins is for every single person right now and always, no matter what they or you did or will do. That’s it. It’s not waiting on you to nail the religious dance moves.
Say it so they’ll believe it. No adding to it or taking away from it. You’re not smart enough. You’ll mess it up.
Steps to redemption, or a guide to achieving grace, makes a person focus on the checklist, which makes them focus on their ability to perform the duties. That’s not grace, that’s probation. That’s serving time, like community service. That’s saying that Jesus is not enough for the one who spilled his neon sin on your over-bleached righteousness.
You’re shooting bullets at their feet and making them dance to the beat of your trigger finger. Somebody needs to come and take your gun away.
Grace is not earned.
Grace removes the need for them to make excuses or stick up for themselves. It changes a person. It breaks them down so they can be built back up.
If someone is giving you excuses, it’s because they’re not hearing grace from you and/or they’re not believing it for themselves.
Pour it on them and they won’t be able to move. Sin ends at the point of grace. It’s the concrete blocks on the feet of sin. Grace will tear them to pieces with a love that no sin can match. No human can stand.
Grace that confuses. Love that terrifies.
The Truth, alone, changes people and sets things right. People who have not asked for forgiveness have already been forgiven. People who don’t even try to line up with God’s will are lined up with God’s will. People who don’t seem to care, are given insight that the best studied student can’t attain.
“I have been found by those who did not seek me; I have shown myself to those who did not ask for me.” -Romans 10:20 ESV
It’s not about what a person does, what they think, or how much goodness they can muster. God makes a point to give His best to those who least ‘deserve’ it, just to prove how opposite His Kingdom is from ours. It practically takes a mugshot to get into Heaven. Grace is like reverse psychology designed by the one who created the mind.
The wise become angry, the purebred become jealous, because this gritty band of thieving gypsies get to carry the torch across the finish line.
“This is the Great Reversal: the last in line put at the head of the line, and the so-called first ending up last.” -Jesus, Luke 13:30