The Crisis of Grace

The Grace of God -- Next: The New Covenant

Your salvation cost you nothing. Jesus paid the full price for you to be forgiven; there is nothing you can add to your own salvation. It is just a gift which you accept for free.

This is a problem, because even though something profoundly awesome happened when you became a Christian, you may not have felt anything. The reason why is because it didn’t cost you anything. If you had saved up all of your money for fifty years and then paid for it, or if you had to go through some arduous ordeal and you were finally rewarded with salvation, you would have felt it. It would have made it real to you.

You didn’t feel anything because Jesus paid the full price, and you didn’t have to pay anything – which is the whole point. Jesus felt the cost, though. He felt it in the garden of Gethsemane when he sweated blood. He felt it when his Father turned his face away from him and abandoned him on the cross. He felt it when he took the full wrath of God on himself and “became sin” for us (2 Corinthians 5:21).

The real crisis point for us is when we get it. When we see how much he has given us so freely at such a great cost to himself, we are overwhelmed with love and gratitude to him.

God’s grace fills us with power to live the Christian life in two ways. One way is because of the new life he has placed within us – his own resurrection life that overcomes sin and transforms everything it comes into contact with.

The other way is because of the sheer overwhelming love and gratitude the freeness of his grace and love produces in our hearts. When we see what he has done, and that it cost him everything and cost us nothing (and he doesn’t even say we owe him for it), we cannot help but say, “You’ve done so much for me – now what can I do for you?”

For reflection:

Most of us would be familiar with challenges to “deeper commitment” and “paying the price” that are commonly given in the church. This kind of thing most often ends up just making people feel guilty, rather than empowering and drawing them into greater intimacy with God.

What produces devotion and abandonment to Jesus is seeing his love and utter devotion to us, regardless of whether we respond to him or not. This is irresistable! It is the very thing we were made for, and it produces more love for God in our hearts than anything else ever could:

“We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19)

The Grace of God -- Next: The New Covenant