As many of you my friends know, I have been doing a lot of reading about Grace, the unmerited favour of God towards us as demonstrated through the death and resurrection of Jesus practically worked out by Jesus taking our place on the cross and us receiving the very righteousness of God, not in theory, but in reality. I hope to explain what that means over the next while.
What I want to talk about today is the different “Grace” movements or theologies out there and make sure that you know what I’m talking about (or more importantly what I’m NOT talking about):
Ultimate Grace / Everyone gets to go to heaven — Many have interpreted Grace to mean this: God is a loving God, Jesus died for everyone’s sins, so a loving God wouldn’t send anyone to hell, so we all get to go to heaven even if we were Satanists in this life (some even go as far as to say there is no “literal” eternal hell). This concept has been made popular recently by Rob Bell’s book Love Wins.
Arminianism vs Calvanism — There has been a raging debate between free will and the sovereignty of God, on one had Arminianism saying that salvation is all about our choice to follow Jesus (salvation can be lost if we “choose” to stop following Jesus). On the other hand, Calvanism that says that God chose you, you didn’t choose him, and that you were going to get saved if you liked it or not. Frankly, I think the answer is in the middle: God chose all of mankind to be his kids, but we have to receive that gift of sonship through faith in Jesus.
Finished Work of the Cross — This is what I want to talk about (and what I mean when I talk about Grace). When Jesus died on the cross and rose again, he did something absolutely inconceivably big, he not only removed the barrier of sin that kept us from the Father, he removed the sinful nature from us, and dealt with our sin, past, present, and future in fell swoop. We will never ever be separated from God again. There is nothing we have, are, or will do that will affect our relationship with God as the Father sees us in the same light as Jesus: righteous. That is Grace, we are treated in a way that we completely don’t deserve and have been given a place, purpose, destiny, and name that we didn’t earn.