Redeeming Grace (part 1)

Grace has gotten a bad name through misunderstanding and abuse. Many Christians view grace as a license to enjoy God’s love while living as they please. This results in everyone doing “that which is right in [their] own eyes” (Judges 17:6)–all in the name of “grace.”

GRACE: something we all need; something God gives; something Satan perverts; something Christians misunderstand; something Christians strive to achieve, but never enjoy.

We are saved eternally by grace. True Christians understand this and have received God’s free gift of salvation by faith in Jesus Christ. Yet, though we were saved by grace, we often never learn how to live by grace.

Grace has gotten a bad name through misunderstanding and abuse.  Many Christians view grace as a license to enjoy God’s love while living as they please. This results in everyone doing “that which is right in [their] own eyes” (Judges 17:6)–all in the name of “grace.”  Yes, the Apostle Paul proclaimed Christian liberty, but he warned, “only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another” (Galatians 5:13).  The popular concept of grace today is the licentious behavior spoken of by Jude. Preachers boldy stride into pulpits across this land and “change the grace of God into lasciviousness” (Jude 4).

Other Christians pursue grace in a manner which ultimately “frustrates” the grace they are seeking (Galatians 2:21).  Their preachers and teachers make holy living and obedience the gateway to grace, and thus, “grace is no more grace” (Romans 11:6). They are taught that, in order for a believer to access God’s grace for daily living, one must have a “clean heart” and also be “fully surrendered” in every area of their life.  This results in a constant self-examination and a continual cloud of self-condemnation. After all, how can you be sure you’ve properly confessed ALL your sins?  How can you be sure you are FULLY surrendered…in EVERY area of life?  These poor Christians are unwittingly led down a path of law, bondage and despair, never knowing the joy of their salvation and the grace available to them in Jesus Christ.  They frustrate the grace of God and find themselves…frustrated.

What is the answer? Redeeming Grace! The grace poured out at Calvary which redeems lost souls must itself be redeemed from those who have perverted it.  What if you could discover a grace that sets you free from sin? What would it be like to enjoy the grace of God without constant self-doubt and self-condemnation?  What if you found a grace that grounded you in God’s love and produced a life of of holiness and service?  This is the grace of God.  You received it at salvation, because grace is JESUS CHRIST!  Yes, there is a grace that’s not frustrated  by legalism.  There is a grace that is not a licentious “slippery slope” into worldliness and sin. We will dig into this further in PART 2.  Stay tuned.

Introducing…my first blog post!

Barberfamily
Dear friend,

I’m excited to announce the beginning of my new blog!

I wear a few different hats–husband, father, pastor, just to name a few–so I stay busy.  But, Lord willing, I plan to carve out time to write!

I will use this forum to express things that matter to me and which, I hope, will matter to you.  My passion is to challenge folks to think biblically and to allow the Gospel of Jesus Christ to radically change their lives.  Of course, the Gospel of Christ will change you radically for all eternity if you will receive Jesus as your Savior.  But the Gospel is about more than a destination called Heaven; it is about a Person named Jesus Christ.  Jesus is life.  You cannot begin to live until you discover how to rest in Jesus Christ.  I plan to write articles designed to help you discover the joy of your salvation.

I hope you’ll take time to read, comment, and allow God’s Word to transform your life.

Yours for the Gospel,20160101_143859

Matthew D. Barber

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”

-Galatians 2:20