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It All Runs on Grace

August 4, 2012

Depending on your background, you might be surprised to know that the whole Christian life runs on grace. If you are from some churches you may never even heard much said about grace and, even if you have, you may never have been given a definition of grace that you have understood or one that has been useful to you.

One common definition for grace is undeserved favor. It is plain, but is not very telling. Others have learned what it means by this acronym: God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense. It works well in English, but I doubt it works well in many others. Let’s look a little closer.

Most of us could use more grace in their lives. Sadly, some people believe that we are saved by grace, but we continue by our own effort and righteousness alone. It is as though there is a spring of fresh water flowing out from the rock, but they won’t drink it because there is no water tap to turn it off and on. The very problem of the fall was that they wanted control and it led to disaster. Yet, many believers also want to have control on the other side of the cross.

All the discord that happened before the cross and continues to this day is that there are so many that want their way and that the ways of different people and  organizations and political parties and nations are at cross purposes, not to mention that they often require, in all, more resources than are available.  Too many captains, not enough seamen.

Jesus said that He would build His church and the Gates of Hell would not prevail over it. Paul said that Jesus was the author and finisher of our faith. Another way of saying that is that He is the architect and civil engineer of our faith. We might also say that the Holy Spirit is the head foreman of this project, this universal church.

So, there is an architect’s plan and a blueprint and there is an engineer who knows how to bring the project to fruition and completion. Everyone else that is involved in the project is there to fulfill their vision, not a personal one. This church was not meant to be a collection of shanty towns, developments or gated communities. So, either we are squatters, idlers or part of the grand project. But we are not called to redesign or re-engineer it. We are here to are here to learn what the project is, how we fit into it, which of our tool s may be of use, which ones aren’t, which new skills and tools we must acquire and how we may ultimately do the things that will please the Designer in the end.

This is just one way of looking at the church. It is the all my strength model to the first observation. But it is not just all that I can do for Jesus. It too is a grace model. We are totally unqualified in our selves for this project because it is a spiritual house that is being built. We will need more and more grace for it, before it is complete or our limited part in it is.

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