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Reclaim Grace: Pure not Polluted

May 26, 2015

The wonder of grace is that it allows us to live with our eyes wide open.

 

Grace means we can look our sin (our brokenness, our weaknesses, our regrets) full in the face with unflinching confidence that sin can’t condemn us or identify us. We can look at the weight of our mess without being overwhelmed by it. It is real. It is ugly. It is despicable. BUT we can face it from behind the immeasurable grace of God. Grace pardons. Grace cleanses. Grace restores.

 

Pure grace. True grace. Biblical grace, that is.

 what-is-grace

Living in grace is not about diluting or denying reality. Grace doesn’t allow us to rewrite history or spin the facts to our advantage.

Inherent to the concept of grace is guilt.

We can’t enjoy “unmerited favor” until we take hold of the slime of our human condition and hand it to the Savior, asking for an exchange. Pure grace wraps us in the cushion of humility so that we can take the hard hit of reality without being destroyed by it.

“He gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6

Grace and pride cannot coexist.

Confidence in grace protects us so that the thorough, full-color truth of our condition doesn’t become the weight that drags us to the bottom of the Dark Hole of Despair. From the time we meet Jesus and begin to really know Him until the time we will see Him, we will keep on needing grace. We can’t deny that fact and still live in grace.

The amount of clarity we have about our depravity becomes the measure of our capacity to receive His grace.

 

If self – and sin – is continually taking up less and less room where we live, then there is more and more room for grace. Making more and more room for grace is a continuing process.

 

When I got up about midnight, though there was just the two of us in the house, I could hear my dad talking – too softly for him to be using the telephone. He was ending his day in a conversation with his Friend of many decades. Words of thanks, words of supplication for others, and words of request for himself: Enable me, Lord, to *“take off the old man and put on the new man” every day.

 

He was 92 years old and still acknowledging his need of grace, still humbling asking for the gift of grace, still aware of the preciousness of grace. Without a human audience, just him and the Savior, a prayer for pure grace.

 

Pure grace lived out simply is a rare prize more to be treasured than a tainted gospel lived out with panache.

 

Casually flashing Grace Recipient like a rewards card should horrify us. Being a Grace Recipient isn’t about being cool, it’s about being humble. Entitlement perverts a gift with an eternally costly price tag.

 

Polluted grace, distorted grace, manipulated grace is as toxic as the sin that propels us toward the necessity of grace in the first place.

 

Living pure grace and staring down our track record does not mean discounting our sin as if the sin isn’t dangerous and disgusting and disruptive.  The only way we get to live in grace is because our dangerous, disgusting and disruptive sin is paid for, leaving our legal debt with holy Heaven at a zero balance. We can stare down our sin because our Advocate, Jesus, not only represented us and pled our case before the Righteous Judge, but He took our place and received our deserved punishment.

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The wonder of grace is that it allows me to live with my eyes wide open – seeing my sin and seeing His sacrifice at the same time. And even as I look at both only the Pure Grace of His sacrifice overwhelms me.

 

Lord Jesus, I sin.

Grant that I may never cease grieving because of it,

never be content with myself,

never think I can reach a point of perfection.

 

Kill my envy, command my tongue, trample down self. 

 

Give me grace to be holy, kind, gentle, pure, peaceable,

to live for Thee and not for self,

to copy Thy words, acts, spirit,

to be transformed into Thy likeness,

to be consecrated wholly to Thee,

to live entirely to Thy glory.

Valley of Vision

 

* Col 3:8 – 11 But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. June 3, 2015 3:19 pm

    I really liked this article!!!! Thanks for posting it!

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