14. Coming to Grips with God’s Grace
When I think of the grace of God, I am reminded of the story of Goldilocks and the three bears.The story says,”Goldilocks was very tired,so she went upstairs to the bedroom. She laid down in the first bed, but it was too hard. She then laid in the second bed, but it was too soft. She then laid down in the third bed, and it was just right. Goldilocks “fell asleep.”
Many Christians have experienced a grace that is too hard, or one that is too soft, but have yet to discover that grace which is just right. Let me tell you about these three graces.
“Gushy Grace” defines grace by the love of God without the terror of the Lord. It is a grace that says that God loves us too much to care about our sins.It ignores God’s Holiness, God’s justice, God’s righteousness, God’s judgement and God’s wrath. It does away with the need to understand that we are sinful creatures, condemned to an eternity in Hell without Christ and a need for a Saviour. It loves to make statements like, “My ministry is to just talk about the love of God, not about sin and judgment. “It loves to use accusatory words like legalism to define anyone who speaks of anything other than grace.They forget that mercy and grace go together. If there were no sentence upon us for sin, we would need no mercy, so there would be no grace. This is a grace of softness.
“Gruesome Grace” demands works as a part of receiving it.They love to say, that repentance is turning from our sins or it is not genuine. Those who espouse this grace, use fear and intimidation as a method of drawing people into it. Once there, they have no peace, no rest, no joy, and no delight. They become prideful in their works, though it is never enough. This grace is usually characterized with arrogance, anger, harshness, unforgiveness and conflict.These people like to add works to Salvation and proofs, to assurance of salvation.
“Glorious Grace” admits that we are unworthy sinners who deserve the judgment of God, but that God sent His son Jesus to provide us an unconditional way back to God. They use words like faith, hope and trust.They accept what the “Gushy Gracers” deny and the “Gruesome Gracers” ignore. They know they do not deserve God’s forgiveness, but they also know they cannot earn it. They serve out of gratitude, rather than guilt. They grow in grace, rather than in works and their works are acts of gratitude rather than appeasement. As they grow in their grace, they become more compassionate towards sinners, but less accepting of their own sins.
One day, Goldilock decided that she wanted to know about the grace of God. First she tried “Gruesome Grace,” but she said, “This grace is too hard.” Next, she tried the “Gushy Grace” and exclaimed, “This grace is too soft.” Finally, she discovered the “Glorious Grace” of God and when she tried it. she cried out with joy, “This grace is just right.”