One of my good friends in the ministry is Lloyd Rindels. Lloyd pastors a church in Kansas City and is in my opinion a great church leader and Bible teacher. Lloyd is being swept along (as I am) by what we are calling a “Gospel of Grace Revolution.” He gave me a powerful insight that I want to share with you.
Much teaching in the church today would lead people to believe that God is a demanding God. We would believe, at least subconsciously, that as Christians, we must do what God demands or we will suffer the consequences or at the very least, miss His blessing. The fact is the gospel teaches that we are able to do what God is asking us to do because of what Jesus has already done. When Jesus lived a life that totally and perfectly fulfilled the Law, died on a cross to forgive the sins of all people, rose from the dead to overcome God’s greatest enemy, death and ascended into heaven and sent His Holy Spirit to live within each and every believer, he becomes our enabler. God comes not to demand but to provide power to live life in victory.
Another teaching is that God is distant. That He is far off and we are calling for him to come near, doing what we can to search Him out and hoping that someday he will draw near to us. The gospel of grace clearly tells us that God dwells within us. The gospel tells us that we are God’s temple, that we are “In Christ” and the Christ is “In us.” God is not distant. God by His Holy Spirit is one with us. We are united with Him and therefore, we are not searching for Him. In fact, we were the ones that were lost and He has now found us, promising never to leave us nor forsake us.
Finally, teaching in the church would lead us to believe that our life with God could be described as delayed. One day in the sweet bye and bye when we die, we will be with Jesus. I am grateful that Jesus has prepared a place for us once we leave this earth. But the gospel of grace tells us that there is no delay when it comes to relating to God. For sure, we are anticipating the fullness of God in heaven but there is much of heaven that is NOW.
Demanding, distant and delayed. Are these words that describe our relationship with God? I think not! In fact, the opposite is true. God does not demand but He is still serving His people. He is not distant. God is so near we can hear the whispers of His voice within us. There is also no delay. We are not waiting. The Kingdom of God is at hand.
The gospel of grace is truly good news.