Lately, I’ve been saying repeatedly, “Grace isn’t about getting us into heaven; it’s everything.”
I think most of us “Jesus people” are guilty at one point or another of reducing grace into some kind of holy club (that most people wouldn’t want to visit). We reduce it and turn it into “who is going to heaven” (again, a group that most people wouldn’t want to go with).
In doing that, we turn it into something exclusive. Something that is about figuring out who is in and who is out.
Do they have the secret handshake?
Have they passed the Jesus quiz? (psssst for Jesus, the answer is always “all of the above”).
Do they have the right credentials?
But grace is simply (and infinitely more explosively) “define favor”. It is everything: our gifts, our talents, our resources, our friends, our family.
“Grace” says that everything we have is a gift.
It’s not about a club. It’s about a gift, a resource for dealing with life.
One of my favorite quotes on grace (and faith and Christianity) comes from theologian Bob Tuttle. He says,
I’m into Jesus Christ for one reason and one reason alone: faith and trust in Jesus is the only way I know how to access the power of the Holy Spirit that enables me to overcome the things that would attempt to swallow me whole.
In this sense, “grace” is synonymous with the Holy Spirit.
This is a “real-world” spirituality. It’s not about a club (unless it’s a club of the broken-hearted); it’s about growth and transformation.
Sign me up for that.