Monday, February 25, 2013

Dangerous Grace

Amazing grace. We know all about it.

Sweet. Melodious. Enchanting. In a word ... amazing.

But is grace simply amazing? Is that all there is to grace? What if I said grace was dangerous?

Our attitude toward grace will only reflect God's, when we recognize just how dangerous grace was and is. We begin to lose grace when we fence it in, instead of acknowledging how wild it can be.

God made grace dangerous. It's His plan.

Danger sign
Photo from
Grace is absolutely amazing. It is inconceivable that the Father would love us in such a way as to send the Son to redeem us, who in turn would send the Spirit to seal us.

There is nothing we did or could have done to earn grace because that's exactly what it is – unmerited favor. God has turned his face toward His children simply out of His love. In fact, He has transformed us from rebels and traitors into children and joint heirs with Christ.

Grace frees us to choose Christ, where as that option was never available to us before. That is nothing if not amazing, but there is more and this is where grace gets dangerous.

God has openly poured out His grace for us, but He has done so on such fickle creatures who often choose poorly. As Screwtape tells Wormood in C.S. Lewis' classic Screwtape Letters, "He cannot ravish; He can only woo."

God's wooing leaves us open to reject Him and choose our own path that leads away. Grace gives options and this is dangerous.

We can choose to worship and obey God in His power, reject and turn away from Him in our own power, or attempt to worship and obey Him in our own power.

The most subtle temptation is to do the right thing outwardly, while relying solely on ourselves to accomplish it. We do this through legalism. It's what Jesus constantly condemned the Pharisees over.

Legalism recognizes the dangerous nature of grace, so it seeks to place protective fences all around to keep us in line. We don't want to use our grace as an excuse to sin, so let's add all of these rules to help us avoid temptation.

If legalism were the best way to grow us into worshippers of Him, God would have used it. If the risk of grace and freedom were too much for God in the long term, He never would have given them to us. If He could have used safe grace, He would have do so.

None of those things, however, are the case. God, in His infinite wisdom, chose dangerous grace. He chose to grant us freedom in our relationship with Him.

Grace brings freedom and freedom is dangerous. It has been since Adam and Eve and it continues to be today.

In his summation of the Christian faith, Mere Christianity, Lewis wrote, "Of course God knew what would happen if they used their freedom the wrong way: apparently He thought it worth the risk."

The proper response to this is nothing short of complete and absolute devotion to a God who went the dangerous route, the route that cost Him Jesus.

He didn't send down a list of rules to stay "safe" in heaven. He sent down His Son to a dangerous world to display dangerous grace.

Grace is amazing, but it is also dangerous. Dangerous to our way of thinking. Dangerous to our legalistic solutions. Dangerous to our ordinary lives.

This dangerous grace that saved you is calling on you to step outside of average and easy to exceptional and dangerous. Grace would have it no other way.

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