The Down-side Of Grace

  • Tuesday, February 21, 2012
  • 1 Corinthians 5:1-5

    Striking the balance between Legalism and Liberty is a continual challenge. As Dr. Tom Dworak would say in his Bible studies on grace, “It is far easier to live under law than to live under grace. Under law you have checklists to determine your behavior. Under grace you must study, reflect, pray and decide. Its always easier to have someone else do your thinking for you!”

    As we move to the second major section of Paul’s correspondence with the Corinthian saints, we receive a “wake up” call regarding the abuses of grace. A brother has gone beyond the pale of moral latitudes and his brothers and sisters seem to interpret it as an amazing testimony of the covering breadth of grace. Paul issues a stern wake up call. “Because he is our brother and his lifestyle is distorting the purity of the gospel, step up to him and call him out on it. Challenge him to radical repentance!”

    In reflection, our summary was:

    Take it personally: As David prayed, we must pray, “Search me, O God, and know my heart. Try me and know my thoughts. See if there is ANY hurtful way in me and lead me in the everlasting way.” Our own hearts deceive us but they are an open book to Him! (Jeremiah 17:9-10)

    Pray up and Step up: Non-involvement may seem the comfortable way but it is not the loving way. Care enough to personally prepare your own heart and then love enough to go. (Matthew 7:1-5)

    Keep it private: Talk it over with God and no one else. He knows and it is He who turns the heart. Expect that grace will greet your going and that a heart will be turned toward home. (Matthew 18:15)

    Give room for God: Like turning the flow of a flooding river, it often takes some time to turn the wayward heart. Give God time to turn the heart!

    Restore and Rejoice: Even if it comes to calling one or two others to join you in the appeal, or, God forbid, the Church at large must be summoned to love, God will turn the wayward heart toward home. When He does, rejoice and re-embrace the formerly errant one. Welcome them home with joy!

    We struggle to forgive and restore simply because we think so much of ourselves and so little of Christ. He is in the reclamation and restoration business. He did it with us. He will do it in the lives of others. Avoid the torment of an unforgiving heart (Matthew 18:21-35 Read it and shudder!)

    Don’t forget: It was the son whose feet never left the farm but who long before rejected the father’s love, that most deeply broke the father’s heart!

    See you Sunday, Church!

    Pastor Tom

    This next week? “Puppy-poop and a pan of our favorite brownies!”


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