[forthright] What-If Grace

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From: Forthright Magazine <forthrightmag@...>
Date: Wed, 10 Mar 2010 05:12:06 -0800 (PST)
Forthright Magazine
http://www.forthright.net
Straight to the Cross

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COLUMN: HANDS-ON FAITH

What-If Grace
 by Barry Newton

What if the apostolic writers would have been appalled
by the contemporary expression, "Don't worry about it.
Grace will cover it?"

What if "there is no condemnation for those in Christ
Jesus" means there is forgiveness in Christ, and not
that under grace Christians can do anything, ignore
repentance and still avoid condemnation?

What if scripture never uses the word "grace" to
signify what was formerly unacceptable to God has now
become acceptable?

What if grace was never intended by God to empower
self-chartered expeditions into religiosity, but rather
to humble a person so that he or she would obediently
conform to God's will?

What if biblical grace neither absolves a self-centered
approach to worshipping God, nor excuses unrepentant
lifestyles, attitudes and actions?

What if the predominant method employed during the last
few decades to define grace is fundamentally flawed?

What if in order to hear the voice of the New Testament
we should look at how grace is actually used in
scripture, rather than defining it on the basis of
being wholly-other-than law, which itself is now being
defined as doing something to be righteous?

What if all of the above is true when compared with
what the text actually teaches?

What if people were willing to follow truth, rather
than revel in humanistic self-directed freedom?

Imagine what if.

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