My dad called me last week and asked if I wanted to go with him to watch the Indiana Pacers play the Chicago Bulls. I thought about it for 3 seconds and said “YES!!” So on Monday night I traveled to Indianapolis and met my dad for the game.
Dad brought a missionary and his son from Australia with him to see the game. The missionary’s son loves the NBA and had never seen a game live. I enjoyed the evening, it was a good game; but it was even more enjoyable to see Andrew (the son) watch his first NBA game live.
The other great aspect of the game is that I got in for free!!
Lately I’ve been thinking about God’s grace. Grace is sometimes a very difficult subject to understand. However, what we do understand about grace has consequences in our lives far beyond what we can imagine. If we do not have a good grasp on the doctrine of grace, personal guilt will destroy us. Without this doctrine of grace, Satan can hold us hostage for past mistakes and make our lives miserable.
God in His mercy offers us grace. Grace has been defined as unmerited favor. In other words, we have not and cannot do anything to deserve God’s grace. Paul wrote in Romans 5:8, “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Grace doesn’t make any sense. While we were still sinners, still guilty, God made a way through Jesus’ sacrifice for us to be reconciled to Him. There is nothing you can do to earn it. Grace is totally and clearly undeserved favor from GOD.
But grace is optional. Galatians 1:6 indicates a very sad and frightening truth. You can reject grace. Paul writes, “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel– which is really no gospel at all.” Later in Galatians 5:4 Paul writes, “You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.”
Maybe you have been taught that it is not possible to fall away from grace… unfortunately and obviously from our text, it is possible.
No one will ever force Christianity on you. Accepting God’s grace and following Christ is totally left up to you. It’s optional. You don’t have to take it and you don’t have to keep it.
But why wouldn’t you want it?
I didn’t do anything to deserve a free ticket to the Pacers game. I simply had to accept the gift from my father. The same is true with grace.