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The Graceformation: Something’s Coming

Part 4 of 4


For the past three days we’ve set the stage for this exciting conclusion. We have seen how much history repeats as today’s mainstream church mirrors the spiritual health of Israel when Jesus came to set the captives free. Unfortunately, many of the captives rejected the Redeemer as He ushered in the New Covenant of Grace. The captives preferred the Old Covenant Law because they were absorbed in what they could do and not what Jesus did for us. They rejected ALL His work and today we have largely rejected His FINISHED work. We have embraced Him as Savior but failed to embrace Him as our lifeblood- we receive Christ in us but are not understanding our life IS Christ.


Jesus ushered in an amazing transformation as evident by the fact the calendar bows to Him. Life was changed in ways we will never fathom, and we may see something similar beginning to happen now. Jesus made it all about faith, Martin Luther was used to reform the church back to faith and now we may be seeing a move of God to focus on faith once again.  Are we about to see a shift from the behavioral focused mixed Law and grace message to the pure message of grace?


Central to the spread of the Gospel of Grace and the Reformation was the courage to go against the flow. Jesus faced the anger of the religious leaders, Paul was left for dead over grace, and Luther had the guts to publicly confront the Roman Catholic Church. These portraits of courage are always evident at the forefront of major spiritual change. The powers to be, whether Pharisees or Priests, don’t like challenge to the system that gives them power. When those in power are challenged, they retaliate in immeasurable ways and many who have been advocates for the Gospel of Grace have paid extreme prices. But, they had the courage to accept the consequences.

Those who have had the courage to stand firm for the Gospel of Grace have been the least expected. Jesus chose twelve uneducated disciples. Paul was an oddity in that he was very educated and very religious. Martin Luther was educated but just a common monk. But all have one thing in common- they fit this statement:


Instead, God has chosen what is foolish in the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen what is weak in the world to shame the strong. 1 Cor 1:27


God choses the uneducated because most are untainted by religion. The disciples were not in positions of power. In fact, one, Matthew, was far from religious as he was seen as a traitor to Israel by collecting taxes. Paul was highly educated but his incredible conversion serves to shame the wise who would say change like that can’t happen. Martin Luther was an ordinary man pursuing an extraordinary mission. We should never assume God will use who we think should be used. He chooses the least expected to courageously fulfill His plan and that also means facing the powers and authorities, who are in error, directly.

These people challenged the popular belief of their time head on. Jesus set the example with the most radical ‘sermon’ of all time. The ‘Sermon on the Mount’ was not a call to action- it was a challenge to what was believed. Many envision people profoundly listening to Jesus, but I envision a riled up people not happy in the least with what they were hearing because it challenged everything they held as truth. Peter, John, Paul, Luther, and others faced down authority head on. Here is an example of Peter’s courageous confrontation:


When Peter saw this, he addressed the people: “Fellow Israelites, why are you amazed at this? Why do you stare at us, as though we had made him walk by our own power or godliness? The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our ancestors, has glorified his servant Jesus, whom you handed over and denied before Pilate, though he had decided to release him. You denied the Holy and Righteous One and asked to have a murderer released to you. You killed the source of life, whom God raised from the dead; we are witnesses of this. By faith in his name, his name has made this man strong, whom you see and know. So the faith that comes through Jesus has given him this perfect health in front of all of you. “And now, brothers and sisters, I know that you acted in ignorance, just as your leaders also did. In this way God fulfilled what he had predicted through all the prophets—that his Messiah would suffer. Therefore repent and turn back, so that your sins may be wiped out, that seasons of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send Jesus, who has been appointed for you as the Messiah. Acts 3:12-19


History shows that God has used those with incredible courage, often the least expected, to confront error head on. He has selected people who ignore the physical price because they know what the physical price Jesus paid on their behalf truly means. They have seen the spiritual value in the spiritual truths of the Gospel of Grace and desire for all to be set free from the bounds of religion. Today, is God doing the same thing? Is He preparing for a great and wonderful move back to grace? Are we seeing the most unlikely and uneducated shaming the wise (educated people in positions of authority)? I believe He is. The fact that negative attacks against grace are more prominent demonstrates they are reacting to a growing threat to their agenda. Social media has provided a great platform where we see the courage of many to present the Gospel of Grace in the face of vicious attacks from those who want the status quo, even if it isn’t truth.


Perhaps one more reason to be hopeful is in something we have yet discussed- the world situation at the time of these great movements. Jesus utilized the Roman Empire to help bring grace and quickly spread it. The world of Martin Luther was dark and cold- people were hungry for hope and good news. It was also during this time that the ability to mass produce books helped get the Word of God into the hands of the masses who had been totally dependent on the Catholic Church. Perhaps today, we see not only a dark world in need of hope, but also the means to spread the Word of God and message of grace even more quickly and more powerfully. Perhaps God is using this time like He did the time of the Roman Empire and the darkness of the Middle Ages. God is relentless in His pursuit of a relationship with everyone born and He wants all to know the truth and be set free by it. That means He wants all to know the true Gospel- the Gospel of Grace and we can expect Him to use every available means and call the most unlikely who are bold and courageous to confront the error of our mainstream church and lead a Graceformation. May we all be willing to play the part He has called us to so the true message of the Gospel spreads like wildfire and causes the world to seek the finished work of Christ in ways we’ve never witnessed.


Prayer focus: for a great move of God to bring the Church back to the true and pure message of grace.

 

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