Picture a local fellowship; one where everyone was totally sold on the idea that grace is the catalyst for transforming lives; one that believed that God was really truly not keeping track of sin; one that truly believed that it is the kindness and mercy of God that leads to repentance; one that was determined to never have anyone judge another; one where everyone was at peace with God, and resting completely in his love, mercy, and grace; one where the leaders believed in no condemnation; one that considered its main evangelistic responsibility to announce that God has reconciled humanity to himself through Christ Jesus; one that knows that Satan is the accuser of the brethren. What would be the outcome of such a fellowship? What kind of spiritual fruit would its members produce? This has long been a desire of mine. I have searched high and low for it.
Unfortunately, every time that I have found one that was leaning in this direction, there would always be someone who would say that the people really needed to be warned about sin, encouraged not to sin, and little by little, God’s grace was relegated to a conversion experience or a rededication experience. God’s grace was indeed not for everyday… after all didn’t Paul say “should we sin so grace would abound,” and of course, his immediate answer was “God forbid!”
The problem is we are selective in our reading and understanding. How you ask? Well it is very simple… Paul was being somewhat facetious. The fact is that he knew that sinning so that grace could abound was not the point. What he said in Romans five was this; (Rom 5:20 NKJV) “Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more,” The law was given to point out all of the offenses. Humanity needed to be completely aware of how sinful it was based upon the fall of the first Adam (verse 19). One cannot sin to make grace abound. That is absurd. Grace abounds on the declaration of God. Grace abounds beyond and above sin and it is simply a fact. Those who are worried about acknowledging unlimited grace because it may cause sin are just being foolish. They do not understand the catalyst of true transformation. The true catalyst for transformation is God’s grace.
Well… how so… you ask? Easily, unlimited grace is the source of peace with God. Peace with God is the source of TRUE LOVE for God. TRUE LOVE for God is the catalyst for transformation. It is the real source of obedience. It is obedience motivated by love. When one truly loves another they want to please the other. When we truly love God we want to please God. God has told us through Jesus what pleases him. It is really quite simple. He wants us to love one another. If we trust him for unlimited grace we will strive to please him more and more, and when we fail, we can rest in grace, and guess what, that makes us even love him more! I hear that sixties song playing in my head again… “Where have all the flowers gone”… the line that keeps repeating is … when will they ever learn? – when will they--- ever learn?