We are comfortable talking about grace when it comes to our justification but become incredibly uneasy when applying it to the Christian life. It’s almost as if the word “grace” has become “dangerous” and “too risky.” How is it that the very means of authentic Christianity is something we have come to fear? Fear drives us to control people with rules and regulations. These have no power to produce what pleases God but instead only bring about a kind of religious moralism that is very far from genuine Christianity. And we feel safe?
Tullian Tchividjian addresses these thoughts in the forward of the excellent book Give Them Grace by Elyse M. Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson. He writes:
The biggest lie about grace that Satan wants Christian parents to buy is that grace is dangerous and therefore needs to be “kept in check.” By believing this, we not only prove we don’t understand grace, but we violate gospel advancement in the lives of our children. A “yes, grace, but…” disposition is the kind of fearful posture that keeps moralism swirling around in their hearts. And if there’s anything God hates, it’s moralism! …The irony of gospel-based sanctification is that those who end up obeying more are those who increasingly realize that their understanding with God is not based on their obedience but on Christ’s. In other words, the children who actually end up performing better are those who understand that their relationship with God doesn’t depend on their performance for Jesus but on Jesus’s performance for them.
He continues on with this powerful statement,
Long term, sustained gospel-motivated obedience can come only from faith in what Jesus has already done, not fear of what we must do. Any obedience not grounded in or motivated by the gospel is unsustainable.
Don’t believe the lie. Grace is not just for saving, it is for living.