Grace Transformation

The apostle Paul had the strongest revelation of grace in his generation but he wasn’t even close to being a hyper-grace teacher or a legalistic preacher. He never gave anyone a free pass for sin because they were already forgiven. He told the Corinthians to kick the unrepentant adulterer out of the church because if not, his dysfunction would spread like cancer. He said that Judaizers (who were convincing believers to mix law with grace) would bear judgment for their actions and that they should be accursed. For those who were going back into law Paul said Christ would profit them nothing and they had fallen from grace. For those indulging in the flesh he said they would not inherit the kingdom of God.

While he knew that forgiveness and freedom belonged to believers because of what Jesus already did for us, he told the church not to use their freedom as an occasion to the flesh, but through love to serve one another. While forgiveness is foundational to understanding grace, transformation builds on that foundation. The blood of Jesus provides forgiveness of sins and the Spirit of God progressively ministers deliverance from the power of sin. That is, if we let Him and do our part in the process.

A true revelation of grace lets us know there are two extremes to avoid: Legalism and Lawlessness, both of which will isolate us from the power of grace to transform our hearts and lives. Thank God for forgiveness of sins and freedom from the curse of the law, but never forget that sin still has consequences in this life. We still reap what we sow according to Galatians 6:7. The goal isn’t to be sin conscious, but to look to Jesus for His Voice to lead us forward in Kingdom purpose.

Part of this process is for us to “strive against sin” (Hebrews 12:4) , “crucify the flesh with its passions and desires” (Galatians 5:24) , “put to death the deeds of the body” (Romans 8:13) , “cleanse ourselves from all filth of the flesh” (II Cor 7:1) etc. Paul said that he died daily. That qualified him to experience greater measures of resurrection life and minister that life to others.

Some of those in the grace camp cringe when hearing verses like these because they are contrary to hyper grace teaching. They’re taught there’s nothing we need to do because Jesus did everything for us. Truth is, Jesus did what we could not do but empowers us by His Spirit to do what we need to do, which is to deny ourselves, pick up our cross and follow Him!

This isn’t a pursuit to become acceptable to God or people. We’re already accepted. We’re already forgiven. It’s a pursuit to be freed from every fleshly limitation so we can fully express who we really are in the spirit to the glory of God. If we aren’t transformed from the inside out, what makes us think we can transform our world?

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