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Judgement Or Grace And Mercy?

December 9, 2016

Greetings,

“So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view.  Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer.  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!  All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:  that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them.  And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation.”  2 Corinthians 5: 16-19

Wow, a powerful passage indeed.  We are no longer supposed to view people with our own worldly, carnal, eyes of judgement.  “Do not judge by mere appearance, but rather use righteous (God centered and influenced) judgement.” (John 7: 24)  We are not supposed to judge as the world does.  We are to see everyone only through the eyes of Christ now.

The Lord has given us ALL the ministry of reconciliation, which means we are not to hold ANYONE’S sins against them.  This is HUGE!  It is an area that the “church” gets almost totally wrong most of the time.  Most of the “church” today sits in judgement against most sins and the people who commit them, but the message that The Lord gave us is to forgive EVERYONE’S sins.  Lying, cheating, stealing, adultery, fornication, homosexuality, you name it and we are called to forgive as Christ forgave us.

This message is not optional people!  It is the central message of the very Gospel we say we believe in and live for.  We are supposed to approach ALL people with open arms and hearts, but the fact is that most of the time we totally reject the people who need God’s grace the most.  Instead of openly inviting people into the church we build fortresses, literally and metaphorically, to keep most people out of the church.  Don’t you see how ass backwards that is?  His message is not about our comfort zones, it is about totally loving the undesirable and outcasts of society.  We should all be on the very front line and cutting edge of meeting and accepting sinners just the way they are.

Expecting people to be clean, upright and sinless before they meet Jesus is totally ridiculous.   We are supposed to welcome EVERYONE into the Body of Christ and after that God will choose how to wash away and deal with whatever their various sins might be.  And it will be on His time schedule and NOT ours. Until we open our hearts and arms to EVERYONE the work of the church will remain undone.  Some smug religious folks might be comfortable with that, but I am not and neither is Jesus.  Coming into a relationship with Christ and His Church has always been a matter of whosoever will.  We all need to open our hearts and homes to the so called “unloveable”.  It is only then that His church will shine and begin to attract those who need HIM most.

Love and…..

Kirk Out !

 

 

 

 

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20 Comments
  1. daryl permalink

    I will try to think about this throughout the day.In one of my favorite books,the author writes that the usual distinctions of Jew and Gentile,rich and poor,bond and free,are submerged in the overwhelming estimation of that which is accomplished for all men through the death of Christ….and Paul now only recognizes others as those for whom Christ has died.I certainly fail to have that perspective many times. Thank you for the good word.

    • Thank you for sharing Daryl. Perspective is very important. It greatly effects our thoughts, direction and actions.

  2. tom ball permalink

    This will preach! It is Gospel.

    • I hear you Tom, but I’d rather have it as the centerpiece of a grand open conversation between peers.

  3. Amen! Well Said!

  4. There’s is something so amazing about what God has done for us in placing us “in Christ.” Check out Eph. 1:5. Many translations state that we have been “adopted as sons.” The literal is that He has predestianted us to “the Sonplace.” And while the “flesh” is still in us, God no longer views us “in the flesh,” because we are “in Christ.” “You, are not in the the flesh but are in the the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you” (Rom. 8:9). “God is faithful who has placed us in Christ, who is made to us our wisdom, our righteousness, our holiness, our redemption” (I Cor. 1:30). As I look at myself, I yet see the sin in my life. I see the “flesh” that is still “in me.” After being a Christian for some 50 years, with all my bible reading, prayer, etc. that flesh has not improved. “I know that in me, that is in my flesh, dwells no good thing.” That was true before we came to Christ, is true after our conversion as well, and will be true until we shed these mortal bodies and take on the body like His. But see what God has done for us in the meantime. He has taken us out of our flesh and placed us in His Son where we are even now, in the Spirit, seated in the heavenly places in Christ” (Eph 2:6). This is our eternal “position,” but as yet, does not match our “condition.” So, to see ourselves, or our brothers in Christ, “after the flesh,” is not to see rightly. God will complete that good work that He began in us, which “work,” is nothing less than one over-arching objective, and that is…drum roll please… “to conform us into the image of His Son” (Rom. 8:29). So, bottom line? We can judge each other according to the flesh, what is our actual “condition,” or according to the facts of our actual “position.” Do we see as man sees, or do we see as God sees. I like what a dear brother-friend of mine is always saying, “Let the facts of my position overwhelm the feelings of my condition.”

    • Thanks for sharing Clark. Christ in us is the Hope of Glory. I am just amazed when I see Christ in all my sisters and brothers in the Faith.

  5. And Kirk, I’m just as amazed as I see them seated with Christ in the heavenly realms. We’re already there, but our bodies just haven’t been caught up yet. The entire creation is groaning, and we groan to, in these bodies, as we wait our full redemption. My favorite passage in this regard is 2 Thess. 1:10: “…when Christ comes to be MARVELED AT and ADMIRED AT IN HIS HOLY ONES.” I wrote a note beside this verse some time back when I really noticed what it was saying, “Oh My Gosh!!” Jesus Himself will be drop-dead gorgeous, sans the flesh, when He is revealed through His saints at His appearing. He comes to be “Marveled at in His holy ones.” This is more than we can grasp right now, and yet the very news of it to our ears is so breathtakingly wonderful. “It does not yet appear what we shall be but WE KNOW that when He appears WE SHALL BE LIKE HIM.” What more could we ask for? If anyone asks, “What is it that ear has heard, eye has seen, and has entered into our hearts that has been revealed to us by the Spirit?” One need go no further, nor stop short of this one monumental truth: We shall be like Jesus, to the UTTER DELIGHT of the Father’s perfect will. Come Lord Jesus!

  6. "BK" permalink

    I remember asking the Lord once (probably MANY times….) how it could Heb 2:14 be true that says “he destroyed him who has power over death, that is the devil” when the works of the flesh are still sooooooo evident. One day He decided to answer me and it rang pretty true within me…..”Oh, yes, it’s destroyed. Remember when you sprayed the commercial weed killer along your fenceline? And the weeds all still looked fine UNTIL it rained! Then they sucked up all that death to them with the water in the rain and death became very evident. The devil is destroyed and every time the ‘water of the Spirit rains’ on you your flesh sucks it all up…..and death becomes more evident and My life becomes even more evident.” Something like that….it was a long time ago but I still remember the life and encouragement He gave me that day. Good words, everyone, “BK”

    • Thank you for sharing BK. The flesh is the enemy for sure. So I do my best to feed The Spirit and starve the flesh.

  7. Sorry I am entering this conversation a few days late. I offer – not argument, but ongoing perspective, in the conversation between peers you mentioned in your comments. While I would agree with your sentiments on the subject I also think it is only one side of a tediously and precariously balanced fulcrum. To say God “forgives sin” is to admit that there are indeed actions (or lack thereof — he who knows to do good and doesn’t do it, to him it is sin) that are considered sin by God Himself. If this forgiveness is a issue between man and God that requires forgiveness, then somewhere those sins have to be identified and mentioned to those who we say are in need of said forgiveness.Therefore if those actions are wrong and need to be forgiven, should we not stop sinning (shall we continue in sin that grace may abound)? The precarious fulcrum I mentioned is the tediously balanced message that says God forgives everyone and everything while at the same time tells us there are things we should stop – or start as the case may be – doing. Because man struggles with balance we has a tendency to emphasize one thing over another. Many Christians (including myself) have a hard time balancing righteousness and grace. Christians, therefore have a tendency to emphasize one side or the other – sin or forgiveness – because there is no tension in the extremes. God is not bipolar. He is a perfectly balanced being — wholly Righteous (stop sinning) and wholly Loving (mercy grace and forgiveness). I agree there needs to be a open conversation to bring these two ends together to present an authentic message of grace. As Dr. Strong of concordance fame said, “Grace is the divine influence in the heart and its reflection in the life.” A suspension bridge has to be anchored on both ends. That is exactly what Grace is, Bridge to God. (End note: I suspect if we were to sit and talk we would agree on these things, it is very hard to present everything that pertains to an issue in the space of a blog article. Be blessed. Steve)

    • Welcome to the site Steve and thanks for sharing your portion of the Truth in LOve with us. Like you said balance is key. Jesus struck perfect balance when He said to the woman caught in adultry…”I don’t condemn you, but go and sin no more.” Since I am a flawed human I always hope to err on the side of grace and forgiveness.

    • "BK" permalink

      Good words, Steve. I agree, face to facing has so much more clarity than can be contained in a written discussion. It takes much patience too do the ‘start, stop’ way we have to when discussing something online. My own experience is that when our walk with God is viewed as someTHING and not someONE whose nature is growing within us it is much harder to ‘maintain balance’. But when we realize there is a holy One within us Whose nature is now merging with ours, and we fall totally in love with Him and His workings, then instead of maintaining a balance, light simply swallows up darkness (granted, not all at once, presto! but in the way of Life growing within us); life swallows up death; the Spirit and Its desires grow stronger than those of the flesh. Like you said, I can tell by your spirit that if we were sitting in a room discussing this there would be MUCH agreement, and adding to one another, than the written words seem to be. I honestly am not correcting you, but adding my portion to the table. And I’ve never heard anyone else use that TREMENDOUS Greek definition of grace and was so blessed by it. “Grace is the divine influence in the heart and its reflection in the life.” Amen and amen. Love you, brother, “BK”

      • "BK" permalink

        I love this, Christopher, “Expecting people to be clean, upright and sinless before they meet Jesus is totally ridiculous. We are supposed to welcome EVERYONE into the Body of Christ and after that God will choose how to wash away and deal with whatever their various sins might be.” That is so right on. We have to be free to approach Him, and gaze upon Him, and then change will come. Not by our works but by His Spirit. Our labor is to enter into rest. II Cor 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
        Love, “BK”

      • Good word BK. How quickly we change and grow is up to Jesus and how much we are willing to cooperate with HIS will. It may take years for some while others will be changed in the twinkling of HIS eye.

      • Nice addition BK. Online communication takes patience and effort. Face to face is optimal, but not always possible. However, in the Spirit all forms of communication can be very beneficial.

  8. Judy Baker permalink

    I loved it!! Makes me want to be a better person to all men women and children. I love Jesus and he is my role model . My King . My Teacher. REDEEMER . Thank you for this !!!!Blessings !!!

    • Yes Judy, Jesus is our all in all. I pray HIS Body would better reflect HIS image to all.

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