GodReflection: Is Grace Still Amazing?
In my last post I touched on Spirit-fruit as a gift to God.
To the degree it takes root in my life I reflect his grace to those with whom I come into contact. At least that should be my aim each day. I stand amazed that God entrusts such gifts of grace for me to use to bless his world. Seldom do I use optimally his gifts.
The Spirit fruit list appear in Paul’s letter to Christians who lived in Galatia—today’s western Ukraine in Eastern Europe. In the fifth chapter, Paul uses the imagery of freedom and slavery to contrast freedom found in the Spirit walk to slavery generated through a walk by the sinful nature.
He uses fruit to illustrates the Spirit walk of freedom.
But what if our world totally lacked the fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control?
I suspect daily life would be darker than any of us could imagine.
To make his point Paul first makes another list, one of Satanic traits. This list serves to illustrate the slavery walk.
It stands in stark contrast to Spirit fruit. It is a list of Satan’s gourds which the apostle labels as acts of the flesh.
If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other . . .
The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions, and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like.
I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God . . . (Galatians 5: 15, 19-21).
My reality is I am an ancestor of fallen Adam and Eve. Their genes in my makeup allow me to recognize the absence of Holy in Paul’s list. When he states the acts of the flesh are obvious, I see no room for rebuttal. Nothing that is kin to Spirit fruit can be found in his gourd list.
The contrast of the paths could not be greater. A casual look at the destruction cause by Satan’s gourds should be sufficient to make me stand anew and be amazed by the grace God provides to me for sustenance by Spirit fruit.
I would not want to live in a world absent of Spirit fruit. Can you image what a world would be like if everyone and everything was saturated and sustained only on Satanic gourds?
No kind word would exist. Love would be more extinct than dinosaurs. Talk about a “dog-eat-dog” world! Every evil I could possibly imagine would be aimed directly at me by everyone I encountered. I too would live as an aggressor. A world without the grace of Spirit fruit would be more barren than I can possibly imagine.
The author of The Book of Proverbs paints a bleak picture of a graceless world. His description remains true thousands of years later. A world without grace is incompatible with a Holy Father, Son, and Spirit:
There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him:
haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community (Proverbs 6:16-19).
Thus far this post paints a black picture of a graceless world.
Thankfully, there is good news.
With each second left on the Holy clock, ungrace disappears and a new “grace-only” world continues to form. My next reality on the restored earth under the new heaven will be void of Satan’s gourds.
What is so amazing about grace? Grace provides light to save me from the darkness of Satan’s gourds. The future of entire landscape will be Holy Grace. I should never let a day pass without gratefulness for grace in my world.
Grace so amazing that I’m covered with it now—and yet it is grace so grand—I will only know its complete fullness in the next reality. When I contemplate God’s design to prepare me to receive his full and eternal measure of grace, I should stand in holy amazement.
Aren’t you glad we don’t live at present in a world void of God’s grace?
Dr. Gary J. Sorrells
A GodReflection on A World Without Grace?