A Nugget from New Life Network
(partly reprinted from Dr. Larry Ollison)
Scripture for the Day (October 5, 2015)
Or despisest thou the riches of His goodness and forbearance and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? (Romans 2:4)
When we teach, we can teach with an attitude of grace or with an attitude of condemnation. When I was young, I was in old-time revival tent meetings where the evangelist actually made me feel so condemned that I felt there was no way I could ever be good enough for God. I remember the evangelist preaching against alcohol, tobacco, women, pool halls, pinball machines, cards, and anything else that might remotely be connected to fun. As a young boy, I remember leaving the meeting depressed because I had the impression that God didn’t want me to think about girls and I was thinking about girls every thirty seconds or so.
Condemnation does not make you quit sinning. It just brings on sin-consciousness and guilt. God is not the God of guilt, but the God of peace and freedom. When you condemn a child, you take away all hope and leave them feeling worthless. Watch a child that is constantly told how bad he or she is and that youngster will remind you of a dog that has a master that beats him continually.
Grace, on the other hand, produces a natural reaction to make you want to live up to a higher standard. Grace does not make you want to sin. To the contrary, grace produces a natural desire to walk in obedience to God’s Word.
Christianity is based on faith, grace, and belief in Jesus Christ. It’s different than all the other false religions of the world. False religions and cults are based on works. I recently saw one group on the news in a foreign country that was walking down the street slowly with their backs bare. As they were walking, they had small whips in their hands and with each step they would whip themselves over the shoulder, causing their backs to bleed. They thought this was pleasing their god, but all they were getting out of it was bloody backs.
False religions try to produce works through condemnation. Some even encourage your death. Jesus does not require your death. He died for you, not the opposite. Christianity produces blessings through grace. We must remember that what we receive is not a result of what we do, but rather is a result of what Jesus has done.
Ephesians 5:1 says that we are to imitate God. Live your life each day as a godly person giving grace to others freely, just as God has freely given grace to you. As God’s love flows from you, others will be drawn to Him.
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)