Grace Is Free

Galatians 3:10
All who depend on works of the law are under a curse.

Sounds confusing. We are told to follow the rules…but then St. Paul tells us that if we depend on “works of the law” that we “are under a curse.” Well…following the rules does keep us in line. We know that rules and guidelines are essential with children. They need rules to make sure they don’t get into trouble. But when we grow up…while the rules are still good…if our motives are only guided by being a “rule-follower”…where is the compassion and love in that? Many times Jesus broke the religious rules when they became obstructions to love. Jesus said when you get down to it…the only two things that mattered were to love God and your neighbor as yourself. No one can ultimately follow the rules perfectly so if you are holding yourself to that level of perfection…you are indeed “under a curse.” For it is only in our imperfection that we can experience the unconditional love of God. It is in that experience that we are transformed so that we in turn can also extend the same compassion to others in their imperfection. Following rules will not make us whole (or “holy”). That’s up to God’s grace.

Suggested song of the day– “Changed” on the Give Praise and Thanks album.
Listen to free clips of Bill’s songs by clicking Bill Tonnis’ Music on iTunes to the right.
CDs available by clicking on “home” and then the “store” tab.
Have a blessed day!

About billtonnis

Child of God, Pastoral Minister, Chaplain, Music Minister, Jail Minister, singer-songwriter, author, activist, former radio news anchor, imperfect follower of Jesus inspired by God's unconditional love, proud uncle... what else is there?
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2 Responses to Grace Is Free

  1. In Christianity, considering that Jesus needed to die for people’s sin I see this concept as blasphemous to God as God needn’t die to forgive people’s sin, this is weakness not justice, God has the right to forgive those who sinned against him as I have the right forgive anyone who insulted me, that has nothing with me being just or not, but actually people consider this as something good I do, so it has nothing to do with God’s justice, but it actually poses a couple of questions.

    Christians cite this point of Jesus’ death with the atonements in the OT. According to Christian belief, who put the rule that there must be an atonement for blood so that the sins are forgiven, who put this rule? Isn’t He God? So how can this be a sacrifice? What Jesus did is not a sacrifice, but he just gave a solution to the problem God of Christianity caused? He is the one who put the rule and it was found to be impractical, he did what he did to solve the problem. So either God of Christianity didn’t know the consequences of this rule, so he found a problem and solved it, which is against God’s omniscience, or that he actually knew and did what he did to make a show that he loves you.

    The second thing, what I know is that people are accounted for their intention, if you do something and this deed gives consequences other than who you intended it to be, then you are actually accounted for your intention not for the consequences, for example if I robbed a guy walking in the street and gave what I stole as a present to a friend of mine, then I discovered that the guy I robbed actually stole this stuff from my friend, am I a thief or a noble guy who wanted to help my friend? For sure a thief, as my intention was just to rob a guy and I didn’t know the other part of the story. That’s exactly what the death of Jesus was about, it wasn’t intended by the Jews to make a sacrifice or atonement so that Jesus takes away their sins, they were just looking to him as someone who shall destroy their leadership and positions and they wanted to get rid of him. So the whole action can be accounted as an atonement, but as murder crime, and this has nothing with what Jesus himself intended, because he is not the one who implemented the action, otherwise he would kill himself.

    • billtonnis says:

      Thank you so much for your comment. I do not buy the atonement either as God “paying a price” to save us from sins. I agree…if God is God…then why cannot God simply forgive? I believe God can and does! I believe Jesus, as the Son of God, showed us who God is…a God of unconditional love, mercy, forgiveness and compassion. Jesus said if you knew him…you would know the Father. So Jesus shows us how to live our lives…and that means loving when persecuted. Carried out to the extreme…it would mean his execution…and all the way to the cross Jesus shows love and forgiveness. And then the ultimate…he forgives from the cross…even when no one asks for forgiveness! This is God. And this is what saves me from having to prove myself…or earn my way into salvation. It is already freely given by God. When I experience such unconditional love in my imperfection and unworthiness…it changes me. It transformed me…and now all I want to do is share that same love, mercy, forgiveness and compassion with others. Jesus tells us to follow him…and if we do the same…we are cooperating with God in bringing about the kingdom of God here in the present. I don’t think we are that far off from seeing eye to eye…although I’m not sure I completely understood everything you said. Feel free to reply…and many thanks…and blessings on your journey!

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