My wife and I were recently listening to a sermon by Pastor Tullian Tchividjian and ever since I have been trying to pronounce his name with little success. We decided to just call him “T Squared”.
He was preaching through Galatians in a sermon series entitled Free at Last. There was a quote that really stuck out to me and I wanted to share it will you.
Pastor Tullian said, ““The law offends us because it tells us what to do; grace offends us even more because it tells us we can’t do anything!”
Not many people like being told what to do…we have our own internal desires that usually yell louder than external direction. The law indicates what God expects of man, and we bristle at even our creator commanding us.
I thought it was so telling that the only thing that would reveal our pride further than what I should do was the idea that I can’t do it!
It made me think of the premise of a feel good sports movie if I have ever heard of one…someone telling a young student that they can’t do it, and then that person is angry or motivated to prove them wrong. No one likes being told what to do, and no one likes being told that something is beyond their capabilities.
Pastor Viars has been repeatedly talking about focusing on the Gospel and not legalism in Faith’s Sunday morning services. A church that doesn’t place a whole bunch of man made rules on people is a welcoming place.
We want to be welcoming and we don’t want to offend anyone with our man made rules or our preferences. We also want to be aware of the offensive nature of Grace in that it offends our pride, destroys any good works with think we can bring before a holy God, and directs us to rely solely on the person and work of Jesus Christ to reconcile our rebellious relationship with our creator.
That offense against our pride should result in a humble reliance, and also allow us to be more welcoming, since we are focused on grace and not our prideful preferences.
The offense of Grace isn’t just for initial salvation, it also addresses ongoing sanctification.
Gal 3:3 says, Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?”
The Spirit reminds us of God’s sufficient grace, and that is a constant attack on our pride which is a key aspect of stunted growth in the Christian life.
Pastor Tullian also said,“Mortification begins with the part of you that resists grace.”
As God’s beautiful, glorious grace shown in the person and work of His son bears against us to break down those prideful walls we are reminded that we are easily offended by our creators love, mercy and grace.
Nothing gets to the human heart like Grace. I hope you get a little offended today… but that it quickly leads to an appreciate for the gracious nature of God’s plan to save and sanctify sinful people.