20 Sep 2006

This Grace Thing

Submitted by theshovel
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Hi Jim, I've been trying to 'get' this grace thing for some time now but there are some things that i am still stuck on and was wondering if you could shed some light on it? Dom

Thanks for taking the time to write and ask your questions about getting this grace thing. :) However, as you have discovered this is futile attempt indeed, for as a thing grace will always remain elusive. This is why so many have created systems of grace in the attempt to get a handle on the thing. The grace of which I speak is not about grace itself, but is instead about Christ, he who was raised from the dead. It is life, true life.

Firstly, as someone with an obsessive type nature, how do i stop focusing on sins and the law and focus on grace instead? Dom

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? :) Where do you think the obsession comes from? You are asking how you can stimulate a law-bound obsession to be focused upon grace. What kind of grace do you think it would be if you could do that? You need to realize that what Christ did has done away with the nature of obsession, for he has put the old thing to death. There is no real struggle in Christ, there is only the illusion of a struggle. It demands that you must pull your attention away from the one so that you can focus upon the life that is new.

If analyzed closely aren't most things sin and if so how does one deal with the horrible guilt of it? Dom

If you look for sin you shall surely find it, and the closer you look the more you will find. But with what eyes does one analyze for sin? With the eyes of the flesh, those eyes that only see according to appearance. And what mind do you suppose analyzes this sin closely? The mind of the flesh, that mind upon which all of man's understanding has been built. But where there is no law there is no wrath, there is no punishment, there is no guilt, there is no sin. This is the life in which we have been re-created. The lie will cause you to pass such truth off being too ethereal ... and yet the truth witnesses that ethereal best describes the world that passes away as withered grass. Sin finds its existence in the emptiness of the world in which there is no true life, and it finds its power in the law. Dealing with the guilt of sin has been written in history of man, and he has not done a very good job dealing with it, either! As long as you insist on seeing yourself according to the flesh you will continue to see sin in yourself, and I cannot give you any advice on how to deal with its guilt.

In other words is it right to feel guilty about sin or does that we mean we are still living under law? Dom

Is it right? It's just the way it is. A conscience built upon law will feel the consequences of guilt. Realize this, that grace has nothing to do with stifling the guilt of sin, for that is futile--for it's so much better than--and all one can get from that is what's been called a "seared conscience". Are we under law or are we trying to live AS IF we're under law? If in Christ, we're surely not under law. To ask if it's right to feel guilty about sin is a trap of law. Who are we to listen to that which has no power in Christ?

If that's the case then won't we be feeling guilty all the time? Dom

Yeah. That doesn't sound much like any kind of victory from sin, does it?

Finally, are all the 'commands' in the NT to be followed and if so how do we go about doing so? Dom

Freed from the commands of the old only to be bound by the commands of the new? Did we trade one set of laws for another? It is only the mindset of the old that keeps interpreting the declarations of freedom into a set of laws! Thoughts? :) Jim P.S. To read some follow-up Q&A from this reader, check out Interpreting New Testament Commands?


As I understand, Jesus’s death freed us from sin, therefore we don’t need to live feeling gulity! I lived that way for many years, thinking if I could be more than I am, then I’d be ok. There are those of us who can and do forgive others but have a very difficult time forgiving ourselves. Thanks much! From a listener.

If you look for sin you shall surely find it, and the closer you look the more you will find. But with what eyes does one analyze for sin? With the eyes of the flesh..

I guess this is always true. The underlying assurance brings forth more of itself. So in the framework of transgressions anything is a transgression already, even if it is perceived as good. This year doing one thing is evil, the next year the same thing is the latest hype and not to do it is evil.  This fleshly mindset of existence is hypocrisy itself. There is really no difference between those that praise you and those that persecute you, for in either case you are still being known according to the appearance; in either case you are still seen as a transgressor, always being perceived as the source of someone's knowledge of the expectation of death. 

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Random Shovelquote: Dealing honestly (view all shovelquotes)

To deal honestly with those around us is to deal with them according to the truth we have been re-created in, the life that is always testifying from within us. source