Imagine an airplane that is just a few degrees off it’s course at the start. If it doesn’t adjust, with time and distance, it will end up at a completely different destination than originally intended.
If the church lacks grace – and it doesn’t adjust – with time, it will become something entirely different than originally intended.
A church without grace is a cult waiting to happen.
So many awful things have been done throughout history in the name of God.
Without grace, the church has excused / reasoned / produced: legalism, manipulation, control, slavery, hatred, violence, murder, wars, discrimination, sexism, oppression, abuse and bigotry.
The Gospel is the message of God’s grace revealed to us in the sending of his son, Jesus Christ.
Jesus is grace personified.
The message of grace is central to Christianity.
Take grace out of the church and you have taken the Gospel out of the church.
Take grace out of the church and you have taken Jesus out of the church.
The Apostle Paul sent a corrective letter to the church in Galatia because they had taken grace out of the church and replaced it with legalism…
“I am shocked that you are turning away so soon from God, who called you to himself through the loving mercy of Christ. You are following a different way that pretends to be the Good News but is not the Good News at all. You are being fooled…” (Galatians 1.6, 7 NLT)
If we emphasize something other than the Gospel of grace (the Good News about Jesus Christ), in one or two generations the church will end up completely off course.
If we emphasize “holiness” – in one or two generations the message becomes legalism.
If we emphasize “faith” – in one or two generations the message becomes “name it, claim it,” positive thinking and positive confession.
If we emphasize “theology” – in one or two generations the message becomes academic elitism.
If we emphasize “spiritual gifts” – in one or two generations the messages becomes goofy mysticism.
If we emphasize grace, we have made the Good News of Jesus Christ the central issue…. and maybe in one or two generations, the world will finally understand what the Gospel is all about.