Grace is a concept easy to accept upon becoming a Christian but more difficult to believe as we begin our walk with Christ. We know how much Jesus has done for us. We know how our prior condition was not only harmful to ourselves but to others around us. We know that the promise of eternal peace and joy in Heaven is real. We know that the struggle with our sinful nature is ever-present and ongoing. However, after “knowing” all of this, many Christians fail to move. They feel like to move is to open the door to making the wrong decision or going in the wrong way or hearing the wrong thing from God. We are paralyzed by fear, suffocated by hypotheticals and worst-case scenarios. We don’t want to mess up. We don’t want to make a mistake. We don’t want to lose what God has offered us.
But while all of these feelings are natural and justifiable, where is the heart of the Gospel? Where is the cross? Where is the resurrection? Where is Jesus?
When you met Jesus, did you meet a savior who sought opportunities to punish wrongdoers, or who brought healing and forgiveness? Did you meet a savior who set traps for people to fall into or who was the first to reach out and touch the unclean and unworthy?
The tragedy of the Christian is the fear of making mistakes. While the Gospel of Jesus Christ MUST establish a new heart and a new way of life, must seek to honor God and His commands and must never tolerate sinful behavior, there is still grace. There MUST be grace! There is still understanding. There is still the authority of the living God to cover a multitude of sins by the righteousness and sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
The mark of a Christian is how often and willing we are to allow God’s authority and glory to be revealed in us. This often comes by the action of faith. The faith of a Christian is believing that the living God is real and is with us. The God of Creation commands us to move, to work, to live, all for His glory. If we love God and choose to serve Him with all that we are and all that we have, mistakes no longer become a paralyzing fear. Fear of making mistakes is predicated on an expectation of perfection. Punishment is associated with fear, and if we believe in Jesus, we know the punishment was His and is not ours. We will of course make mistakes. We will fall. However, the God of Creation has never demanded perfection from us, but has desired for us to choose Him first. Our salvation does not hinge upon our perfection. Our salvation rests on if we believe in Jesus, who embodies perfection. Faith in Jesus allows us to try and fail, to move and to fall and to reveal a Father who loves that we believe.