Read Jude 1-7
The grace of Jesus is the battleground. It is the issue of grace that is most fiercely attacked and perverted. Therefore it is over this issue of grace that we must most fiercely contend and defend. Grace is the most precious thing. It means that in our imperfection and sin, God still loves us. It means that even at the very core of an idolatrous and sinful heart, God’s forgiveness in Jesus remains victorious. Grace means that we are not only understood as imperfect yet loved but that the gift of eternal peace in the Kingdom of Heaven was bought for us, not by our sacrifice but that of Jesus, the perfect and sinless Son of God. The grace of Jesus is unparalleled and undeserved. Yet, it is fully ours by faith alone. How is that just? How can it be that simple? How can it be that easy? These are reasonable questions. Yet, they are not questions asked by someone pursuing the grace of Jesus only to find a license to live in sin. The sinful heart looks tirelessly for more justification to sin. The sinful heart will use anything and anyone in order to excuse and promote the ongoing appetite for sin. Including Jesus and his gospel. The message of grace in Jesus can radically transform a sinner’s heart but it can also radically ingrain and cultivate sin within a person if left unchecked by the power of the Holy Spirit. In the absence of the Holy Spirit the grace of Jesus is simply a “get out of jail free” card. Without the Holy Spirit the grace of Jesus is cheap, convenient and powerless to change anyone. The free gift of God’s forgiveness paid for by the blood of Jesus should drop us to our knees in repentance. It should knock the wind out of our spirits that we were saved from death at the last minute by the intercession of the Son. As we regain our breath only praise, thanksgiving and humility should propel the next words that leave our lips. The free gift of God’s grace should break our heart for the price Jesus paid before it lifts our hands in rejoicing and praise that we sinners are loved and forgiven and not measured by impossible standards of perfection. The latter is just as true but if rejoicing enters our hearts before repentance the enemy can so easily step in on the glorious gift of God’s life-giving grace in Jesus and take the life Jesus paid so much for us to receive..