Probably the easiest thing for us to forget is that each and every little bit of truth that we’ve learned or blessing that we’ve enjoyed has come completely by way of the grace of God. There is not one single solitary little thing that we’ve truly earned in and of ourselves, aside from hell and damnation. Every better-than-hell bit of life that we enjoy is entirely a result of God’s grace upon us.
For who sees anything different in you? What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?
~ 1 Corinthians 4:7 (emphasis added)
Every good thing is a gift from God.
Every bit of true knowledge is a gift from God, given by the grace of God, all to the glory of God, and all for the benefit of His people.
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When we understand (by the grace of God) and embrace (by the grace of God) this beautiful core principle of reality as God has crafted it, we will find ourselves protected from three great dangers:
- Pride. Pride is the gateway through which all other sin marches. When we believe that we have earned, learned or achieved anything by our own might, we are in a satanic mode of thought that will, apart from repentance, inevitably produce increasing pain, darkness, and ultimately death. Make no mistake: God despises pride.
- Arrogance. When we see our knowledge, prosperity, status, health, property, looks, intelligence, or strength as our own doing, we are inherently inclined to feel superior to those who have less than we seem to possess in any of these areas. We can then tend to look down on them personally for not knowing or doing what we know and do by the grace of God. This arrogance then taints (and in some cases destroys) our legitimate confrontation and correction of error through the Gospel-fueled Great Commission (see: Matthew 28:18-20).
- Laziness. When we rightly understand that not only has God given us every good thing that we know or experience, but that He has done so purposefully so that we might “take every thought” and thereby every action “captive to Christ” (see: 2 Corinthians 10:5), we will not fall for the wildly popular false pietism dominating the scene these days, which tells us that Christians are “too spiritual” to actually take things like law, politics, art, economics, business, technology, and pretty much any other realm of life in “the real world” captive to Christ.
So when we’re tempted to act out in frustration with a Brother or Sister in Christ who doesn’t yet understand the Word of God on a particular subject, let’s have good and proper grace, remembering that there but by the grace of God go we. Really.
We must still be clear about hard and challenging truths. We must still stand firmly on the Word of God in its entirety and in detail. We must still confront and correct error.
Because that what true love does.
But as we strive to pursue true loving obedience to the Lord who saved us even while we still hated Him, let us never forget that apart from the grace of God you and I are complete morons. (Worse, actually.)
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© 2015 Scott Alan Buss – All Rights Reserved.