I awakened one day to something new in my relationship with Jesus. I realized His Grace had already provided for every issue I would ever face in life. His Grace had completely forgiven me—supplied all my needs—healed every issue that would ever arise. Each failure—circumstance—illness—problem—struggle—heartbreak—everything had been redeemed and resolved by His life given in love for me.
Scripture came alive for me in a way I had never understood. Jesus revealed His love to me right through His Word. And His love was unrestrained and rich and life-giving. I wanted to receive and receive it until I could contain no more.
Through the years, something had held me back from this understanding of His Grace. It had been hard to reconcile the God of retribution in the Old Testament with the God of Grace and unconditional love in the New Testament. Then one day, I read Romans 6:14 differently, and it suddenly settled in my heart. “Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace” (Romans 6:14, NLT). And the Holy Spirit began a journey to share His heart with me.
I had always known in my head that Grace had fulfilled the demands of the law, but I had never allowed that Truth to restructure my heart. I didn’t need to carry shame as payment for sin. I didn’t need to struggle with the fear of punishment from God. I didn’t need to try to balance law with Grace in my mind. Jesus had made the payment for my inability to live a perfect life according to the law’s requirements. I no longer lived under those requirements but now was free to live them in the freedom of God's Grace. My struggle to be righteous had missed the transforming depth of the Cross—where Jesus had given me His righteousness. The Cross was the place where everything changed—where Jesus fulfilled the requirements of the law that I could never fulfill. The Cross had taken care of all my sin, sickness, and need for all time. When I grasped that no matter how hard I tried to live righteously, I would fail, I finally let go and let God love me. I irrevocably understood that all I needed to do was to surrender and allow Him to live righteously in me. I became free from the bondage of the law. And I knew His Grace was mine.
“If you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the law,” Paul wrote, “you have been cut off from Christ! You have fallen away from God’s grace” (Galatians 5:4, NLT).
How long I had dealt with feelings of guilt and shame of not being good enough! Through the years, I had tried to make myself right when His death on the Cross had already made me right! When Jesus said, "It is finished," there was nothing more for me to do but believe Him and allow the Holy Spirit to do the work in me. Repentance wasn’t scourging myself with feelings of shame. Repentance was a decision to turn entirely away from wrongdoing and never go back to it. No longer did I need to beat myself up when I failed. If I tried to make myself right with God, I would be cutting myself off from Christ. Struggling to make myself right wouldn't keep me from falling back into sin. Working to make myself right with God was falling away from Grace. I was awake! The Holy God of retribution in the Old Testament gave way to the God of Grace in the New.
“You have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, ‘Abba, Father’” (Romans 8:15, NLT).
When you know that God is your Abba Father, you have child-like faith in Him. You know that your relationship is based on unconditional love that forgives and accepts you. You can trust Him with anything. God became my Abba Father of love and forgiveness. When Jesus died for me, He adopted me as His child. The love of the Cross opened access to my Father. I discovered a deeper intimacy and trust. I found that His discipline was never harsh but made as a loving parent guiding His child in spiritual growth. I understood that the gift of His Grace was freedom from the feelings of shame and guilt, which had bombarded me. I was free to receive His Grace and love as never before. And with this awareness, I experienced His peace and joy. His Grace alone was the answer I needed.
Have you grasped this kind of Grace? Are you tired of striving and failing? Struggling to be perfect where only Christ can bring perfection? Allow the Holy Spirit to reveal the Truth about His Grace and your relationship with Him. You don’t have to live in fear of failure and losing His love. He is no longer the God of retribution to you. He is love.
“When we place our faith in Christ Jesus, there is no benefit in being circumcised or being uncircumcised. What is important is faith expressing itself in love" (Galatians 5:6, NLT). You don't benefit from what you do, Paul is saying. What is important is you placing your faith in God’s redeeming love. You don’t have to earn the benefits Jesus has already earned for you. They are His gift to you. You receive them by faith.
Draw His Truth into your heart and allow the Holy Spirit to teach you. Receive the freedom of His grace.
©2021 Lynn Lacher