“Grace cannot really be taught, it must be revealed.” – Brook Potter
Early on in my Grace Awakening, I was explaining to a brother about Paul’s thorn in the flesh, and how it was not sickness. Not long into the conversation, he invited over another friend, whose opening statement to me was “Let me show you why you are wrong.” Eventually a conversation took place where we played Scripture tennis for more than an hour. In the end the friend conceded and understood what I was saying. In the back of my mind, the thought came to me, is it really so hard to prove to these people that God is Good?
I didn’t know much in those days, but I knew that God’s will was expressed at the whipping posts, that all men were healed, past tense. God wasn’t schizophrenic; He wasn’t going to use sickness and then be healer in someone’s life. It would be the equivalent of a person lighting your house on fire to later rescue you by playing Fireman. Worse, how can anyone pray in faith if they are unsure it’s God’s Will to heal? If God was two-faced, the disciples would have had the right to doubt, because they couldn’t be in faith without a doubt that this person wasn’t sick because God wanted them to be.
Those people I spoke with, though well intended, didn’t see God like that, and believed that He used sickness in some capacity. So when I presented a premise that challenged their ideas, even without hearing the scriptural evidence to support it, I was told that I was wrong and was instantly set at odds with their views of God. It was only after we took the time, to explore it, that views were finally changed. Later in my life when the truths of Grace and inclusion were revealed to me, I knew I would never have any dealings with them again. There was just no way they were ever going to see God as that Good, the way He had revealed himself to me, if it took so long to convince them that God didn’t use sickness.
1 Peter 5:5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.
God gives Grace (as a doctrine) to the humble.
In my experience, there have only been three ways that the message of Grace can be understood. The first is by Revelation. In many ways that is what happened to me. Many of the truths of Grace were revealed to me by off the cuff comments by ordinary people that the Holy Spirit would quicken me about. God revealed one audible truth to me, that all the sins of the world were forgiven, and I went about searching the Scriptures to back up this Word from the Lord, and from that point it was like the Bible went from the 2D to 3D! My eyes had been circumcised and I could see Jesus like never before.
The second method by which Grace can be understood is by a community of believers who are living the grace life. John Lynch reflects that that was his conversation experience. We even experienced this on our recent trip to Thailand. There were 16 of us from around the world who had never met before. Each of us had individually come to the revelation of Grace and the healing power of Christ. We met together for the first time in Bangkok, Thailand, and we became to each express Christ in our own unique way.
Included on this team, was a youth Pastor, who came to learn. Before we left, he had made some statements regarding the eternal damnation of certain persons involved in the political arena of his country. Those of us on the team that was with him, kind of shut down that thinking pretty quick. And for the first few days, after hearing the preaching and seeing what we were doing by going out to the Red Light District, he was struggling to wrap his mind around what he was experiencing. He and I would play scripture tennis as we would board another airplane arguing the points of Jesus’s Law Preaching and the dividing line of the Cross.
To make a long story short, by the end of the trip, his life had been radically transformed. His eyes were opened, and he understood the Gospel like never before. He approached some of us on the team as we made our way back to the US, asking the Right Question. “How do you preach grace without having people take advantage of it?” He understood the amazing freedom we had in Christ, and being fresh in the revelation he wanted to make sure he was on good ground. He returned to his Youths and is growing daily in the Grace of God.
The last method, and this is the method that I have dedicated myself to, is to invest time into groups of people and slowly teach the Scriptures in Context. Its been the the major factors that has helped me revolutionize Churches to see the Gospel free and apart from the Law. It was the weeks dedicated to various home and youth groups, going through the books of the New Testament, line by line, explaining in context the meaning of the passages. By the end of a few weeks the people were so excited they went on to evangelize Grace to their parents and other people, including some church leaders that eventually moved entire Churches into Grace.
It is when the truth of the Scriptures come out in context that they begin to see the true face of Jesus and recognize his Finished Work and all he has done for them and as them. When those truths are meditated upon and faith arises, believers are finally empowered to live the God-Life that the Father has for them. If all the wisdom of Paul could not get the Judaizes to see the Glorious Gospel, it is unlikely that you are going to win any arguments against the religious using bullet point Scriptures. But for those who are seeking, who are humble, and teachable, one of these experiences will encounter you and your life will never be the same.
If you are one of those thousands of people, consider reading one, if not all, of these books to help you in this journey.
John Lynch, author of The Cure, talking about a Grace Community and his God Awakening.