Thankful for God’s Grace
I love the doctrine of God’s grace: His undeserved favor on wretched sinners like us. What a powerful doctrine. What a loving God.
A couple of years ago, I heard an interview with Bono about his spiritual convictions. One of the things that caught my attention was a statement he made about grace. He said that he was so grateful for grace and that karma didn’t rule the universe. He said that if karma was true, he would be sunk.
In case you’re not familiar with karma, it’s the Hindu doctrine that we sow what we reap. Period. It is all tied in with reincarnation. How we return in the next life is directly affected by how we behaved in this life. There are no free passes, no mulligans, no exceptions—no kidding! Karma allows for no wiggle room, no forgiveness, no second chances, no mercy, no extenuating circumstances, no grace, no anything! Karma is a brutal doctrine of cause and effect.
What Bono was getting at was this: if we are fully accountable (in the afterlife) for our sins and moral failures in this life, we are in deep trouble. I certainly am. But if there is a possibility that another moral law rules the universe, then maybe there is hope for us. This is where the message of the Bible is so filled with good news.
The Bible tells us of a God who really exists in space and time, who loves human beings and reaches out to them. This is presented as historical truth, not legend or myth. The message of the Bible is this: “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son (Jesus), so that whoever believes will not perish, but have eternal life.”
If you know anything about the religions of the world, this news is absolutely radical! It is absolutely revolutionary. It is unlike anything in Islam, Hinduism, or Buddhism. A personal God who is all powerful, who is utterly holy, but who is also willing to be reconciled to us through the atoning death of His Son—this is the message of grace, the message of the cross, the message of the Bible.
If you hunger for significance, for forgiveness from God, and for meaning, the good news of the Gospel is that there is hope. The Gospel is this: we are far more wicked and evil than we could ever comprehend, but if we repent and surrender to Jesus as Lord, we are far more loved and accepted than we could ever hope for. This is the message of grace. It destroys the brutality of karma and exalts the love and mercy of God. It is a radical message of hope and joy for all peoples among all nations.
by Jay Childs, Senior Pastor