200 Proof Grace

I think Hollywood has perfected the “mind altered” movies.  You know the ones.  The dad breathes in a gas that makes him want to attack his kids which is completely out of character with his normal mode.  Or the whole town gets infected with a virus where they all start fighting with each other.  In the Avengers movie the bad guy Loki touches someone with his powerful blue-light scepter and they are instantly on his side of the fight.  They even appear to be “enlightened” when they are “turned” to the other side.  It is funny to me that we will accept such cinematic fictional drama as very real and dismiss the “mind manipulation” that is going on now, here, in this reality.  Maybe I’m making it up but, wait, check out this passage:

1 Cor 1:20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. 22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles,24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. (ESV)

The good news is Jesus and we are all in Him and joined to Him so we are like this:

1 Cor 2:9 But, as it is written,  “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,  nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”—  10 these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. 11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. 13 And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual. (ESV)

And of course we get to ask all the questions:

1 Cor 2:14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. 15 The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. 16 “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ. (ESV)

So it breaks my heart when I am confronted by the Bible worshiping, Grace bashing, sin boasting, slimy pile of poop proclaiming, “I am right and you are wrong,” “how dare you question the Bible”… person.  One drop of undiluted, 200 proof Grace…that is all that is needed.

You know I don’t have to be right and am often not right and am really just trying to figure it out but I know THE ONE who is right and I am in THE ONE who is right and I am JOINED TO THE ONE who is right.  Isn’t that right?

The looks on the faces when I say Jesus set us free from sin…  I wonder who is the “fool” Paul is talking about?

God is so good.  It pains me to hear otherwise from those who just don’t want to accept His goodness.  These people may be going to church but they aren’t being saved.  No, really, this is easy.  If you are still afraid of God and trying to close the gap and insist that God needs to cause you suffering (especially disease and death) and we are supposed to struggle and we will forever be wretched sinners and on and on and on…they aren’t being saved.  They will go to Heaven because that is where God is and God is everywhere and we will all be in His presence when we stop breathing but….some won’t like it.  Some will reject His goodness to the bitter end.  Some will be completely consumed by the fire of His love as they turn away and curse the moment.

So it pains me to hear people reject God’s goodness now.  It pains me to see all the pain.  Just one drop of undiluted 200 proof Grace!  Everything changes in that moment.  I’ve been sharing 200 proof Grace for the last several posts.  How about an application?  Let me show you 200 proof Grace passage.  Check out these verses:

Eph 2:8 For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. (KJV)

Most of you have heard that passage.  So here is a quiz.  What is the gift?  Grace is by definition a free gift of His favor.  It is His expression of goodness towards us.  It has a name…Jesus.  So Paul isn’t saying that God gave us a gift that is a gift.  No, the gift is the “faith” to “see” the Grace.  The words “are saved” are actually present tense indicative.  That means that Grace is saving you now.  All died and all live in Him.  We are all joined to Him.  We were all raised with Him.  God gives us the faith to see it.  When we see this 200 proof Grace we are “realizing” our salvation.  We are being saved.

This is the common gripe about saying we are free from sin: “well brother then why do we still sin?”  John says if we still sin then we are of the Devil.  I didn’t say it.  Still there is a renewing of our mind that takes place.  We wake up from the blue light that Loki zapped us with.  We believe then we see.  The faith that God gives us gives us the eyes to see what He has done and we come into agreement.  It isn’t a mind trick.  It is the power of Grace.  When we see the totality of what Jesus has done, already done without our permission or vote or decision…when we see that truth we are drinking 200 proof Grace.  Then everything changes.  Our eyes are opened to the Kingdom of Heaven.  We step into our true identity as holy, sanctified, redeemed, restored, reconciled, forgiven, transformed, new creation, power, inheritance, children of God.  Until that happens we are living a lie.  We are like those people who sniffed the wrong mist or touched the hypnotic book and lost their minds in the Hollywood movies.  It is like we ate the wrong poisoned fruit or something.

Check out these verse just before 8 and 9 above:

Eph 2:1 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. (ESV)

Here it is.  This is the undiluted 200 proof Grace.  We didn’t ask for it.  We were actually opposed to God.  We were actually separate from God in our own minds.  This word trespass is “being apart from.” “Made us alive together” is an amazing word.  It means we were “quickened” or brought to life in and with Him.  To me this is the most amazing part of the Gospel.  He brought us to life joined to Him.  So we are sill in Him and joined to Him now.  Wherever you are sitting now,  you are sitting in Heaven.  The reality of Heaven in your life today and now is one drop of 200 proof Grace away.  I dare you to take a sip.

So practically what do you do?  This is what Paul said:

Rom 10:17 So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ. (NLT)

Rom 10:17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. (ESV)

The word “word” here is the rhema word.  It is the utterances of Christ.  It is the living word of Him.  It is His breath on your cheek.  It is His presence in your moments.  You let yourself “hear” what He has done.  The Spirit brings revelation.  All it requires of you is to rest in your trust in Him.  He is that good.

For me the powerful revelation is in the hugeness of what He has done.  Nobody asked Him to do it.  Nobody gave Jesus permission.  Nobody agreed.  Nobody said a prayer.  Nobody got wet.  Nobody did anything.  As a matter of fact the unconditional nature of what He has done is so apart from me that I get to claim nothing in the matter.  Jesus took all of us in, every single person ever born and to be born.  We are all in Him.  God reconciled the entire COSMOS in Jesus.  We all died and were all raised again.  We were all born in Him from the beginning and joined to Him on the cross.  We were all glorified and made whole in His resurrection.  We all left all our junk in the dirt and were raised as a new kind of creature.  We are God and man joined just like Jesus.  We have the entirety of His person in us.  We have rivers of living water flowing from our bellies.  I can go on and on.

This is “hearing” the “word.”  God opens our eyes to see.  We believe then we see.  Then we drink!  200 proof Grace changes everything.  No longer is it a doctrine but a person.  No longer is it a covering but a transforming.  No longer is it seen as a license to sin but freedom from sin.  We are His children.  We are so accepted we can’t ever be rejected.

Still some will turn Him down.  I think those people that want to deny His goodness now for their religion are turning Him down.  I pray God will give me an opportunity to share 200 proof Grace even with the one who hates me most because of the goodness I teach.  Just one drop.  One teeny, tiny drop of His blood changes everything.  200 proof Grace.

Yay God!

Lance

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One Response to 200 Proof Grace

  1. Mel Wild says:

    Oh, like Robert Capon says, you’re the naughty preacher who flushes people’s religion pills down the drain when they’re dozing. 🙂 Good word. Cheers!

    Like

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