The Grace of God: Convincing Grace

grace 2In the last two weeks we have considered some of the fundamental aspects of God’s grace. We have taken a look at how the prevenient grace of God works in absolutely everyone’s life without exception. In this sense, prevenient grace is irresistible. After this work of grace we can always say “no” to God. We do not have to let God work in our lives, we do not have to accept the benefits that He offers us, the ones He desires for us. No matter how we choose, God will not turn away from us.

After last week’s article, a person came to me and said, “Now I understand how my aunt and uncle can be good people without being Christians.” Prevenient grace gives us the option to be good but it does not keep us from sin or from sinning. It takes another work of the grace of God to move us from a life prone to sin, it is not something we can accomplish on our own. Sin tends to dull our spiritual senses, so to speak. Sin wants us to believe the lie that our own personal sin is not really all that bad, so it is not really a problem if we do not stop. After all what’s a little gossip compared to murder? As humans we want to rank sin and make some less offensive than others.

The truth of the matter is that before a holy God, there are only two categories: sin and no sin. The work of the Holy Spirit is needed to break through that spiritual self-satisfaction and make us understand our true situation.

God could allow humankind to remain in this state and all would be condemned. But God is a loving God, full of compassion and mercy, whose loving-kindness knows no end. By His own statement, God finds no pleasure in the death of even a single evil person. God desires reconciliation with all persons. Therefore, by His mercy and free and undeserved gift, the gift of convincing grace, a path to reconciliation is provided. God’s convincing grace pierces the fog and darkness that sins brings around our hearts and minds and begins to reveal our true standing before God. It is by God’s convincing grace that a person comes to know that God is not just a pushover, who will accept anyone just as he/she is. By convincing grace, person learns that love without discernment does not mean anything. For God to truly love us, He cannot allow us to remain in sin. Convincing grace opens the spiritual eyes of a person to understand that a religious façade is just that, all show and no meaning. The gift of convincing grace allows us to understand that a life apart from God is shallow and worthless, full of fear and anxiety, a life without hope. Convincing grace convinces the person that the wages of sin is indeed death. Convincing grace reveals the flaws and shortcomings of our self-created image, our sense of security, our misguided self-assurance. To paraphrase John Wesley, God awakens us from our spiritual slumber and prepares us for the next step in the way of salvation.

Grace and Peace,
Pastor Scot

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