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Posts Tagged ‘Grace’

“Grace is the power of obedience; it is theory and practice, conception and birth; it is the indicative which carries with it a categorical imperative; it is the call, the command, the order, which cannot be disobeyed. Grace has the force of a downright conclusion; it is knowledge which requires no act of will to translate it into action, as though the will were a second factor side by side with knowledge. Grace is knowledge of the will of God, and as such it is the willing of the will of God. Grace is the power of the Resurrection: the knowledge that men are known of God, the consciousness that their existence is begotten of God, that it moves and rests in Him, and that it is beyond all concrete things, beyond the being and course of this world.” p. 207 The Epistle to the Romans

Another post regarding Barth on grace…

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“They have encountered the grace of God; have met the incomprehensibility of God, as Job did–out of the whirlwind. They were terrified in their ungodliness and unrighteousness and were shaken out of their dreaming. It was as though the veil of the mist of religion was dispersed and the cloud of divine wrath was rent asunder; and they heard the indiscoverable, saw the negation of God! felt the barrier of the judgment, the paradox of existence, and, hopeful in their distress, divined the meaning of life. They came to themselves in fear and awe and trembling and in–‘clarity of sight’. In the presence of God they were compelled to stand still.” p. 59 The Epistle to the Romans

The ‘they’ at the start there is referring to ‘stalwarts in the army of light’, ‘real men…far-seeing and intelligent men…who have caught a glimpse of the Last Things”. “felt” is also not capitalized in the text after the exclamation point.

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“And this is enough: for grace is sufficient, even for ethics! Like the turning of a key in a lock, it is the prelude to a new action, to that conduct which is marked by the divine protest against the great illusion, through which the light of the coming Day shines clear and transparent. Grace is sufficient to destroy the noxious assurance of men and to give them the status of the new man in Christ. Grace is sufficient to awaken them from the sleep of righteousness, and to make of them men who have been sacrificed. Grace is sufficient to prevent men being removed altogether from that which is good and acceptable and perfect; from the behaviour which is well-pleasing to God and in which His glory and the downfall of men shine forth.” p. 437 The Epistle to the Romans

Yes, Grace is sufficient…

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“The danger lies in the possibility of our speaking of the freedom and power and grace of God in such a way that, instead of leading men to apprehend His will, we encourage them to discard all sense of responsibility.” p. 354-355 The Epistle to the Romans

This is a worry I have for Christianity. I have seen this in my own life, and am careful about how I present the Christian message so as not to have people feel free to do as they please. It’s a tough line to walk…I myself, even with this knowledge, sometimes fall into the trap of cheap Grace.

For example, I know a person who is not religious, not Christian (though baptized as one). He/she is rather carefree and the ‘party’ type. Drugs and alcohol are part of their life, as a social and party stimulant. Sexuality has been part of this person’s life since they were in their early teens. I just wonder, how could I explain the biblical message, the Gospel of Christ to this person, and not have them just run away from it. In casual conversation, it came up, and he/she immediately said that if premarital sex was not allowed, then they can’t be part of it. I see this same attitude rampant in all youth. Not to say this is a problem of today’s youth either, because I’ve talked to some older folks who told me some amazingly bad stories of their own youth…I just don’t know what to do to try to reach people who have made sin not something to be afraid of, loathed, despised, or even a secret pleasure that they know is wrong…but rather rejoice and revel in it, making it part of their very being, a habit that is forming their character as they ‘grow up’.

I’ve come back to this post to edit it: The Gospel, although it is good news, is also the news of God, which is against the world, and against us as we stand. So for anyone to do anything but run from it is only natural. I think just laying it out there for what it is, is enough. Living within its framework as best a sinner can will also help.

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