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Why reassuring grace isn't enough...



There are two kinds of "grace:"

  • "Reassuring Grace"

  • "Replacement Grace."

Most of us think that God's offer is limited to reassuring us of his forgiveness, or reminding us of his "unmeritted favor."  We're drawn to the comfort of "living loved," "God's not angry with you," and "resting in him."  This kind of grace, while putting us at ease with God and removing the anxiety that comes with religious performance, is not the best part of God's offer.

More immediately hopeful than even Reassuring Grace is "Replacement Grace."  Why?  Because "Reassuring Grace" by itself is cruel:  Like comforting a cancer patient without attempting to cure the cancer that's destroying her. 

That sick person needs the cancer to be gone if her body is to function at-ease.  She needs restoration.  [* I realize that in the physical world of sickness, "victory" doesn't always mean removal of the disease.  However, in the spiritual world, the world of our heart or core nature, victory can and does mean the immediate removal of the diseased organ - in this case, our diseased, sin-sick spirit/heart.]

While reassuring that patient that you love her and will comfort her certainly helps her, what she really needs is a new lung, or whatever organ is ransacked with death.

So God, in addition to reassuring us with his gracious love, replaces the diseased core within us:  he replaces our old, wandering and sin-sick heart with a new, supernaturally-good and noble heart.

The grace that replaces is even better than the grace that reassures.

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Reader Comments (2)

Awesome view Jim, I like, for a replacement from old to new is the answer. I have learned one cannot put new wine in old wine skins. The new wine lasts for a short while yet it eventually bursts the old wine skin. so I guess it makes sense why we are going around wining a lot, for it seems to not be easy to understand the new covenant we are under when we enter into Christ and Christ into us. Thanks for the replacemnet grace and may I use it on my blog that I hope you will check out and give me your comments, Howard Schultz

April 11, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterhoward schultz

Hi Howard. Thanks for the comment! You're right -- this is exactly what Jesus meant by "new wineskins." The heart IS the new wineskin for his power and goodness.

And sure, you're welcome to refer to my post here on your blog. I'll check it out. ...Jim

April 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJim Robbins

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