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Entries in reassuring grace vs. replacement grace (2)


Our old nature is not in remission, it's been removed.

As I pointed out in my last post, there's a big difference between "reassuring grace" and "replacement grace." 

While "reassuring grace" says that we can "live loved" and that "God isn't disappointed with us,"  replacement grace offers us the real change we needed.  Reassuring grace is a welcomed relief, but not the cure.

Our dis-eased nature [heart/spirit] - the thing that led us astray in the first place -  was completely removed when we said 'yes' to Jesus:

  • It's not about a touch-up, but a transplant.

  • It's not about incremental improvement, but a dramatic deletion.

  • It's not about remission, but total removal.

  • It's not about symptom-management, but eradication of our sin-stained nature.

Then why do Christians still sin?  Because residual attitudes and patterns of sin - left over from before we met Jesus  - can still operate in our bodies...  like a residual infection from an amputed limb.  Sin may still operate in our bodies, or "members" as Paul says, but not in our new nature [heart.] 

[Paul describes "sin" as an alien force in our bodies:  A force that can operate within us, but is not us.]  Those left-over habits and patterns of thought live in our bodies, not in our hearts now.

Because the ruined heart that used to hold us captive has been surgically removed by Jesus, our God-given new heart is now our ally and not our enemy.


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.