17 Jul The Grace of God (Part 11): Justifying Grace
Justifying grace permits us, though legally condemned as sinners, to stand before our holy and righteous God and be justly declared righteous as sinners saved by the death and resurrection of the sinless Jesus in our place for our sins.
Romans 3:23–24 describes this justifying grace: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”
Justifying grace frees us from the performance trap of treadmill religion. In treadmill religion, we have to work hard and perform at a high level for God to take notice of us.
To make matters even more complicated, the list of rules by which merits and demerits are measured varies by one’s religious team. For example, on some teams, you are holy if you drink alcohol whereas on others you are unholy if you drink alcohol. And this is only one of innumerable works that religious people squabble over.
The problem with treadmill performance religion is that it leads to either pride or despair. If you keep the rules of your religious team, you become arrogant. Conversely, if you fail to keep the rules of your religious team, you despair. Justifying grace gives us full assurance that God will love us no more if we perform well and love us no less if we perform poorly. By justifying grace, our acceptance before God and the grounds for our righteousness are solely Jesus’ works of sinless living, substitutionary death, and bodily resurrection and therefore are not in any way contingent upon what we do or do not do.
In short, Jesus is our report card, performance review, and resume when it comes to the account we will give to God at the end of this life.
Do you really, truly, and deeply believe that God’s grace for you is all that you will ever need to be loved and accepted by your Heavenly Father?