Member Tyler Daniels shares with us the difference between cheap grace and true grace:
The Doctrine of Grace is largely misunderstood in churches around the world. So many are steeped in the bondage of tradition and religion failing to rejoice in the freedom gifted to them in Christ. The preaching at Christ Community has helped me better understand this important truth and its implications for our lives. Paul explains this freedom in Galations 5, “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1 ESV) I have found while at Christ Community Church, that my mind has been in this “tug-of-war” between “cheap grace” and the true grace freely given to us by the cross.
“Cheap grace” pays for sin on a merit based system. We battle our sin with morality, thus becoming our own heroes. This grace is worse than cheap, it’s worthless! True, biblical grace is God’s unmerited favor. The difference can be hard to detect without a biblical lens - hence why it is so widespread.
Sin creates a since of shame that can sometimes lead to what Paul explains in Galations 5 as “a yoke of slavery.” Our bondage comes when this shame leads to a distrust in God’s ability to overcome it. This is where pastor Matt has focused his teaching, because this is the issue that so often hinders us from standing firm in the freedom of the cross. If we depend on our own actions to compensate for our sin, then we will find ourselves in a losing battle. So how do we stand?
Pastor Matt has redirected my understanding of grace with this phrase - “Your problem isn’t that you need to do better, your problem is that you don’t believe God loves you.” After some time of reflection, I realized he was right! I could barely be transparent with myself about my sin much less my wife, friends, and most importantly, God. I feared the implications of my sin because I didn’t fully understand the implications of the cross. The belief Matt speaks of is not built on our ability to deal with sin, but rather our faith in Jesus’ ability to deal with sin at the cross. We can stand firm against the evil in this world because we are free from its slavery - because Jesus is stronger.
Sin is wrong. It is a violation of God’s law and the breaking of his heart. It will bring shame. It will bring guilt. You may break his heart, but you will never be abandoned and you will always be loved. There is so much freedom to be gained through the cross of Jesus. This is the message we bring to the world. We must remember that when we gather. It empowers us to be transparent with ourselves, our spouses, our friends, and with our God. We may come with sin and shame, but we should leave hopeful, thankful, and joyful - loved by the Father, empowered by the Holy Spirit, free in Jesus.