I wonder what proportion of gospel preachers really preach the radical message of God’s grace, and how many feel the need to qualify it and augment it and protect it? When we preach grace, how do we over-qualify it?
When I preached a series on Galatians I realized Paul pulled no punches. I reflected that somewhat in my message. I also pondered this quote from Andy Stanley:
“The church, or I should say, church people, must quit adding the word “but” to the end of our sentences about grace. Grace plus is no longer grace. Grace minus is no longer grace. We are afraid people will abuse grace if presented in its purest form. We need not fear that, we should assume that. Religious people crucified grace personified. Of course grace will be abused. But grace is a powerful dynamic. Grace wins out in the end. It is not our responsibility to qualify it. It is our responsibility to proclaim it and model it.”
Why Preaching Grace Feels Dangerous
1. We preach grace, but insist on human commitment
It’s so easy to preach of God’s wonderful, amazing, life-transforming, gaze-transfixing, heart-captivating grace. And then in the same breath speak of our need to make a personal commitment, to be diligent, to conform to standards, etc. Either God’s grace is as good as we say it is, or it is lacking and needs human supply.