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Posted by Paul Edwards (Fr. Paul) on May 15, 2014 | Comments (0)


Sixth Sunday in Easter

Click here to go to the Bottom Line Meditations for the Sixth Sunday in Easter

Godly Abiding Spiritually in Jesus Changes the Meaning of What we See Worldly When Not Abiding in Jesus.

Spirituality is our innate ability to feel the difference worldly or godly thinking makes to the way scripture translates to our daily life and relationships.

All Scripture is a testimony to Jesus Christ, who is the Word of God. He is the complete revelation of God’s will of grace for salvation. Grace is the only unfailing rule of faith and practice for the Christian life.

The Gospel of grace is: rather than trying to be more faithful to become faithful, we become faithful by feeling the Faith God already has for and in us.

The Strength of Christianity is Grace

John 1:14 “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

Another name for Jesus is "Grace". Another name for God is "Grace". We are saved by GRACE. "Love" is not Love if it is not grace. This is true for "Faith", "Hope", "Joy" and all other theological words of significance in the scripture.

Until someone experiences the grace gift in their lives, all other theological words have no real meaning. Why not begin to use the word "grace" in place of "Jesus", "God", "the Spirit", "Love" and so on? It might seem inappropriate to do so. However, until it is actually experienced it will make no sense at all.

That is what this year is all about. Grace, did you get it?

 

John 14:15-21 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”

The Purpose of God pouring the Spirit of Jesus into our hearts was for us to feel the Presence of His grace. Sense the intangible presence of a loved one. Now whatever you just did do the same by sensing the intangible Presence of Jesus. The rest are all details.

The old adage, “If all you have is a hammer everything looks like a nail,” applies spiritually to legalism. To legalism, everything looks like one has to do something to gain anything. With grace, the truth is revealed: one only needs to be something (in Jesus’ presence) to be able to do anything.

What is the meaning of the Words of Jesus when He taught, “If you love me you will keep my commandments.”

Legalism’s hammer teaches we must obey His commandments if we are to Love Him. In legalism if we break them, we no longer Love Him. When we do break His commandments we are out of His Presence. We must go back and start all over to obey His commandments. Then it will show Him that we love Him.

When our hammer is grace, we will see this in an entirely different manner. First of all we must be careful that our hammer lets us see what is said. The legalistic hammer would translate “keep” as “obey”. They are two different Greek words with two different meanings. To keep is to  watch over gracefully. To obey is black and white; either or; do it or don’t do it.

Secondly, we need to recognize things can get lost in the translation. The word “if” can also be translated “because”. Think about it: “Because you love me you will keep my commandments.” We do not keep His commandments to love Him. We keep His commandments “because” we love Him. We get into His grace first and then we can love Jesus, others and ourselves. Jesus tells us, “apart from me you can do nothing.” When we follow His commandments, it is a sign we love Him. When we are not following His commandments it is a sign we have moved out of His presence and are out of His grace. We need to get back into His presence and grace in order to keep His commandments.

The young and inexperienced grace Christian may wonder why grace would even have a commandment. It sounds un-Jesus like. It is not, if you understand grace. Keeping His commandments is a sign of being in His grace. Not keeping His command to do the loving thing is a sign we are out of the light of His grace. In His grace is the abundant light and life. Outside of His grace is darkness and spiritual death. 

In the old days my sons had chores. One night they did not want to wash the dishes. I told them they had a choice. They could wash the dishes for under an hour tonight or they could clean the garage on Saturday afternoon. They complained that it was not a choice. You tell me. Was this a choice? Of course it was. Was this a choice? Of course not. It is the same way about grace. For the mature Christian, is being in God’s Presence a choice? Of course it is. It is not a matter of obedience or guilt. We make this choice daily. It is a choice! Is the difference between life in the Spirit and death a choice? For the mature Christian, choosing between Life and death is not much of a choice!

Did you find the grace?


THE DISCIPLE-SHIFT: The Virtual Small Group: Members share once a week with their group through the internet when a shift from being out to being in the Presence made a difference.


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