Grace and the Spirit

I have heard Associate Pastor preach on four occasions.  Each time, I’ve wanted to breathe fire at him.  Something to wipe the arrogant, I’m-in-the-pulpit-and-all-dat grin off his face.  He has one of those personalities that just rubs me the WRONG way.  You’ve seen the cocky jerk persona before… well, this guy literally swaggers up the church aisle… and he makes a big joke out of EVERYTHING… which is amazing, since all he does (typically) is deliver the teen announcements at the beginning of the service.  Stand-up teen announcement comedy.  Har, har, dude.  Yeeeeeeah, you’re a card.  He claims to be ADHD and relishes it.  I don’t.  You know me and Truth – I’m there to learn.  Not see a rendition of religious Saturday Night Live.  Feed me.

I tally his sermons.  Tally marks for illustrations/anecdotes, mentions of TV and also Pertinent scripture.  ((I say pertinent because he’s really good at having you turn to something that has NOTHING to do with anything he ‘preaches’ on.))  Anyhow, the ratio of TV OR anecdotes to pertinent scripture is (on average) 5 to 1.  And pertinent scripture usually doesn’t end up with a scriptural truth destination, anyhow… Hrmph.  Enough on that.  It just makes me peevish.

Two Sundays ago our regular pastor was gone, and AP’s sermon was on how we should emulate the character of Jesus, and he ‘preached’ from John 1:14:  … and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of Grace and Truth.  Now… his sermon deduction was that if we are to emulate Jesus (he doesn’t use big words like emulate – he says ‘be like’… emulate is my version, btw) if we are to ‘be like’ Jesus, then we need to strive to be full of Grace and Truth.

aNNa’S NoTe:  There is a difference between ‘grace’ and ‘Grace’… just like there’s a difference between ‘truth’ and Truth.  If you answer honestly, you tell the truth.  But Biblical Truth refers to a purer form of Truth – the source of all honesty, and what supports it.  Big difference.  The same with grace/Grace.  You can be a gracious host, but you cannot be full of the purer from of Grace… it’s the source of Grace.  So when AP says we need to strive to be full of Grace and Truth…

WRONG.  I’m sorry, but that’s WRONG.  WRONG, WRONG, WRONG.  Grace is the gift of mercy extended by a Perfect and Holy God to a sinful and flawed humankind.  Jesus, being God, could be full of Grace – because He was/is Perfect and Holy.  However, we are *not* perfect and Holy, we are sinful and flawed.  Sinners cannot extend mercy, as they are in NEED of mercy, and therefore cannot be full of Grace.  I’m sorry, but that’s the way it is.

HOWEVER… we were given an alternative means to reach the same emulation of Christ, so bear with me a moment and look at John 4:23:  Butthehourcometh,andnowis,whenthetrueworshipersshallworshiptheFatherin Spiritandin Truth:fortheFatherseekethsuchtoworship HimDo you see the difference?  The Bible says Jesus is full of Grace & Truth… and that we are to be full of Spirit & Truth.

Now, stay with me… we are not perfect and Holy and therefore cannot be full of Grace.  Any striving to that end would be completely futile, because that which sins cannot be Holy, cannot give mercy, and has not Grace.  HOWEVER, the Lord has sent His Spirit to indwell us, so that THRU HIM we might be able to show forth the Grace that we cannot attain in and of ourselves.  The Spirit will perform works of Grace in us and through us.  Do you see why the Spirit is so vital to our faith?  Why believers have to walk in Spirit and in Truth in order to shew themselves as followers of Christ?  Because we cannot be like Him if we aren’t filled by Him.  Amazing, if you think about it.  I never thought about it, but it completes scripture totally.

But that’s not what Captain ADHD taught.  He told us that we need to strive to be full of Grace and Truth, and that Grace is showing luvvv and not making yourself responsible to make sure others adhere to God’s standard (so throw 1 Tim 4:2 out the window…) and that our goal should be to be attractive to the world… ((huh??!??))  Yeah.

Anyhow, I had to share what I learned… inadvertently.  ((And yes, you can still learn when someone’s totally full of shit – because learning by disproving is actually a great way to learn.))  So… there you have it.  Grace and the Spirit.  ((not Grace and Truth))  Woo-HOO!!

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