The Fight For Grace


I find it both interesting and amusing when I hear someone describe me as “the hyper grace man”. I am in no way offended, but just the opposite rings true. To me, it is a compliment.

Just last week a friend of mine was sharing with me a telephone conversation he had with a mutual acquaintance. My name came up and this comment was made, “With Butch if it is not grace, it is legalism.”  Once again, that which was intended to discredit, actually confirmed that someone had been listening to the messages I had been sharing for several years. As I “fight for grace”, there is a sense I am surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses that have already fought the good fight and finished their course.

One witness stands out in particular. His name is Paul, the apostle. I find myself sitting as his feet, so to speak, and hear him tell me of his fight for grace. As I read some of his accounts, he tells of some of the great challenges he faced as he carried the Gospel of grace into foreign places. He was met with much opposition. The fight for grace was more with his own Jewish countrymen than with the Gentiles. These Jews were commonly called Pharisees. They followed him and tried to convince those who had repented and believed the gospel, that they needed to be circumcised to be in a relationship with God. Just repenting and believing that Jesus died for their sins and through His shed blood, they had been reconciled to God was not enough.  We don’t really know if they had much success in their attempt to corrupt the Gospel of grace; however, Paul saw the danger of adding anything to the Good News. He fought the good fight with letters to those believers and was emphatic they not fall into this trap.

Here is just a portion of his letter to the believers in an area called Galatia:

You crazy Galatians! Did someone put a hex on you? Have you taken leave of your senses? Something crazy has happened, for it's obvious that you no longer have the crucified Jesus in clear focus in your lives. His sacrifice on the Cross was certainly set before you clearly enough. Let me put this question to you: How did your new life begin? Was it by working your heads off to please God? Or was it by responding to God's Message to you? Are you going to continue this craziness? For only crazy people would think they could complete by their own efforts what was begun by God. If you weren't smart enough or strong enough to begin it, how do you suppose you could perfect it? Did you go through this whole painful learning process for nothing? It is not yet a total loss, but it certainly will be if you keep this up! Answer this question: Does the God who lavishly provides you with his own presence, his Holy Spirit, working things in your lives you could never do for yourselves, does he do these things because of your strenuous moral striving or because you trust him to do them in you? Don't these things happen among you just as they happened with Abraham? He believed God, and that act of belief was turned into a life that was right with God. Galations 3:1-6 (MSG)

For years of my Christian life, I was a “crazy Galatian.” I worked my head off to please God, to be accepted by Him and to be counted worthy of His saving me. Thank God, someone fought for grace and convinced me to rest in my salvation. Maybe these words written by Paul to confused believers will be enough to convince you to become a “hyper grace person”. It sure is fun and I am enjoying my relationship with Him!

At Crossway we love walking with people and teaching them the good news about God’s grace. If you would like to talk with someone give us a call or shoot us an email. We would love to talk with you!