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This post will wander a bit. Bear with me.

The children’s hide and seek game, where you are tagged ‘it’ if the one who is already it finds you, has the option of calling everyone back in ‘free’… no tagging. We would call out, “Allee allee outs in free!” Somehow this got transliterated into “Olly olly outs in free” which makes no sense. But then, it’s a children’s game and doesn’t have to make sense.

I used the title because it pretty much explains where I am on the matter of grace and Christian belief. Calling everyone in free is often referred to as universal salvation (or universal recreation – which I do NOT agree with) and if you want to start a firestorm, try telling another Christian you believe it. Or at least a version of it.

Here is what I see. Jesus did indeed reconcile all things to himself when he died. That, to me, says universal reconciliation, and is what I beleive to be true. It is NOT universal salvation. Salvation means to be made whole, to have the life of Christ, now, in this life, in this age. To be a new creation, born from above (or born again) through faith in Jesus.

We are saved by faith, to be able to know Him, and for the purpose of preaching the good news, making more disciples to do the same thing. Why? Well, I’d rather live in this life, free of religion and knowing Jesus, than to have to wait until that last day. Wouldn’t you? It was imprtant enough that Jesus died to bring us into it, and the apostles died to spread the news. That is good enough for me.

Age-long is what the word that has been translated “eternal” means. In scripture, only God is truly eternal, and presumalby that is how the translators came up with eternal life. It is a descriptor of the giver, not of the duration of the life we are given. What we are told by the apostle Paul is that we will be changed at the resurrection, and have incorruptable bodies…. which would make us immortal. Currently, Jesus is the only one with immortality.

Jesus came to take away the sins of the world, as the lamb of God. He did not fail. He did away with the law, by which sin is known. Even the law that is known by instinct in the hearts of the pagan, the doing good to gain favor, is wiped away. It is over. That is the good news.

We now live by faith, which is trust in God and persuasion of the gospel.

We who believe have God’s influence in our hearts, a free gift that we didn’t earn. It is called grace. Grace is what teaches us godliness. Paul adamantly says that grace and law don’t mix. If you try to add law to grace, you loose the benefit of grace. He calls it falling from grace. Not losing salvation, but losing your ability to live in the full freedom of grace.

So, to revive the law, or the idea of good and evil, and apply it to others is to put yourself under that law as well. You will be into a legal mindset, and not a mindset of grace and freedom. You will not be able to bring grace into anyone’s life if you judge good or evil regarding them. This is important. We are daily among ‘outsiders’ and we have the ministry of reconciliation. We are to tell them they are included in the work of Christ. From the drunk to the criminal, all are included.

If any do not know their heavenly Father, they will at some point. There is no alternative. There is no law and no sin to judge. Sin itself was judged and is defeated. Therefore, no punishment is due anyone. There is only God, and there is no place that God is not. He is in Sheol, the scriptures says. If He is in the place of the dead, that is not a place of torment, but waiting. If there is such a place at all……

Universal or ultimate reconciliation says that one day each one will see the Father and recognize Him. Even the atheist. When they do, the light of his goodness will burn off all the ‘dross’ and they will be just as we were when we met Him and were saved. Or, as scripture says, every knee will bow and every tongue will say Jesus is Lord. Or, you could see it as the prodigal son in his father’s embrace.

The concept of hell as a place of punishment and torment is pagan. There is nothing to punish. There is only inclusion and reconciliation. Sin is dead. Law is dead. By Christ, we are also dead to sin and to the law. It truly is finished. Take the words sin, and law, and hell, and punishment, and most definitely torment, out of your vocabulary. It will begin to change how you respond to others.

Olly olly outs in free!

Romans 14…And in Adam we have a type of Him whose coming was still future. 15 But God’s free gift immeasurably outweighs the transgression. For if through the transgression of the one individual the mass of mankind have died, infinitely greater is the generosity with which God’s grace, and the gift given in His grace which found expression in the one man Jesus Christ, have been bestowed on the mass of mankind. 18 It follows then that just as the result of a single transgression is a condemnation which extends to the whole race, so also the result of a single decree of righteousness is a life-giving acquittal which extends to the whole race. 19 For as through the disobedience of the one individual the mass of mankind were constituted sinners, so also through the obedience of the One the mass of mankind will be constituted righteous. (Rom 5:14,15,18,19 Weymouth Translation) 

 

This video is by Greg Boyd. It’s an hour, but worth it.

http://whchurch.org/blog/6681/gods-shadow-activity

“When people read the Old Testament, it can be a bit confusing to those that know Jesus and his ministry. In this sermon, Greg talks about how the Law in the Old Testament was simply a shadow of the cross, and that the ugliness in the Old Testament simply shows how far humanity was separated from God.”

 

 

PURE. We are, by the very words and work of Jesus.

We do not struggle to be or to stay pure. If we struggle, it means we have forgotten, or maybe have never known, that we ARE pure. It means we have a sin consciousness, that comes from religious laws.

If we have a purity conciousness, this comes from living loved through Christ. It is living in and by GRACE.

 

 

The community of believers in Christ has come though works, to faith, to new birth, to Spirit-filled, and now to grace. This true both historically and relationally. Grace is more than a bridge, but it is rather a growing. It never ceases. It is in us, the divine influence on our hearts, which teaches us godliness.

 

I have seen the joy and freedom of living by faith, of being born from above, and the infilling of the Holy Spirit. Now, even more than all that, comes the absolute explosion of joy and freedom, peace and love, from knowing we live in grace. The realization that there really are no chains binding us to performance, to giving account of ourselves, or to sin consciousness, cannot be put into words.

 

We experience all these things when we come to Christ. It seems to explode over us, and in us, when we are filled with the Spirit. Then we learn about grace. The explosion may be softer. But the fruit of it is more constant. The fruit of the spirit really begins to ripen and it has a sweet savor. The love that was put in us begins to change us in ways we never knew possible. We don’t try to do it, it just happens. Fruit grows.

 

Is love the step that grace has led us to? I’m thinking it is. It will be something we’ve never known before. Let’s not miss it by camping in a grace valley…..

We all find ourselves looking at the minutiae of the scriptures. It’s such an exercise in futility most of the time. Yet whole denominations have been born from the misunderstanding of sentence structure, or the placement of a comma in a Bible translation.

I find myself having to look at words such as ‘of’ and ‘in’ and ‘all’. It’s nuts, and based on texts that are far from the originals. Yet so much of our misunderstanding about what the Bible is really telling us comes from not seeing the overall picture, and in mistranslating the little words, like prepositions and pronouns – even finding that many have been inserted and weren’t in the Greek versions.

Maybe the devil really is in the details.

There is no original version of the Bible.

An update of an old post:

Skipping Stones

If grace does not produce acceptance, we aren’t operating in grace at all.

Grace cannot produce awareness of sins. Awareness of sin, as a transgression, is known from the law and the law is done away in Christ. Awareness of our failings and our weaknesses is not sin. We should not even speak of remaining in sin (Rom. 6:1). How can we? We are dead to it.

We are in relationship with God. Like lovers, we seek to please Him. And for His part, He does not see our failings. He gives us grace, favor, a work in the heart.

So, if we are dead to sin, and it is not charged against us, how can we accuse others of it?

How can we point the finger and refuse to accept any? By grace, we have gained a brother or sister and have not been a stumbling block…

View original post 369 more words

If I hadn’t begun my fall INTO grace back when I was a new believer, I would not be walking in grace now. At least, not at the place I am now, but somewhere walking behind.

I would be a legalistic snot, trying to make everyone stop sinning, trying to make the nation a Pharisee’s delight, being disgusted by someone’s ‘life style’, and generally living a really pathetic life, thinking I was spiritual.

Great grace! Outrageous grace!

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