Uncovering Jesus' Free Grace message.

Amazed by God’s Free Gift

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Doing Free Grace ministry often feels like being a missionary to Christendom, telling people who profess to believe in Jesus about the way of salvation.

If that’s how you feel, it may help to know you’re not alone. As I’m working through Paul’s letter to the Galatians, it is very much a missionary letter to Christians who, as a group, were turning to a false gospel. Undoubtedly, some of the people Paul addressed had become convinced, while others were still on their way, and so Paul preached the gospel to Christians.

Around 1924, a young Watchman Nee was preaching the gospel at Bethel Hospital in Shanghai, and the Chinese Christians were astounded by what he said:

“During these ventures, the appeal of Watchman’s own preaching lay in his gift of making plain that the way to God relies solely upon Christ’s finished work. All too many Christians, having been given wrong priorities, were striving after a salvation based on merit earned by their own good works—a way that is little removed in principle from Buddhism. It is presumptuous, they were told, to say with assurance that you are saved. So, Watchman’s audiences were amazed by the notion that a new life in Christ was God’s free gift” (Angus Kinnear, Against the Tide, pp. 99-100).

There’s nothing new under the sun, is there?

How many nominal, cultural, and otherwise confused Christians are “striving after a salvation based on merit earned by their own good works”?

It reminds me of Paul’s question to the Galatians:

“Are you so foolish? After beginning by the Spirit, are you now finishing by the flesh?” (Gal 3:3).

The answer to Paul’s question is “Yes.” Christians can definitely be that foolish—even ones discipled by the apostle Paul himself. They might think they can start by the flesh, finish by the flesh, and end by the flesh.

That’s why we need grace teachers like Paul to write to the Galatians and Nee to preach to Christians in Shanghai and readers like you to share the promise of Jesus’ free gift to foolish people. Let’s strive to share the freeness of grace as much as they strive to earn it.

Send your questions or comments to Shawn.


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