Walking the Grace Road

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Counterintuitive Grace

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coun·ter·in·tu·i·tive: Contrary to intuition or to common-sense expectation (but often nevertheless true).

It shouldn't come as a big surprise the Gospel is counterintuitive to natural thoughts and conventional wisdom. Shouldn't we expect that from a mighty God? How easily we forget the clear words spoken by the Lord through the prophet Isaiah!

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Indeed, we see this truth all throughout Scripture. God has an uncanny way of doing the exact opposite of what man thinks is right! He calls the weak and foolish people to confound the strong and wise. In the parable the vineyard workers, He said the last would be first and the first would be last.

The list goes on and on, but when it comes to going against conventional wisdom there's one topic that takes the cake. It's called the grace of God! Humans have a difficult time wrapping their minds around grace.

We naturally want to deserve what we get, and get what we deserve. We naturally want to earn our way into the good graces of God. We naturally want to perform to attain greater status and blessing. There are so many things that seem natural and right, but they are wrong.

Well intentioned people often reject the Gospel of Grace with something more palatable... something manmade. They prefer a mixture of law and grace. A little bit of Moses scrambled together with a little bit of Jesus. In the end, such ingredients produces no real Gospel at all.

The famous English preacher from the 1800s, Charles H. Spurgeon, expresses these sentiments far better than I.

No sooner is this doctrine (grace) presented in a clear light than men begin to criticize it. It is the target for all carnal logic to shoot at. Unrenewed minds never did like it, and they never will; it is so humbling to human pride, making so little of the nobility of human nature. That men are to be saved by divine charity, that they must as condemned criminals receive pardon by the exercise of the royal prerogative, or else perish in their sins, is a teaching which they cannot endure. God alone is exalted in the sovereignty of his mercy; and the sinner can do no better than meekly touch the silver scepter, and accept underserved favor just because God wills to give it:-- this is not pleasant to the great minds of our philosophers, and the broad phylacteries of our moralists, and therefore they turn aside, and fight against the empire of grace.

Indeed, we are the recipients of God's amazing grace! How humbling to our prideful instincts. How dismissive to our self-righteous tendencies. How forcefully God's grace fights against our natural way of thinking!

Ah yes, the Gospel of Grace is counterintuitive and quite scandalous. We are forgiven people. We are new creations. We are caught in the middle of covenant God made with Himself. He will never leave us or forsake us.

How about we simply say "WOW" and "THANK YOU" to our God! When it comes to grace, there is no more appropriate response. A message so good can only be received by faith.

Posted by Rob Wachter with
Tags: grace, gospel