What Is It, Really, To Be Redeemed?

(this image from the blog Na-Da Farm)

What part of you is redeemed by the blood of Jesus? Only the parts you are able to polish up?

When you mix legalism with Gospel, you end up preserving the Gospel as a priceless artifact, instead of living it as the scandalous reality Christ meant it to be. You relegate it to a supernatural idea, or a stern standard. The law cannot vivify anything, and make it leap to loving life.

But grace! Ah, grace is alive with earthy life. We encounter grace in exactly the way we body-bound mortals encounter all of life, that is, by "doing the dishes." We encounter grace in our flesh, through our work and through our relationships.

Ordinary living, when you finally "get" grace, becomes the powerful vehicle that drives the message of the Gospel deep into your consciousness - and not because there is some transcendent secret to be found in cooking, cleaning, crying, forgiving, friending, laughing, shopping, drinking coffee, doing dishes or making love. Rather (in light of the fact that you are the very righteousness of God, in Christ) all those activities simply serve to mediate the mystery to you - namely, the mystery of "Christ in you, the hope of glory".

Christ in you, Christ "as" you, Christ as your wisdom, sanctification, and redemption. Your choices become the fruit of the Holy Spirit, as your mind renews itself to the exact proportion you apply the Gospel to your day, not just your destiny.

No easy road, this. Those who talk of "cheap grace" have never understood grace at all.
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