19 Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, and he will show him even greater works than these, so that you will be amazed.
21 For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it. 22 Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, 23 that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him.
24 “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.
25 Very truly I tell you, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live. 26 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. 27 And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man.
I used to live in the extremes. I think it comes from a lifetime of addictions and codependency, all or nothing thinking that could trigger manic joy or depression at the drop of a hat. Gratefully today that is no longer the case
The battle in working to overcome extremism in my thinking didn’t stop in trying to figure out who the “real” God is, not the god of my childhood dreams. Not the god that could never help me because he was too far off.
In that came a very real battle to discern the extremes of cheap grace and earned grace, both extremes that miss the mark of God’s pure and perfect love that paid the price for our sins.
Cheap grace dictates that I can do no wrong, which I believe is dangerously false. There is a life or death difference between thinking that because of the cross I can go on living as I was. I believe this passage in John clearly shows that it is Jesus’ choice who lives and dies and He bases that on who “hears His words and believes”.
John 14:21 Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”
A “believer” in Jesus Christ will be in-dwelled by the Holy Spirit and hunger and thirst for the word of God and live a transformed life seeking the removal of our old selfish ways and longing to walk, talk and love more like Christ each day.
It is Grace that gives us the new life so we can LIVE differently, to live for His glory and the byproduct of that single focus on glorifying God benefits of ourselves and those around us.
Which leads to the opposite extreme, earned grace, of which is impossible. As I have heard said many times, God does not call the qualified, He qualifies the called.
Romans 3:20 For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.
We should not do volunteer time on the weekends, or tithe, or read our bible, or pray, or blog, or tell others the good news in the hopes that it will earn us favor with God. I do those things in response to the favor of God despite my incredibly unworthiness.
Balance is the key; to recognize that it was by grace that we were given sight, knowledge of God’s love, compassion, will and sacrifice for our lives, then to live fully aware of the sin that dwells in the flesh which can only lead to immense gratitude when that knowledge is pressed up against verses such as John 5 which shows that it is by mercy alone that Jesus chooses not to judge the sin that God the Father has given Him authority over.
Thank You Father God for your incredibly mercy that has patience and grace to account for my selfishness, pride, ego and idolatry that so infects my behaviors, many times without my knowledge but admittedly many times through fear and a battle for control over my life. I thank You for the Word that convicts and also for the Word such as these in John which reminds me so deeply yet again that my life is only made possible in You, by You, for You. Help me this day to be watchful for the divine appointments you place in my path, let me not seek to “make” something happen but instead be ready when You bring about some situation that You would have me speak or act upon that can help lead others toward Your light alone. Less of me and more of You Lord. The price you paid was too high, let me never take for granted or minimize Your work on the cross nor forget that God the Father set upon You the power to heal or condemn. In Your precious name I pray