Sunday, January 15, 2012

Law versus Grace - and ramblings

I read a very interesting and candid interview with Bono, the lead singer from U2, regarding grace and karma this evening.  It is well worth the read.  It is actually an excerpt from the book Bono: In Conversation with Michka Assayas

So what does this have to do with the topic: Law versus Grace?  Well, in a way, karma is like the Law.  Both teach that we get what we deserve.  What goes around, comes around.  I know, trite cliches that annoy many people -- sorry about that.  However, it is important to note that God offers grace today.  Yes at one time, He required sacrifices and the Israelites were bound to the Law. Then Jesus came to Earth, lived as a man, suffered at the hands of the Romans (because of the Pharisees), died on the cross for the sins of the world--which means each one of us!

Paul, who was once known as Saul, was one of the strictest adherents to the Law when he was a Pharisee. In fact, he was one of those who made it his mission to persecute the followers of "The Way" as it was first known shortly after Jesus was killed and resurrected. 

Once converted to Christianity however, Paul became one of the strongest advocates for Grace!  He went so far as to state that those who wanted to go back under the Law should go ahead and emasculate themselves when they try to be circumcised. (see Galatians chapter 3)  Now that is harsh! Paul himself points out that none of us can be righteous and earn forgiveness. "I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!" The Holy Bible : New International Version, electronic ed. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996, c1984). Gal 2:21.

So where do we go from here?  Some would say that since we cannot be good, why even try? Well I say that although I cannot be worthy, I can be grateful.  The Bible also warns us that those of us that have tasted God's forgiveness should not remain in sin.  We should live as good a life as we can, not that we earn His mercy, but rather to show Him our gratitude.

Thank You, Jesus!  

I have said it many times in this blog, and I will say it many more times.  This is the truth that separates Christianity from all other religions.  God loved and loves us, He sought and seeks us, He paid the penalty for our sins.