Interactive Sermon

"Those who have the disease called Jesus will never be cured" ~Old Russian Proverb

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

On The Topic Of Grace

Here are a couple of quotes from Brennan Manning's book The Ragamuffin Gospel. Manning is a former Franciscan Priest, a recovering alcoholic, and author of more than a dozen books. I am only a few chapters into this one, but I am really liking it. Check these quotes and let me know how they strike you:

"The Good News (gospel) means we can stop lying to ourselves. The sweet sound of amazing grace saves us from the necessity of self deception. It keeps us from denying that though Christ was victorious, the battle with lust, greed, and pride still rages within us. As a sinner who has been redeemed, I can acknowledge that I am often unloving, irritable, angry and resentful with those closest to me. I don't need to apply spiritual cosmetics to make myself presentable to Him."

"When I get honest, I admit that I am a bundle of paradoxes: I believe and I doubt, I hope and get discouraged, I love and I hate, I feel bad about feeling good, I feel guilty about not feeling guilty, I am trusting and suspicious, I am honest and I still play games. Aristotle said I am a rational animal. I say that I am an angel with an incredible capacity for beer."

So, what do you make of Manning's comments? Thanks for conversing!


  • Any of us who walk with Christ know that Manning is right (and that is a GREAT book by the way).

    But there's so much "teaching" out there that is contrary to this. I've spent lots of time in "Arminian" and "Calvinist" churches alike (who take different sides on the issue of remining sin in the believer). Many end up saying the same thing, that a TRUE believer doesn't have sin inside.

    But boy you've got to twist Scripture to get there.

    It's my belief that we WANT it to be true that we can somehow eliminate "residual" sin in our lives. It removes us from the struggle.

    But mostly it lets us be proud. *I* am sanctified. Or *I* am TRULY saved. Or *I* have been truly baptized in the Spirit.

    The companion is *you* haven't been so blessed. *You* still struggle.

    I'll bet almost all of us who've wandered this walk with Christ have bumped into those "believers" who make us feel dirty.

    Not those who graciously lead us to an understanding of sin that needs to be dealt with. Those who seem to delight in one-upping.

    The proud in that environment fall in line and form a little clique of "goodness" or "betterness" (goodness knows I've done that).

    The honest wind up too often becoming discouraged first with themselves, then with their relationship with God.

    A while back it hit me that I have spent most of my Christian life looking for "victory" in this or that place.

    Jesus calls me to be HIS. To rely on HIS death and grace, not my own effort. To humbly recognize the constant need of grace to wash me, His Spirit to fill me.

    Living that grace every day is much more likely to make me over into His image, and to make me a sweet savor to others.


    By Higher Up, Further In, at 9/08/2005 2:21 PM  

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