Our pastor, Gary Wilkerson (for those who have heard of David Wilkerson of The Cross and the Switchblade, Gary is his son), is a self-dubbed grace pastor. He preaches the message of God’s grace nearly every Sunday. He teaches from different passages in the Bible, but the fundamental message is often the same: God’s grace for you has already made you a new person and washed away all your sins. Any that you commit are when you’re not walking in that grace which is available.
Leah’s father really appreciates this message because his background was, to put it mildly, not in the church. Oddly, having been raised in the church all my life, with most of the pastors having taught grace more than law, I struggle more with it. I’m learning to have grace for others, to see their situations through their eyes, but there’s a part of me that is still rooted in the law, that demands adherence to the Bible’s precepts,
I think it is possible to lose the law by preaching only grace. Jesus did not come to do away with the law, but to fulfill it for all who believe in Him. We don’t live under the law anymore, but only because He has paid our penalties for us rather than because the law no longer exists.
Because Jesus gave commandments on how to live, we are still under those laws, even if we are freed from certain ones, such as not eating pork. (I think I speak for most of us when I say thank God for bacon!) And these commands are harder than in the Old Testament because they governed not just actions, like O.T. law, but the heart.
And this is where I need more grace. Ever more grace. I have always been so black-and-white, such a rigid adherent to rules. I need to learn just how much grace I have available to me, a grace strong enough that the laws have already been fulfilled for me.