Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon.com, made a commencement speech adress where he stated that we are what we choose. He then went on to ask the students about the future choices they will make. These were his questions, and notice how the theme of graceful choices keeps coming up.

---
How will you use your gifts? What choices will you make?
  • Will inertia be your guide, or will you follow your passions?
  • Will you follow dogma, or will you be original?
  • Will you choose a life of ease, or a life of service and adventure?
  • Will you wilt under criticism, or will you follow your convictions?
  • Will you bluff it out when you're wrong, or will you apologize?
  • Will you guard your heart against rejection, or will you act when you fall in love?
  • Will you play it safe, or will you be a little bit swashbuckling?
  • When it's tough, will you give up, or will you be relentless?
  • Will you be a cynic, or will you be a builder?
  • Will you be clever at the expense of others, or will you be kind?
- Jeff Bezos

Grace, it's a choice.
 
 
When I lack Grace, I am a 

Close minded,
Legalist,
Judgmental,
Prideful,
Activity-focused,
Grudge-holding,
Insensitive,
Arrogant,
Close-minded,
Impatient,
Unmerciful,
Intolerant...

fool.


 
 
Throughout biblical interpretive history, there has been many many many different offshoots and opinions. Every time someone would come up with a framework to understanding what is often hidden to us, they put an 'ism' on it. 

Here is the result of my research into the list of 'isms' that surround those who believe in the Bible.


---Grace Guy's list of 'isms'---

THEOLOGY: SALVATION
Classical Arminianism
Wesleyan Arminianism
Calvinism
Hyper-Calvinism
Lutheranism
Pelagianism
Semi-Pelagianism
Antinomianism

THEOLOGY: APOLOGETICS
Presuppositionalism 
Ontologicalism
Evidentialism
Doctrinalism
Moralism
Scientific
Experientialism

THEOLOGY: ESCHATOLOGY
Post-tribulational Premillennialism
Dispensationalism
Postmillennialism
Amillennialism

THEOLOGY: CHRISTOLOGY
Trinitarianism
Unitarianism
Binitarianism

THROUGH HISTORY: CHRSTIANITY
Protestantism
Anglicanism
Eastern Orthodoxism
Oriental Orthodoxism
Roman Catholicism

THROUGH HISTORY: REFORMATION CHRISTIANITY
Anabaptism 
Anglicanism
Calvinism 
Counter-Reformation 
Lutheranism 
Polish Brethren 
Remonstrantism

THROUGH HISTORY: MODERN DAY PROTESTANTISM
Pietism 
Methodism
Evangelicalism
Adventism
Modernism 
Liberalism
Pentecostalism
Anglicanism
Lutheranism
Presbyterianism
Fundamentalism
Neo-orthodoxy
New Evangelicalism
Paleo-Orthodoxy
Ecumenism
---

One of the most attracting features of the doctrine of Grace is that is cuts through all the 'isms' the human mind can invent. We cannot opinionate the gift of God for man's salvation, the exclusion of any deed to make us deserve it or the power of the subsequent relationship Grace gives us.

Grace cuts through it all. And it is the one thing that will unite all heaven dwellers, no matter what their 'isms'. 

Grace, the best common denominator to all the 'isms'. And the greatest equalizer.
 
 
To be Ego is to have an inflated sense of self-significance. It's consequences are devastating. If I'm honest, the self-inflicted problems and issues in my life all had one thing in common: my inflated sense of self-significance. And I don't think I'm the only one.

GiveMoreMedia invites us to think of a world without ego. There would be no...
  • Toes to step on
  • Feelings to hurt
  • Fair shares to grab
  • Territory to defend
  • Fault to allocate
  • Back to watch
  • Last words to get
  • Ideas to hold back
  • Embarrassment to bear
  • Battles to win
  • Knowledge to prove
  • Entitlement to have
  • Encouragement to withhold
  • Credit to seek
  • Grudges to hold
  • Jealousy to feel
  • Revenge to take
  • Hidden meanings to construe
How can I make the world a better place ? Less Ego. More Grace.
 
 
Following the post on Grace and Humility, I was reminded of many instances in history when people who were given Grace, through no merit of their own, used this gift as a platform for personal pride. I realize that our collective past is riddled with 'Christians' who based their justification of superiority on their faith. Grace disagrees with them. 

The apostle Paul, in 2Cor 15:10, says :
But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them--yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.

Maya Angelou wonderfully penned When I say I am a Christian as a true representation of Grace. 
 
 
When I read how Grace is characterized in the Bible, I discover that it stands in stark opposition to the feeling of guilt one gets when remembering a forgiven past. 

Guilt is good when it brings us to Grace. It's not good when Grace has been given to cover the debt, and we (alone) persist on doing more to pay for said debt. We can't... and it's that guilt that goes against the grain of Grace.

Based on the how Grace is described,  here is the contrast to Guilt.

Guilt is a sword, Grace is a shield
Guilt has been removed, Grace is everlasting
Guilt is a lie, Grace is trustworthy
Guilt is atrophying, Grace is abundant
Guilt is a dark cloud, Grace is a cloud with spring rain
Guilt is worthless, Grace is worth more than gold
Guilt focuses on an event, Grace is renewed every morning
Guilt costs too much, Grace is free
Guilt is ugly, Grace is glorious
Guilt is fruit-decaying, Grace is fruit-producing
Guilt is personal, Grace is contagious
Guilt is unsatisfying, Grace is sufficient
Guilt is limited, Grace is exceeding
Guilt is single-minded, Grace is manifold.

I choose Grace.
 
 
In our descriptions of God's character, we often find ourselves separating the God of the Old Testament and the God of the New Testament. We 'know' He is the same God, but then sentences like the following come out: 

- God was Justice before Christ and then He was Love
- God used to rule with the Law, now, He is gracious to us
- Grace wasn't present before Christ and was introduced through Christ

But that is all false. God, in the OT, was a gracious God, dispensing mercy, compassion and love since the creation of the world. He did not change His ways or introduce a new concept in Christ. He fulfilled it in Christ.

Here is the biblical proof of God the Father's link to Grace in the Old Testament:
  • (G) describes God Ex 20:6, 34:6-7, Nu 14:18-19, Dt 4:31, 5:10, 7:9, Ne 9:32, 2Ch 30:9, Ps 37:25-26, 62:12, 77:8-9, 78:38, 86:15, 103:8, 106:45, 111:4, 112:4, 116:5, 145:8-9, Jr 9:23-24, Dn 9:9, Jl 2:13, Jnh 4:2, Mic 7:18-20, Na 1:3
  • (G) is God's actions Ps 25:10, 145:17, Zc 4:7
  • God's (G) for Israel remembered Ne 9:5-37
  • (G) is God's longing Is 30:18, Ho 6:6 
  • (G) is God's gift Ps 84:11, 2Co 9:8, Jm 1:17
  • (G) is God’s throne He 4:16
It was Grace that saved Adam and Eve's life. Justice would have eradicated them for disobeying God's simple command in the Garden of Eden. It was Grace that appeared to Abraham. It was Grace that saved Noah. It was Grace that chose Israel and made Israel the nation it was. And the examples keep going throughout Old Testament history.

God never changed. Neither did His Grace.
 
 
This hits very to home. Taken form a document I once called simply title 'grace'.

Legalism VS Grace
  • Legalism tells you what to do, Grace exhorts you to believe God & His Word
  • Legalism focuses on traditions, customs and creeds, Grace focuses on Christ
  • Legalism forces you to conform to accepted practices, Grace allows diversity in practices
  • Legalism emphasizes on rules, Grace emphasizes on relationship with God and others
  • Legalism centers on principles and concepts, Grace centers on Christ
  • Legalism directs you to what you should be doing, Grace directs you to what God has done
  • Legalism points you to a cause, a church, Grace points you to Christ
  • Legalism majors on theology and doctrine, Grace majors on people and ministering to their needs
  • Legalism seeks to control you, results in alienation, Grace seeks to release you to enjoy God and love
  • Legalism stresses what you are doing wrong, Grace stresses who you are in Christ
  • Legalism is judgmental and discouraging, Grace is accepting and encouraging
 

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