Confessions of an ex-‘Jesus Christian’ (2)

2. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy (Romans 9:15)

Why are you hating on grace?  Does your truth subtract from My grace?  Mercy is Mine to give, and I will give to whom I will.  And many who were first shall be last, and the last, first...

One of the things the Jesus Christians hated most was the talk and the preaching of grace!!!  It didn't make sense to their worldview that you must obey Jesus to be saved.  Because Jesus said that "unless you forsake all, you cannot be my disciple" (Luke 14:33) and, to them, that meant everyone had to sell their possessions and give to the poor, forsake their jobs, family, friends, etc, before they could be considered Christian.

But there is something about grace...  It is not about us!  It is about God.  It's about His loving and sovereign nature.  We can't stop Him from blessing who He wants to bless, and using who He wants to use...  No matter what we have given up to follow Him (Matt 20:1-16), we are but unprofitable servants who have only done our duty (Luke 17:10).  And we are never in a position to judge His calling on another man's life (Rom 14:10-13).

"Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do?  Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me" (John 21:21-22).

It took a long time for me to wrap my head around the co-existence of Grace and Truth.  And to realise that in the absence of one, I could not say that I had the other!  And to learn to discern God's will in varying situations, without depending on one alone, but both.  My separation and divorce from the man I had married while with the group was a major blow to my religious pride and was like a crossroads in my path of righteousness.  It was only God's grace that kept me believing and hanging on, and I gained a whole new appreciation for the role of grace in the Christian walk.

In June/July 2015, I got in touch with a couple, who I had been closest to while I was with the JCs.  The woman, Susan, had actually been the one to disciple me, after I first got in touch with the group.  I had a couple of dreams about them that year, so I felt a burden to get in touch.  I did some research on them first, and I was pleased to know that they were no longer a part of the group/sect.  I didn't realise it was only a physical separation, as their mentality was still very much JC, having been over 25 years with the fellowship.

I contacted them, and we were happy sharing friendly messages and pictures, until I got bold enough to invite them to visit my blog.  Their long critiques of my pieces took me back to when I was in the group, where every word of every letter was scrutinized for double-meaning, inferences etc.  The bottom line was, she thought I had become "Churchy", as I wasn't explicitly telling anyone to sell their possessions and give to the poor and to stop working for money.  And well...I wasn't "living by faith" by their standards either...

I was judged, and the verdict was that I wasn't working for God.  Well, she didn't have to type those exact words.  The message was clearly passed.  After our last correspondence, I was inspired to write WHO'S ON THE LORD'S SIDE?  I took on a new direction in my writing, and when I wrote the piece GRACE AND TRUTH, I realised that this is the message God has given to me, and it became the title of my blog in September 2015.

I still struggle, however, with appreciating the fullness of grace and its role in practicing true religion.  Truth, however bitter, is easier to swallow for the religious.  Grace, not so much.  We like to judge!  But only God has that office...

The fact that God has been able to use me all this time, despite my blindness and hard-heartedness in this regard, is a testament of His grace!  I am most grateful of it...  And I choose to depend on His grace alone.

Thank God that He is a patient teacher, and He hasn't, and won't give up on me nor you!

Listen to this track...ON SPOTIFY  It might bless you!  It is called "I'm His Child" by UCLA Gospel Choir.

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2 thoughts on “Confessions of an ex-‘Jesus Christian’ (2)”

  1. Patrick Hawthorne

    Well…I’m beginning to understand why we agree on certain things but disagree on others. This is not to say that you are wrong and I am right. It is to say that we are all learning and need to give each other a little slack as we grow.

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