A Nonet of Grace

Constantly needing to justify
Ourselves before God and others
Is the wearying task that
Jesus invites us to
Let go of when he
Bids our souls to
Come and rest
In his

As Lutherans we talk often of the doctrine of “justification by grace through faith.” It is, truthfully, one of the things that I love about our Lutheran understanding of the gospel. But I also think that we can emphasize the doctrine so much that, at times, we can forget that it is really all about a relationship. A relationship in which we do not have to justify ourselves, or earn our heavenly Father’s love, but rather a relationship in which we can simply accept this love, and rest in the grace that Jesus offers us. It is a beautiful gift, the gift of being justified by grace through faith, because it is a gift that draws us into a relationship in which we are perfectly, completely, unconditionally, and eternally loved. As G.K. Chesterton put it so well, “Let your religion be less of a theory and more of a love affair.” Yes! A love affair with the One who offers us the grace of a love like no other.

But this grace-based relationship with our loving God does not end our journey, it begins it. Freed from the need to justify ourselves or to prove ourselves, we can give ourselves away to the world. We don’t need anything from the world, because God has given us all that we ever need, and so we can offer ourselves to the world in true freedom, with the freedom of a Christian, as Martin Luther famously described it. Justified by grace through faith, we need nothing, so we can give everything. What a gift this is. Thank you, Lord.

9 thoughts on “A Nonet of Grace

  1. Well said – one we embrace God through the Holy Spirit as a loving partner who won’t give up on us in spite of our bad behavior then we can stop performing for him and start seeking to foster closeness with him. There is the beautiful wonderful relationship that John understood and tried to explain.

    Liked by 2 people

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