This was one of my favorite chapters.
It took me far too long to understand that salvation was in fact a rescue. Not only a rescue FROM something — but also a rescue TO something. We are rescued to true freedom.
His grace sets us free.
“Grace makes us free and keeps us free. As we receive God’s love, the power of his Spirit to live this life, and his grace, we receive our freedom and we’re invited to remain free.”
Christine Hoover gives us five areas where the gospel of grace gives us freedom.
Grace Frees Us from Ourselves
“The gospel ransoms me from my prison of performance. I am IN CHRIST, not in my performance. Grace frees me from focus on self and all the sins and burdens that come along with it: selfishness, insecurity, pride, trying to prove myself worthy, seeking love and approval, fear of not being enough.”
“We no longer need to seek our own honor and worth because we are loved by Love himself. His love is greater. His grace is greater. And His approval is sure.”
Grace Frees Us From the Fear of Man
Christine makes this powerful observation: “When we are self-focused and insecure, our measuring stick quickly becomes the response of other.”
Must us of have legitimate struggle at this point. We crave the approval of man and are addicted to approval. The pressure of being spiritual leaders often creates a need to present an image of spiritual depth for onlookers. This is what the Bible calls “fear of man.”
The fear of man is a snare, but the one who trusts in the Lord is protected. (Proverbs 29:25)
We are only safe from the snare of the fear of man when we make our home in the gospel. When our eyes are fixed on the gospel of GRACE not our goodness efforts we are FREE.
Grace Frees Us from Comparison and Competition.
Christine reminds us, “Comparisons and competition are NOT okay for God’s children.”
Women can be tempted to compare themselves by looking sidewise to see how we stack up against others. We look around to measure ourselves as mothers, wives, and homemakers, in our careers and in our spiritual lives. We do NOT live in freedom in the climate of constant comparison and competition.
“The only way we can kill our tendency for comparison and competition is to receive God’s grace and understand it’s for everyone who is in Christ Jesus.” Amen Sister!
This is so freeing. When we live under grace we are freed from the comparison game and then we can begin to look like this:
“A heart of grace is able to cheer for others, rejoice in victories, and pray for their good. A heart of grace trusts God enough to not have to fight to be seen or heard or understood or acknowledged. A heart of grace knows her identity, approval and very beating comes from Him.” THIS is a free woman!
Grace Frees Us from Fear
We fear that we are not enough and that we are a disappointment to God.
With great vulnerability Christine confesses this is a personal struggle:
“I know this fear very well. I lived in it for many years, driven by my conjured self-condemnation and guilt. It’s taken on different forms: fear of failing at being a mom, fear of mediocrity in the calling he’s given me, his impatience with my imperfections, fear of living a life that didn’t make an impact.”
This truth sets our fear straight:
Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; And having an high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. (Hebrews 10: 19-22)
Our confidence is in HIM not ourselves.
Fear be gone. Grace is a gift I cannot earn it.
What does it look like to stand in freedom?
- We grieve and respond over sin but also understand, receive and are grateful for Christ’s forgiveness.
- When we are freed from self-focus and a performance mentality we can boast in the cross alone.
- When we no longer fear man we make it our aim, our heartbeat, our goal to please God.
- We rest in the grace of Christ, standing firmly in His work on our behalf.
Free at last.
Which of these truths stands out to you?
This blog post is part of our summer reading series. Catch all the posts on From Good To Grace here.
Published July 23, 2015