If Grace is God’s unconditional, no strings attached, freely given favor without any expectation of return, then how is it that God’s grace as explained most frequently in evangelical circles carries the expectation of faith and obedience?
Grace brought creation into existence and placed us here with all of God’s favor. Adam and Eve weren’t even offered the idea of faith. They just lived in union with their creator. The tree represented their desire to break away on their own, as is the case with all free will. And it had to be there if there was to be any kind of choice. And so God warns them advisedly not to choose the tree but as we all know they do.
And so begins the LAW with many expectations made most manifest in the 10 commandments. And then comes in Christ the fullness of grace. No expectations or caveats which makes it hard to understand why evangelicals say things like ‘you have to believe’ or ‘you have to be obedient’.
See God’s grace has expectancy of all the good rather than expectation of the ‘oughts’ and ‘shoulds’. I read this great ‘knots prayer’ online, the author of which is unknown. Pretty awesome.
Please untie the knots
that are in my mind,
my heart and my life.
Remove the have nots,
the can nots and the do nots
that I have in my mind.
Erase the will nots,
might nots that may find
a home in my heart.
Release me from the could nots,
would nots and
should nots that obstruct my life.
And most of all,
I ask that you remove from my mind,
my heart and my life all of the ‘am nots’
that I have allowed to hold me back,
especially the thought
that I ‘am not’ good enough.
The realization of the true meaning of grace will bring us all to a place where God is just incredibly in love with us because that’s his nature. And joyfully we may come to appreciate this grace and make our response out of gratitude.
God doesn’t need us as a lover might need another. God is free within himself with the Trinity to love and extend grace.
So we have no chains attached to us. If we want to be servants of God then fine. If we want to obey and be trained by God then great. But those are all free choices we make out of our own love with and for God.
Grace has no conditions or expectations although humanity being loved will most likely respond with gratitude and obedience.