“For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.”
Grace transforms. It removes us from the heavy weight of the law and gives us the capacity to live our lives without the guilt that accompanies the unsuccessful fulfillment of the law. Grace is one of the central ideas in our faith, but it is difficult to grasp because unless you have experienced it, grace cannot be fully understood. According to Richard Rohr, “Grace is God’s official job description. Grace is not something God gives; grace is who God is.” God is grace.
Look at Paul’s life. Before he was Paul, he was Saul and he was persecuting early followers of Jesus. He was engrossed in the law but soon was overcome by Christ’s message of grace. Can you imagine the guilt that Paul might have carried around about his inability to follow all of the laws of God when he was so engrossed in the law? Then can you imagine the transformation when he encountered grace for the first time? Grace transforms. Previously Paul looked to the law for validation, but once he experienced grace, he realized that God’s grace is that we are loved just as we are.
The idea that God will love us only if we change or only if we follow the law is toxic to our relationships with Christ. God loves us and that love, that grace to make mistakes, changes us. Grace transforms. It is only when we feel accepted, loved, and safe that we can truly be transformed. God’s grace is that we are accepted, loved, and safe.
God of grace, help us to experience more of your transformative grace. Fix our eyes on you, O God, that we may know that you love us just as we are. Help us to not get fixated on following the law, but rather be fixated on your love that carries us through life. Amen.