The Greek word “charis” refers to the generosity of God whose beauty is beyond words. God has given all; in Jesus Christ, God Himself, the Giver, is the Gift. He makes us by grace what He is by nature. By this union with His Son, we have oneness with God who shares what He is with us. This is the whole Gospel encapsulated.
Before the foundation of the world and in the consummation of all things, one thing remains consistent – Grace. Before creation, and in redemption: Grace. The Grace of God preexists creation itself. However, astonishingly, there has been a false alternative of man-made ideas, inventions, a false gospel that has been preached with such fervency that when the Gospel is heard, we initially respond as though it was heresy.
Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. – Galatians 5:1
Your liberty in Christ is so powerful that it requires your consent to submit yourself to bondage. Even for you to consent to bondage, you must entangle yourself in what does not pertain to Christ; and even while you are in such said bondage, Christ has already won your freedom. It is not as though we are the bound who are at the point of being set free. The resurrection of Christ is an eternal emancipation proclamation, wherein in grace, Christ has freed us from sin and death. You cannot be identified in sin when Christ was resurrected, certifying that you have been freely justified. To claim that you are in sin or in bondage is tantamount to claiming Christ did not resurrect. It is a renunciation of the gospel.
A little leaven spoils the whole lump. The influence of man-made inventions pertaining to the Gospel of Christ has stolen the wonder of the Gospel. The Gospel is not the probability by which Christ presents an offer that may be accepted or rejected. The Gospel is a kerugmatik announcement that includes the audience, which they may receive or reject. Rejecting the terms of the Gospel may deprive you of the benefits but does not undo their actuality.
Unfortunately, the majority of the Christian world believes that Christ has done half the job, and our role is to ensure that the unfinished part of His work can be done. Many think that the shackle of bondage is to fall back into sin. But since the resurrection of Christ, there has been no Christian who has not sinned after their profession of faith, either by commission, omission or association.
Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. – Galatians 5:2
In the first century world, there was an argument that the Gentiles needed to be circumcised for the work of Christ to have its effect. Circumcision is presented as what must be done for Christ’s saving work to be complete. However, as the spokesperson of Christ, Paul officially tells us that if we consider anything other than Christ to improve your standing, to supposedly complete His saving act, then it is a virtual renunciation of Christ, and the efficacy of His saving act which reconciled us to God. It is to claim that Christ is not enough.
Many Christians will not argue whether Jesus Christ is the Saviour or not. They would even say it is “Faith in Christ alone”. But it is faith in Christ ONLY! The reason for the infiltration within the Church is that the emphatic focus has been removed from the Person and saving act of Christ. We are looking for different ways to improve what Christ has done. That is why who we are in Him; subjectively, in each person’s experience, is without effect because we are yet to experience the beauty of all what God has given, bestowed freely in Christ Jesus. If you are still trying to contribute something, it means you have not seen it yet. That is why Paul says Christ will profit you nothing.
Christ will be of no benefit to you if you are persuaded that your works can co-exist with His complete saving act. You are making Christ of no relevance to you. People have lost sight of who is the Author of their salvation. Most are only as secure as their performance; their sense of security is centred on themselves. But Paul tells us that our confidence cannot be centred on what we think we need to do to complete our standing. Such a persuasion in itself reveals we have not understood the Gospel. If you depend on your external works, Christ is of no value to you. If you are subjectively relying on what you can do for God, you have not understood the Gospel.
For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.– Galatians 5:3-4
To claim salvation is through the economy of works, of human meritocracy, is to claim that the law is unfulfilled. It is to claim that Jesus did not demonstrate beyond all doubt that He was the prophesied Messiah. There is no middle ground. Grace is not one of many topics in the Bible. If you miss this introductory concept, you would not know who the Person of Jesus Christ is. Jesus Christ is true God and true Man, two natures in one Person, unmingled; He single-handedly presents the human race to God in His filial status. To seek any other form of salvation is to renounce Him. Christ will be of no effect to you. It is as though you have rendered void the blessing by disengaging from what it means to be in Christ. Our hearts need to be reawaken to the wonder of the beauty of God’s generosity in Grace. The Grace of God is God sharing His blissful joy with us.
*This article is derived from Dr. Shawn Smith’s teaching series “Charis : Let Christ have His Full Effect”. Get the complete message for an in-depth understanding of the subject. Visit www.gcmonlinestore.com