Journal Matt 5 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven…
But whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” Matt 5:19
Observation: Is this reference associated with the concept of “greasy grace?”
Analysis: I thought the word “relaxes” was interesting here.
I wonder how many “believers” think that the “Rest in Christ” corresponds with not taking Christianity seriously and inadvertently “relaxes” against conforming to the image of Jesus with increasing godliness (Ro 8:29)?
“How hard do I have to work to become a Believer?” “Oh, you don’t have to work hard at all. After all, “works” will not work; it is all Grace.” “Does that mean I don’t HAVE TO follow the commandments? Do I have to be SERIOUS about the Faith? Is it ok if I just believe?”
Conversing with my wife and bouncing ideas off each other, the end result was we don’t know what is the “right” position to take PRACTICALLY (ardently proclaiming adherence to the Law or expounding and preaching Mercy and Grace) —except for one thing we ended up agreeing upon: If we are not doing this fiercely with the “face in the mirror”, we should not be condemning anybody else.
Remember, this is not just the 10 Commandments, but all the “call to godliness” commandments found in the Old Testament. Just taking the easy way for evaluation, how often do I “relax” any of the 10 Commandments for myself? Probably way more than I can bring to mind.
The concept of “greasy Grace” is found in Chapter 3 of Bonhoeffer’s “Cost of Discipleship”. (Note: I am pretty sure that I don’t align completely with Bonhoeffer’s views, but Chapter 3 is worth reading.) “Greasy Grace” starts off with the premise that “once in the Kingdom, I can take my ease from there on out: I don’t have to “pursue” God, seek Him all my days, be a fierce disciple, etc. From there “greasy Grace” can take a number of forms in a Christian’s daily life and in the local Church—and in the way the Gospel is presented.
In our conversation, we explored if this was an “either or” message: John’s preaching of “You brood of vipers” or Jesus’ “Let not your heart be troubled…” My contention is that it is both: Not two sides of the same coin, but totally the same coin. If one side of the message lays the other side for someone to think as non-important in the Word of God, and the total Word of God is true and totally reliable, then, I think, that somehow both sides MUST be true. How? It is a mystery that needs to be individually searched.
Prayer: Father, I appreciate going through this Reading Plan. You bring up stuff that I have never paid attention to before—and you make me think.
I know you see my heart in this: Please never let me be complacent with only the “top skimming’s” of the Scripture but to read and consider deeply, searching for the hidden treasures that makes and fleshes out those main points; to ask “why” and wait upon You, Holy Spirit, for guidance and illumination.
Maybe this is a start of “Praying unceasingly”, huh?