The ‘Grace Turned Outward’ test

We’ve been forgiven, so we forgive.

We’ve been loved, so we love.

We’ve been freely accepted, so we accept others freely.

We’ve been given mercy, so we are merciful.

We have escaped judgment, so we do not judge.

We’ve been welcomed in, so we welcome all.

The door was opened for us, so we left it open to others.

We are different people from what we were;

We are Grace Turned Outward.

I first published this list in a Catch a little over a year ago. I am firmly of the belief that it needs to be a permanent document in our collection, kind of like “Declaration of a Marketplace Christian.” This is what makes us who we are. Sometimes it’s hard to define who we are because much of what we represent and talk about is the gospel of Jesus Christ that sounds pretty much like any other Christian group. But if you read and study this list and “Declaration …” you begin to see not-so-subtle differences. Separating the truth from a very popular but flawed cultural Christianity is not so easy. And it takes revisiting it again and again to renew our commitment as Christians in the world. I have to read “Declaration of a Marketplace Christian” over and over again because I forget so easily.

This is why we keep talking about the Gospel of Welcome — Grace Turned Outward. Most churches would say they represent a gospel of welcome, but grace turned outward is another thing. Grace turned outward is a defining line. Go over the list again. It really is a test. Think about each one. How are you doing?

This list a test of whether I have understood and received any of these things myself. For instance, if I can’t forgive, I am most likely not believing my own forgiveness. I am still trying to pay for my sins so I must make others pay too. If I can’t be merciful, I’m not believing God’s mercy towards me. If I can’t love, it’s a sure sign that I am not believing I am loved. I am not accepting God’s love for me; I am still trying to earn it.

It is, all in all, a truly humbling thing. We come to the Lord with nothing but our sin. We do what any man or woman does when face to face with the holiness of God — we fall on our face before Him. And what does He do? He forgives us, accepts us, loves us, shows us mercy, welcomes us, and doesn’t judge us. What can we do but receive these incredible gifts? And in receiving them, believe them. And through the Holy Spirit in us who teaches us all things, and empowers us to believe, we turn all these gifts outward to those around us. We become Grace Turned Outward.

Put this list where you can refer to it often. And while you’re at it, why not read “Declaration of a Marketplace Christian” again, too. Remember why we are who we are.

This entry was posted in forgiveness, grace turned outward and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to The ‘Grace Turned Outward’ test

  1. Mark D Seguin says:

    Absolutely LOVED Today’s Catch!!

  2. Bob says:

    I am reminded of verses from 2Cor. 13:5-6 Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. (A)Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that (B)Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!
    The door was opened to us, so we leave it open for others.
    This can be applied in so many ways. Right now with such fear and hatred towards immigrants I can’t help but think of them.
    My ancestors came here to find a better life, how can I begrudge others from doing the same- even illegally. If I was in their shoes wouldn’t I do whatever I could for myself and my family? If desperate enough, I’m sure I would be quite capable of breaking laws.
    So I must examine myself, am I merciful towards these “aliens”? If not, have I failed the test?
    Treating others the way that I would want to be treated isn’t good enough-God treats me better than that.
    Treating others the way I have been treated by God may be the only way to pass the test.

  3. Andrew says:

    I love this piece of scripture and I ask you to read it through and meditate on it.

    Romans 12
    The Passion Translation

    The Transforming Power of the Gospel

    12 Beloved friends, what should be our proper response to God’s marvelous mercies? To surrender yourselves to God to be his sacred, living sacrifices. And live in holiness, experiencing all that delights his heart. For this becomes your genuine expression of worship.
    2 Stop imitating the ideals and opinions of the culture around you,[a] but be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total reformation of how you think. This will empower you to discern God’s will as you live a beautiful life, satisfying and perfect in his eyes.

    Your Proper Role in the Body of Christ

    3 God has given me grace to speak a warning about pride. I would ask each of you to be emptied of self-promotion and not create a false image of your importance. Instead, honestly assess your worth by using your God-given faith as the standard of measurement, and then you will see your true value with an appropriate self-esteem.
    4 In the human body there are many parts and organs, each with a unique function. 5 And so it is in the body of Christ. For though we are many, we’ve all been mingled into one body in Christ. This means that we are all vitally joined to one another, with each contributing to the others.
    6 God’s marvelous grace imparts to each one of us varying gifts. So if God has given you the grace-gift of prophecy, activate your gift by using the proportion of faith you have to prophesy. 7 If your grace-gift is serving, then thrive in serving others well. If you have the grace-gift of teaching, then be actively teaching and training others. 8 If you have the grace-gift of encouragement,[b] then use it often to encourage others. If you have the grace-gift of giving to meet the needs of others, then may you prosper in your generosity without any fanfare. If you have the gift of leadership, be passionate about your leadership. And if you have the gift of showing compassion,[c] then flourish in your cheerful[d] display of compassion.

    Transformed Relationships

    9 Let the inner movement of your heart always be to love one another, and never play the role of an actor wearing a mask. Despise evil and embrace everything that is good and virtuous.
    10 Be devoted to tenderly loving your fellow believers as members of one family. Try to outdo yourselves in respect and honor of one another.
    11 Be enthusiastic to serve the Lord, keeping your passion toward him boiling hot! Radiate with the glow of the Holy Spirit and let him fill you with excitement as you serve him.
    12 Let this hope burst forth within you, releasing a continual joy. Don’t give up in a time of trouble,[e] but commune with God at all times.
    13 Take a constant interest in the needs of God’s beloved people and respond by helping them. And eagerly welcome people as guests into your home.
    14 Speak blessing, not cursing, over those who reject and persecute you.
    15 Celebrate with those who celebrate, and weep with those who grieve. 16 Live happily together in a spirit of harmony, and be as mindful of another’s worth as you are your own. Don’t live with a lofty mind-set, thinking you are too important to serve others, but be willing to do menial tasks and identify with those who are humble minded.[f] Don’t be smug or even think for a moment that you know it all.
    17 Never hold a grudge or try to get even, but plan your life around the noblest way to benefit others. 18 Do your best to live as everybody’s friend.
    19 Beloved, don’t be obsessed with taking revenge, but leave that to God’s righteous justice.For the Scriptures say:
    “Vengeance is mine, and I will repay,” says the Lord.
    20 And:
    If your enemy is hungry, buy him lunch!
        Win him over with kindness.
    For your surprising generosity will awaken his conscience,
        and God will reward you with favor.
    21 Never let evil defeat you, but defeat evil with good.

  4. jwfisch says:

    Thank you for sharing. I’m unfamiliar with this translation. It’s definitely passionate!

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