From Appreciation to Worship: How Our Hatred of God Magnifies the Grace of God

In my study for this Sunday’s message, I came across this passage in Dan Allender’s book, Bold Love (pp. 65-66). The idea that my flesh hates God and that my sin is an expression of that hatred gives an entirely new meaning to grace. Please, take a minute to read and reflect:

“The hatred in our hearts is most often and dormant. It is like a genetic disease that appears only under careful scrutiny. Let me again state an obvious point: hatred of God and others is usually labeled as something more palatable to our human sensibilities. For that reason, and many others, the good news of the gospel seems mildly pleasant, and often irrelevant. If our sin is a mere failure to conform—simply a mistake to do what is right—forgiveness is feeling be granting an opportunity to try again. In that light, it is like forgetting to finish one’s homework. We deserve a low grade, and grace becomes merely the privilege of doing it over to get a higher mark. Such a view of grace might generate appreciation, but it would never drive us to worship. If, in fact, sin is not only a failure to hit the mark of God’s perfection, but also a deep, insidious energy that desire to eradicate from our existence an affronting God who demands perfection, then forgiveness becomes breathtaking, incredible, and wonderfully insulting… God’s disruptive and scandalous response to our hatred transforms fury into gratitude and deadness into life.”

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