After diving in with Olympic games and a chicken leg hopping competition, the group turns to the topic for today’s episode: freedom from condemnation, that is, how to walk in God’s grace. The guys have spoken a number of times before about the issue of false conversion, but on the other side of the coin is the problem of a true Christian laboring under a sense of condemnation and struggling with eternal security. This experience is all too common, weighing down Christians and keeping them from experiencing the freedom that is theirs in the gospel. The voice of condemnation is founded on a quid-pro-quo foundation, and aligns with the human impulse to focus on performance. Conversely, the gospel declares the grace of God in Christ, that is, His unmerited favor. And how otherly this grace is! God saves not because of our works, but simply because He decides to save. He redeems not because He sees something lovely; rather, He redeems first, and only then is something lovely created in us.
The gospel of grace must be central to the life of the Christian, and it is the antidote to condemnation. Meditating on the gospel is crucial if we are to apply it in all areas of life, including to the experience of sin and the pressures of condemnation and fear. The gospel of grace shows us that, though we will inevitably sin and struggle, Christ died for our sins and we are free – even time after time – to draw near to God in full assurance that He will draw near to us. In light of the gospel, we see that God loves us as our Father, and corrects us in love rather than punishing us in wrath. Stories of David, Jonah, the Prodigal Son, Peter, and so many more show us how God loves us and gives grace, and call us to always respond to our sin by getting up, receiving God’s grace, and moving forward. Even as we pursue righteousness, we do so from a place of sure acceptance before God and celebration of His kindness to us. And ultimately, we foster humility by turning from our own sin to our gracious God; we honor God when we take Him at His word, and when we view ourselves as He views us!