June 28, 2011
V 16 and from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace
The ESV Study Bible says “Grace indicates God’s (unmerited) favor that brings blessing and joy.” Blessing is defined as “special favor, mercy, or benefit” while Joy is defined as “the expression or display of glad feeling.” Not only do we receive these at salvation, but they are heaped upon us, one on top of another. I always sort of both chuckle and cringe when I hear people talk about how they will get right with God when they are done having fun. As if fun and Christian, cannot abide together in the same person. It is only in their total lack of knowledge in who God is that someone would doubt that He would not want His children to be joyful and have fun. Yet, I think that believers are somewhat responsible for this wrong attitude, and it all starts with legalism. When we, as Christians, place unnecessary restraints, meaning we require things of ourselves that God never intended, we become unhappy. God has given us His word, and that is all we have to obey. There are no other steps we have to follow, and to place those on you will result in the unhappiness that the world associates with Christianity. Being a Christian isn’t about what we have to “give up” but rather what we “are given” and that is so much more than we ever had prior to salvation. That being said we should live like it. Smiling, having fun, and laughing can all be a part of a Christians life, and if fact they should be the norm. This is what the world should see.