Sunday, 19 May 2013
Semantics - Linda Aleta Tame
Have I sufficiently frustrated you with such quibbling over this question? Perhaps, this blog contribution could be considered Christian writing, but am I still a Christian who writes if I frustrate my readers? You can see how convoluted this discussion can be. It's about semantics, isn't it?
So many misunderstandings result from semantics. For example, the whole topic of God's grace. For many years I understood God's grace to be a believer's character trait, synonymous with having poise. When I learned it was more about God's unconditional love and mercy, I could hardly believe how far off the mark I'd been. God's grace is definitely not about our posture or composure, although those things can be affected by it. His grace is something we can't earn, it's not a reward, it's a gift, freely given. In fact it was given while we were still sinners.
But isn't that indulgence? That God, the Creator of the universe, would pour out His undeserved loving kindness on people who don't deserve it proves the whole gospel message is foolish, doesn't it? It's not hard to see why the grace message comes under suspicion by those who have yet to understand it. They "stumble over the stumbling stone." Romans 9:32 (That Jesus Christ, our Saviour, is referred to here as a stumbling stone, is about semantics too, isn't it?)
Yet, once we've experienced God's grace, once we grasp the truth of what it means to be wrapped in that lavish outpouring of His love, we are irresistibly smitten. Our failures become as quickly forgotten as they were made evident in the light of His precious gift. If it's foolish for me to relish in this love, call me a fool!