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DEVOTION// Unchained by grace to unchain others

DEVOTION// Unchained by grace to unchain others

The free and full forgiveness that our Father gives (gives–no strings attached, no expectation of being repaid; gives to us thoroughly undeserving people) transforms us into grace-grateful human beings who want to share that good news with others.

Consider how Jonathan Fisk develops that thought in this exert from his book,  Broken: 7 "Christian" Rules That Every Christian Ought to Break as Often as Possible.
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Faith's object

The object of Christian faith is not faith. 

That is to say, salvation by grace through faith is not salvation through faith in faith. The object of Christian faith is Jesus— the person, work, and words of Jesus. 

  • Jesus, the man born in Bethlehem, raised in Egypt and Nazareth, testified to as a miracle worker by secular historians. 
  • Jesus, who was crucified by a real-as-you-or-me Roman governor, buried in a sealed tomb, and then, three days later, seen alive and in perfect health. 
  • Jesus, who, still bearing the scars and still claiming to be the heir to the Hebrew King David’s throne forever, was seen after his resurrection, not just privately, but en masse by over five hundred who heard Him, who touched Him. 

Faith's foundation

This is how the Christian faith was born: Jesus Christ is risen from the dead. 

It’s a fact. Stop worrying about it so much and just enjoy it. 

When Christ sets you free, you are free indeed. No need to go trying to measure it in yourself. It is preached to you. “It is finished!” Believe it! 

What you will start to see around you are others who are also fixing their eyes on Jesus as the author and perfecter of faith. 

Faith's focus

Beyond them, there is also a milling, vagrant host of blind people, those who have neither heard nor believed this amazing news about who Jesus is and what He has done. All of us together, every last one, is suffering under the weight of our self-imposed decay and destruction. All of us, every last one, is desperately in need of mercy.

In this freedom, in this faith, Jesus’ grace opens our eyes to see all those around us and their pain. Freed from peering inward and questing for yourself, Christianity unleashes your thoughts, emotions, and works to be something more than the idols by which you seek to justify yourself.

Loosed from the tyranny of your own searching, these gifts are restored to their potential use in the ways they were meant to be used: to serve your neighbor. Seeing this is no good work in itself, nor any positive emotion, nor any deep thought. 

Faith response

It is faith. It is trust in what God’s Word has said about his created gifts. 

Christianity, by both law and gospel preached and without your having to make any of it happen, causes you to look around and find it is happening already. 

With the heart unchained from looking for God within, in total freedom you will look with mercy on the sinner beside you.

Source: Broken: 7 "Christian" Rules That Every Christian Ought to Break as Often as Possible by Jonathan M. Fisk, Concordia Publishing House