I am not Pentecostal. I don’t claim to follow the “Full Gospel”. I don’t speak in tongues or claim direct divine revelation and yet in the strictest sense of the word I would have to call myself a charis-matic. Martic – Automated/willed by Charis, which is the Greek word for “grace.”
Many of us have made a turn in our spiritual journey from a focus on legalism to an understanding and embrace of grace. It is a hard turn but it is a necessary turn. Once I realized that I cannot work my way to heaven but must rely entirely on the faithfulness of Christ and the gift of grace that salvation truly is I began to see God in a whole new way. No more was He just waiting on me to mess up. He was there to walk with me, even for me. God is not stingy with His grace. Instead, he “‘abounds” in grace and hesed (Hebrew for steadfast love – Exodus 34:6-7).
It isn’t just individuals making a shift from legalism to grace. Congregations have been making the shift as well and it is a much needed course correction in the Church of Christ journey. This should run right up our alley because embracing grace is so thoroughly biblical that a “people of the book” ought to be in tune with something that is so pronounced through the pages of scripture.
Unfortunately, at times, the pendulum swings too far one way and then too far the other. Fortunately, the bible guides us even in that. Paul reminds us that grace is not a license to sin more (Rom 6:1) but a reminder to be faithful to the God who has forgiven us of all our unrighteousness (Rom 3:23-26). There is no need to be confused. There is no need to have an identity crisis. Instead we turn to Jesus who is the author and finisher of our faith and learn to follow him, together…better. I believe the reason we have had somewhat of an identity crises in our transition toward grace in a culture of post modernism has been because we focused on church so long and how to get it right that we took our eyes off Jesus…which is contrary to what the Hebrew writer encouraged, even commanded us to do in Heb 12:1-3.
Let us always be charis-matic…animated and driven by grace. Let it soak into our skin all the way down to our bones so that it can exude from us and contagiously infect all of those around us.