Friday, September 25, 2009

God of Second Chance or Chances???

It may be a sign that I'm a little overwhelmed with being a mother that I find Veggie Tales so thought-provoking, or maybe it's just that I'm pretty careful to point out legalism to my kids in order to teach them the truth about grace...anyway, in the past I've thought quite a bit about the idea that comes out in Jonah, the Veggie Tales movie. I'm certainly not bashing Veggie Tales haha, but of course there is some moralizing that they do which is pretty Old Covenant sometimes. To be expected...Anyone who grew up learning Old Testament Bible stories in Sunday school will be familiar with that practice.

At first my line of reasoning was that God doesn't give us a second chance, but infinite 'chances', then I realized that was totally a legalistic mindset. There are only 2 chances in this life, the first is Adam , the second is Jesus. With a law mindset we are constantly begging God for just one more chance to do it right, to make up for our sin, to change. We want forgiveness for our past sins but we want to continue on to try harder next time. This is the kind of mentality that causes Christians to teach that we need to continually confess sin, repent, and rededicate ourselves to be holier or grow in sanctification. The law provided infinite chances to bring your sacrifice, to shred your clothes and put ashes on your head, to commit to doing a better job of obeying God.

But in Adam, we are doomed to fail every time no matter how many chances we get! Our nature is sinful through and through, we cannot meet God's standard no matter how many times we get our slate wiped clean, no matter how hard we try, even if we pray and fast and beg God for strength to obey. We will always fail, we will die trying and failing and falling short.

So God in his wisdom decided not to give us infinite chances, but instead to give us only two chances. The first chance was Adam...and he failed. The second chance is Jesus, and he completely succeeded in accomplishing every single thing the Father desired! So now, every single one of us has access to a second chance! Our second chance is Jesus, and as soon as we receive his righteousness we are placed into an unbreakable covenant, the one chance we needed, the chance to believe in the one who leaves nothing up to chances but is able to fulfill every promise he's made.

Some think that grace means unlimited chances to try to keep the law better,that God will sanctify our efforts somehow. But that is not grace. Grace is Jesus, and the only way to access that grace is by throwing yourself on him completely, not looking for any other 'chances'. Are you satisfied that Jesus passes God's inspection? If he doesn't, there is no hope for any of us.

God gave mankind only two chances, don't you think he took special care that we wouldn't be able to blow the second one??? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!!!!!


SLW said...

That was a powerfully insightful post!

The new baby has arrived I take it, what have you named him or her?

I've missed your voice in the blogosphere.

jul said...

No, the baby has not arrived yet, any day. I find being pregnant while trying to survive the other kids overwhelming at this point! Don't worry, there'll be some sort of announcement when the baby comes, and some pictures I'm sure...

Matthew Campbell said...


I never thought of it that way. Even I said I hated the idea of second chances, but agreed to the idea of infinite chances. I should have thought about that before I said it. I don't have a chance at righteousness under the law! I can try and try and try, but I will never succeed. It isn't about my behavior, period.

GREAT thinking, Julie!!!

Daveda said...

Hi there, I came over here from Matthews blog. I really enjoyed reading this post, and I agree completely.

It falls into the same sphere as there are only two counts to be judged on, either with Jesus or with out. we either believe that He is enough, or we do not.

Great Post! It's nice "meeting" you. stop by sometime and say hello.

silent wings said...

"There are only 2 chances in this life, the first is Adam , the second is Jesus."

WOW, wow, wow!!!

Great and insightful post Julie.