Dazzle Them with the Gospel of Grace

From Elyse Fitzpatrick’s new parenting book, Give Them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids with the Love of Jesus (Crossway, 2011), page 166:

The one thing that our children really need is the gospel of grace. They need to be absolutely dazzled by the kind of love that would suffer the way Christ suffered, forgive the way he forgives, and bless the way he blesses. Martin Luther wrote that it is grace that brings us forgiveness of sins, which produces peace of conscience. The words are simple; but during temptation, “to be convinced in our hearts that we have forgiveness of sins and peace with God by grace alone is the hardest thing.”

Living and parenting in grace is not the easy road. In fact, it is much harder to rest in his promise of grace than it is to make a list and try to live by it. Some parents may think that giving grace to their children equates to giving themselves a pass. Just the opposite is true. Giving grace to children is an exercise of faith, and faith is always more difficult than works. It flows out of humility, a character trait that none of us comes by naturally. That’s why most people miss it and why works, not faith, is the stumbling block of the cross. You are not slacking off when you tell them of his dazzling love. You are doing the hardest thing.

So go ahead. Freely dazzle your babies with the cross of Christ. Give them grace when they succeed and grace when they fail. Show them how much he loves little children, like you.

2 thoughts on “Dazzle Them with the Gospel of Grace

  1. Psalm 62:12 “Also unto thee, O Lord, belongeth mercy: for thou renderest to every man according to his work.”

    Works-based justification is more gracious than grace-based justification, in that it presents God as placable, able to be pleased. In grace-based salvation God is depicted as implacable, unpleasable, a crazed perfectionist who can think of no better thing to do with an imperfect creation than to burn it in hell forever. But in works-based salvation, God’s forgiveness is able to work together with man’s works without any false dichotomy between the two. The Psalmist here praises God as “MERCIFUL” for rendering to every man “ACCORDING TO HIS WORK.” To the Psalmist, grace would be tyranny. If God could render to an immoral man a great paradise, then he could equally render to a moral man great torment. In such a case, God’s justice would be the opposite of justice. Grace creates chaos and inconsistency: it creates unpredictability, much like a Communist economy. But in a world where God (as in Romans 2:6-10) renders ETERNAL LIFE to those who “by patient continuance in well doing seek glory and honor and immortality” and TORMENT AND ANGUISH to those who “obey unrighteousness rather than righteousness” there is predictability and true justice, and in this predictability and in this consistency there is a MERCY that transcends all the cruelty of that unpredictable and repugnantly inconsistent thing called GRACE.

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