The Incredible Freedom of Grace
As Christians we often overlook the incredible freedom that we have in the grace of God. We no longer have to please Him by adhering to rules and regulations that become more complex as society moves on.
I was reading a few minutes ago a post on a Muslim internet forum on the very important issue of whether Tim Tams (an incredibly delicious Australian chocolate biscuit) are halal (allowed to be eaten by Muslims).
There was some debate on the issue, because it appears that the cream inside them may contain alcohol. The quantity of alcohol is very small- in fact you would explode from sugar ingestion long before you got drunk.
So the issue then is is any alcohol at all allowed? Or is it OK if you can't get drunk on it?
So the debate goes on. Doubtless there will be death threats issued against Muslins who eat Tim Tams in public
To be honest I see a far bigger problem with Tim Tams-- I like them so much that I want to eat far more than is really good for me!
The problem is that rules can only ever change our outward behaviour.
You can lay down a law that a godly person must not drink alcohol- but only God can deal with the heart issues that cause people to want to lose themselves in drink. And only God can change the self-righteousness of those who don't drink but look down on those who do.
But once we accept that God loves us with an incredibly infinite love which is bold enough to embrace all sinners, then the questions we ask must change. Now it doesn't matter whether I drink alcohol, or eat Tim Tams. What is important is how I respond to God's love.
There will be former drinkers, alcoholics and homosexuals in heaven. But all will have said "Yes" to God's love.
Is that easy believism? A nice loophole that justifies any form of behaviour because God loves me anyway?
NO! If I really believe that God loves me, I will want to please Him and my lifestyle will gradually change to reflect that love.
You don't have to teach a man who is in love how to please his lover. You don't have to lay down laws and rules about how to please God. The love in our hearts, together with the written Word and the Holy Spirit, will lead us into what is right.
Now I'm off for a Tim Tam!