Sonshift Study – Chapter Seven

This is the eighth week of our discussion on my book, Sonshift: Everything Changes in the Father’s Embrace. Today, we’ll be looking at chapter seven titled, “Grace Shift.”

I invite you to respond to some or all of these questions. Also, please give additional comments on the chapter that my questions don’t address.  My only rules are that you’ve actually read the chapter and that your answers are brief.  Okay, here we go!

Chapter Seven: Grace Shift

It’s appropriate that we look at this chapter after finishing my series, “Jesus Christ: Savior of the World” because that’s what this chapter is all about! Grace Shift happens when we stop eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (rebellion/religion) and start eating from the Tree of Life (Christ’s life). When we don’t make this critical shift in appropriating grace, we risk running on a performance treadmill until we burn out or give up. I should know, I was a card-carrying member!

“Like most other believers I knew, for 23 years of my Christian life my perspective on being a Christian amounted to pursuing the fruit of Spirit-filled living instead of pursuing the Source of Life living in me that produces the fruit. The first thing I did after I gave my heart to Jesus was get a Bible and begin an absurd journey of attempting to obey what it said. I was only doing what everyone else I knew was doing. The sad thing was, I probably felt more freedom in my former rebellion.” (p. 151-152, Kindle loc. 2487)

Discussion Questions:

  1. Why is it important to understand that grace is more than just what got you saved? What is the danger of not knowing this?
  2. The author used the story of the father and his two sons (Luke 15:11-32) to show that spiritual orphans (rebellious or religious) don’t understand pure grace.  Why is this related to how we see our relationship with God?
  3. What are some ways we might show we’re actually a “grace-hater” in our relationships?
  4. Why do you think that moving toward the Law causes us to move away from grace?
  5. What are some of the problems with living behind a “fence” of behavioral modification and moral restraint? How is this different than being managed by the Spirit?
  6. The author states that while God is not holding our sins against us anymore (2 Cor.5:19; Heb.10:17-18), it has its own punishment. Why is seeing this important to our freedom from sin? Why is this important to how we treat other people?

As before, if these questions didn’t address something you think is important, please add it in your comments. If you would like to make any comments offline, please email me at mwild@ceuturytel.net.  Thank you!

Now, it’s your turn!

*******************

NOTE: Because of Easter, the next Sonshift book discussion post will be on Monday, April 24th.

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About Mel Wild

God's favorite (and so are you), a son and a father, happily married to the same beautiful woman for 36 years. We have three incredible adult children. My passion is pursuing the Father's heart in Christ and giving it away to others. My favorite pastime is being iconoclastic and trailblazing the depths of God's grace. I'm also senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in Wisconsin.
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3 Responses to Sonshift Study – Chapter Seven

  1. 1. If we don’t clearly understand grace, we won’t ever accept the pure grace and unconditional love of God. Our own worth – and everyone else’s – will always be in question. Our relationship with God will always be performance based.
    2. We will still have a slave mentality – whether slaves to sin or slaves to law, it’s still performance based, we still have to earn our way to love. Grace isn’t about earning – it’s about accepting.
    3. When we are resentful of the grace others receive, when we judge who and how much grace others receive, that’s being a grace-hater.
    4. Living by the law causes us to judge, to put conditions on performing and to valuate people based on what they do and who they are – the opposite of grace, which is free and equal for everyone.
    5. Behavior modification and moral restraint is based on the power and control of our own judgment to “fix” ourselves and others. It’s the opposite of trusting the power of the Spirit. (Just scheduled a post on this for Friday.) It also prevents us from fully accepting and surrendering to God’s unconditional love.
    6. The importance of this is FREEDOM. Once we can accept the value God has assigned us, and accept the gift of His radical grace, we DESIRE to refrain from sin simply because it screws up our life. It’s like gaining knowledge about a hot burner on a stove; you avoid it at all costs not because you’ll be punished, but because if you don’t, you know it will burn the crap out of your hand if you touch it. 😮

    • Mel Wild says:

      Awesome, Susan. Thanks for taking the time to answer these!

      I loved the last sentence you wrote on seeing sin properly, why would we want to touch the stove and “burn the crap out of our hand.” Amen! That’s good theology. 🙂

      Btw, I’m starting another book discussion at our church after Easter, which is part of this project, so your comments and input here has been very helpful. Blessings.

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