When I was a kid way back in the 80’s I used to love the commercial for Klondike Bars … “What would you do for a Klondike Bar?” You’d see people on TV doing all kinds of ridiculous stuff like rubbing their wife’s feet, taking out the trash, talking to their spouse for more than 5 minutes, putting away the dishes, getting their hairy chest waxed, or making monkey sounds in public. Honestly, they were doing stuff that is extremely harmless in nature … or things that they should really be doing anyway!
Well, I’d argue that “Klondike Bar Theology” is the bread and butter of religion. Religion screams out, “What would YOU do to be forgiven!” We as sinners must EARN our Klondike Bar, we must DO something for it, and there is no way to receive it for free. There is NO way they give those tasty things out to just anyone!
We all want to be sure that we have been forgiven, so we think that we MUST do something for it. Yet, the only way to 100% KNOW for sure that we have been forgiven, is to KNOW in advance of our own faults that He already forgave us of all our past, present, and future human stupidity. Otherwise, we end up extremely desperate to do something! Why? Because we have ZERO idea if He heard us or if He has decided to forgive!
In the Klondike Bar commercials, the task was always harmless. But with religion, the required tasks are both spiritually and emotionally harmful. Why? Because they separate us from Grace (Gal 5:4) and only serve to steal our joy, contentment, energy, focus, and peace.
Religion tells us to do this, to do that, or do this and that more often and better. Religion tells us to run to the altar, say special repeated prayers, do mystical things, give something up, ask/beg over and over, or constantly fear making more mistakes.
Yet, I’d argue that if you are required to beg, plead, and work for what you already have … that simply isn’t grace. In fact, it isn’t even good news.
Truly, I tell you that The Law and it’s religious practices or rituals won’t ever make you holy … only Jesus does! In fact, He already did! You are righteous because He is righteous! You are holy because He is holy!
My friend, you can’t be a little bit pregnant. And you certainly can’t be a little bit holy.
If you are in Christ, you are 100% holy and set apart for Him! Yet, like a little baby can’t get any more “personier” … the baby does grow up day by day and mature. We mature in our holiness … and you don’t DO things for Him to make yourself MORE holy. Hey, that’s works!
In Christ, you are ALREADY seen as perfect AND holy WHILE you are maturing (and while making stupid human mistakes of all shapes and sizes) … because HE and the offering of His own blood IS perfect.
“For by one sacrifice he has made PERFECT forever those who are BEING made holy (sanctified).” Hebrews 10:14 (NIV)
People say the grace movement is going to send millions and millions of people to hell. No, the grace movement is setting millions of people free from the shackles of negative, legislatively induced thinking. The grace movement is setting His children free from their religious prison cells, legislative comas, and steering His people right into a love encounter and HOLY relationship with their God.
There is NOTHING you have to do to receive His Klondike Bar of forgiveness … NOTHING! Believe. Just believe! Why? Because everything you do in your walk will flow outwards from that belief. John 6:28-29
So, what would God do to forgive us? Well, He’d die a violent death and shed His blood on a cross.
Galatians 5:4 The Message (MSG)
4-6 I suspect you would never intend this, but this is what happens. When you attempt to live by your own religious plans and projects, you are cut off from Christ, you fall out of grace. Meanwhile we expectantly wait for a satisfying relationship with the Spirit. For in Christ, neither our most conscientious religion nor disregard of religion amounts to anything. What matters is something far more interior: faith expressed in love.