Founding Pastor, North Point
Community Church (each Sunday, more than 20,000 adults attend worship at one of NPM's three campuses)
Founder of North Point Ministries, Inc. (NPM) since 1995
Bachelor's degree, journalism from Georgia State
Th.M. from Dallas Theological Seminary
Married with three children
Andy Stanley: The Grace of God
The 700 Club
Appearance Date: December 9, 2010
If Andy Stanley gave a subtitle to his new book, The Grace of God, it would be “The Solution to Just About Everything.” Andy says there is no problem that can’t be solved without grace.
God creating in the beginning is an act of grace. Even Jesus’ lineage stated in the Gospel of Matthew shows God’s grace. God has responded to the sins of humanity with His amazing grace since the beginning.
Grace is not reserved for good people; it underscores the goodness of God. It is not earned; it is offered. Also, it is not your grace or my grace. It’s God’s grace and it’s for everybody.
The relationship between God’s law and God’s grace is one of the most misunderstood topics in all of Christianity. Andy believes the easiest way to understand this relationship is to look at the Ten Commandments and how they came about. Andy says, “The Ten Commandments do not stand in contrast with God’s grace; they are introduced within the story of God’s grace.”
Go behind the scenes of The 700 Club with Andy Stanley on In The Green Room
To explore the relationship between God’s law and God’s grace in the Ten Commandments, we must start with God’s plan for the nation of Israel. God established a relationship with Abraham. Then God told Abraham he would have descendants as numerous as the stars and they would possess the land that He promised them. Four hundred and thirty years after Abraham’s descendants relocated to Egypt, the nation of Israel had grown into several millions of people. In Egypt the Israelites eventually became slaves. After 400 years of captivity, Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt to claim the land that God had promised them, also known as the Exodus. Before settling the Israelites in the Promised Land, God wanted them to know Him as their forefathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob did. God gave the Israelites the Law of Moses, which is about 600 rules, to establish them as His people. These people were slaves who had never learned to govern themselves. God’s laws were to set up as guidelines for how they should conduct themselves. The Ten Commandments were the first of these laws given to Moses by God. They set the tone and the framework for the other laws that followed, and reassured the Israelites that their God was powerful and good.
Andy also says, “The law is an expression of the grace of God.” This is evident when we trust and obey God. In the history of the nation of Israel, as it is with us, when they trusted and obeyed God it was beneficial. If they did things their own way, things did not work out well.
Another thing we can learn from this historical account of Israel is that, “God initiated a relationship with His people before He even told them what the rules were,” Andy says. God had already established the relationship with His people, sealed the relationship, had proven the security of the relationship, and then he gave them the rules to live by. His law is never given to establish a relationship; God’s law is given to confirm an existing relationship. Also, God knew that rules without relationship lead to rebellion. The stories of the Exodus and the Ten Commandments reveal important aspects about God’s character and His grace. Andy says if we miss this, we will never understand the role of God’s law in our relationship with Him and we won’t understand grace. It’s important to keep in mind if we find ourselves measuring our behavior by the Ten Commandments; what was true of Israel is true of us too. These God-given directives don’t stand as an entryway into a relationship with God, but confirm that you already belong to Him.
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