Barriers to God’s Grace

Listen to this short message (about 13 minutes) by Pastor Patrick Thurmer of Living Faith Church, Cape Coral, Florid a


 click here:


What do you think is the greatest barrier to God’s grace in your life?

12 Responses

  1. Missing the Bull’s Eye

    Many years ago, my sister and her husband had purchased a Nintendo Game for their six year old. He was not allowed to play the Duck Hunt Game without adult supervision and when he and I found ourselves alone during the visit, he asked if I would play the game with him. So we got the game all set up and began taking our turns…much music and many fun graphics later, the game ended. He sweetly put his arm around me and laid his little head on my shoulder and said, “Aunt Nancy, does it make you feel real bad that you can’t get any at all?” I hadn’t been paying attention…the music seemed like maybe I hit some at least, but no… I was a total zero! Then he says, ” Here, I’ll show you how to do it…”

    The biggest barrier to God’s Grace…not realizing we are total zeros!

  2. Nancy,

    I know you a little bit, from your comments here and from reading your terrific blog.

    You are not a total zero!!!

    For righteousness sake you are, though. 😀

    You, and I, and everyone else are total zeros as far as the perfection that God demands in His Law.

    But in my eyes…you are a winner! And in Christ’s eyes you are winner!

    You belong to Him! And that’s enough! (I know that you know that – but we can never hear it too much)

    I think Pastor Pat did a really nice job of procaliming that fact.

    Thanks, Nancy.

    – Steve

  3. Amen!!

  4. Nancy,

    You hit a bull’s eye with that one. That’s basically a restatment of Luther’s first and second nuclear salvo Thesis against our old Adam, “The Law though the most salutary doctrine of life, cannot help a man toward righteousness, in fact in hinders him” and “much less the laws of man which are repeated over and over again” (my paraphrase).

    What’s stunning about what Luther observes from Scripture here is that (as Forde points out too)

    1. One we speak of the holy Law of God and none other.

    2. The Law cannot help a man toward righteousness. (and most agree with this)

    3. But worse it HINDERS us (due to the sin nature, inwardly curved). In fact the fact that it is the Law of God makes it worse in its hinderance.

    4. Then of course arguing from the greater to the lesser, much less man’s laws derivatively.

    This sets the tone of the Cross, that it is first and foremost an ATTACK not on our worse gross sins (which it is this too) but first and foremost our BEST things, works and sanctification schemes. The cross is first an attack against the inward curved man (sin), the pretty and the ugly, before it delivers from sin.

    This is why true Word and Sacrament ministry is despised, it puts THIS back up in our face. To the old Adam the stinch of death, because it is, it attacks him, the doer. Simultaneously, to the new man the odor of life, because it is, the nude truster.

    “You mean there is nothing left for me to do, ever?” Yes, now you are feeling the taste of crucifixion and to die to self and cross bearing.


  5. Larry,

    Right on, Larry!

    It is not out worst that we must worry about…but rather our ‘best’.

    For it is not good enough, either.

  6. One thing I was hoping for in this post, was to have someone (who is not really too familiar with Law/Gospel preaching) see how the Law is used by the preacher (the Spirit really) to expose us.

    In speaking of his own inability to do what is right, Pastor Thurmer brought our attention back to ourselves, who are no different than he, (indeed how could we be better than one of God’s pastors?) and used the telling of his own failings to expose our own failings.

    This is the proper theological use of the law…to expose us, to condemn us, to kill us off to any ideas that we might have had that we were doing an adequate job of living up to God’s expectations.

    The law was DONE TO US in this sermon.

    Then, the gospel can go to work in us (by God’s grace) and raise us anew.

    That is the Law/Gospel paradigm.

  7. (indeed how could we be better than one of God’s pastors?)
    Now come on Steve I make the realization of this goal of yours as easy as I can. I’m sorry if you, after knowing me, are still not able to be better than one of God’s pastors 🙂 now go have a slider.

  8. Bror,

    I will !

    Only because one of God’s pastors said to go and do so… 😀

  9. Luke 10:37 The expert in religious law said, “The one who showed mercy to him.” So Jesus said to him, “Go and do the same.”

  10. Nancy, we need more total zeros that are totally loved and feel totally accepted “in Christ”.

    Its a realization that many never come to.

  11. Coming to the realization that we are accepted in the Beloved… because of His blood…and not because of our, merit = 0 status…is deliverance indeed! Freed from sin consciousness we can be free from the fear of death and punishment (not loving correction)! Free to LIVE and share in all things LIFE!

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