“God of all grace, whose thoughts toward us are ever thoughts of peace and not of evil, give us hearts to believe that we are accepted in the Beloved; and give us minds to admire that perfection of moral wisdom which found a way to preserve the integrity of heaven and yet receive us there. Amen” -- A.W. Tozer
If Karma is getting what we deserve, and the Bible defines PUNISHMENT as the only thing we actually deserve, where does grace fit into Karma? How do we escape the punishment that we deserve? That question suddenly becomes incredibly important when all the colorful petals are ripped off of Karma, leaving only jagged thorns.
So where does grace fit in?
Grace fits in by breaking out.
Grace breaks the equation of “you get what you deserve.”
It breaks it.
Grace packs its bags and moves outside the territory of ‘you’ve got it coming.’
Grace travels outside the clutches of karma because grace, by definition, means you don’t get what you deserve.
But there’s a catch. And it’s an important catch. Because it’s what differentiates ‘grace’ from ‘leniency.’ Do you get off scott-free because God is too loving and kind and grandfatherly to hold you accountable for the wrong you’ve done, winking at your sin while looking the other way? Oh no, that’s leniency, and it’s a way of thinking that holds no water according to Romans chapter 2, verses 3,4—“Do you suppose, O man…that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?” You know what they say about assuming, don’t you? Presuming does the same thing.
Grace is not leniency, it’s not a loophole in the system of cosmic justice. Loopholes sidestep justice, but grace is only possible because cosmic justice has already been satisfied. Grace exists outside the reach of Karma only because justice has already been satisfied when it comes to the human heart before God. When I take someone out to lunch, they leave the restaurant without paying a cent, not because the meal was free or because we snuck out the back without paying, but because I picked up the tab. You and I can experience grace for free because the tab for justice has already been paid by someone else, making ‘Karma’ or penance or any other form of scale-balancing soul-punishment completely redundant, unnecessary and legally groundless. It’s a ‘double-jeopardy’ kind of thing; someone else has already been convicted for your crimes, in your name—you can’t be tried for them again. What you sent around, already ‘came around’ to someone else. So now you’re free to experience something outside the realm of Karma.
What you deserve has already been ‘gotten’ by someone else. So now you’re free to take in something outside of Karma.
The consequences of what you sowed, someone else has already ‘reaped.’ So now you’re free to harvest something outside of Karma.
In pastor Bill’s “Inner Mess” book, he quotes Lewis Sperry Chafer, who said, in 1933—
“Grace is more than love; it is love set absolutely free and made to be a triumphant victor over the righteous judgment of God against the sinner.” You and I are able to experience grace because somebody did something that made it possible for God to let go of a valid grudge against you and love you instead. Isn’t that great? God loves you! But who set love absolutely free from behind the safety glass of justice, set it free to offer hope into the context of doom and judgment that hung over the heads of all humanity? Keep in mind, we’re talking about a righteous, holy judgment we all deserve—
So who did it?
Who broke the glass?
Who paid the tab for us?
Who set the love of God the Father absolutely free to be ‘shed abroad in our hearts’ (Romans 5:5), while we were still guilty of wrongdoing (Romans 5:8)?
God the Son, that’s who. We call Him Jesus.
The Bible says that justice decreed your death for your sin (Romans 6:23).
The Bible says that God was not satisfied with Justice on those terms (2 Peter 3:9).
God did not want you and everyone else on earth to suffer a powerless life and a hopeless death because of your disobedience— but in order for the terms of justice to remain intact, for God to remain a just God, someone’s blood had to be spilled. That was the law, and the price-tag attached to breaking it; the tab had to be paid. He could not just do away with the law. That would have been leniency, irreparably tarnishing the holiness of God.
The Bible says that God chose to act in an unnecessary way that moved beyond the realm of justice, by involving Himself and allowing His Son Jesus to willingly act as a substitute for you. (John 3:16).
The Bible says that God the Father allowed His son to both satisfy the requirements of cosmic justice, and to do it in such a way that it counted for each and every person on earth (Romans 5:15-17). And because of ALL THAT—you can experience grace.
Grace travels outside of Karma.
Do you travel outside of grace?
If you want it, it’s yours:
In humility, repent—admit your faults to God and ask for forgiveness.
In gratitude, believe—that Jesus has already faced and satisfied a Justice much bigger than Karma, in your place.
And in faith, choose—to travel the rest of your life outside of the fear your past deserves.
Because with Jesus, the past is past—
And the future is freedom.
Surrounded By Grace,