GRACE: something we all need; something God gives; something Satan perverts; something Christians misunderstand; something Christians strive to achieve, but never enjoy.
We are saved eternally by grace. True Christians understand this and have received God’s free gift of salvation by faith in Jesus Christ. Yet, though we were saved by grace, we often never learn how to live by grace.
Grace has gotten a bad name through misunderstanding and abuse. Many Christians view grace as a license to enjoy God’s love while living as they please. This results in everyone doing “that which is right in [their] own eyes” (Judges 17:6)–all in the name of “grace.” Yes, the Apostle Paul proclaimed Christian liberty, but he warned, “only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another” (Galatians 5:13). The popular concept of grace today is the licentious behavior spoken of by Jude. Preachers boldy stride into pulpits across this land and “change the grace of God into lasciviousness” (Jude 4).
Other Christians pursue grace in a manner which ultimately “frustrates” the grace they are seeking (Galatians 2:21). Their preachers and teachers make holy living and obedience the gateway to grace, and thus, “grace is no more grace” (Romans 11:6). They are taught that, in order for a believer to access God’s grace for daily living, one must have a “clean heart” and also be “fully surrendered” in every area of their life. This results in a constant self-examination and a continual cloud of self-condemnation. After all, how can you be sure you’ve properly confessed ALL your sins? How can you be sure you are FULLY surrendered…in EVERY area of life? These poor Christians are unwittingly led down a path of law, bondage and despair, never knowing the joy of their salvation and the grace available to them in Jesus Christ. They frustrate the grace of God and find themselves…frustrated.
What is the answer? Redeeming Grace! The grace poured out at Calvary which redeems lost souls must itself be redeemed from those who have perverted it. What if you could discover a grace that sets you free from sin? What would it be like to enjoy the grace of God without constant self-doubt and self-condemnation? What if you found a grace that grounded you in God’s love and produced a life of of holiness and service? This is the grace of God. You received it at salvation, because grace is JESUS CHRIST! Yes, there is a grace that’s not frustrated by legalism. There is a grace that is not a licentious “slippery slope” into worldliness and sin. We will dig into this further in PART 2. Stay tuned.