The Grace Heresy
Some say the current emphasis on grace is extreme and heretical. But is it? Ask them why they think so and they will tell you it makes light of sin and gives license to people to sin. But does it?
Firstly, how successful have those who preach law and judgment been in producing holiness? Hardly. And not surprisingly because “the Law made nothing perfect.” (Heb.7:18-19) Nothing!
Secondly, what man can make himself holy and overcome sin? Not one. All the will-power and good intentions will not suffice, “For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice.” (Romans 7:19) Always!
Thirdly, what is the only answer to the human condition? Grace. “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:24-25 ) Grace alone!
Salvation is not just hard. Overcoming sin is not just difficult. It is humanly impossible. “Who then can be saved?..With men it is impossible.” (Matt. 19:25-26)
Sin is serious, it’s consequences eternal, and human beings have no solution. The only antidote is the Cross. Saints and sinners alike need nothing less than pure, unadulterated grace. To preach anything less than radical grace is spiritual malpractice. Those who do have yet to fully comprehend how totally dependent upon God they must be in regard to sin.
That’s because only God can save and sanctify a human soul! “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
That’s because it is only by grace that we can overcome sin. “For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.” (Romans 6:14)
And that’s because only those who “receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.” (Rom. 5:17).
Where then is the so-called heresy? It does not exist. To tell people to take their eyes totally off themselves and place them totally upon Jesus for all things is not heretical. To tell men that what they could not do for themselves God has done for them in Jesus is not heretical. Neither is it heretical to teach men that Jesus’ blood has indeed solved the sin problem, once for all, and that the Lamb of God succeeded in making them righteous and holy and blameless in God’s sight forever. Since when did it become heretical to teach that Jesus accomplished the will of the Father and did what He came on earth to do–that He actually took sin out of the way and reconciled us to God apart from our works!
Child of God, contrary to what some claim, the Gospel, which from A-Z, is the good news of God’s grace and favor shown to those who place their trust in the Cross, is the POWER OF GOD unto salvation. Those who place their faith totally in the grace of God will soon discover that Jesus is both their Savior and their Sanctifier. Yes, He has delivered them from the condemnation of the Law when they sin. And yes, He has delivered them from the power of sin too.
But what about repentance? Don’t people need to repent? They do. Don’t they need to repent to receive the grace of God? Not really. The truth is people need to receive the grace of God to repent. It is the goodness of God (grace?) that leads men to repent. You see, even repentance is a gift God gives men through the preaching of the Gospel.
Thank God for Jesus! Thank God for grace!
Bishop Johnson I am totally in your corner on this one. Those who condemn the message of God’s grace do not trust the Spirit of God to manifest the life of Christ through disciples of the Messiah. Through the works of the Law (depending on human effort) shall no flesh be justified. The preaching of the Law is “the ministry of death” (2 Cor.3:7) while the ministry of the Spirit gives life. There is a ministry of condemnation (2 Cor. 3:9) and a ministry of righteousness (through God’s grace). May the Spirit of God grant you a higher and wider revelation in this domain of His eternal grace.
This is great and awesome Bishop, it encourages me the vigorously teach and preach the message of grace.
What a good God we serve! Thank God for grace. What a blessing.
What a good God we serve! Thank God for grace.
Thank God for His grace!