I have heard two people recently say, “Anything taken to extreme is dangerous.” This was in response to my view on the grace of God. It seems people simply do not like to think that they have absolutely no control of things. I mean if it’s all grace from start to finish that means we have nothing to do and apparently that is too scary for some.
I believe God’s grace is so wonderful and amazing once you hear it taught it’s no wonder it sounds like license to sin. Paul told us in Romans 5 “Where sin increased, grace abounded all the more…” After making such a statement Paul knew how some of his readers would hear it so he played along and asked the begged question. “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase?” The answer to that is of course “May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?”
The Apostle Paul knew when he made that statement it would stir up the flesh and some would think he was endorsing freedom to sin. This is far from true. It is only those folks listening from a flesh view that think that way. A person listening in the Spirit wouldn’t be looking for such loopholes.
Let’s look at this idea of dangerous extremes for a minute. It seems to me that there are still some folks that think we are to find a balance. I’m not sure what that means but to me it reminds me of Paul’s Galatian letter where there was a conflict about the role of the Law in a believer’s life. Apparently the Galatians had started out well enough by the Spirit of God but some legalistic Jews were trying to convince them they had to obey the Law too. Paul spoke very direct to them and said, “This is the only thing I want find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?”
I for one believe salvation is grace, grace and more grace. I believe we are saved by grace and we are kept by grace. The only thing required from me is repenting (changing my mind) about sin and placing my faith in Christ. I have to trust that Christ and his sacrificial work on the cross truly was enough.
Someone will say, “What about the commands of the New Testament?” My response to that is now that Christ is in me He will fulfill all that is required of me. My mind always goes back to Abraham and his relationship with God. Abraham didn’t have a New Testament to read. He had no Temple or church building to attend, no established rules for sacrificing animals, no priest to confess to he didn’t even have the Ten Commandments. No, all he had was a promise from God and he believed him. That’s it! God promised him an heir, Abraham believed him, and God counted him righteous. We too are given a promise in the same heir which is Jesus Christ and if we put our faith in him we also will be counted righteous.
For those that still may not fully get what I’m saying here let me say this. Yes Spirit filled believers are engaged in all sorts of service, worship, Bible studies and other ministry but it isn’t because we have been given commands it’s because we love God. Even us loving God is only possible because He is love. 1 John 5:19 “We love, because He first loved us.”
God was willing to send his one and only Son here to die in my place even if I never did respond in faith. That’s how much he loves us. He put everything on the line for us knowing that some would still reject him. God had absolutely no requirement to save us. He saved us because he is love and that is what love does. It goes the whole way for the one it loves and stops at nothing to win them over. That is outrageous grace!
Written by Louie