What IS the grace of God?

Most of us who have grown up in evangelical churches have heard the definition of “grace” given as follows: “it is the unmerited favor of God”. For many it is the thing which means we can keep on sinning wilfully and expect to enter heaven – because we are under grace, see. Not that all who believe this WANT to keep sinning deliberately, its just that this idea of grace makes them feel safe if they do choose to live this way.

It is this view of grace which has allowed a number of recent American presidents for example to be perceived by the church there as “Christian”. It would not matter if they didn’t go to church at all, or were members of secret occult societies – because if they say they were “born again Christians” then even if they were liars, murderers or occultists “the grace of God” would surely cover all that because they were “born again”.  In the same way, multitudes of unrepentant greedy liars and adulterers who live for their own glory and pleasure believe that “the grace of God” covers them as “born again Christians”. They believe that they can do as they please because Jesus died to give them a free pass to heaven whether they sincerely turn from sin or not.

Does the Bible actually teach this concept of grace?

If it does, then why does the Bible say:

Heb 10:26  For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,
Heb 10:27  but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries.
Heb 10:28  Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.
Heb 10:29  Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?

Does this passage make it sound like God has throug grace given us a free pass to sin without the risk of any serious eternal consequences?

The Bible is full of warnings against sin. According to the Bible, the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). Not physical death, but eternal death – HELL.

Rev 21:8  But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

It is important to realise that there is a difference between “mercy” and “grace”. Mercy means not getting what you deserve. But grace means the power of God to be transformed, live a holy life, and get help from God when you are tempted so that you DO NOT sin.

Heb 4:15  For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.
Heb 4:16  Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Grace will keep us from falling into temptation if we ask God for it with earnest desire when we feel tempted.

Grace is also the means by which we fulfil the ministry God has for us. Grace makes us what we are in God.There is such a thing for example, as “grace to be an apostle of Jesus Christ”.

1Corinthians 15:10  But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

So grace is something different than what many have taught.Grace is not a free pass to sin without eternal consequences. Grace is the power to be more like Jesus. It is a mark of a false teacher to teach that grace enables us to indulge in sexual sin, for example, and for God to “be cool with that”, because of “grace”.

Jud 1:4  For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.

The God who utterly condemns sin did not design a system in which we could deliberately go on sinning with impunity. No, everything God did for us was designed to get us conformed to His image and away from the image of the Evil One.

The Bible DOES teach that God can and does show MERCY to sinners.  The Bible says that “he that covereth his sin shall not prosper, but he that confesses and forsakes his sin shall have mercy” (Proverbs 28:13). Mercy is given to those who forsaking trust in themselves, confess their sins, forsake them and trust in Jesus. You don’t get punished with the punishment you deserve – eternal condemnation – if you find mercy with God. It was available to people under the Old Covenant, but it is different in meaning to “grace”. “Grace” is actually more a New Testament concept. 

John 1:17  “For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” Before Jesus came people generally did not have the same possibility to live the “God kind of life” that IS possible today, though most of the church neglects it. The reason we have a better covenant with better promises is precisely because of the coming of “grace” and all it can do in our lives.

I believe we would all do well to consider what the grace (Greek: charis) of God can actually do in our lives, and ask God for a fuller manifestation of it. One thing that grace teaches us is to deny sinful desires and to live righteously.

Titus 2:11  For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men,
Titus 2:12  teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age,
Titus 2:13  looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,
Titus 2:14  who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.

It could be argued that the law also teaches us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts and to live righteously. However, grace does more than just inform us of God’s standards – it actually EMPOWERS us to live according to them, by imparting the life and nature of God into our beings. This is what makes grace so special in the New Covenant.

How to Receive Grace

The Bible says that “God resists the proud, but GIVES GRACE to the humble” (James 4:6).

If you and I want the grace to live as Jesus did, we need to humble ourselves. Part of humbling ourselves is admitting that some of our views until now have been wrong, and we need to change our thinking and our behavior. Yet at the same time, we must acknowledge that we cannot change ourselves by ourselves, we are actually in desparate need of the GRACE God offers. Let us threrefore hunger and thirst for God’s righteousness, that we may be filled, and express this in earnest heartfelt prayer towards God until our needy souls are filled with something from God that makes a radical difference.

What do YOU think?

comments

About Michael Fackerell

The Christian faith is about Jesus. He came to save the lost. About Jesus Christ, Bible teaching, Testimonies, Salvation, Prayer, Faith, Networking.

Comments

  1. Timothy Luke says:

    GRACE… the ability to run God’s RACE.

    Why would having the ability to run God’s race count for anything if we squander it on our own pursuits? Good to see you again Corey, and great article and responses. Grace is the power to rise above the gravitational pull of sin. It is not a ‘potential energy’ it is a kinetic energy = one that is in motion. Just a couple quick thoughts on it.

    • horns4plenty says:

         I am glad to be back!. It was very difficult for me to walk away from this website for a while but I felt God leading me away for a time because it was not time for me to speak the things I was hearing. Not to mention just like evreyone else I have been dealing with and overcoming my own hardened heart issues and working out my salvation with God with fear and trembling. I have been questioning God on the seriousness of the times we are in, and just what exactly does the judgment of God mean to those who profess to know His name. What God has shown me is so heavy and my heart just aches for the people of God right now. The book of Revelation primarily deals with the judgment of the harlot. The more God has begun to reveal to my father and some to myself on who the harlot actually is; the more I fear for professing believers. The Judgement has begun. Tim you know and I know that judgment begins with the house of God.

       

           I guess I never took the judgment of God all that seriously on the house of God, because I had walked as a doubleminded man for so many years that I always pictured the judgment of God as being a little spanking and God was going to put us in timeout or something.

          The more I seek to know God’s ways and to know who Jesus really is the more I see how deceived I really was on the judgment issue. The judgment of God coming against the house of God is a far more serious thing. The entire book of Revelation for the most part deals with the judgment of the harlot. As God has revealed this harlotry issue more and more we have discovered that the harlot is a people who claim to be the people of God who have committed acts of immorality with the world. Then once this occurs the judgment of the world will come. The judgment on the house of God has begun and will climax in the total destruction of the church of harlotry, then the judgment of the world will begin.

      God Bless Corey

       

        

  2. horns4plenty says:

        It breaks my heart to see what the church has done to the salvation message. They removed the life of Christ out of the gospel and have built a salvation message out of his death only. The 33 years Christ lived on earth was every bit as important as His death. He was a dead man walking for 33 years. If Salvation was dependent on His death only then why did he not just come to earth and die. Jesus had to come back to earth to show God’s people how to keep covenant with God. You have to keep covenant with God. This not optional and never has been from the beginning to the garden of Eden to this present day. The gift of eternal life is a free gift for those who remain in covenant.

        Brothers and sisters better hear this! Jesus will not marry harlots. You can not walk in a life of sin, and and call yourself the bride of Christ. You are deceiving yourself and the truth is not in you. The foolish virgins do not get to enter in to the marriage supper of the Lamb. What is being taught in the majority of churches as salvation is a out and out lie and the majority of so called believers or Christians are going to spend a eternity in hell because of it. It is time for someone to get up sound the alarm. Not only do you have to put to death the deeds of the flesh to remain in covenant but you have to walk in newness of life. Putting to death the deeds of the flesh is the easy part. Christ thirty three years was about way more than not sinning, and the church has not even got that part right yet. Actually He spent thirty years preparing for 3 and half years of ministry. What was Christ ministry????????? LRemember Luke 4:18 where Jesus announced His ministry and read straight from the book of Isaiah. The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He anointed me to preach the gospel, not the garbage taught in the religious synagogues or doctrines of men, to the poor, He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are down trodden, to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord. And everyone reading this knows the four gospels records how He proceeded to go out and do this. He was very confrontational. He always put His finger right on the issues and was not afraid to call sin sin. He made it perfectly clear how to become a disciple. He said if you want to be my disciple then take up your cross and follow Me. What was He saying? What did follow Me really mean? He meandt if you want to be my disciple then you have to leave your old way of life completely behind, which was putting to death the deeds of the flesh, and do exactly what I do! How do I know this?

         Remember after Jesus rose from the dead and he reappeared to his disciples who where already having hardness of heart issues and where not believing that Christ had risen from the dead. He reappeared to make final instructions to His disciples. This is how I know what follow Me really means. Turn to Mark 16:15. And Jesus said to them. Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned. The church preaches this part of the word but has totally ignored the rest of this passage and probably the most important part of this passage. Jesus is telling the 11 disciples the signs that will accompany a believer. In other words, this is how you will know if they are trully a believer, case, point, and end of discussion. 17: And these signs will accompany those who have believed: In my name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; 18 they will pick up serpents, and if they drink deadly poison, it shall not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.

         So let me ask you professing believers. Are these signs accompanying you? Why Not? They are supposed to if you are a believer. This is not optional. So if these signs are not accompanying you then you may want to re-think the salvation message that has been preached to you. This is what true believers are suppose to do. Now there is reason He uses the word accompany a believer. This is not what a true believer focusses on. A true believer does not chase after signs. Signs are supposed to follow a true believer. In other words, the true signs are a by product of a true believers walk. A true believer’s focus is on preaching the gospel. But when the right gospel is preached, You will encounter those who are held captive by demonic strongholds, you will encounter the blind, you will encounter the downtrodden. A true believer who is abiding in the love of Christ, who is being led by the Spirit, has been given authority to handle all of these situations as they arrise and deal with the issues in peoples lives. 

         Now do you want to believe the words of Jesus or do you want to believe the words of pastor so and so, who says “all you have to do is say a little prayer, confess you are a sinner, get water baptized and that makes you a believer. You don’t have to have any signs follow you. Just be like me and put your little tithe in the bucket and show up on Sundays and hear my little sermonettes and we will just wait on Jesus to rapture us out of here together. God knows your heart, He knows you can’t overcome your fleshly desires in this lifetime. He just wants you to profess you believe verbally. As a matter of fact, when Jesus takes us to heaven He is going to give us this magical glorified body where you will never ever want to sin or sin ever again”.What a joke!

     

    Thank you again for your post on Grace Michael. It was right on.

    God bless!

    Corey

     

     

     

  3. lookinforacity says:

    Comments on Grace

    Definitions for the word GRACE from the Strong’s Conceordance.
    *****************************************
    Every use of the word ( GRACE ) in the Old Testament except one, has ( H2580 ) as the definition.

    H2580
    חן
    chên
    khane
    From H2603; graciousness, that is, subjectively (kindness, favor) or objectively (beauty): – favour, grace (-ious), pleasant, precious, [well-] favoured.

    H2603
    חנן
    chânan
    khaw-nan’
    A primitive root (compare H2583); properly to bend or stoop in kindness to an inferior; to favor, bestow; causatively to implore (that is, move to favor by petition): – beseech, X fair, (be, find, shew) favour (-able), be (deal, give, grant (gracious (-ly), intreat, (be) merciful, have (shew) mercy (on, upon), have pity upon, pray, make supplication, X very.

    *****************************************

    Every use of the word ( GRACE ) in the New Testament except two, have ( G5485 ) as the definition.

    G5485
    χάρις
    charis
    khar’-ece
    From G5463; graciousness (as gratifying), of manner or act (abstract or concrete; literal, figurative or spiritual; especially the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life; including gratitude): – acceptable, benefit, favour, gift, grace (-ious), joy liberality, pleasure, thank (-s, -worthy).

    These definitions, do not portray anything on the depth to which the Christian definition does.
    “The unmerited favor of God”
    This understanding Christians use, I believe comes from this verse.
    Eph 2:8
    For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

    Therefore we accept the fact it is totally unmerited.
    I cannot speak for other Christians, but I have never applied this gift (unmerited favor) to myself as a licence to sin. I have only applied it as the gift of (Salvation), that I did not deserve, and did nothing to attain.

    It appears as though the question of Christians using Grace as grounds to continue in sin, leads us more to the question of whether or not a Christian can sin or not.
    Does a Christian in actuality seek out ways they can continue in sin, or is it rather after our Salvation, to the contrary, according to our new nature, to seek the Righteousness of God.
    How can there even be the question of Christians continuing to sin after their Salvation, in light of scripture such as.

    1Jn 3:4-10
    4) Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
    5) And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.
    6) Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.
    7) Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.
    8) He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
    9) Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
    10) In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.

    Rom 6:1-11
    1) What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
    2) God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
    3) Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
    4) Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
    5) For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
    6) Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
    7) For he that is dead is freed from sin.
    8) Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:
    9) Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.
    10) For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.
    11) Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

    When we first understand, God gives this gift of His Grace to those He wants, this Grace is the Salvation of the person chosen to receive His Grace.

    Joh 6:44
    No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

    Joh 6:65
    And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.

    Therefore does a person chosen by God, that has been drawn by God to Himself, then having been given His Gift of Grace (Salvation) by the sacrifice of His son Jesus, continue to look for, and seek out ways to keep sinning?

    JIM

  4. I invite you to check out this new article about the meaning of the Grace of God and reply with any comments you may have.

Speak Your Mind

*

close
Facebook Iconfacebook like buttonYouTube Icon