You may not be aware of it, but there is a lot of debate by Christians about the subject of grace. Some think of grace as a “topic” or “doctrine”. It is neither of those things.
Grace is in fact the gospel itself…
What do we mean by grace? The definition of the word as it is most often used in the New Testament is unmerited favor. It refers to the fact that Jesus paid the price for all of your sins: past, present, and future.
Grace means that God will “remember your sins no more”.
You don't need to remind him through some ritualized confession process. Your work at feeling guilty, mournful, and condemned does not buy you an extra ounce of grace. You couldn't afford an ounce. Or even a gram.
Some Christians become very concerned about what they think of as this “greasy grace” or “cheap grace”. They warn us that we must be careful, not take this too far, and that we must balance the teaching of grace with the keeping of commandments.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Keeping commandments does not earn you grace.
Grace produces all the fruits of the spirit, without using fear as a tool of manipulation.
There is no fear in love.
Fear-based fruit is filled with poison, as history proves.
“God is better than we think. So we need to change the way we think.” -Bill Johnson
So how do we respond to our brothers and sisters who are worried about what they view as a “hyper grace” doctrine? I believe much of the conflict flows from a simple misunderstanding of what the gospel of grace really means.
Phil Drysdale expresses it this way:
A lot of people seem to be arguing that those who are preaching a hyper-grace believe that the devil should be saved, nobody will experience hell, it's good to sin and that the law is bad. These are all really bad arguments because I don't know ANYONE who is preaching grace who says these things.
- The devil is not going to get saved.
- People will and do experience hell.
- It's not good to sin.
- The law is good, perfect and holy – it just can't make people good, perfect and holy… it's to show sin not to fix it.
This “movement” is not the end-times deception, it's not a doctrine of demons… it's called the gospel.
Is it unbalanced? YOU BET IT IS!
I don't know why, when we speak the message of grace, the way the Apostle Paul spoke that same message, people try and steal the revelation of how beautiful the work of Christ really is. But they do.
You must learn to ignore these voices of condemnation.
Any ministry that teaches you that you have to worry about whether you are really saved, that teaches you that you are saved by your works, that teaches you you should feel guilty and condemned for your sins after you have been saved… is heaping condemnation on you. And we know that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1).
While they may be our brothers and sisters in Christ, when they try to teach us that we have to “be careful”, that we have to work for our salvation, that we need to “balance grace with the commandments”, they are operating under deception.
The Apostle Paul was persecuted for his message of radical Grace.
Paul had to defend himself against those who said he preached a grace that was so radical that it would encourage people to sin and be reckless.
Isn't it interesting that so many who preach this message of “balance” (condemnation) are not persecuted for the same things that Paul was persecuted for?
Perhaps if we're not persecuted the same way the Apostle Paul was persecuted, the reason is we are not preaching the same gospel he preached…
Be at peace, and don't be disturbed by those who would have you work for the very things that Christ has already accomplished.
It's been said that Christ “didn't accomplish everything so that you could accomplish nothing”.
Christ accomplished everything, so that we can accomplish anything.
Jesus' promises are true. You can rest in his finished work.