In His Steps Ministries

In His Steps Ministries

GOD'S GRACE

So many have a misunderstanding of the biblical concept of grace.
This study will be very enlightening for you.

In His Steps Ministries
christian web sites

 

 

ChristianGod's Grace

The Grace of God and Cheap Grace

The Grace of God

| Spiritual Seekers Section | FAQ's on Christianity |

| God's Grace | Cheap Grace | Grace and Works |

God's Grace

What Is Grace?
In the Old Testament, it means graciousness, kindness, and favor. It is derived from a word that means to bend or stoop in kindness to an inferior, with the purpose of bestowing favor.
In the New Testament, this kindness is stressed with having only one motivation—love. It is clearly unearned and unmerited favor, and it causes joy, pleasure, gratification, favor, benefit, thanks, and gratitude.

Eph 2:4,5, 8-10 (NIV) But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions--it is by grace you have been saved. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

F.B. Meyer illustrated the free gift of of God's grace to a woman he visited  who wanted to know the Lord, but didn't know how. He asked for a cup of tea, and when it was brought, he ignored it and asked again. Four or five times he asked for the tea he already had. Finally, she saw it—the Lord's favor, eternal life, and the power to live that life right now is already ours—it has already been given. That was God's part; our part is to repent, surrender, and reach out and take it unto ourselves.

If you belong to Him by faith in His Son and His shed blood, His everlasting arms are beneath you. Soar in His grace, allowing it to be the wind that fills your wings. The grace is there, it is up to you, if you are not saved, to repent, turn from sin, and let His resurrected life live in you.

Some think that grace implies that God will just wink at sin and ignore it. That cannot be farther from the truth. Grace is unfair. It is staggeringly unfair. Jesus takes my sin and pays for it on the cross and I, a sinner, in return receive his righteousness and life. Extremely unfair! However unfair it may be, it is absolutely just.

Matthew describes Jesus as the fulfillment and the fulfiller of the law. God did and does not ignore sin. He paid for sin. The crucifixion was the fulfillment of the requirements of the law against sin. There are many theological words to describe what took place: expiation, propitiation, reconciliation, and redemption. God’s wrath is appeased. There is nothing more any of us can do to pay for sin. Jesus did it all. What could you or I possibly add to the cross? Nothing! The price was paid in full on Calvary.

GRACE is Justice PLUS Mercy
God chooses to pay for sin at great cost to himself and then turn around and give unmerited and unconditional love, acceptance, and forgiveness to the very people who were the basis for the need for payment.

The grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say no to ungodliness and worldly passions and to live self-controlled , upright, and Godly lives in this present evil age.

If you are not a Christian are you ready to give your life to Jesus and experience victory over sin through His grace?
How To Accept Christ

Cheap Grace

Cheap grace is not the kind of forgiveness of sin which frees us from the toils of sin. Cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves. Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession, absolution without personal confession.

Cheap grace is ultimately belief without obedience, hearing without doing, intellectual assent without life commitment.

Cheap grace says you don't have to be concerned about purity, holiness, and obedience—Jesus already did all that so that you don't have to. Absolutely not! He did all that, empowered by the Holy Spirit, so that His life could live again through us.

God’s grace has everything to do with our position in Him, our relationship with Him, our salvation in and through Him, our standing before Him, and our identity as new creations in Him. Cheap grace operates not in those things, but in the deceitful workings of a person’s behavior. Cheap grace can never accomplish what God’s grace can.
Cheap grace allows you to justify your behavior; God’s grace justifies your person.
Cheap grace will center its focus and attention on the "things" of God, and not God Himself. It will focus on "behavior" instead of relationship. It concentrates on a "life-style" instead of a life of obedience.
The grace we bestow on ourselves is ultimately self-centered no matter how "Godly" it may appear. So when someone says that grace is just a license to sin, that is correct assessment of cheap grace. Cheap grace is grace that does not require death, that is death to the flesh and the self-life.

Romans 6:1-2 "What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace might increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?"

Romans 8:16, 17, "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if it so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together." There is nothing cheap about it. Free, yes, but not cheap—God has His part and that is what makes us free, BUT we also have our part in response.

It wasn't and isn’t cheap, for anyone—God gave His life out of love, and now, because of that, empowered by the Holy Spirit, we can do the same—give our lives to Him and to others in love! This is the gospel truth—the gospel of Christ, the gospel of the Kingdom, the gospel of His Grace—all one in the same!

Grace cost God everything! It cost the price of his Son. How much do you suppose that is worth? Should our lives account so much that God sacrifices his Son? It is mind boggling, but apparently to God we, his sin twisted creatures, are worth the sacrifice.

Grace was not cheap to Jesus. It cost him his life. Let us think for a moment what it must have been like as God incarnate was treated like dirt. Jesus, the Second Head of the Trinity, was born a vulnerable baby. He lived a life that ultimately ended in suffering. He, the sinless one, was unjustly accused. Jesus was mocked, spit upon, cursed at, and denigrated. He was punished for our sins. My sins. Your sins. He died a criminal’s death on the executionary device known as the cross. He, who knew no sin, became sin in our place and the wrath of God was poured out on him. It cost Jesus his power, security, pride, friends, and connection to the Father. Grace is not cheap; it cost Christ the most priceless gift, his life. And yet he still says, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do."

Cheap grace mixes God strengths with ours. It never fully destroys the self-life and in fact, it often enlists it to accomplish what it will. Cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves and base on our idea of right and wrong. Cheap grace is not concerned with righteousness, but with duty and obligation. True grace is not about us; it is all about God. True grace isn’t concerned with right and wrong, but is given because of the righteousness of Christ. True grace is given and can only be appropriated (applied) in our lives through the power and person of Christ. "that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" Romans 5:21.

Grace and Works

Good works come as a RESULT of receiving grace through faith. The order cannot be changed, and this is an essential point of Christianity. No man can do anything to earn God's favor or approval. Only Christ is approved by God. As His life is given to us by grace, we then (and only then) will be able to do works that are truly good from God's perspective. Only then will we stand approved before the Father.

Faith, grace, and good works are like a three legged stool. If any one is missing, the thing will not stand. The leg of grace cannot be had by itself; it comes through faith or never. And grace is not only a receptive approach to the Lord, but also the ongoing power of God to do the right thing. God's grace in us, if we really have it through faith, will always result in good works. Minus the proof of good works--as James points out--our grace through faith is fundamentally flawed.

We want to make it clear that salvation is based upon faith alone. Staying saved is by faith alone. Going to heaven is by faith alone. Christianity is a religion based upon faith alone, not faith plus works. Good works will be the result of our faith in Jesus and the outpouring of His grace.

If you are not a Christian are you ready to give your life to Jesus and experience victory over sin through His grace?
How To Accept Christ

 

christian web sites