There is a sweeping teaching in the church today that God’s grace is enough to cover over our every sin and by believing that Jesus is the Son of God and asking Him into your heart, you are saved for eternity. This false teaching has probably done more harm in the church today than any other. Once we believe that we are loved and accepted even though we don’t obey, we have no incentive to turn from evil and do good. If there is no fear of God, there is no wisdom and no true desire to beg for mercy. If we don’t turn from sin, we will never receive the Holy Spirit, and we certainly won’t be saved. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 “Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”
This grace covers all teaching is everywhere. I recently watched the movie, The Shack, where God was portrayed as only having a loving side, and God’s wrath was dismissed. If there are no consequences, human nature will drift to satisfy its evil desires. If I am comfortable where I am, why would I ever want to leave that comfort zone? Do you not think Jesus was comfy on His throne in heaven? Do you think it was fun to suffer a horrendous death for you? Jesus left His comfort to show obedience to His father. But now we twist scripture to make us more comfortable in the physical world. Jesus had to obey the Father even to death but we don’t have to obey everything Jesus taught? How arrogant!
If there is any doubt that God still has a wrath side to those that disobey Him, the book of Revelation has several examples. Revelations 2:21-23 “I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling. So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways. I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds.” When Jesus comes back He is not bringing hugs to the disobedient, He is bringing a sword.
What does it mean to be a Christian? What does the life of a Christian look like? What do they think about? How do they speak? If a secret camera followed a Christian around in life for a day with the whole world watching, what would they see? What would they hear? What if the camera could record their thoughts? Would they look different than anyone else? Would they sound any different other than an occasional prayer? Would they be thought of as holy?
Jesus Christ’s own words to Paul spoke of power and grace being linked together, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” If we think we are strong, we will never know God or His power. God’s grace comes to those that realize they are weak and need a savior to overcome their desire to do evil. If we think God will accept us no matter what we do on earth after we know Him, we are deceived. God is not pleased with most of the church when He judges. Revelation 2:16 “Repent therefore! Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.” Revelation 2:5 “Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.”
The relation of God’s grace and power is shown again in Ephesians 3:7 “I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his power.” It’s our total dependence on God with childlike faith that allows us to receive grace. James 4:6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” If we are relying on our bank account or retirement portfolio to give us comfort and peace, we are not fully trusting in God and those stubborn sins will stay.
I know God’s grace is real because I have experienced it. I am a weak man yet I have been able to accomplish things that I could never do before. I am nothing on my own. I have only done what God has enabled me to do through His power. Through faith, I was obedient to His word and He gave. Romans 5:2 “through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.”
If I fall away, I will be right back where I was in an instant. God is holy and perfect. I can’t walk with the world and claim to know God. I can’t rely on things, myself, or others to ‘satisfy’ me. God must become and stay my all. If I am to stay in God’s grace, I must stay in His word, stay out of the world, and be in prayer always. If I do, His power will grow in me. If you do, His power will grow in you! 2 Peter 3:17-18 “Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.”
Hebrews 12:15 See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.
May you be full of God’s wisdom and grace and may Jesus Christ be in your every thought.