Our Father’s GRACE – does it lead you to sin more?
I have been speaking and writing more recently about various aspects of our faith in Yeshua (Jesus) and the WONDERFUL grace of God. Without His grace, we would never be in the kingdom. It’s that simple. I’ve spoken and written on faith in the Messiah; on being justified by faith, and on various aspects of the grace of God. Some people become uncomfortable with anyone preaching faith in the living Son of God, instead of faith in what we ourselves have to do.
Folks, my faith is not just blind belief, but a solid anchoring of my soul in believing on and in the Messiah, Yeshua of Nazareth. My confidence of being in the better resurrection rests in HIS life. After all, we all know we’ve been forgiven and reconciled to our Father by his death for us, if we accept it. But do we also remember that Romans 5:10 says we are saved by HIS life? Not by our own lives. No sir, no ma’am. HIS life. That’s what saves us.
Now – does receiving God’s grace and relying on Him cause us to sin more? That’s the lie that Satan himself tries to put out there, so that we don’t receive God’s grace. (Watch for an upcoming sermon soon on “How Well do you RECEIVE?) If Satan can make us feel that the topic of “grace” is so poisoned, is so dangerous, then we tend to distance ourselves from this wonderful truth – and we refuse to receive it. Then Satan has scored a victory.
Abba’s grace in me and over me won’t let Satan win if we keep looking to our Father’s love and in prayer asking Him to be our covering through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Can the grace of our loving Father be perverted? Yes it can. Jude and Peter write of the misapplication of grace quite a bit in their epistles. But neither does it mean we should not speak of gracecorrectly. Even Jude ends his warning epistle with words of GRACE. In verse 21 he speaks of keeping yourselves in the love of God. Look how Jude ENDS his short epistle even after all his stern warnings:
“Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling,
And to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy,
25 To God our Savior, Who alone is wise,Be glory and majesty,
Dominion and power, Both now and forever. Amen.”
WHO is the One able to keep us from stumbling? Ourselves? NO! WHO is able to present us FAULTLESS before Him with great JOY? GOD OUR SAVIOR… to HIM BE THE GLORY and majesty.
THAT is how JUDE ends his treatise on false grace! Look to the TRUE GRACE of God. In verse 21 he says to keep yourselves in the love of God looking to the MERCY of our Lord.
Peter, who also warns against becoming lax on sin, and on submitting to one another and to the authorities over us, and speaks so much about our conduct – also says a lot about GRACE in the first verses of his first epistle. He ends 1 Pet 1:2 with words of grace. Then verses 3—he blesses God for his abundant mercy and for the resurrection of Yeshua. Then in verse 5 he speaks of how are “kept by the power of GOD through FAITH for salvation…” In verse 10 he speaks of how the prophets foretold this GRACE that would come upon us.
In the 2nd Epistle of Peter, he starts and ends his letter with words all about grace. Go read it. Then in between he has stern warnings about continuing in sin. Then he ends the letter of 2nd Peter telling us all to “grow in the GRACE and knowledge OF OUR LORD Jesus Christ…” The possibility of sin did not keep him from speaking of Grace. Oh, not this Peter, the one who denied his Master 3x then went on to preach on Pentecost with 3,000 being converted as a result! God’s GRACE allowed Peter to go from self-condemnation to speaking about God’s grace for them in Acts 2, if they would repent and receive it.
John ENDS the whole New Covenant scriptures with words of grace in the last verses of Revelation, though he also has much to say about becoming spiritually sleepy or dying Christians In Revelation 2-3. So we teach the balance. Let’s absolutely talk of Grace – while also talking about using that grace to be impetus to more change and growth (Romans 8:12-15).
Paul gives his OWN experience to make the point that when we appreciate God’s grace, the last thing we really want to do is go sin again or to sin lightly. Read 1 Cor 15:9-10. He was heartbroken by the fact that he had so persecuted the Body of Christ, the brethren, that some of them even cursed God as Paul tortured them (1 Tim 1: 12-15; Acts 26:11). So he calls himself the least of the apostles and even the “chief sinner”. He received God’s grace while on the way to Damascus to arrest and torture more Christians (Acts 9). One could hardly say he received Grace because he was a good man! No, he was a mean and cruel man before his conversion. He thought torturing believers and making them recant was the right thing to do.
So Paul received a lot of GRACE. What did it lead him to do?
1 Corinthians 15:9-12
“For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 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. 11 Therefore, whether it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.
God’s grace led Paul to work HARDER. To preach the good news of the grace of God to everyone who would listen. Even here, Paul credits his hard work to God’s grace in him!
Do NOT fear the proper teaching of Grace and God’s gift of HIS righteousness by faith in Christ. The proper teaching of grace will lead to MORE obedience, to a changing life, to a life that glorifies GOD, not ourselves. It is a false grace if it leads to someone thinking they can do what they want now. THAT is NOT my teaching.
When the tax collector Zacchaeus was called, after the dinner he put on for Christ he proclaimed how he was going to give half of what he owned to the poor and to return what he had wrongly taken – four fold!
God’s grace changed him. He used God’s grace to become a better person. And Yeshua said, “NOW Salvation has come to this house” – Luke 19:1-10, especially vs 8-10.
These are the proper results when true grace is preached, practiced and lived.
My point is, just because some people abuse grace doesn’t mean you or I should shy away from it! We do so to our eternal peril.They refer to the teaching of God’s grace as “cheap grace”. May Abba have mercy on them! There’s nothing cheap about God’s grace. He gave the most precious gift, at the highest possible cost, for Him to be the most gracious God while also being the God of justice: the life of his own eternal companion, the Word. The One we know as Jesus Christ, or as I call him – Yeshua (his Hebrew name).
That was our Father’s idea! HIS love cost him the most He could possibly pay – that the Word would become His Son and would have to come and live perfectly and die for us. Then He would be resurrected – and we would die and be resurrected “IN Him.”
THERE’S NOTHING CHEAP about any of that. God have mercy on those speaking of “cheap grace”. I certainly do not teach cheap grace.
Back to my question and the topic of this blog: Does TRUE grace lead to easy sinning? NO! Continue to read and see how Grace leads us to love God MORE, to obey MORE, to change and overcome all the MORE.
Paul himself had to face this accusation that when we preach grace, that some will conclude he’s preaching “it’s OK to sin now.” So in Romans 3:21-31 Paul focuses on our righteousness has to be GOD’S goodness, HIS justification, the righteousness of GOD, which we have through faith in our SAVIOR, not in ourselves. Go and read it. Then read the ending to Romans 5:12-21 and the first 2 verses of Romans 6. Let’s pick up in Romans 5:20, after Paul teaches about the GIFT of righteousness in verse 17.
“Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, 21 so that as sin reigned in death, even so GRACE might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?”
Read Romans 5:20 again. There are two different Greek words, both translated into English as “abounded” here. The word associated with sin is “abounded”. The word associated with grace is “SUPER-abounds”. There’s plenty of Grace. More grace than there is sin. God’s LOVE and grace are greater than our sins. His love for us is greater than sin’s condemnation over us. The Greek word for “abounded” in relation to sin is Strong’s word #4128. The Greek word translated as 4 words in English is the one word in Greek huperperisseuo, Strong’s #5248, meaning “SUPER ABOUNDS”.
So, DOES GRACE MAKE US SIN lightly?
Only if you misunderstand and choose to misapply the super-abounding love and grace of our great God. Be watching for more sermons and blogs on all of this as we come to Pentecost. Paul says NOTHING can separate you from the love of God through Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:31-39). Read that passage joyfully and slowly. We praise you Abba and we glorify you, Yeshua our Salvation.