The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
"Let Us Have Grace"
Does a strong emphasis on God's grace and truth in the Lord Jesus Christ lead some people to believe they can take advantage of our Heavenly Father's freely given favor in His Son? Absolutely.
"Some affirm that we say, Let us do evil that good may come" (Romans 3:8).
Deceivers accused no less than the Apostle Paul of the deception commonly known as antinomianism. Such error involves the notion that since believers are saved by God's freely given favor through faith, it does not matter how we subsequently live. Nothing could have been further from the truth. "Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?" responded Paul. "God forbid!" he thundered in response (Romans 6:1-2). Rather than license to sin, a genuine experience of God's grace motivates and empowers faith and faithfulness. "Let us have grace, that we may serve God acceptably, with reverence and godly fear" (Hebrews 12:28). The more we know, understand, and respond to God's grace and truth in Christ, the more we find heart, mind, hands, and feet directed along the path of righteousness.
A consistent and growing experience of grace results from a consistent and growing awareness of the Person and work of Christ on our behalf. Who is the Lord Jesus? What has He done. What is He doing? What will He do for us forevermore? The more we find the Bible'a grace-saturated answers to these questions, the more our Holy Spirit-inhabited hearts arise with the motivation to love God and people. Moreover, we find the power to trust and obey as we realize that the Christ who serves as our example also lives in us to enable godliness. "Walk even as He walked… I will dwell in them and walk in them" (I John 2:6; II Corinthians 6:16). Thus, we seek to "grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" in order to more faithfully live in accordance with God's glory and will (II Peter 3:18).. "God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work" (II Corinthians 9:8).
Our spiritual enemies tempt us to exchange grace-empowered relationship with God for well meaning, but misguided efforts to live by our own dedication, devotion, and determination. The standard - Christlikeness - is far too high for such futility to ever lead to genuine faithfulness. We must "have grace," and yes, some will misunderstand and misapply God's freely give favor, viewing it as license to sin rather than liberty to obey. But like Paul, we do not change the message by adding burdens beyond our ability to bear. We rather communicate God's grace in proper Biblical terms, namely, we must affirm the freely given favor that justifies is one and the same with the freely given favor that motivates and empowers genuine devotion to God and people. The Bible could not be plainer about this truth. Let us be plain about it also. Only an unequivocal emphasis on God's grace and truth in Christ results in the salvation of the sinner, and the service of the saint. Nothing more. Nothing less. Nothing else.
"But by the grace of God I am what I am: and His grace which was bestowed upon 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."
(I Corinthians 15:10)
Weekly Memory Verse
Let us have grace, that we may serve God acceptably, with reverence and godly fear.