God’s Grace

Jude warns:  

 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not. And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.  Jude 3-7

I just read a statement where someone wrote, “If you believe that salvation can be lost you better know the dividing line is between being one sin short of hell or one sin long of heaven.”

This is unscriptural, empty philosophy.

I would like to talk about God’s grace.

The unbiblical grace teaching we often hear about is that this grace will cover one’s sinful behavior.  Once someone “accepts” or makes some “mental assent” to Christ, he need not fear any condemnation from God since it’s “not of works,” but of “grace” alone.  Many will quote such passages as John 3:16; Rom. 10:9-10; Acts. 16:31, etc., but neglect other passages of Scripture such as John 5:28-29 where Jesus says,

“Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.” 

The false “grace” message, without failure, dismisses just about everything Jesus taught (along with all the apostles) when it comes to enduring and judgment.

The fact is, the wages of sin is still death (Rom. 6:23).  Yes, we are saved by grace, and grace is a gift (Eph. 2:8), but grace also TEACHES us something.  It teaches us to deny ungodliness, wordly lust, and to live soberly, righteously and godly in this present world (Titus 2:11-12).

“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;”  

Grace is not a shield so one can indulge in sin. God does not suffer from moral blindness.  This kind of grace preached today is a sin excusing grace, even among some of those who preach against OSAS.  Keep your ears open, for if anyone is preaching about “sincere Christians” struggling with homosexuality, jealously, hatred, etc., are teaching a grace that Jude warns us about. They have turned the grace of our God into lasciviousness.

If you read Jude 3-7, guess what element is missing when false grace teachers spew their deadly venom?  JUDGMENT.  Read carefully and note that the Lord SAVED the people out of Egypt and AFTERWARD destroyed them.

Salvation can’t be lost?  Did the angels enjoy security at one time?  What happened to the angels who did not keep their first estate? They are reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.  Jude also mentions Sodom and Gomorrha, who had given themselves over to fornication, and came under fiery destruction.  All because of sin and unbelief!

Why did Jude mention about Israel being saved and then afterward destroyed?  And the angels?  Sodom and Gomorrha?  Jude says they were set forth as an EXAMPLE.  An example serves as a pattern to be imitated or not to be imitated.  Obviously they are the “bad” example.  As one has aptly said, “Grace does not change the Scriptural relationship between conduct and condemnation.”  Dear Christian, the wages of sin is still death, it does not change for those who continue in sin.  Do not mistake the Scriptural true grace and trade it in for the false grace that brings condemnation and firey judgment.

We must be on the watch for those who handle the word of God deceitfully.

The false grace teachers will quote such verses as Eph. 2:8-9 as if holiness, faithfulness, and works are contrary to salvation by grace.  The most quoted verse is Rom. 11:6:

“And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.”  

However, KEEP reading in the same chapter, for we will find that Paul does not exclude the necessity of works, holiness and faithfulness.,

“Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off.”

A Christian will fall from grace if they persist in wickedness.  Our salvation hinges upon our continuing in the goodness or grace of God.  We must endure to the end as Jesus said.  Dear Christian, don’t think you can sin with impunity.  This has nothing to do with one saving themselves.  This is about obedience and the stopping of all known sins, which God commands. The grace and mercy of God is to forgive you of your crimes, not to cover them as you continue in wickedness.  There is no such thing as “safe sin.”  We need to continue in the grace of God (Acts 13:43).  God’s grace will change you, but it will not change you without your cooperation.  We must be doers of the word. (James 1:22)

The most common definition of “grace” is explained as “unmerited favor.”  This is not true.  The definition of GRACE is:

“Good will, loving-kindness, favor of the merciful kindness by which God, exerting his holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian virtues.”

This grace is extended to everyone.  God draws all men, but all do not come.  All do not want to be obedient to this grace that God has extended to all mankind.

The wages of sin is still death whether one is a Christian or not.  God is not blind.  Grace does not change the wages of sin.  One can still be “removed from him” (Gal. 1:6), can “fall from grace” (Gal. 5:4), “fall away” (Heb. 6:6), “turn from the holy commandment” (2 Peter 2:21), “err from the truth” (James 5:19), “err from the faith” (1 Tim. 6:30), “fail of the grace of God” (Heb. 12:15), “fall from your own stedfastness” (2 Peter 3:17), or “draw back unto perdition” (Heb. 10:39).

The wages of sin is death, and that means eternal death if one persists in sin (Matt. 18:8; John 5:28-29; 1 John 3:7-8; 2 Peter 2:4-6; 2 Peter 2:20-22; James 2:14,26; James 5:19-20, etc. etc.).

The lie in the Garden is still the lie of today, “Ye shall not surely die.”

The false grace teachers have missing elements in their sermons:

Fear of God
Repentance
Judgment

These false teachers are double minded and do not preach true grace and true repentance. Repentance always reflects in one’s actions.  True repentance is more than a “change of mind,” it’s the stopping of sin.  If you truly have a “godly sorrow,” it will produce repentance. (2 Cor. 7:10-11).  The work of the Holy Spirit is to convict of sin, righteousness and judgment (John 16:8).  God is not going to save anyone who remains His enemy.

People will cry, “Works!.”  No, it’s called “Repentance!”  Some will say that one cannot stop sinning until they accept Jesus.  This is a lie.  God is not going to save an enemy who remains an enemy.  People CAN stop sinning.  God’s grace is there to help them if they are serious about their sins and how it offends God and how they have hurt others by their unrighteous deeds.

People can stop ALL sins!  A drug addict can give up his drug addiction.  He might go through withdrawals and get very sick because he is not feeding his flesh anymore, but just the same, he can stop.  A thief can stop stealing.  A fornicator can stop fornicating.  A spouse can stop committing adultery, and so on.  It is true that even an atheist who does not believe in God can stop certain sins, but only to be replaced by another or keeping other sins alive in his life. This goes for anyone.  However, a person who comes to Christ in godly sorrow will give up ALL known sins and beg for the mercy of God.  God’s grace helps that person, but the person must also cooperate with God.  My husband used to say, “God will move the mountain, but you must bring the shovel.”  Godly sorrow makes one diligent of clearing himself of wrongdoing, or the stopping of his sins against God. (2 Cor. 7:10-11)  When a person comes to God in faith and repentance, God is already there to meet him and help him.

Those who cry “works” falsely accuse others of trying to “merit” salvation, when nothing could be further from the truth.   They don’t seem to know the difference between “meriting,” and “conditional.”  “Meriting” is not involved, but works sure are, for true Salvation is WORK from start to finish.  The work of faith with power! (2 Thess. 1:11).  It’s the word of God WORKING in you as you RECEIVE, OBEY and PUT it into PRACTICE! (Luke 11:28)  Salvation is aways conditional.  We must remain faithful, for in the end we will then receive the salvation of our souls. (1 Peter 1:9)

Does this mean that a person can save himself?  Absolutely not. Man can never save himself by obeying God, yet God will not save a man unless he obeys from his heart.  Know the difference, dear reader.

Charles Swindoll says, “Regardless of how you choose to live, you can’t live so bad that God says to you, ‘You are no longer mine.'”

This is not Scripture my friend.  Deny Jesus, live a life of sin, and see what happens on Judgment day.  God’s word is so full of warnings to the saved and unsaved.  God’s grace does not free us to disobey. Grace does NOT exempt us from keeping the royal law of God. (Matt. 19:16-17, 1Jh. 2:4, Rev. 14:12, 22:14).

When reading the Scriptures, notice you will always find the issue of repentance.  Before anyone can enjoy the Savior and His kingdom, one must first repent of his sins.  A saint would be accused of not focusing more on God’s love, mercy, and forgiveness.  Friend, one will not get all of this unless he first repents.  Repentance is not concealing your sins or feeling sorry for sins, it’s forsaking your sins.  David did not get away with his sins that he tried to conceal. His sins were exposed. Repentance is followed by works that prove the change in the heart.

Jesus told the story about a certain man who had two sons, and he said unto one, “Go work today in my vineyard”, and he answered, ‘I will not’: but afterward he repented and went” (Matt. 21:28,29).  Notice what Jesus said, He said the son “repented.”  The son realized he sinned against his father by being disobedient.

The false grace teachers try to convince everyone that God’s grace “covers” sin and therefore sin does not really matter because “no one can be perfect.”  This is from people who claim to be saved.

There is a story about Simon in Acts chapter 8.  Simon believed and was baptized when the gospel was preached to him.  However, it became apparent that he still loved popularity and wanted to buy the gift of the Holy Spirit.  Peter did not turn around and tell him that God’s grace covers his greediness, because after all, nobody’s perfect. No.  Peter told him, “Repent therefore if this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.”  Simon needed to repent.

Profess Christians say they sin every day in thought, word and deed, and by “confessing” their sins, all is well.  They take 1 John 1:9 out of context so they may continue in their sins with the thought, “I can confess and all will be forgiven.”  Confession without repentance means nothing.  It is only when a person repents that God will hear.  If one persists in sin everyday, God will not hear him (John 9:31, 1 Peter 3:12).

Do not be deceived by the false grace teachers.  Biblical grace TEACHES.  God’s grace will be of no affect if one does not cooperate.

“For the GRACE of God that BRINGETH SALVATION hath appeared to ALL MEN, TEACHING us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;”

Again, we have the “WORKS SALVATION!” criers in our midst.  What does the verse say?  Does it tell us that the grace of God that bringeth salvation does not matter if you do not deny ungodliness, worldly lusts; that it does not matter if we do not live soberly, righteously and godly in this present world?  THAT is exactly what the false teachers want us to believe.  That is the “Garden lie” where our first parent was told, “Ye shall not surely die.”

Even when the false grace teachers read these passages, the cry will forever remain “Works salvation!”  It is true that works cannot “earn” one’s salvation, but it would be a lie to say that works have nothing to do with salvation.  The Bible is clear that salvation is conditional.  They just want to ignore those parts of Scripture.  Those who are saved wiill bear fruit (John 15:5), and those who cease to abide in the vine (Jesus) will be taken away and burned (John 15:2,6).  And James says a “dead” faith is not a “saving” faith (James 2:14,17).

Scripture plainly teaches that salvation is God’s work and yet Christians must also “work”.  For example, Philippians 2:12-13 says:

“Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.”  

One of the missing elements from these false grace teachers is fear.  Some may quote 1 John 4:18, but notice that if one is abiding and continuing in God’s love, there is no need to fear.  But there should be fear if we walk away from God in sin.  Fear is good.  We fear God if we wonder off in sin because we know the outcome.  Does that not make you fear?

I can understand now why Paul said he was not ashamed of the Gospel. (Rom. 1:16)  When speaking of the “gospel,” most people will quote 1 Co 15:1-4,

“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;  And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.” 

They quote this Scripture as if this is all there is to the gospel.

Note what Paul says, “For I delivered unto you FIRST of all that which I also received.”  This is the first thing Paul learned; it is not the complete gospel. Yes, people need to know that Christ died for our sins and was buried and raised on the third day, but that is not the whole gospel!

Over in Romans chapter 1, when Paul says, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel,” what shame is there in telling people how Christ died for our sins and was buried and rose again the third day?  What is so shameful about that?  That’s good news!  I’m not ashamed to tell the good news.  But watch this, tell people they need to repent (stop sinning) and see what kind of reaction you get!  The gospel includes telling people about the Kingdom of God, about the fear of God, about repentance, and judgment.  Read the rest of Romans 1.  Paul really gets into telling how they are deserving of death by their wicked deeds.  Go over to chapter 2 and he’s still harping on sins.  Paul preached against sin! He offers hope, but with warning,

Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?  But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God,  who “will render to each one according to his deeds”: eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality;  but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness—indignation and wrath,  tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek; 

One will never have a relationship with the Creator until he ceases from all known sin.  The Holy Spirit will be given only to those who obey Him (Acts 5:32).  Jesus expects us to obey him, and eternal life is given to those who obey Him (Heb. 5:9)

A majority of Christians today want you to feel ashamed of the Gospel.  How?  They make all kinds of excuses for sins and try to convince you that you have sin in your life.  If you dare say you do not sin, then lying accusations fly.  They try to shame and condemn you with their lies, and by using Scripture against you.  Of course we can see that they only take Scriptures out of context and what is meant for sinners.

When we obey Christ by warning others about sin and the need for repentance, they want to come back with how no one can stop sinning – that it’s impossible to go one day without sinning.  If you claim you can, you are called “self-righteous”.  So what they really mean is no one can be in the faith unless they are sinning!  It’s not being “self-righteous,” my friend, it’s simply being obedient to the One we love.  Like Paul, I can say I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believes.

Others will say, “If we can stop sinning, why do we need Jesus?”  Interesting that they would ask such a question when they don’t believe they can stop sinning when they HAVE Jesus!  People need Jesus because they are sinners who love their sins and as a result have earned the wages of those sins – eternal spiritual death.  “The wages of sin is death.” (Rom. 6:23)

Paul, the great grace teacher, never said that grace means we can disobey God.  Paul said, “If anyone does not love the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be accursed. O Lord, come!’  Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15).  In 1 John 5:3, we are told, “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments.”  Jesus says, “Ye are my friends if you do whatsoever I command you.” (John 15:14).  To love Christ is to obey Him.

Heed Jude’s warning.  Watch out for those who have crept in among you and teach the doctrine of Balaam.  Note the results from those who fell for Balaam’s doctrine.

“Now Israel remained in Acacia Grove, and the people began to commit harlotry with the women of Moab. They invited the people to the sacrifices of their gods, and the people ate and bowed down to their gods.”  (Numbers 25:1-2)

The doctrine of Balaam seduces, ensnares, and deceives.  It is a stumbling block and will destroy those who fall for it.  Don’t take the bait of these false teachers today who say you can disobey God and still enter heaven – that all your sins you commit today and tomorrow are covered by God’s grace.  Friend, the death of Christ on the cross was not an opening so you could freely sin by hiding behind grace.

For sure, following a set of rules will not save you.  You must come to Jesus.  Salvation is not of works, it is by biblical grace through biblical faith.  Grace teaches (Titus 2:11-12).  We are saved by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8-10), but it does not mean we are exempt from obedience.  Saving faith is a faith that works.  It is a “work of faith, and labor of love” (1 Thess. 1:3).  Genuine faith is always a “faith which worketh by love” (Gal. 5:6).

“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.”  Titus 2:11-12

God will never pardon sins while one persists in them.

More later….

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