September 20 Esight, 2010

But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many. Romans 5.15(Part 3 of 3)

Let’s finish up this week with a final look at Christianity’s history regarding the concept of Grace.

First, too often religion has been used to control or manipulate the masses. We have used hope of reward (heaven) or fear of punishment (a skewed view of hell) to motivate and even manipulate the behavior of the adherents of the faith. This should not ever be done.

During the Dark Ages, the church, under the above pretense, painted a picture of God’s grace that made it very expensive. Through performing religious duties or disciplines, even sometimes paying money, a person could secure God’s grace. But these “commodities” were never easy. Religion was difficult. And God’s grace was costly, expensive, something that must be earned.

Then came the Reformation. I want to say from the beginning that I believe the Reformers were moving in the right direction, but they did not go far enough in their reasoning. First, let’s see what they taught. God’s grace, to them, was not something difficult to procure. All a person had to do was believe, repent, or confess being a sinner in need.

Please note that although this sounds very familiar, because the practice is rampant in modern Christianity, whether something is true or not has never been decided by how many are preaching it. The question is, “Is it biblical?”

You see, this view did make God’s grace less expensive. Yet, inadvertently, it only served to make God’s grace “cheaper” as the coined phrase “cheap grace” indicates. The problem is that even though those espousing this view use correct lingo like “faith,” “confession,” and “repentance,” they still make God’s grace dependent on “something” we do before we can receive it.

The Bible teaches that God’s grace is neither expensive nor cheap. It’s FREE! It is not simply bestowed on those who do something first, whether that act be difficult or easy. God’s grace is right now being bestowed on ALL people, regardless of whether they have believed or not.

Remember our two verb orders.

Love Give Believe

Love Believe Give

God is right now giving to all regardless of whether they have believed with the hope that they will!

Moreover, the law stated that while offenses might abound, where sin abounded, grace did much more abound. (Romans 5.20)

Another verse tells us: For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men. (Titus 2.11)

God is right now giving to you, simply because He loves you. He is giving to all right now, simply because He loves all. His giving is based on His love! It is not based on whether the object of that grace has believed yet or not.

Does this mean that all will be saved? No, not by any means. However, the judgment will reveal that full and free salvation was given to every person and that if any are lost, this would not occur because they did not do enough to procure God’s grace but because they threw away the grace and the salvation that had been given to all.

I wish you God’s best this week.