who know the Lord understand the power of His grace! Those who have seen the
blackness of their own sin and were then melted by the message of how God
gave His Son for them, can attest to the life-changing power of the gospel.
We do not deserve salvation. We cannot earn salvation. In our sin we were
once active enemies of God. Still, God, by His grace, gave us the greatest
gift that has ever been given
Those who have
been changed by this grace, find their hearts and their lives defined by it.
Paul plainly proclaimed “By the grace of God I am what I am”
(1 Cor 15:10).
When Paul converted some Jews and proselytes to God he urged them to
continue “in the grace of God”
Our true spiritual growth is measured by our increase in “the grace and
knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ”
(2 Peter 3:18).
The perversion of God’s Grace
Satan hates the
grace of God, for by it men are rescued from his clutches. Being the cunning
adversary that he is, Satan has encouraged many to serve him under the
banner of the grace of God! There were those who preached a doctrine of
“grace” that left men’s hearts untouched by the teaching of the Spirit of
God. Men were told that they could “continue in sin that grace may abound”
Others found under this banner of “grace” that in their hearts they could
hate their brethren and exalt themselves over these “inferiors” in their
(1 John 3:14-15).
Jude proclaimed that these men had in fact turned “the grace of our God into
Modern Day Examples
Years ago I
read an article by Connie Adams that I never forgot. He received some advice
concerning men who claim to define their lives by the “grace” of God and how
they actually act under pressure.
“Years ago, an
older preacher told me of a warning he had received years before from Cled
Wallace. He said, "Watch out for the real sweet men. They will rip you to
pieces when they get a chance." I have received more unkind and unjust
treatment over the years from those who had the most to say about love,
kindness, gentleness and such nobler qualities, but who could not tolerate
any criticism about what they were teaching.”
“I much prefer
to deal with people who will meet you in the open before witnesses to air
honest disagreements than those who isolate and insulate themselves in ivory
towers where they look down with contempt on the fray below them.”
I, too, have
experienced the wrath of these men who talk about grace, love and peace.
Often these men are seeking to form a party, split a church or work to
destroy the reputation of another Christian they view as a competitor in any
way they can.
Tests for the True Grace of God
Christians to clearly identify and stand in the “true grace of God” rather
than some self-serving philosophy
(1 Peter 5:12).
Consider these questions and test your own heart.
1. How do I view those who disagree with me?
Those who are
motivated by God’s grace and love are forbearing and willing to listen to
others that have a difference with them. God’s grace will always lead to an
open Bible and an open heart to search out “the word of His grace”
“grace” is involved, there will be quick judgments about others. Many are
quickly labeled as unworthy of study, particularly if they have displayed a
strong faith and knowledge of God’s word. However, those who are struggling
and separated from other Christians are often approached in private about
these new views
2. Am I being honest with others about what I really believe?
The grace of God will be open and honest about anything God has revealed.
There is no need to plot, plan or scheme concerning how to teach others.
“Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do
not lose heart. But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not
walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by
manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in
the sight of God”
(2 Cor 4:1-2).
Those who are
motivated by Satan’s wisdom have learned to lie. They have as their goal to
bring as many into their party as possible and in any way they can. If a
false impression about their own beliefs would keep a knowledgeable
Christian from questioning them and thus give them more time to work behind
the scenes, then they will do that very thing. If they can misrepresent what
another Christian believes so they can pull another Christian into their
group, then they will do that too
3. What is the focus of my own heart and those that associate
Our tongues will ultimately reveal our hearts. “A good man
out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil
man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things”
Those motivated by the grace of God will be looking to serve others, to
speak well of others and to see the best in others.
A sure sign of
Satan’s wisdom is seen when men’s concept of “grace” leads them to quickly
label others as “traditionalist,” “legalist’” and with many other terms
These men are constantly looking at men, whether it is to condemn and attack
their “opponents” or to flatter one another over their spirituality. “For we
dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend
themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing
themselves among themselves, are not wise”
(2 Cor 10:12).
One Final Test
We must know
the difference between these philosophies. From my personal experience, I
have found most that have used God’s grace as a weapon to have hearts that
are filled with anger and bitterness. Sadly, if given time, they will fill
their disciples with this same spirit. Keep you eyes open and see if it is
God or Satan that is behind these teachings.
is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his
works are done in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and
self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This
wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For
where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.
But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle,
willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and
without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those
who make peace”
by Larry Rouse
Humble Enough to be Thankful
Learning to Trust God
Where is "Liberalism" Today?
Why Should I Trust the Bible?
I Left the Baptist church
The Lord's Supper or a Marathon?
You Must Go to War to Find Peace
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