What is the Correct Concept of Grace?
[by Lantz Manomano]
What is the correct concept or doctrine of grace? How do we tell the difference between true Biblical grace and a false concept of grace?
First let us define the meaning of grace. The grace of God is when God gives us what we don’t deserve. Grace is God’s unmerited kindness and favour on mankind.
For example, we do not deserve salvation and we cannot earn salvation by our own merit or effort. Why? Because we are all sinners by nature and we cannot please God by our own righteousness.
Sin is missing the mark and we have all fallen short of God’s glory because of sin (Romans 3:23). There’s is only one result that comes from sin which is death (Romans 6:23).
Grace on the other hand is God’s unmerited favour on mankind, which displays God’s love, forgiveness and mercy that sets all people free from being slaves to sin and eternal punishment.
God’s grace allows us to reign through righteousness unto eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 5:21).
Therefore sin has everything to do with man but grace has everything to do with God. Our salvation in Christ which leads to eternal life is 100% because of the work of God and not because of our personal merit or effort.
Ephesians 2:8-9 tells us that we are saved by grace and not by our own merit or our own works.
Therefore the grace of God is important for our salvation because if we were to attempt to work for our salvation, then we would certainly fail.
Ephesians 2:8 also informs us that salvation is a gift received through faith in Jesus Christ.
UNDERSTANDING A FALSE CONCEPT OF GRACE
Jude 4 says: For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
From Jude 4 we learn that it is possible for people to pervert the grace of God. Learning a false concept of grace can ultimately lead to deception, sin and also a denial of Jesus Christ Himself. A false concept of grace can deceive people into thinking that they have a license to sin.
The perversion of God’s grace as mentioned in Jude 4 is theologically known as Antinomianism.
Antinomianism is the false belief that because God’s grace exists, then people are no longer obligated to obey any moral laws of God.
Antinomianism is derived from two Greek words which are [anti] meaning “against” and [nomos] meaning “the law”. So antinomianism or antinomians are people who are against the law including the moral laws of God.
For example, antinomians believe that a Christian can wilfully and rebelliously live a lifestyle of lying, cheating, sexual immorality and all sorts of sins, and still call him/herself a “Christian” and not suffer eternal consequences.
As mentioned in Jude 4, antinomianism or a perverted form of grace also promotes sensuality.
Sensuality refers to appetites, passions or desires that are carnal or fleshly.
Antinomians preach a kingdom of eating and drinking; Some teach that you can live your best life now; Some teach a name it and claim it doctrine; Many promote covetousness; Some have no problems with sexual sins and any other form of immorality.
The underlying deception of this false grace teaching is that “We are ‘saved’. So now we can do as we please”.
Antinomians believe that your salvation does not have to be followed by a transformation in one’s life.
They believe that whilst salvation is a free gift received by grace, they then pervert God’s grace by teaching people that good works or transforming one’s life to be more Christ-like is not necessary since one is already saved. In other words they teach that grace is a license to continue to live a sinful life without any accountability to the word of God.
Antinomianism results in strife, envy, corrupt minds, sensuality and all forms of ungodliness. Their teachings are void of the “words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness” (1 Timothy 6:3-5).
What helps us identify those who take the grace of God as a license to sin
1. The fruits that come from the people who teach this false doctrine (Galatians 6:8)
2. Disobedience to the things of God. The word says they shall be lovers of self, love money, disobedient to parents, boastful, proud, lovers of pleasure more than God etc (2 Timothy 3:1-5).
3. They’ll profess knowing God but in works they deny Him (Titus 1:16)
4. They believe the more possessions you have, the more spiritual or blessed you are (1 Timothy 6:5)
UNDERSTANDING BIBLICAL GRACE
However Paul deals with this false doctrine or perversion of grace in the book of Romans.
In Romans 5:20-21 and 6:1-2 Paul writes: Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21 so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?
Antinomianism elevates man’s carnal desires and lusts. Hence the antinomian feels no godly sorrow or desire to repent of sin.
On the other hand Biblical Grace is a gift of God that leads us to good works that we were created by God to do.
Ephesians 2:10 says: For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them
Biblical Grace brings salvation and “has appeared bringing salvation for all people, 12 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age” (Titus 2:11-12)
Biblical Grace is not a license to sin as we are dead to sin. As long one has believed in Christ and His finished work they have been delivered from the power of sin. What it means is we no longer sin willingly but we ask the Lord to deliver us from sins. Yes indeed we still struggle with sin but we have a sense of brokenness and a contrite spirit knowing that it is only the power of Christ that delivers us from sin. We begin to experience God’s sanctification and His work of changing us (Philippians 1:6).
However in contrast the antinomian may become proud or arrogant when they sin. So because they enjoy their sin they they exhibit no conviction to repent. They lack humility and brokenness and they lack the desire to genuinely repent and obey the teachings of the Lord.
DO YOU WANT TO BE A CHRISTIAN or A FOLLOWER OF JESUS CHRIST???
1. ACKNOWLEDGE: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
This means that we have all broken God’s laws and God’s 10 Commandments like those mentioned in Exodus 20:1-17. For example, if you have told a lie; if you have stolen something; if you have lusted after somebody or if you have coveted. This means you are guilty of breaking at least one or more of God’s 10 Commandments. Breaking God’s commandments makes us sinners. The fact that we are sinners who have broken God’s law means that we are accountable to God who is the Lawgiver. Romans 6:23 says that “the wages of sin is death BUT the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”
You must acknowledge that you are a sinner who has broken God’s commandments and that you therefore need Jesus in your life.
2. REPENT: “Unless you repent you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3), “Repent therefore and be converted that your sins may be blotted out” (Acts 3:19)
Repenting means: to change your mind; a sincere turning away, in heart, mind and action;
Therefore God wants you to repent of sinful values and of sinful living. God wants you to decide to
follow Him and to make Jesus the Lord of your life.
3. CONFESSION: “If we confess our sins. He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9)
God is a forgiving God. God will forgive any sin that you have done because Jesus died for ALL your sins and to set you free from the bondage of all types of sin in your life.
4. BELIEVE: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
You must believe that ONLY Jesus can save you and restore your relationship with God. You must believe that Jesus is the ONLY way by which you can have everlasting life and escape from eternal separation from God. You must believe that Jesus died on the cross for you and resurrected from the grave.
“He came to His own, and His own did not receive him, But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name” (John 1:11-12)
By faith, You must receive Jesus as Your Lord & Savior and therefore; you become a child of God; you become born again; you become a Christian; you restore your broken relationship with God
Why Not Make Your Eternal Decision NOW?
We become born again Christians by GRACE through FAITH or TOTAL TRUST in Jesus Christ as our Lord & Savior (Galatians 3:26) & (Ephesians 2:8,9). Salvation is a FREE gift received through FAITH in Christ.
PLEASE NOTE: You can choose to pray in your own words. This prayer is a sample prayer and it is only an EXPRESSION of your faith, belief & trust in Jesus. Salvation is by GRACE through FAITH or BELIEVING in Christ Jesus as your Lord & Saviour.
“Lord Jesus, I thank You for Your love. I thank You that You died on the cross for me and resurrected so that I may have life through You.
I confess Lord that I have sinned against You and today I ask You to forgive me of all of my sins, past present and future.
Today I repent and have decided to follow you. Thank you for forgiving all my sins.
From this moment, come into my life Lord Jesus & take full control of my life. I want to follow You Jesus and I want to follow Your ways. Save me and from today, make me the person You want me to be.
I receive You Lord Jesus right now by faith. I trust You as my Lord and Savior – Amen”
Have you accepted & believed in Jesus Christ as a result of reading this article and would like to know more about what to do next? If so please acknowledge by clicking the “I Have Accepted Jesus Christ” button below