(Romans 5:20, CLNT)
Those are some of the most beautiful words in the Scriptures, so I’ll type them again:
…where sin increases, grace superexceeds…
Read them over and over again. Say them aloud, slowly. Let them sink in. Do not just read them or hear them, allow them to plant and take root in your soul.
Are you aware that you cannot outdo God’s grace? God’s grace cannot be outdone or outsinned. The Scriptures tell us that God’s grace superexceeds all sin, no matter how much sin increases. His grace extends above and beyond all sin. There is no sin that can trample over God’s grace. His grace is immeasurable. It is boundless. It has not limits. God’s grace is superior to all our wrongdoings.
There are erroneous teachings out there that say God’s grace is amazing, but that it only goes so far. Such teachings are deception. Those who teach such things are afraid, and they are allowing their fears to deny the truth of God’s grace. Those who teach such things are afraid that if the world becomes aware of God’s superexceeding grace, the whole world will “go to pot”, so to speak. They’re afraid such a grace will be a cheapened and abused grace. They are afraid people will perform “grace abuse” and use this limitless grace to sin to their heart’s content. But guess what?! The world is “going to pot” anyway! Evil deeds, the denial of God, and all kinds of sin is rampant in our world. And this is all happening while the false teachings are promoted that we must “do this” or “be that” in order to make sure we are taken care of by God, receive His grace, and don’t end up being tortured forever in some place called hell. Obviously, the “be good or else” tactic is not solving the problems of sin and evil. I can’t help but be reminded of the Scripture that says, “Fear is not in love, but perfect love is casting out fear, for fear has chastening. Now he who is fearing is not perfected in love.” (1 John 4:18, CLNT)
In his book, What’s So Amazing About Grace, Phillip Yancey attempts to makes a case for God’s amazing grace, until page 180. On page 180, Yancey derails off the truth of God’s superexceeding grace when he says that there is a “catch” to grace. Oh oh. If there is a “catch” to grace, it is no longer grace! He writes:
There is one “catch” to grace that I must now mention. In the words of C.S. Lewis, “St. Augustine says ‘God gives where He finds empty hands’. A man whose hands are full of parcels can’t receive a gift.” Grace, in other words, must be received. Lewis explains that what I have termed “grace abuse” stems from a confusion of condoning and forgiving: “To condone an evil is simply to ignore it, to treat it as if it were good. But forgiveness needs to be accepted as well as offered if it is to be complete: and a man who admits no guilt can accept no forgiveness.”
Whoops! Yancey has derailed from superexceeding grace. What he is describing in that paragraph is that we must do something to receive God’s grace. That means we must earn it by an action on our part. With that “catch”, grace just stopped being grace.
Yet, the Scriptures say, “Now if it is in grace, it is no longer out of works, else the grace is coming to be no longer grace. Now, if it is out of works, it is no longer grace, else the work is no longer work.” (Romans 11:6, CLNT)
I’m not sure why it is so hard to comprehend this simple aspect, but if we have to do ANY thing, grace is no longer grace! If I have to empty my hands of what I hold dear, repent from sin, and accept grace before it is given to me, then I’ve done something. In doing something, it is now “work” and thus, completely nullifies grace because I just earned grace.
Grace is about getting something from God when we do not deserve it. Grace is about God’s favor over us when we do not deserve it—actually, when we least deserve it.
Yesterday, I did a difficult thing. I showed my daughter God’s superexceeding grace. It was difficult because her behavior did not deserve the privilege she was begging me for. Her actions were selfish and thoughtless of others, while at the same time she was asking us to make a sacrifice on her behalf and give her something she wanted. I was very angry and frustrated with her selfish behavior and a situation that had transpired. I did not want to reward that selfishness with a sacrifice on my part and grant her what she wanted. I could think of no reason why I should do what she was begging for. I was determined to hold my ground and stick to my “no”. And suddenly, God spoke to me and gave me His reason why I should say “yes”: “Show her what my grace is all about. This is an excellent example. When you don’t deserve anything, when your actions are completely undeserving, I extend my love and favor over you, and I bless you.” I had a tremendous internal struggle with the idea of granting her request and the fear that it would be more of a detriment to her character to give her what she wanted when she didn’t deserve it. I now realize that struggle was rooted in fear. It was a fear of the flesh and soul instead of an assurance that God would take this opportunity to plant a strong seed of superexceeding grace in my daughter’s heart and that she would never forget this lesson. Even if at this time she is not capable of fully appreciating its meaning, I have the utmost confidence that in the future God will cause this seed of grace to mature and grow up strong and be a blessing to people who are touched by my daughter’s life. Not only that, it has taught me even more about this boundless grace of His. Grace is not an easy thing for the giver. It is a supernatural thing.
If we are talking of God’s superexceeding grace, we cannot be talking of something that has a “catch”, “and”, “if”, or a “but”. If it does, it is a fake. It is a deception. It is a lie. It is a limited grace of man and human flesh, not one of the God Almighty.
“What, then, shall we declare? That we may be persisting in sin that grace should be increasing? May it not be coming to that!” (Romans 6:1-2, CLNT)
“What then? Should we be sinning, seeing that we are not under law, but under grace? May it not be coming to that!” (Romans 6:15-16, CLNT)
God’s grace is not meant to be a license to sin away carelessly. But its truth is also not meant to be held back from people out of a fear that it may be abused or cheapened. Let God handle that. He is more than capable. Those who understand and feel God’s superexceeding grace and love are the least likely to want to abuse them. It is the ones who are threatened and filled with fear of punishment or torment that will be most likely to abuse it in the long run. Who wants to freely and completely entrust themselves to a God that supposedly loves you so much but at the same time is more than happy to punish you and torture you for all eternity if you do not “do this” or “do that”? That is cheap grace.
…where sin increases, grace superexceeds…
God’s superexceeding grace surpasses all sins, the worst of sins—even the one of unbelief.
You and I certainly agree that grace is unconditional love and that our motivation to "work harder" for God doesn't come from grace or God. But there is one thing we must all do to receive God's free gift and that is to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. It is trough Jesus that God has brought to pass the New Testament. We receive God's unmerited favor through Christ. Once that is accomplished within us our sins past, present and future are completely forgiven and forgotten. Secondly, if we "condone" evil than Christ is not in us. Jesus said "Go and sin no more". Yet no one could possibly "go and sin no more." Condoneing sin and commiting sin are completely differnet "sin" issues. Grace does not cover sin condoned in others. We don't have that authority. We are told to love others not to overlook their sin. Only God chose to do that through Jesus Christ. If they are saved and are still doing the same stupid things they havn't found the realization of Gods grace within them. Darkness cannot exists when light is present. So when we are "in Christ" we are partakers of God's grace and made the righteousness of God. We love God because He first loved us. His demonstration of His love was Jesus, our demonstration of our love for God is Jesus. Nothing more. If Jesus can tell sinners to "go and sin no more" so can we. Grace is superabundant forgiveness AND the realization that without Jesus, we would die in our sins lost from God for all eternity in a place created only for Satan and fallen angels.ReplyDelete
Don, thanks so much for taking the time to read my viewpoint and to share your thoughts. I also do not believe that we are to encourage or condone sin as being good or righteous just because we are under grace. God does and will pour His grace over any of us sinners as He chooses to do so. I believe we are currently living under God's superexceeding grace and that grace goes above and beyond covering every single sin we are capable of or actually committing. It is because of Christ and His finished work at the cross that God's grace flows and extends to us whether we know it, accept it, or believe it or not. We can only come to the realization of that truth as God draws and brings each one of us to that realization. And God will bring each person to that realization according to His grace. His desire is to eventually bring all to the realization, and I believe He will accomplish that at some point in the future, regardless of what we do or don't do in this earthly lifetime. As these verses say:Delete
1 Timothy 2:3-6
This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time.
Blessings on your journey!
HAS GOD'S GRACE BEEN OFFERED TO ALL MEN?ReplyDelete
According to Calvinists, God has only offered grace to a select few who were individually predetermined for salvation before man was created. Is this what the Scriptures proclaim? No, they do not.
2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God..(NKJV)
The words of John Calvin are not Scripture.
The words of the apostle Paul are Scripture.(SEE: 2 Peter 3:15-16)
The apostle Paul wrote the letter to Titus. Titus is Scripture. John Calvin did not pen one single verse of Scripture. Calvin's words were not Scripture. If John Calvin's writings were inspired by God, then they should be included in the Bible.
THE BIBLE PROCLAIMS THAT GRACE IS OFFERED TO ALL MANKIND UNDER THE NEW COVENANT TERMS FOR PARDON.
Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. (NKJV)
Titus 2:11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. (New International Version)
Titus 2:11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people. (English Standard Version)
Titus 2:11 For the all saving grace of God has been revealed to all men; (Aramaic Bible in Plain English)
Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that brings salvation hath appeared to all men, (King James Bible)
The free gift of salvation has been offered to all men who will accept God's terms for pardon.
THE TERMS FOR PARDON.
1. Faith: John 3:16
2. Confession: Romans 10:9
3. Repentance: Acts 3:19
4. Water Baptism: Acts 2:38
YOU ARE INVITED TO FOLLOW MY CHRISTIAN BLOG> http://steve-finnell.blogspot.com
Steve, thank you for taking the time to read this post and for your comments.Delete
I agree that John Calvin's teachings are not Scripture and should not be lauded as so.
I agree that "All scripture is inspired by God, and beneficial for teaching, for exposure, for correction, for discipline in righteousness, that the man of God may be equipped, fitted out for every good act." (2 Tim 3:16-17)
Paul also wrote to Timothy:
"Faithful is the saying, and worthy of all welcome, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners...therefore was I shown mercy, that in me, the foremost, Jesus Christ should be displaying all His patience, for a pattern of those who are about to be believing on Him for life eonian". (1 Tim 2:15-16)
Christ revealed Himself to Paul and caused Paul to believe in Him. It was nothing that Paul made up his mind to do, sought to do, or did in order to gain God's grace or salvation. That is the pattern of Christ.
"I am entreating, then first of all, that petitions, prayers, pleadings, thanksgivings be made for all mankind...leading a mild and quiet life in all devoutness and gravity, for this is ideal and welcome in the sight of our Saviour, God, Who wills that all mankind be saved and come into the realization of the truth. For there is one God, and one Mediator of God and mankind, a Man, Christ Jesus, Who is giving Himself a correspondent Ransom for all (the testimony in its own eras)..." (1 Tim. 2:1-6)
I can't see at all how Titus 2:11 and John 3:16, Romans 10:9, Acts 3:19, and Acts 2:38 all point to each other and reveal that "grace is offered to all mankind under the new covenant terms for pardon".
Your statement "the free gift of salvation has been offered to all men who will accept God's terms for pardon" is an oxymoron. It states that a free gift has been offered to all who do "such and such" to receive it. A gift with strings attached is not free at all, and it's not really a gift either. In that context, it is most appropriate to state that "salvation can be earned by all men who will do what God requires them to do in order for Him to pardon them". And with such a premise, I have to completely disagree.
Blessings on your journey.