Friday, May 15, 2020

cheap grace

Excerpts from one of Phylicia Masonheimer's IG stories, back in November:

"Cheap grace" - the grace of God misinterpreted to mean following Jesus doesn't require any "works." It's "come as you are" twisted to mean "stay as you are."

By this is my Father glorified: that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be my disciples. (John 15:8)

We often say grace is "unmerited favor" but in reality, it IS merited favor - just not by us. The grace we receive as Christians was merited by Jesus. He had to die to reconcile us to God, because sin/evil/any hint of unholiness cannot be at peace with Him.

So when people say, "I'm under grace" as a reason to live a lukewarm or morally compromised life, what they're really saying is, "I have no idea what this grace cost God."

Another reason people fall for cheap grace is they misunderstand God's purpose in saving us. He wasn't "in love with us," as an emotional attachment based on our own beauty or goodness. He made a love-choice, a covenant, to save us, to make us holy so we could be in relationship with Him.

The point of Jesus' death and reconciliation was to make us holy. Sacred. Pure. Guiltless.

This is why Paul was so adamant when he said, "What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; hwo can we live in it any longer?" (Romans 6:1-2).

This is why Jesus could say your fruit - your behavior, words, media consumption, friendships, evangelism, character - prove whether or not you are a disciple.

A true disciple understands the grace they are under and just how much it cost God. They know that God loved them so dearly, He paid the highest price to provide grace.

Throughout Scripture, grace always motivates obedience. Grace always results in a changed life. Anyone who uses "grace" as a reason to live unchanged does not rightly understand it, and is likely abusing it.

"Faith is only real where there is obedience, never without it, and faith only becomes faith in the act of obedience." - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Obedience is not legalism because legalism adds to God's commands; obedience obeys what has been revealed.

If you have to do mental and biblical gymnastics to defend your "freedom," that's your first sign something is wrong.

God is kind, and He slowly reveals things we need to let go of and change over time. Our responsibility is to obey His voice.

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