About 3 weeks ago, I wrote an article entitled “Christians: WAKE UP!!” It was a pretty direct and pretty firm expose on the present-day “brick and mortar” church condition, most notably in the United States. I followed it with “But What About Hope?” an article exploring the attribute and foundation of hope as it relates to our spiritual journey with the Lord. I promised a follow-up about Grace and as I was writing I found myself putting down things that I have already covered in past posts.
I decided to check out and research what I have posted and sure enough, I had a couple posts that not only explains God’s Grace as I perceived it back when I wrote it about four and more years ago, but in fact, in the “church world” today not much has changed EXCEPT to get worse!! Let me tell you, this is NO exaggeration!
Now I’ve had this WordPress blog, “For The Love of God” for five years now as to this writing. I had one previously in conjunction with a website that was hacked which led me to start one. Before that time, I have had countless websites and even Forums with many, many members active on them. I tell you all this to make this point, since 1998 when I got my first computer, (yes, I was a late bloomer), I have been involved in online ministry as a way to keep serving the Lord after my accident that left me with trouble standing behind a pulpit. It opened up a whole new world of ministry and led me to people who were so hungry for teaching and truth that the local “brick and mortar” churches had neglected due to illness, disability and any other host of reasons and because of that I have written a lot on God’s Grace all through those years!
My journey into online ministry has been a DIRECT result of God’s Grace in action and not just in theory; and not just to me, but to those many others hungry for teaching and fellowship that I have mentioned above! So, I have done many studies in the past and since about 2005 one major theme has been evident; people are being taught that Grace is a free ticket to get away with anything they want to do, thus holiness is not as important, and the truth of the matter is that couldn’t be any farther away from the truth!! AND, as I stated above, the pervasiveness of this teaching has gotten even worse and you can see it displayed in the broken lives that are all around us and the people who claim to be “Christians” who have no idea how Christ Jesus would or does react in and direct their lives. Sin is no longer a concern, because this type of “grace” trumps sin, and thus you don’t have to worry that what you do, can still be displeasing to our Heavenly Father!!
The churches for so long have been teaching a watered-down version of God’s Grace that has left the church listless and powerless due to its willingness to compromise and accept the accolades of the world. Instead of going out and changing the world, the church today, under the guise of this faux-grace has been changed into the image of the world. The only thing different than the world that identifies many of the churches today is the vernacular, the religious-speak as it were. Very few are willing to take God’s TRUE Grace and check out that what they are hearing and seeing is the truth! They have completely ignored the teachings of the Word of God and especially the Apostle John’s command to “test the spirits.” 1 John 4:1, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”
The church-world has been inundated with false prophets and in the spirit of “political correctness” because people are taught if you question a “teacher” then you are judging!! Yet, the very chapter that everyone quotes to NOT judge, Matthew 7, also teaches that we ARE to judge, or rather to discern, or as the Apostle John tells us, to “test the spirits!” People are so spiritually lazy, they would rather have someone else TELL them what the Word says than to check it out and actually study it for themselves.
Yes, we as Christians, TRUE Christians, do NOT have the right to judge (to pass sentence, to condemn to eternal death or judgment!), for only Christ Jesus has earned that right through His ultimate sacrifice. BUT — as TRUE Christians we are COMMANDED to test the spirits of those teaching, to discern truth from falsehood, right from wrong, to determine false prophets and wolves in sheep’s clothing!! WHY, you ask?
Because of God’s Grace to each of us who have truly surrendered to Christ Jesus and have accepted His free gift of Salvation and Redemption, we are to look out for the well-being of our fellow brothers and sisters in the spirit of true Agape love! Those that are mature are to look out for the well-being of those that are younger in the Lord. Those young and strong in the Lord are to look out for their elders with respect and love! This is what keeps the TRUE Church, the Body of Christ safe and able to perform their service for the Lord and to the fallen world! The trouble is, we have allowed the world to infiltrate with nice sounding false compassion and theologies based in lies but sprinkled with a few simple truths throughout!
Years ago, I wrote an article in the religious section of my local newspaper titled and explaining that a “Partial Truth is Still a Whole Lie.” Remember, even the devil quoted Scripture to Jesus at His temptation in the wilderness after fasting and praying for forty days!! The devil knows when one is weakest and what SOUNDS plausible, but behind his deceptive words are a motive of deception and destruction!! This is what TRUE Godly Grace helps us with! True Grace is powerful and uplifting, able to strengthen and protect the believer. False grace, makes you feel good emotionally, but it has no lasting effect! You always have to come back to “feel” energized again and again!
God’s Grace is free. Yes, the simple meaning is unmerited (un-earned) favor. We are getting something, but not “for nothing” because even though it is free to us, it cost Jesus Christ His life and spilling His blood, descending into the bowels of hell and then finally rising again so that we might spiritually partake of His gift of Redemption to us. We accept that Gift with that Grace when we accept what HE has planned for our lives. That Grace gives us the ability to accept what He has planned for our lives. We have nothing to do to earn it or garner it, EXCEPT to walk IN HIM! To do that, we identify ourselves with Him on the Cross on a daily basis. We walk in His Grace by allowing His Spirit to lead and direct our spirits! That is where the power and the strength to be TRUE followers of Christ Jesus comes from!
In closing, don’t be fooled by the Grace that tells you that you can’t be perfect, or holy, so don’t try to be. In the natural, we can’t for we are weighed down by the carnal, but we CAN strive for it, as an athlete strives to attain a goal! Just remember, God’s Grace overcomes the carnal, remember what the Apostle Paul told us in, Romans 8:
10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors–not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh.
13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
Live in God’s TRUE Grace!