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25 April, 2016 12:05

April 25, 2016

TRUE or FALSE?

Just the other day I picked up a book that I have had for quite some time. The book was about grace. Grace, as most of you are aware, has become the most written and talked about doctrine of the past decade. Yes, grace for most people certainly trumps head coverings, tithing, tongues, submission, judgment, and a whole host of other doctrines and teachings. What especially caught my attention about this book was the statement on the cover that read: “Grace is when you can’t do anything to make God love you more and you can’t do anything to make Him love you less.” The more I pondered that statement the more uncomfortable I became. It’s not that I don’t believe in grace, I do! Like Paul the Apostle I too am a debtor to grace. Like you, I wouldn’t be here today apart from the grace of God. I’m saved by grace, kept by grace, and seeking to grow in grace daily.

But now back to the later part of this statement: “…you can’t do anything to make Him love you less.” Love for most of us is a feeling, an emotion, rather than a choice. In other words we tend to think of God having all sorts of warm fuzzy feelings toward us regardless of how we live or what we do. Nothing could be further from the truth. While God chooses to love us that doesn’t mean He is always happy with us, or finds pleasure in us. The scripture makes it abundantly clear that we can insult the Spirit of grace as well as grieve Him. In other words it is possible to change God’s feeling toward you.

Not convinced? Consider these verses; “In all their affliction He was afflicted, and the angel of His presence saved them; in His love and in His pity He redeemed them; and He bare them, and carried them all the days of old. But they rebelled, and vexed His Holy Spirit: therefore He was turned to be their enemy, and He fought against them.” (Isaiah 63:9,10) Now tell me does that sound as though God was pleased with them regardless of their actions? What we need to understand about grace is that it doesn’t stand in isolation. Grace can’t be separated from God’s justice, righteousness, and holiness. God would be unjust if He were to treat me a certain way because I’m His child and yet punish a potential child of His for doing the same thing.

What troubles me the most with this line of reasoning is that it has a tendency to lower God’s standards while allowing His children to live any way they please. After all if we can’t do anything to make God love us less, then we are using the grace of God in vain. I’m getting tired of the Church using grace as an excuse for sin rather than the means of equipping us to triumph over it.

Perhaps instead of us taking shelter in a false concept of grace we should endeavor by the grace of God to live lives that are pleasing to Him. Why not take seriously Paul’s admonition to the Ephesians: “walk as children of light…trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.” Listen also to Paul’s letter to the Corinthians: “Therefore also we have as our ambition whether at home or absent to be pleasing to Him.” Now if we can be pleasing to the Lord doesn’t that imply that we can also be displeasing to Him?

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Scott and Isaiah permalink
    April 28, 2016 10:48 am

    “Grace is when you can’t do anything to make God love you more and you can’t do anything to make Him love you less.” Grieves me when men puff themselves up and make statements like this for GOD. Following this subtle compromise of truth enslaves congregations and readers to a life that is unholy and unvictorious, making the author more valuable than God, for his next feel good statement. I can almost hear the congregation’s ah’s.
    I look forward to your posts! Many and often are the times I come across scripture and desire your wisdom on the matter.

  2. Rebecca Hill permalink
    May 28, 2016 9:17 pm

    I just came across your name today, which was mentioned in an article about travail. I decided to look you up and have been listening to your sermons online all day today. You are anointed and I’m so grateful for your teachings…which are truth. I look forward to reading more of your wisdom.

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