THE REASON FOR GOD'S GRACE
Grace is a terminology that is frequently used in the religious circle, but it is misapplied by many. It is God’s unmerited favor, mercy and compassion which he bestowed upon man for a distinctive purpose.
- The extremity of the rough and turbulent waters of legalism, where God’s grace have been received in vain by those who attempt to be justified by the works of the law, and have unfortunately fallen from grace. Because, as it is written, “If anything is by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. And if anything is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work” (Rom.11:6).
- The extremity of the calm, placid, but extremely toxic waters of liberalism, where the grace of God has been turned into a license for disobedience, and even denying the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ, by those who are using their liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, and as a pretext for evil.
The grace of God is simply his unmerited, undeserved favor, compassion, and mercy which he bestowed upon humanity without their help and participation, for their ultimate salvation.
This undeserved favor is descriptive of:-
- The favor of his only Begotten Son who reconciled us to the Father if when we were dead in trespasses and sins.
- His forgiving mercy, by forgiving us of the sins of the past, and being faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us of all unrighteousness if we confess our sins.
- His gift of eternal life so that we can grope for him and find him, and come to know him, the only true God and Jesus Christ whom he has sent.
- His divine gifts and talents, as his divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us by glory and virtue. He has given to all without exception, life, breath and all things.
- The Gospel, the medium by which we can grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Because without faith it is impossible to please God, and faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Grace therefore establishes the foundation by which man can serve God, without his own input and involvement, so that no one can boast. As it is written; “But when the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy, he saves us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior” (Titus 3:4-6).
It is by grace we have been, and are being saved, through faith (hearing the word of God and believing), and this is not from ourselves, it is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast.
But the reason why everything is by and through the grace of God is because, “We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for the purpose of good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
We have been saved by grace so that those who have trusted in God by hearing and believing his word may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.
Doing what is good is not according to each man’s imagination of what is right and wrong, but according to the good which has been prepared in advance for us to do. Because, there is a way which seems right to a man, but the end thereof is the way of death.
Therefore being justified by grace does not nullify, or make obsolete the way of life which has been ordained for man to follow. For it is written: “What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace?
By no means! Do you not know that when you yield yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either slaves of sin, which leads to death, or slaves of obedience to the law of God, which leads to righteousness” (Rom.6:15-16).
God has ordained one way of life for man to follow. He said, “I gave them my statutes and made known to them my judgments, which, if a man does, he shall live, aspire, flourish by them” (Lev. 18:5, Ezek. 20:11, 13).
The Lord said to Moses, “One ordinance shall be for you of the congregation and for the stranger who sojourns with you, an ordinance forever throughout your generations; as you are, so shall the stranger be before the Lord. One law and one custom shall be for you and for the stranger who sojourns with you” (Num.15:15-16).
Man is a slave to either the independent, insatiable desire of the flesh called sin, or a slave to obedience to the law of righteousness.
One should not misconstrued the statement, “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes,” to mean that he is the end of the law of righteousness to everyone who believes. For it is written, “Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law” (Rom.3:31).
The reality is, having been made free from the power and master of sin, one becomes a slave to righteousness; and having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, one has his fruit to holiness, and the end everlasting life.
In other words, obedience to righteousness [the keeping of God’s commandments] produces holiness, and holiness culminates into everlasting life. When one is a slave to sin [man’s sinful nature] he is free or far removed in regards to righteousness. In like manner, when one is a slave to righteousness he is free or far removed from sin.
One must not negate practical righteousness which leads to holiness because of imputed righteousness as we have been admonished saying, “Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who practices righteousness is righteousness just as he Jesus Christ is righteous” (1Jn. 3:7).
We have also been warned saying, “Whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven” (Matt.5:19).
On the other hand the legalists ought not to impose their strict observance to the law as though one’s salvation or eternal life hinges on them. Both extremes are wrong and dangerous.
The law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine” (1Tim.1:9-10).
The reason why the law is not for the righteous man is, because the law as the tutor, guardian, school master, spiritual mirror, and revelator of sin has already pointed him to Christ, and since he has believed, he is now living within the confines of the law, by faith.
The purpose for the grace of God is to cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. Because what we are is a gift from God, and what we become is a gift to God. For this reason we should not forsake the assembling of ourselves together especially on the days he has specifically ordained to worship and reverence him as the one and only true God.
This is what the Lord says; “Keep my Sabbaths and reverence my sanctuary. I am the Lord.” This is how those who have turned the grace of God into licentiousness have denied the one and only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ who said, “The Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”
Nevertheless, one has no right to command, coerce, or compel another to do what has been taught. Because, “The grace of God that bring salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness, and worldly passions, and to live self controlled, upright and godly in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope – the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
The eagerness to do what is good is derived not from law, command, or coercion but by faith and love. As it is written, “If you love me keep my commandments,” and the eagerness to seek first the
Yes, let the grace of God cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God: Come, let us bow down in worship. Let us kneel before the lord our Maker; for he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care.
Today, if you will hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.
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