Lately it seems that the term “grace” is being used by religious folks to refer to everything but the kitchen sink.
One of the
ways it is being defined by some Christians is that grace is the
opposite of the Law. However, contrary to popular opinion, grace is not the opposite of the Law or commandments of God. The opposite of the law is indecency or lawlessness. But Grace is favor over
the Law. It is the favor that comes from being God’s child, and not
from justifying our actions or behavior legally or otherwise. If you
sin against God and repent – demonstrating your desire for forgiveness and mercy – earnestly desiring to be in a right relationship with the Father – His favor or His grace accepts your apology even when the Law demands your punishment.
way of understanding this is to say that we are always “under the law”
of God but we are not always subject to the demands and penalties of the
Law although we may be found guilty of a violation of the law. I know
that this seems to contradict the Word found in Romans 6:14 that
says, “For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under
law but under grace.” But if you were to look at this scripture in the
light of Jesus’ teachings you would realize that Romans 6:14 doesn’t
mean that God has done away with His Eternal Ten Commandments. To the
contrary, we all are subject to the eternal commandment of God and
instructed by Jesus to keep all of God’s commandments. (Matthew 7:21-23, John 14:15, John 14:21, 1 John 2:4).
Therefore, God’s Eternal Law abounds over us but where the law abounds
grace much more abounds – admonishing us to obey God’s Commandments
voluntarily and go and sin no more. (Romans 5:15, 20)
instance, if you were caught speeding – doing 55 miles per hours in a 35
miles per hour speed zone – you were guilty of a traffic violation but
you repented and acknowledged responsibility for your offense – then the
Law Enforcement Officer, instead of penalizing you as you deserve,
issued you a warning ticket – he showed you mercy.
This act of kindness doesn’t justify your violation nor does it relax
the law or license you to continue to speed. It simply extended mercy toward you, allowing you another opportunity to comply with the law and obey the speed limit from here on out (John 8:10-11). But if you practice speeding and continue to disregard the law, mercy will cease and punishment will be enforced. However, grace
accepts the penalty (punishment) for our transgressions and relieves us
from the consequences of our lawlessness. But this grace is not for
Now God may have mercy on whomever He will but His grace is reserved for His children.
under the impression that “Grace” is somehow extended to everyone
regardless of their willful disobedience to God’s commandments. Thus
they believe that in order to be saved by grace all that they have to do is recite a prayer or repeat a confession of faith. Others think that grace
somehow excuses them from any obligation to observe and keep the
Eternal Moral Commandments of God. They believe that God will pardoned
their willful disobedience and lawlessness on the merits of grace. However, they are dangerously mistaken.
who obey God’s commandment to repent (die to sin) and are baptized into
the death of Jesus Christ may consider themselves children of God and eligible to receive His grace.
A good way to understand how Grace relates to one’s relationship with God is to think of God as a good parent and ourselves as children (Matthew 18:2-4).
Children have favor in the eyes of their parents. If they obey their
parents, they are rewarded. If while obeying their parents they get
into any trouble or break anything, the parents assume responsibility
and pays any cost on behalf of their child. The child doesn’t earn this
grace, it is freely given by virtue of the child’s relationship to the
parent. However, a child of disobedience (a practitioner of sin) has no expectation of grace or favor from God. God is not his parent. His parent is Satan (John 8:44).
Let me summarize. Mercy
is not getting what you deserve although you are guilty of breaking the
law. It is withheld punishment or postponed condemnation for God is
NOT willing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). Whereas Grace is
receiving what you could not earn or deserve on your own. It is
unmerited favor and forgiveness. Grace is reserved for those who have Repented, Kept God’s Commandments and Obeyed His will (Romans 6:1-4).
“Mercy doesn’t save us. It gives us time to repent. God’s Grace Saves!“ (Ref. Matthew 7:21-23, Ephesians 2:8) All Praise Honor and Glory belongs to God the Father through Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.
(Order Lesson #2 Today)
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