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 isindecency 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.
Another 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)
For 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 everyone.
Now God may have mercy on whomever He will but His grace is reserved for His children.
Many are 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 gracesomehow 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.
Only those 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 the acts of being excused from the full weight of the consequences of our offence although we 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 Graceis the act of receiving what we could not earn or deserve on our 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).
“In the first chapter of the book of James, James instructs us to go to God for help. In the struggles of life we oftentimes lack the wisdom to get through the trial of our circumstances. James says If we don’t know what we’re doing, we should pray to the Father. He loves to help. We’ll get his help, and we won’t be judged as unworthy when we ask for it.
This Week’s Word
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. (James 1:5)
This Week’ Prayer
Dear Father, we confess today that we lack the wisdom necessary to solve our problems or meet our needs. We need Your wisdom now. By Wisdom You made the heavens and founded the earth. Therefore, We are confident that You are able and that You will give us the wisdom necessary to resolve all of our issues and meet all of our needs. We want to know what to do and how to do it according to Your wisdom that our joy may be full and the desires of our hearts fulfilled. Empower us right now O Lord! Please impart to us the wisdom we so fervently desire that we might experience success in all of our endeavors. We thank You for not finding fault in us and we thank You for liberally giving us the wisdom we are asking for. In Jesus’ Name we pray, Amen.
“Separation of church and State” is a phrase used by Thomas Jefferson and others expressing an understanding of the intent and function of the Establishment Clause and Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution provides that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof ….” This was intended to create a virtual wall between the Christian Church and the secular Government.
The need for the separation of Church and state has never been clearer than it is today. With the onset of State sanctioned homosexuality and same-sex marriage, the Christian Church’s voice for holiness and Christian morality has been dwarfed by the government’s amoral policies on sexuality and its redefinition of marriage and family. The government has effectively rejected God and His Word. The government’s voice for sin seems to be greater and louder than the Church’s voice against sin.
Good Christian folks are being persecuted, criticized and sometimes ostracized because of their biblical and morally justified stand against the abominable sin of homosexuality.
The children of God are openly being ridiculed and labeled as “haters” by the media and those in powerful and influential positions within society. Christians who do not acquiesce to the antichristian policies and immoralities of society may find themselves being characterized as homophobic or sanctimonious. Many Christians dare not voice their true beliefs against homosexuality for fear of reprisals. Many Christian politicians dare not voice their true opinion on the subject of gay marriage for fear of losing voters. There are even a few pastors who avoid the subject altogether for fear of losing their mega church status and enormous incomes. There are some of us who are reading this article who have been cowardly disloyal to God’s stand against homosexuality. We have accepted and approved of homosexuality either by our silence, our indifference or our fellowship with homosexuals.
There are countless arguments for homosexuality. The world and her children have embraced it. The god of this world has promoted it and rewarded its proponents with wealth, fame, prestige and power.
However, regardless of how one may color it, the world is wicked, homosexuality is evil and those who advocate for its right to be openly expressed, socially embraced, politically and legally recognized as an acceptable sexual orientation are going to hell.
20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! (Isaiah 5:20)