Monday, April 6, 2009

Is there Cheap Grace -NO- but there are LEGALISTS


Those of us who trust that we’ve been saved freely by God’s Grace for simply believing that His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, died the death that we deserve and willingly paid the price for not only our sins, but the sins of the whole world (2 Cor. 5:19), rejoice in that awesome fact. We can only imagine what the Father Himself suffered in allowing His Son to be made sin for us – He Who knew no sin – so that we could be made the Righteousness of God in Him. So when those who name the Name of Christ accuse us of being saved by ‘cheap grace,’ we should stand and declare that God paid an infinitely high price – the death of His Only Son - in order to offer that grace to us! How dare anyone to call it cheap!
Oh, no, they’ll retort, not cheap to God, but cheap to you! They accuse us of seeing God’s Grace as an ‘easy-believism’ way to get saved without doing anything for God in return. We tell them that Paul wrote, ‘for by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast.’ (Eph. 2: 8, 9). Well, look at the line after that, they say: ‘For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.’ (Eph. 2:10). And it’s difficult to answer them because Paul exhorts us many times in his letters to do good works and live holy lives. Are those who insist that although we are saved by Grace, we are kept by our obedience and good works, right? And that’s exactly what they are saying if they believe we can lose our salvation by not ‘staying in a right relationship with God.’ And here they point to 1 John 1:9. (‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful, and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.’)

The problem here is a dispensational one. Those belonging to the kingdom church founded by the Lord when he was here on earth were still under the law and would be while the kingdom program was in effect until Christ returns in glory. In order to inherit a place in the kingdom he would set up at that time, they were required to demonstrate their faith by their works and endure in obedience until the end. The gospels, early Acts, and the Hebrew epistles from Hebrews through Revelation all make this fact clear. We who are saved by Paul’s gospel of the grace of God (Acts 20:24) are now at this time justified by faith without the deeds of the law. (Rom. 3:28). Unlike Israel who will be the bride of Christ; we are his body. "I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. I do not frustrate the grace of God; for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain." (Gal. 2:20, 21). We are now "in Christ" who has fulfilled all the requirements of the law. So whether we walk worthy of our calling by allowing him to live his life through us as we walk in the Spirit (Rom. 8) – and there’s no question that we do walk in the Spirit in him – or if, after we believe and are saved, we fail to yield to him, nothing "shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Rom. 8:38, 39). Yea, "If we believe not [or stop believing], yet he abideth faithful; he cannot deny himself.’ (2 Tim. 2:13). In other words, you’re saved by his faith no matter what your Christian walk turns out to be!

Those who accuse us of preaching ‘cheap’ grace seem unaware of their own oxymoron; for the word, "grace," means "unmerited favor," or a gift given with no thought of payment. By adding the word, "cheap" to ‘grace,’ these accusers are implying that some payment is required. And with that, they give themselves away as legalists eager to do something to win God’s favor, instead of humbly accepting the riches God would freely give them without cost. "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 6:23). If you haven’t accepted God’s gift, please do so today!

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