The Tabernacle Scroll

Issue 112

"For the law was given through Moses but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” (John 1:17).

One of the saddest things that is happening in our churches today is that deception has entered into the thought processes of many a believer. What is even sadder is that this deception has come by those who profess to teach and preach the truth. How has this happened? I believe it has come about by an unbalanced view of the essential teachings of scripture. You can witness the effect of deception in many areas of the Christian’s walk. In this letter I just want to point out the deception through the misapplication of the doctrine of grace.

A vast majority of Christians today view grace as a justification for self-seeking, fleshly (as the bible calls it, carnal) lifestyles. Preachers have so overemphasized the goodness of God as to pay little (if any) attention to His holiness, His justice and His wrath. Consequently, those who continue in their warped understanding of grace have really received it in vain. For them, the ‘grace’ they rely on has become nothing more than a stumbling block to their eternal security! Let me explain.

Grace, by definition has the following elements:

(1) It is the ‘unmerited favour’ of God towards man (that is, not by works of righteousness which we have done, (see Tit 3:4,5); (2) It is in direct contrast to the law, under which God demands righteousness whereas under grace He gives it to man (Rom 3:21,22), and (3) Grace saves what is bad whereas law only blesses what is good (the obvious conclusion from the first two).

Now, does this mean that it is permissible to continue in our sinful lifestyles? Let me say, quite categorically and emphatically, NO!

Grace has a twofold manifestation: firstly, in salvation (Rom. 3:24ff) and secondly, in the walk and the service of the saved person (Rom 6:15). This latter scripture says, “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid!”(emphasis mine). In other words, perish the thought!

Many who speak about the harsh requirements of the law express a sigh of relief that they are ‘now under grace’. Their attitude is that Christ’s death on the cross (by which we enjoy God’s saving grace) has brought about a lowering of God’s standards. In fact, the opposite is true! Under grace the standards are much higher. Under law we had an excuse; under grace we have none. The Bible tells us that God himself helps us in our weaknesses!

The grace of God is indeed a cover. But watch out! Don’t use it as a cover-up!

            Devotional                                                                                                                            Preach The Word The Word with Pastor Joseph Rodrigues