Spring/Summer 2016 Issue

The following content is part of the Spring/Summer 2016 Issue. Articles that are in this issue contain information about the biblical truth about self-righteousness, learn how false preachers are twisting grace, find out if it is right for women to speak, teach, or preach in the church, learn what it means to be saved in childbearing, and much more.

 

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Grace is NOT an Excuse to be Imperfect

Estimated Reading Time: 24 minutes

[3] Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. [4] For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. ~Jude 1:3-4 KJV

Many Christians embrace grace, but not many Christians truly understand the facts about grace according to the Bible. False preachers have led people to believe that grace is as simple as “God’s favor that we could never earn” and some have even taught that we abound in grace through our imperfections.  If this is what you have been taught to believe, take the time to read this article to discover the facts about grace and the falsehoods surrounding it.

This is a twenty-minute article, which is a testimony of why no one should take one scripture and think they know grace.

Grace for the Unsaved:

Read why no one has to work to obtain salvation.
Many people in the world try to live good lives to get to heaven. Unfortunately, living a good life by man’s standards is not good enough. People have different meters about what is good and what is bad. Therefore, God gave us a path to salvation through Jesus Christ. In fact, He decided to be incredibly generous by giving it to all people without them doing good deeds for it. All they had to do is to have faith in the Savior Jesus Christ whom God sent, who died for us and rose again defeating death for us.

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: ~Ephesians 2:8 KJV

Here is the Apostle Paul’s explanation.  He explains his life before Christ, his life discovering what Christ did for him, and then explains how Christ used him as the first example to show the world the pattern of how they should believe on Him,

And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it in unbelief.  And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.

This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation that “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.”

Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.

Remember, God chastises his own children to correct them.  This is longsuffering for God when dealing with you and longsuffering for you because chastisement hurts and you suffer for a while.  However, it produces good fruit and holiness.  We are thankful for faith giving us all access to the Holy of Holies because of what Christ did for us.

By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. ~Romans 5:2 KJV 

Why Did We Need Grace?

Read why we need grace.
The Bible tells us that death reigned from Adam until Moses because God’s law was not given until Moses. It was the law on tablets that pointed to sin.

Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of Him that was to come. ~Romans 5:14 KJV

This is why the sin of one made many dead, but the grace of One, who is Jesus Christ, caused many to have the grace of God so they could be saved and also have the gift by grace. The gift by grace is the Holy Spirit of righteousness.

But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. ~Romans 5:15 KJV

Apostle Paul explains that because of what Christ did for us, many—rather than few like in the Old Testament— are able to receive righteousness and walk in it.

Paul continues to explain grace telling us how grace might reign through righteousness.

[20] Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: [21] That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord. ~Romans 5:20-21 KJV

Now many pastors have preached the “where sin abounded, grace did much more abound” leaving the hearer thinking that sin makes grace abound. Furthermore, Paul says right after this, “Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?”

[1] What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? ~Romans 6:1 KJV

Paul is not saying that “sin makes grace abound” because grace reigns through righteousness.

 

Paul is making the point that sin abounded because the law was introduced, but grace abounds more where sin used to abound because righteousness through Christ is introduced.

Notice the past tense.

Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: ~Romans 5:20 KJV

Another part to notice in the previous Romans 5:21 scripture, is the
word might. Grace might reign through righteousness by Jesus Christ. So we know grace can reign, but the question is, how do we continue in righteousness so that grace may abound? First, we already learned that it is not by sin,

[1] What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? [2] God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? ~Romans 6:1-2 KJV

This whole chapter in Romans covers why we should no longer sin. This is where we learn that grace is not an excuse to be an imperfect Christian— nor a hopeless, sinning Christian. For if men could obtain grace to find perfection before the law was fulfilled, how much more should we acknowledge the righteous path granted to us.

[8] But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord . [9] These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God. ~Genesis 6:8-9 KJV

Yes, Noah was perfect and there are other men who found it too— by faith. So it is possible to be perfect, but God just made it easier by granting us One sacrifice forever rather than yearly sacrifices.  Again, this also gave access to many to be righteous rather than few.

He did this by putting the law into the Spirit, which might live in us teaching us to walk in righteousness. It began with grace, giving us the salvation we received when we accepted Christ by faith.

[14] For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. [15] What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. [16] Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? [17] But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. [18] Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. ~Romans 6:14-18 KJV

Notice that Paul clearly states that “obedience to righteousness” and “obeying the doctrine (his doctrine) from the heart” is how a person becomes a servant of righteousness. We received grace to obtain salvation. Now we remain and abound in the grace of God through obedience to righteousness and adhering to the doctrine.

Also, notice what law Paul is referencing in the above passage. It is the law of sin and death. Not God’s holy law because God’s law is holy and not removed. We are delivered from the law of sin and death.

But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter. ~Romans 7:6 KJV

Paul makes a distinction regarding the containment of the law. The law was on tablets known as the letter, but now it is in the Spirit.

Wouldn’t you agree that the two commandments that God commands us to follow are His laws?

Read more about why people misinterpret the laws here.  

Grace for the Saved

By the time we read from here to Romans 8:4, we find out that we are able to overcome the letter of the law by walking in the Spirit of God. Christ has fulfilled the law. This does not mean that the law is cast out, rather it is complete so that we can get its righteousness through the free salvation given to us. Christ enabled that to happen.

So, we learn to walk in and be led by the Spirit of God rather than following the letter.

[13] For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. [14] For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. ~Romans 8:13-14 KJV

Christ has given us the Spirit of adoption, which released us from the spirit of bondage to the letter of the law on tablets, which those who did not walk in faith and did not have the Spirit feared.

For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. ~Romans 8:15 KJV

Walking in the Spirit through faith in Christ keeps us in the Lord’s grace. It keeps us in the Lord’s good favor.

Recommending Grace

Read how to recommend grace.
We can recommend someone to the grace of God. When Paul was at Lystra, he and the disciples preached. At one point, they preached the grace of God to the new hearer, but then, they were recommended to obtain more grace, or favor, for the work that they completed.

And thence sailed to Antioch, from whence they had been recommended to the grace of God for the work which they fulfilled. ~Acts 14:26 KJV

This passage is saying, “And (returning back) sailed to Antioch (from what place) they had been recommended to the (favor) of God for the work which they fulfilled.” Recommended means that the disciples were praying for them and asking for more of God’s favor for them. We do this all the time when we pray for someone’s safety or blessings, but “recommending the grace” is a prayer to God to grant more favor in a person’s life because of the righteous work that they did in the name of the Lord.

And Paul chose Silas, and departed, being recommended by the brethren unto the grace of God. ~Acts 15:40 KJV

Measure of Grace

Read about a measure of grace.
A measure of grace, or God’s favor, is given to those by God who knows His people. He grants His believers a measure of favor for them to do their work in the Lord.

[10] But by the grace of God I am what I am: and His grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. ~1 Corinthians 15:10 KJV

Paul is saying that because of God’s favor, he labored more abundantly than anyone, but he could only labor abundantly because of God’s favor in the first place, which was not unsuccessful— because he labored. This means Paul didn’t take advantage of it or waste it. Instead, he worked really hard because of the favor God gave to him.

We then, as workers together with Him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. ~2 Corinthians 6:1 KJV 

Abounding in Grace

Read how disciples abounded in grace.
We abound in grace when we do as Christ did for us.  Here is an example of abounding in the grace of taking care of one another financially using Christ as the example.

[6] Insomuch that we desired Titus, that as he had begun, so he would also finish in you the same grace also. [7] Therefore, as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also. [8] I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the forwardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love. [9] For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye through His poverty might be rich. ~2 Corinthians 8:6-9 KJV

Here is another example of grace being upon the disciples because of their willingness to share with each other. This passage tells about the hearts of the disciples. The result is that they had great favor from God.

[32] And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. [33] And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all. ~Acts 4:32-33 KJV

Another example of giving,

[7] Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give ; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. [8] And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work: ~2 Corinthians 9:7-8 KJV

 

Strength Made Perfect in Weakness: Sufficient Grace

Read about how grace is made perfect in weaknesses. Hint: Not by worldly imperfections.
We have generations of people who think their “weaknesses,” according to Paul’s scripture below, are their sins. They have an attitude that their lack of perfection is how grace abounds and becomes sufficient for them.  This comes from false teachings about grace.

Let’s examine Paul’s statement about what God said,

[9] And He said unto me,

“My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”

Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. [10] Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong. ~2 Corinthians 12:9-10 KJV

I just explained Paul’s weaknesses, but here is another example that tells of others who suffered by faith,

[32] And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: [33] Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, [34] Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. [35] Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: [36] And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: [37] They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; [38] (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. [39] And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: ~Hebrews 11:32-39 KJV 1

Read more about those who received not the promise without us here.

Read more about God’s ultimate plan for salvation for all here.

Notice that many of Paul’s sufferings are the stressful results of spreading the gospel. Paul’s sufferings are also the place where the grace does not flow.  His measure of grace ended, so now he glories in the places where there is no grace.  This is why God said that the amount of grace that He gave to Paul was enough.  The only way Paul can get more grace is through being joyous over his weaknesses.  This is how the power of Christ rests upon him.  He is not saying that he is an imperfect person who can’t help it.  He is also not saying that he lives a life of “trying to maintain in this world so he gives it up to God.”

Having a sinful, lazy, or hopeless viewpoint on Christianity will never help you to abound in God’s grace nor power.

This is a huge problem.

The imperfect Christian doctrine

Ur worldliness isn't going 2 make the #powerofChrist rest on u. Get the facts about #GRACE. Click To Tweet

Paul had sought the Lord because “the messenger of Satan” was a thorn in his side.

[7] And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. [8] For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. ~2 Corinthians 12:7-8 KJV

The messenger of Satan could have been an actual demon, which annoyed him and was a nuisance to strike him with force affecting his flesh. Some say it was a physical affliction or illness. Nevertheless, it was given to him because of the abundance of revelations he received from the Lord. In other words, when people compare their worldly, lax Christian lives to Paul’s strict obedience to the doctrine and its results— it is a shame.

God’s strength is made perfect in the joy where the grace ends.

 

Glorying in your weaknesses looks more like this:  “I could never have accomplished anything for the sake of the gospel were it not for the Lord” or thank God and find joy where the grace ends and the weakness begins.  (This is not the reaction you should have if you’re being punished for sins though.)2   In fact, read 2 Corinthians 12:3-11 KJV and see how Paul explains how he glories in the Lord.  This simply means to have a good attitude about your difficulties knowing that this will result in the power of Christ resting upon you.  This means that we do not need to go around saying that we are losers, but we choose to take the humble road over exalting ourselves. Paul states that he should have been commended by the church because he is not behind the chiefest apostles even though he is nothing in 2 Cor. 12:11-15 KJV.  Therefore, he still gives them the truth about their lesser love of him because he gloried in his weaknesses. 3

Failing the Grace

Click to read four reasons why many Christians are failing badly.
Did you know that it was possible to fail the grace of God?

First, you can fail the grace by claiming imperfect Christianity as I explained above.

Second, you can fail the grace by not being God’s chastised child.  As we read further in Hebrews Chapter 12, we are told to “run the race” and endure the punishments from God.  If you are not punished, you are not His child. His chastisement yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness.

This is what we wanted to know from the beginning.

How do we continue in righteousness so that grace may abound?

 

The answer is to have faith in Jesus because He is our righteousness, walk in His Spirit, endure the chastening of the Lord and get your life right by following peace with all men and holiness so that people will see the Lord. This comes through our adherence to the doctrine.

Third, you can fail the grace by not striving for holiness and godliness.  We are reminded to look diligently [to the Lord’s ways]— so that we do not fail the Lord’s favor. Looking diligently will prevent bitterness because being a Christian can be difficult and even lonely.

[12] Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; [13] And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. [14] Follow peace with all men , and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: [15]  Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God ; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you , and thereby many be defiled; ~Hebrews 12:12-15 KJV  

So if outsiders are supposed to see holiness, then why are many Christians calling themselves sinners and imperfect Christians?  This contradicts everything that Paul was deeply exhorting.

Next, you can fail the grace by frustrating or falling from grace.  The apostle Paul rebuked the Galatians because they returned to worldly observances of times and seasons and they returned to the circumcision of the Old Testament law.  Christ is our circumcision made without hands.  Paul ultimately says to them,

Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. ~Galatians 5:4 KJV

Paul also rebuked Peter for the same thing.  Peter moved from the uncircumcised Gentiles and sat with the Jews because they were circumcised.  Paul said,

“I do not frustrate the grace of God:  for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.” ~Galatians 2:21 KJV

Read more about other examples of self-righteousness here.

Finally, we are warned about losing what has been given to us,

[16] Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. [17] For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears. ~Hebrews 12:16-17 KJV

Esau lost the favor of God. We are encouraged to continue in grace, the favor of God, so that we may serve Him with reverence and godly fear.

[28] Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: [29] For our God is a consuming fire. ~Hebrews 12:28-29 KJV

Then, in the book of James, we learn to whom God gives grace.

[6] But He giveth more grace. Wherefore He saith, “God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.” [7] Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. [8] Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. [9] Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. [10] Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up. ~James 4:6-10 KJV  

By this time, hopefully you understand why many of the scriptural salutations in the New Testament end with “grace be with you.” Our major goal is to remain in the favor of the Lord so that we do not fail it. Look to the first scripture I posted. It is a warning for us about people in the church who are turning God’s grace into lasciviousness and denying Christ, which really means that they do not follow Christ because of their prostitution of the meaning of grace.

Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen. ~Ephesians 6:24 KJV 

Cite this article: Please update the Accessed or Retrieved date (September 13, 2015).

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“Grace is NOT an Excuse to be Imperfect.” A Woman Saved Magazine Online. Ed. Bobbie Chariot. Savior Sanity LLC., 1 Mar. 2016. Web. 13 Sept. 2015. <https://awomansaved.com/grace-is-not-an-excuse-to-be-imperfect>.
“Grace is NOT an Excuse to be Imperfect.” A Woman Saved Magazine Online. March 1, 2016. Accessed September 13, 2015. https://awomansaved.com/grace-is-not-an-excuse-to-be-imperfect.
Chariot, B. (Ed.). (2016, March 1). Grace is NOT an Excuse to be Imperfect. Retrieved September 13, 2015, from https://awomansaved.com/grace-is-not-an-excuse-to-be-imperfect.

Thank you for reading!

Bobbie Chariot

Bio: Founding Editor

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