How we can cheapen Grace
“The grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope— the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.” Titus 2:11-14
I am a minister of the gospel of grace. I think the grace of God is something I cannot fully comprehend. The gospel message tells us that in Christ we are already complete, fully loved, removed from the curse and forgiven from my past, present and future sins. In Christ, I already have the favor. I don’t need to earn the favor of God.
This message of grace is so powerful that it transforms people. It makes me overflow in abounding love and grace to others. It makes me want to pursue God and not sin. And in the midst of intense trial and temptation, the grace of God tells me that I can say no to ungodliness. And at times that I don’t rely on the grace of God – the gospel message and the cross of Christ reminds me that I don’t need to prove anything to God for me to be loved and forgiven.
People who understand the doctrine of grace and the outworking of grace won’t cheapen the grace of God. People who have a distorted view of grace would abuse grace. What do I mean? How can we cheapen grace? Is it still possible to cheapen grace?
Here are some ways we can cheapen grace:
1. We treat sin lightly.
Some people would use grace as a license to sin. People who do this don’t usually understand the value of grace. Their thinking is that since grace is so abounding, I could also sin abundantly. More sin=more grace. This is anti-gospel teaching. It is taking what Christ did at the cross very lightly. Yes our sins are forgiven, but we always have to remember that all sin has consequences in real life.
Some go to the other extreme where they preach that you don’t need to repent of your sin – it has already been forgiven. Teachings from other universalist preachers tend to cheapen grace because it does not show the justice that we deserve and the injustice done to Christ. Instead it gives a blanket statement that all are saved because God is love. So what do we do with verses like JESUS IS THE WAY, THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE AND NO ONE COMES TO THE FATHER EXCEPT THROUGH JESUS.
2. We live by the law and not the gospel.
When we try to be the hero of our own story – it messes up the outworking of the gospel. The gospel is about Jesus and not about us. To start boasting about what we have achieved and done for Christ rather than on what Christ has done for us negates the power of the gospel.
When we think we have qualified then we are disqualified, when we acknowledge that we are not qualified – then we are qualified. The irony of the gospel!!!