I have the privilege of knowing and sharing in ministry with many dear
Christians in the Body of Christ. The Lord has also allowed me to assist some in
their journey out of cults and legalistic religions and to believing and
receiving Jesus Christ for eternal life.
I enjoy sharing with them how Christianity is not a religion, not a specific
form of worship, but rather is a relationship with the living God of the
universe through His Son, Jesus Christ. Most make wonderful strides in
understanding this vital truth and that salvation is by grace through faith in
Jesus Christ. (Eph. 2:8,9)
But, there are some issues that many struggle with.
First, so many are troubled with questions of their personal
standing before God and maintaining their salvation.
Second, they are also plagued with guilt over their past sins,
current sins, and contemplated future sins.
Third, they are afraid they are not doing enough to receive God's
favor and continued acceptance.
Fourth, they tend to compare themselves with others whom they
perceive as better, more active Christians.
When I tell them that salvation is maintenance-free, they don't understand, but
accept it. When I ask them, "Would you really want to worship a God who needed
your help?" they get the point.
When I explain to them that Jesus paid for all our sins and when He did that,
our -sins were all in the future, though they can hardly fathom the concept,
they are encouraged by this truth.
I reassure them that no one has a leg-up on anyone else and that all who have
believed and received Jesus Christ stand exactly the same before God. (Yes, I
know this is a redundancy)
New ones have a little difficulty here, and even though they also
find this hard to believe, they do accept it.
But, what stops them cold is pure grace! "You mean I can go do anything I want
and not lose my salvation?" they ask. Paul dealt with this, asking, "Shall we
continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not!" (Rom.6:1 ,2) All who are
saved still sin in the flesh, but if someone claims to believe in Christ, but
then leads a debauched life, there is the possibility that they were never sealed
in Christ, never saved in the first place. Many don't understand pure grace and
what it means to live, walk, stand, and grow in the grace of God. Some also
forget that God abhors sin and that there is a great price that must be paid in
the flesh for sins in the flesh.
When it comes to accepting pure grace, most struggle with the concept. Human
reasoning tells us that even if God has saved us by His grace, we must have to
do something and certainly we have to maintain certain good behavior for God to
continue to accept us and not reject us in the future. We have been taught this
The first thing to establish is that everything about
God is pure,
including His grace, which is pure grace. There is no other kind.
Most Christians and Christian religions are attempting
God's grace with man's good works. (James 3:17)
Our flesh has the natural tendency to perform. The
natural man wants to stand out, to look better and be better than others. Our
flesh wants God to love us best. Your mother may have liked you best, but God
loves all His children the same. (John 17:23)
Our best deeds are "filthy rags:" to God. (Isa. 64:6)
Do you really
think that God wishes to mix our filthy rags with His pure grace?
For years I have been saying that if God gave me just
one thing to do towards my salvation, I would mess it up! I recently realized
that this truth was proven by Adam, beyond a shadow of a doubt.
If we were able to accomplish one thing towards our
salvation, one trillionth of one billionth, of one millionth of 1 percent, God's
grace would be gone! God will not allow His grace to be adulterated with one
drop of our flesh-works!
This is not a team effort and God is not our co-pilot.
If God allowed us to share in his salvation process, He would be setting Himself
up for failure, and God never fails.
If we were required to do one thing, men Jesus' death,
burial, and resurrection left something undone. Remember this absolute fact:
JESUS DEATH, BURIAL, AND RESURRECTION
The apostle Paul clearly showed us that our salvation
is either of works or it is of grace. "If it is grace. it is no longer on the
basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace. " (Rom. 11 :6)
The rest of this book is dedicated to sharing the many
aspects of God's pure grace and to help you learn to study God's Word from the
standpoint of pure grace. I will be discussing controversial Issues which are
under:5tood differently in the Body of Christ. We need to accept one another,
wherever we are in our spiritual growth in Christ.
It is my hope that this book will enlighten you on many vital issues of the
Christian faith and that you will come to know more intimately our marvelous God
of grace. Understanding the pure grace of God will have a major impact on your
life in Christ.
By the way, there is no such thing as "cheap grace."
The greatest price ever paid was paid by God to supply you with His grace.
Each chapter of this book is complete in itself.
Therefore, you may notice some repetition of key points. I am not presenting
this information to convince you to take a particular stand on these issues, but
to share with you the understanding of God's grace that the Holy Spirit, as our
teacher, has given to me. (John 14:26;15:26)
Allow the Holy Spirit to be your guide
into all truth. (John 16:13)
"Grace and peace to you in the name of
our Lord Jesus Christ."
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