|THEWARISHOLY No Excuse Part II||
Grace and the Helmet of Salvation
The grace and salvation we receive at conversion is a doorway to a new life, but it is not always viewed that way. The Romans had heard the Gospel message and came to the conclusion that since they were now under grace, they should sin all the more, so that grace might increase. Paul replied in Romans 6:2 by saying: " God forbid! How can we who are dead to sin continue living in it?" They tried to use the grace of God as an excuse for sin, but it is precisely because of the grace of God that sin should not have dominion over us (Romans 6:14).
One commentary noted that "in every generation, people claiming to be justified by faith have behaved in such a way as to lend colour to this charge" (Tyndale 127).
This problem is often perpetuated by people who make up their own definition of grace. Their definition may sound beautiful - it may even seem to exalt the Lord - but it is a deception, nonetheless. This is a sad state of affairs, but we shouldn't be surprised or caught off guard by it, as Jude saw this and wrote with great urgency and conviction:
The Effects of Grace
Titus 2:11-12 teaches about the grace of God:
This is what the grace of God does in our lives. Through grace, God fills our hearts with love and teaches us to live Godly lives in this evil world. Yet many want to use grace as a cloak to hide behind. Often people want others to be accepted without requiring true faith and real repentance. For example, I grew up in a church where Deacons would get drunk at weddings held in the church. I grew up not knowing that there was anything wrong with premarital sex. I went to church regularly and even took Bible classes, but I didn't know the grace of Christ - a tragedy that surpasses any written by Shakespeare. It should cause one to ask if they have really received the grace of God, or merely an excuse. All an excuse can do is to ease a sin-stained conscience. Similarly, narcotics might make a person feel better, but they don't solve problems; they only make them worse. As drugs are to an addict, so cheap grace is to a false convert. Cheap grace might make you feel better, but it can never make you right with God; it can never compare with a clean heart.
Knowledge and the Belt of Truth
First John was written to a church infiltrated by Gnostics who had devised an elaborate philosophy to justify their behaviour. The Gnostics believed special knowledge was required for salvation, and once possessed, obedience was deemed unnecessary. To this John asserts over and over that if we love and know God, we'll obey him. In their false attempt at exalting knowledge, they succeeded in twisting the Truth. The belt of truth is meant to be a part of our armor; not just a trophy on the shelf. Today the Gnostic faith is officially dead, but the underlying tendency is still with us. Charles Finney saw this and declared: