The self-esteem movement has taught us everybody’s great, everybody gets a trophy. I’m not a murderer, I’m wonderful. We have created a culture where God’s law isn’t just physically taken down from the courthouse across the nation, but spiritually it has been removed from churches as well.
Everyone should know what exaggerate means. It is when you embellish, overstress, or make a mountain out of a molehill. I am sure that you have done some form of exaggeration in your life.
Seeing the title Exaggerated Grace, you might wonder how anyone could exaggerate God’s grace, the free and unmerited favor of God. The Grace that is manifested in the salvation of sinners and bestowal blessings can’t be exaggerated. That statement could not be further from the truth. Today there is much controversy of the subject of law verse grace.
False teachers promote grace over obedience. The meaning of grace in the New Testament has nothing to do with eliminating God’s law. These teachers have a misunderstanding of the New Testament. The Holy Spirit is needed to comprehend the truths the Bible teaches us. (2 Corinthians 3:6)
Grace was put into place for those who have accepted Christ and want to change. Not for someone who is looking for freedom from legalism and from God’s standards.
There is no doubt in my mind, that the new teaching of this “grace revolution” is highly exaggerated. Some of the new grace teachings are inflated, embellished, and sometimes un-biblical. These teaching can be dangerous to the Body of Christ.
I do not believe that we are witnessing a new grace revolution. I believe we are witnessing the rise of a grace exaggeration. It is a mix of the truth from the Bible and manmade embellishments. These false teachers are taking people down the wrong path.
Over the past few months I have studied the subject of grace. Through prayer I used the Bible, and other recourses like conversations, messages and books from well known preachers and authors. Next are a few things I came across and my take on them.
In one book I read from a well known preacher says, it is not necessary to confess our sins and that Paul’s epistles never give an example of a believer confessing sin. He says this because he believes all of our sins, both past and future, have already been forgiven and that we should just be honest with God and speak to Him about our failures. He says this is not the same as confession of sin for forgiveness.
How is talking to God about your failures not confessing sin? The problem I have with this is we are taught to confess our sins in 1 John, James and Paul’s writing in 2 Corinthians.
One preacher told me he believes totally in every teaching of Paul. Here is how our conversation went:
He said, “You should not minister, because you are woman and women should be quiet in the Church.”
I said, “So, you take everything Paul says and apply it to every situation right?
He replied, “Yes.”
I said, “Then you should have never left your wife, even though she cheated on you.”
He replied, “What are you talking about?”
I said, “Paul said to the Church of Corinth to stay with their spouse, even if they cheated.”
He replied, “ Mmmmm my momma, mmmmm my momma nnnnnnn never questioned my dad.”
I said, “Well, I’m not your mamma. You see the word quiet is translated many more times in the Bible a peaceful, God gave me a talent to teach and I’m going to use it!”
Many preachers take Paul’s teachings out of context. I twisted his writings to come against that preacher. When Paul told the Church of Corinth to stay with their spouses even if they cheat, he said “thus saith I, not the Lord.” Paul always had a reason, for making that kind of decision, it might have sounded like a contradiction to Jesus’ teaching but it wasn’t. He looked at the whole situation of the Corinthian church, if he would have told them to divorce there would have been mass chaos in the church, because all of them were committing adultery. He wanted them to have a relationship with God and change their lives.
I am a firm believer in Paul’s writings; I believe they are there to teach us how to be a good leaders. He made decisions based on the whole situation. God gave him that authority because of their relationship. Paul didn’t have a “new revelation of Jesus’ teachings,” he taught everything Jesus did. Paul said: “Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God” (Acts 20:26-27)
These preachers need to preach the whole counsel of God, Genesis-Revelations.
This “grace revolution” teaches, that the Old Testament Law is not necessary anymore for the church, and that we don’t need moral law of God, the Ten Commandments. They say they are getting this from Paul’s writings. Jesus teaches us this will happen in Matthew 15. He also say in verse 14 “… they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.”
Well I know Paul wrote 1&2 Corinthians. Didn’t he say we needed the Old Testament so we would not set our hearts on evil and sin? Yes he did, in 1 Corinthians 10. He warns us about Israel’s past and how that should be an example, so we don’t make the same mistakes. I am beginning to wonder if these preachers even know what books of the Bible Paul wrote.
Moral law is needed, without it, what are you saved from? The “New Grace Revolution Christian” is saved from legalism!?!?! They are still lost and empty inside. They have no moral standard for righteousness. They don’t have the relationship with God that he wants them to have.
Went Jesus gave His followers a new commandment to love one another (John 13:34), He was still using love as a law to obligate the church to a standard of living. Paul repeated in Romans 13:8-10. “Owe no man anything, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.” When you love God that much you do not want to commit sin.
All law in the Bible was ordained by God. However, when Jesus died on the cross, we were not subjected to ceremonial law anymore, we are not supposed to be walking around slaying calves for our sins. Paul refers to those ordinances as bondage. The Ten Commandments is not the same as Ceremonial Law. (Exodus 21-23, Hebrew 9:10, Galatians 2:16)
If you see in scripture a law that speaks of observing days, months, seasons and years and or various offerings and bondage etc, we know it is speaking of the ceremonial law that ended at the cross. If the passage of scripture is centered on loving God or man, then we can be sure it is referring to the Ten Commandments.
The Christian Calling is based on grace. Jesus died on the cross for your sin, we were saved by grace through faith. Through grace God pardons your past sins, and expects you to “go and sin no more.”
A good example of Jesus’ teaching on grace and law is the story found in John 8. There was an adulterous woman that was dragged before Him. The scribes and Pharisees said, “Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned.” They wanted to see if he would declare the penalty upon her demanded by the law. At first He was silent, while drawing something on the ground with His finger. They ask Him again, He lifted up His head and said “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first cast a stone at her.”
No one stepped forward, everyone that heard Him, was convicted by their own sin. The crowd slowly disappeared. There was no one left but Jesus, He is the only true one without sin. He told her “go and sin no more.” Jesus pardoned the woman from death, even though she was guilty, because of God’s grace. That grace was given to her as a gift, not because she deserved it. Jesus changed her life, and expected her not to do it again.
I do believe in grace, it was because of grace she did not get stoned. It is because of grace that you past sin are forgiven.
By far of all the Bible stories I have read the best example of God’s grace is in the Prodigal Son story coming from the lips of Jesus found in Luke 15. In this story you realize that it is about the relationship you have with God. There are two sons; the youngest takes his inheritance and says, “I’m going on my own way.” Can you imagine what the father might have been thinking, “I hope to see him again someday.” After wasting his fortune, he goes hungry during a famine. He then realizes the enormity of his sin, he returns home with the intention of begging to be employed and renouncing his kinship to his father. The father finds him on the road, immediately welcomes him back as his son and holds a feast to celebrate his return. He didn’t receive secondary status, his father didn’t make him a disfavored servant; instead his father had a party in his honor. The father celebrated his as his child. Talk about undeserved grace, this takes the cake.
If you compare this story to other religious cultures, they would not have had grace like that. I have not found one other religion that would accept someone like the Prodigal Son and throw a party for them. He would have been disgraced, killed, or forced to work off his sin. Only God offers the gift of grace. No matter how bad your past is, all you have to do is humble yourself. He will make you his son or daughter. “Kill the fatted calf,” for you. He will give you grace for you sins, but He expects a permanent change in your life. “Go and sin no more.” When you get saved the laws are written on your heart. (Hebrews 10)
Salvation is more than a social media status update. “Feeling good, got saved today. I’m changing my status to Christian.” It is a personal relationship with Christ, where you talk to him every day, like he is right beside you. When you have that kind of relationship with God, when you fall in love with Him, you will want to abide by His Law. It will be in your heart. You love Him so much it hurts you inside when you see someone walking down the wrong path.
I want to end with this Scripture,
“19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; 21 And having an high priest over the house of God; 22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) 24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, 27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. 28 He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: 29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”