Much Ado About Grace

Titus 2:11-14 ESV

“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.”

The subject of grace is a popular subject these days, but is it true grace they are speaking of? Many are presenting God’s grace as teaching you that Jesus does it all and you do nothing. They say nothing is required of you other than a one-time profession of faith in Jesus Christ. Then all your sins are forgiven, and heaven is now guaranteed you when you die regardless of how you live, so they say. In fact, many are saying we do not have to repent of our sin and obey our Lord. For they are calling that “works salvation.”

But true biblical grace is not like that. True biblical grace puts us to death with Christ in death to sin, and then we are raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. True grace sets us free from our slavery to sin so we can now be slaves of God and of his righteousness. So true grace is not permission to keep on in deliberate and habitual sin. Instead it says, “Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?” (Romans 6:1-23; Ephesians 4:17-24).

God’s grace, which sent Jesus Christ to that cross to die for our sins, frees us from our slavery to sin and it empowers us to live holy and godly lives. It trains us in godliness. It does not give us carte blanche to continue in sin. It teaches us to renounce sin and to live godly, upright, and self-controlled lives while we wait for our Lord’s return. For Jesus Christ died for us on that cross to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.

But does that sound like the picture of grace you have been given? I hope so, but that is not what I am hearing mostly. I hear so many people claim that all they have to do is pray a prayer or make some acknowledgement of who Jesus is and of what he did for us on that cross. Or they just have to make a public confession of him as Savior and Lord, but is he Lord? Not usually, for most appear to believe they don’t have to repent of their sins and they don’t have to walk in obedience to the Lord Jesus.

But what do the Scriptures teach? Jesus said if anyone would come after him, he must deny self and take up his cross daily (daily die to sin and to self) and follow (obey) him. For if we hold on to our old lives of living in sin and for the flesh, we will lose them for eternity. But if for the sake of the name of Jesus we die with Christ to sin that we might live to him and to his righteousness, then we have the hope of eternal life with God (see Luke 9:23-26).

And he said that not everyone who says to him, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven but only the one DOING the will of God the Father who is in heaven. For many are going to stand before the Lord on that day, and they are going to call him, “Lord,” and they will enumerate all the things they did in his name. But his response to them will be, “I never knew you. Depart from me you workers of lawlessness” because they would not obey the Lord (see Matthew 7:21-23).

And the Scriptures teach that we must obey the Lord and repent of our sins, and that if we continue in deliberate and habitual sin and if we do not walk in righteousness in obedience to his commands that we will not inherit eternal life with God, regardless of what professions of faith in Jesus we made with our lips. For Jesus died to free us from our slavery to sin so that we would now serve Jesus with our lives in walks of obedience to him.

[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

There’s a Stirring

By Annie Herring

There’s a stirring deep within me
Could it be my time has come
When I’ll see my gracious savior face to face when all is done
Is that his voice I am hearing?
‘Come away, my precious one’
Is he calling me?
Is he calling me?

I will rise up, rise up
And bow down
And lay my crown
At his wounded feet

Is that His voice I am hearing?
‘Come away, my precious one’

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