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Grace

 

First lets define the word grace as used in scripture.

From G5463; graciousness (as gratifying), of manner or act (abstract or concrete; literal, figurative or spiritual; especially the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life; including gratitude): - acceptable, benefit, favour, gift, grace (-ious), joy liberality, pleasure, thank (-s, -worthy).

For the law was given by Moses, grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. (John 1:17)

"For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ" (Jude 4, KJV). The New Revised Standard Version states that these "intruders… pervert the grace of our God into licentiousness." The New International Version words it this way: "They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality."

How many professing Christians are doing just that today? Those who pervert the grace of God are saying by their conduct: "We are free to transgress the Ten Commandments; we don't need to obey God and keep His commandments!" That is wrong! That form of rebellion is carnality, not conversion! Converted Christians recognize that keeping God's commandments is an expression of love. The first four commandments show us how to love God, and the last six commandments show us how to love our neighbors. As the Apostle John wrote: "For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome" (1 John 5:3)—or "not grievous" as the KJV has it.

So, as the Apostle Paul strongly stated, we cannot continue to live under grace if we are practicing sin at the same time. No truly repentant Christian would want to practice sin while claiming grace. The true Christian has "died to self" at baptism, as Paul explains: "Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life" (Romans 6:3–4). That "burial" is symbolized by the repentant sinner's complete immersion in water.

Eternal life is the gift of God through Jesus to those who believe in him. This gift is not bestowed upon those who refuse him and prefer to continue in sin. 

God expects us to exercise active faith. He expects that we will trust Him to the point that we will actually do what He tells us to do. Jesus warned His followers, 

"But why do you call Me 'Lord, Lord,' and not do the things which I say?" (Luke 6:46).

Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also: Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith. Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law. (Romans 3:19-31)

For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. (Romans 6:10-14)

Peter recognized that the writings of Paul, especially those explaining the law, could be hard to comprehend. He defines for us the primary problem with understanding some of apostle Paul's teachings.

And bear in mind that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation, exactly as our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has also written to you;

As he has also in all his epistles, speaking in them concerning these things; in which are some things that are difficult to understand . . . " (2Peter 3:15 - 16, HBFV throughout).

Paul, in no uncertain terms, tells us what he thinks of the law. He states, "Therefore, the law is indeed holy, and the commandment holy and righteous and good . . . " (Romans 7:12). The idea that believers who have faith abolish or no longer need God's law was a foreign concept to the apostle Paul.

Paul, in no uncertain terms, tells us what he thinks of the law. He states, "Therefore, the law is indeed holy, and the commandment holy and righteous and good . . . " (Romans 7:12).

Are we, then, abolishing law through faith? May it never be! Rather, we are establishing law (Romans 3:31).

We are told we must keep the commandments (Acts 5:32).

No where in scripture does it say that you do not have to work at not sinning to enter the kingdom!



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