The subject and the message of grace is increasingly becoming very controversial and polarizing especially among modern Pentecostal and Charismatic Churches and Ministries. I believe in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Grace is central to a fulfilling and productive Christian living; and Christianity is meaningless without the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
WHAT IS GRACE?
Some have defined grace as “God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense”. That’s powerful! Some have also defined grace as unmerited favour. That’s true! Others have defined grace as God’s willingness on our behalf. That’s also true! And if I may add, I’ll define grace as God’s enabling power. In the New Testament dispensation, grace is the ability we receive from God through faith in Christ to live the life that God intended for us.
Grace is not a new concept or revelation. Grace is the very heart of Christianity! When you hear some people talk about grace they make it sound as if it is new to the church. Ask John Newton, the writer of the famous song “Amazing Grace” and he will tell you about his encounter with the Grace of God as far back as 1748. That song was first published in 1799. John Newton wrote the words of that song from personal experience. According to Wikipedia, “John Newton grew up without any particular religious conviction, but his life’s path was formed by a variety of twists and coincidences that were often put into motion by his recalcitrant insubordination. He was pressed (conscripted) into service in the Royal Navy, and after leaving the service, he became involved in the Atlantic slave trade. In 1748, a violent storm battered his vessel off the coast of County Donegal, Ireland, so severely that he called out to God for mercy, a moment that marked his spiritual conversion”.
John Newton used the words of the song “Amazing Grace” to explain his understanding of grace from his personal experience, that forgiveness and redemption are possible regardless of our past sins and that we can be delivered from despair and eternal condemnation through the grace and mercy of God.
BEWARE OF FALSE CONCEPTS OF GRACE
There’s no doubt that in our time God has raised up and continue to raise sound teachers of the word of God, some of whom have profound revelation knowledge of Grace and are gifted in teaching the subject of grace with clarity. But we have also seen the emergence of a growing number of zealots (some of whom may be impostors) who are profoundly unskillful in the word of righteousness, trying to force a dangerous concept of grace on Christians and this is becoming a big concern to the body of Christ. Beware of men who hijack the Gospel of Grace, and turn it into what it is not! Any doctrine of grace that breeds carnality or promotes a culture of impunity and ungodliness is false doctrine and alien to the Kingdom of God. Thus the Bible warns us in Jude, verse 4: “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”.
FIVE INCONTROVERTIBLE LESSONS ABOUT GRACE
The best way to correct or dispel error is to publish the truth. Truth liberates! It is for this reason I have decided to highlight the following incontrovertible lessons about grace. Though brief, it is my hope that it will help in setting the record straight on what grace is and what grace is not.
1. GRACE IS THE CURE FOR SIN.
Without Grace the sinner is eternally hopeless! Grace does not only save from sin, it also empowers us to live above sin. Our salvation is not the result of our own efforts, but God’s gift, so that no one can boast. How do we receive this grace? We receive it through faith, that is, by believing in Jesus Christ (Read Ephesians 2: 1-9).
2. GRACE IS NOT A LICENSE TO ABDICATE RESPONSIBILITIES, RATHER GRACE EMPOWERS US TO FULFILL OUR RESPONSIBILITIES.
Grace is not an excuse for reckless living! Some people have a false concept of grace, thinking it gives them a covering to do whatever they like even if it is contrary to the values and principles of the Kingdom of God. Anyone who uses Grace as a license to abdicate his or her Christian responsibilities is abusing Grace and has not encountered Grace (Read Philippians 2:13; 4:13).
3. GRACE AND ARROGANCE CANNOT DWELL TOGETHER.
God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble. People who carry Grace are usually humble people. To be arrogant and at the same time preaching Grace is profoundly embarrassing and a mockery of the Grace of God because it is not consistent with the character of Christ (Read 1 Peter 5:5,6).
4. GRACE IS A GOOD TEACHER. (Read Titus 2:11-12).
Grace teaches us to live right. Graces teaches us kingdom values. Grace teaches us to give up certain bad habits that can frustrate our spiritual life. Grace is a good teacher! It thus imply that a carrier of Grace is a student of Grace and must have a teachable spirit! No one has monopoly of knowledge. No one qualifies to teach others who assumes he knows everything and wants to teach every other person whereas he is never open to learning from others what he does not know! Paul the Apostle reminds us in 1 Cor. 13: 9 that “we know in part”. To grow in Grace, you must have a teachable spirit!
5. SOBRIETY, GODLINESS AND RIGHTEOUSNESS ARE THE HALLMARKS OF GRACE! (Read Titus 2: 11-15).
Grace can never lead you contrary to the principles, standards and culture of the Kingdom of God! Grace empowers us to live right and not the contrary. Grace promotes godliness!
Author: Bishop Emma Omon
I shall soon return with another edition! Until then, let’s keep up the conversation here. I look forward to your views and comments. Remember to “Like” my page at www.facebook.com/emmaomon to connect with me!
Together We Can Make A Difference!
God is counting on you! Be a part of the 50 Million Souls Global Project! Your financial Support of any amount will go a long way in spreading the Gospel of Christ across the world. To GIVE ONLINE now with PayPal or Debit / Credit Card, please click on this link: http://www.emmaomon.org/give/.
To Register as a Partner, please click on this link: http://www.emmaomon.org/success-pact-partnership/.
God bless you!
Copyright © April 06, 2017 Emma Omon. All rights reserved.
Published online on Thursday, April 06, 2017 by emmaomonblog.com