Thank you for the article on grace. I think it is right on! Put in its proper context it is absolutely truth, to me. There is a battle going on in the church over grace verses holiness. The grace crowd believes the holiness crowd is religious and puts too much emphasis on performance and doing while the holiness crowd believes the grace crowd is too soft and places too much emphasis on only God’s grace, cheapens the gospel, His blood and the cross. The holiness crowd says they are hyper grace folks.
I think they can both be right and at the same time be off base. I think they need to come together for balance. That’s just my opinion. Being born again is totally and utterly by His grace and no works or performance for God will be accepted by Him, when it comes to being born again. Jesus finished that work on the cross forever. It is strictly by His grace.
I totally agree that many Christians have been placed under the law and are taught they must be this or that or they must be holy and must perform and must live up to this godly standard, or God will not love them or accept them or bless them. There is a great need for the people of God to know and understand they are unconditionally loved and in that context, what they do, good or bad, does not matter. I want His people to know who they are and know who their God is and more importantly, for Him to know them.
On the other hand, not everyone who believes in the holiness of God and has a genuine holy fear of God, and who preach holiness, is religious. They are right about a lot of things and also have the scripture to back it up. However, many of that crowd is caught up in performance and religion, but not all. The hyper grace crowd can be off base as well. Both the grace and holiness crowd can be off base when they “emphasize” their doctrines too much, without understanding that we need the balance of both.
The grace crowd can lead people into a sloppy agape gospel, one that comes across as, oh well, we can just do whatever we want and God will still love and accept us
The holiness crown can lead people into works and religion, one that comes across as, if you don’t do what God says and lead a holy life, He will reject you outright. It can be a gospel of external works performance.
In the article you sent me, I thought it was right on because it emphasizes God’s love and acceptance for His children that is unconditional. That is true when you are talking about being born again. We can’t earn that. God’s love for us will never change.
Now on the other hand, in God’s word, He still demands holiness and obedience. The issue is, HOW do we walk in holiness and obedience and WHAT is our motivation for doing so? The article speaks about love verses correction, which is very confusing for most of us. They are right, Love produces love. Through His love and knowing we are free from performance and works, we are transformed and want to obey Him and want to be right and live right and be holy. Our Daddy will still correct His own children. That is not religious.
The issue becomes, one of “external” works verses “Holy Spirit” internal works. Religion attempts to control people into holiness through and by external means. This is impossible. It is impossible to change ourselves through external good works. We cannot make ourselves any more holy than Jesus already did on the cross.
However, in order to enter into the Kingdom of God, God demands that we live and choose a holy life in both action and deed but we must understand that living a truly holy life and being obedient is not going to happen by our own works or attempts or by our own self discipline. It is still by His grace.
What I am attempting to do in my teachings is to encourage and inflame people to realize that Jesus wants and desires intimacy with us and that is not “automatic”. We do not automatically become His Bride just because we are born again. Although His love for us is unconditional and never changes, becoming intimate with Him is our choice, and is not automatic and we can still grieve Him and push Him away and not accept this higher life He has made available to us. Are we satisfied with just being born again or are we hungry for more of Him and are we willing to “lay down our lives” daily?
The hyper grace crowd has issues with laying down their lives daily. Jesus demands that. The holiness crowd sees the need for laying down their lives but can error in attempting to do that through external works instead of my “INTIMACY” with Christ. The grace crowd can leave out the “INTIMACY” as well because they can error by teaching it is all automatic. Nothing is automatic and faith must always be involved and our choice is always involved. So both sides can be in error if they do not balance the truth in the Word of God. Yes! Grace for being born again and Yes! grace for developing intimacy and for maturing in Christ, and being obedient, holy and faithful, but, and a big but, ( no pun intended )
, WE MUST STILL CHOOSE WHETHER OR NOT WE ARE WILLING TO DIE TO THE SELF LIFE, LAY DOWN OUR LIVES, PICK UP OUR CROSS DAILY, or not. That is our choice. We must understand that it is only by our choice whether or not we will go on into the deeper higher life with God in intimacy or not. It is our choice whether or not we will only be born again or will be move into becoming His Bride. God will not force us to lay down our lives.
Those who choose to go no further with Christ, (except to be born again) will NOT lose their salvation of their spirit, and will not go to hell, but they are also in danger of not entering into the fullness of His Kingdom. They will not rule and reign with Christ in the Millennial age to come. We must not allow our soul surface life to dominate our lives. It must be submitted to God.