The truth of pure and unfiltered grace would seem to be a wonderful message to all who hear it, but in reality some are uncomfortable with what they perceive as an over-emphasis upon grace. They fear (perhaps unconsciously) that if it is all about what God does and nothing at all about what we do, then we have lost any degree of control over the whole situation. That does not seem fair or logical. God’s opinion of us should at least be affected to some degree by our goodness and efforts!
And the Grace Message certainly goes against the status quo and the sin management emphasis that has been taught to us for our entire Christian lives. Plus, will not an acceptance of the Grace Message promote and even encourage sin?
These ideas explain why so many sincere Christians are uncomfortable and express warnings about too much emphasis upon grace. But for those who begin to understand it, it is a message of freedom and joy. And for those who rest in it, it is more than a message of change; it is a message of new life in Christ. It is accepting that Jesus is Jesus and that I am in Him and He is in me.
Grace extended out to its fullest implications might suggest that all humans are saved and forgiven by the blood of Christ. If it is all God’s grace without any mixture of human works, then that grace could be interpreted as covering everyone. If Jesus died for the sins of the whole world, then one could conclude that the whole world is saved from sin. If it is the finished work of Christ, then it is not dependent at all on man’s accomplishments or works.
And it is all God and all Christ and none of us… except for the component of faith. We are saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8). We have peace with God and have gained access into grace by faith (Romans 5:1-2). Jesus told the disciples that God had only one requirement: belief (John 6:29). John wrote that “He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life (1 John 5:12). And, John directed those words to “those who believe” (1 John 5:13). Earlier, John wrote that “to those who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God (John 1:12).
Clarifying the recipients of Christ’s salvation might seem to be needless surmising, but file it away. You may hear someday that some are teaching a message of a general worldwide forgiveness without expressing the need for a specific individual faith.
I thank God for His grace. I thank the Holy Spirit for revealing the truth of my need and showing me the solitary sufficiency of Jesus’ sacrifice. I thank Jesus for his finished work. In him I have placed my faith.
Have you ever heard that we are Christ’s hands and Christ’s feet? No, we aren’t. We are Christ’s gloves and Christ’s shoes. He indwells us and fills us. He lives in us. The choice is deciding between “Do I do it for Him?” or “Does He do it through me?” That is the difference between religious Christianity and real Christianity.