Misleading Definitions of Grace


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Grace is the maximum expression of God’s love, His ultimate gift, the greatest manifestation of power and the most effective instrument of success. Grace is not the enemy of the law, but the fulfillment of it. Did grace not come through Jesus?[1] Is not Jesus the fulfillment of the law? In Matthew 5:17 Jesus tells us, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.” (KJV)

         For those who speak against the law as if the law is some kind of disease, you are dangerously mistaken. The law is God’s standard and his standard has not change.[2]

         The law proved the point that none of us is able to follow it. The law pointed straight at Jesus as our only Savior.[3] I have been reading and watching videos in social media with absolutely incorrect interpretations and definitions of grace. Boy, they sound good! But there is one major problem; the message is dangerously incomplete.

         If you listen to these folks, they make it sound as if folks under grace are exempts from any works. Let me make this clear, grace is not a reason or an excuse for us to be lazy, it is indeed the reason why we do good works.

         We do not do these works to gain or retain salvation; we do these works because it is what the Word tells us to do. Ephesians 2:10 tells us, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (KJV)

         This theme of good works and of being a blessing in this world, is not a new one; it is clearly established from the very beginning with Abraham. God raised the nation of Israel to be a blessing to the world.[4] So, if the Old Testament establishes God’s people as the instrument of blessing in the world, how much more, we, New Testament folks, ought to be a blessing, as we are partakers of a greater promise?[5]

         To these new evangelicals of grace I say, do not read beyond the Word of God in trying to find new definitions of biblical concepts. What you are doing is not new, Paul told the Corinthians Church, “And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another.” First Corinthians 4:6 (KJV)

         I heard a man saying, “Grace is more than an unmerited favor.” Does this man realize that grace is a word that already has an established Greek definition? John 1:17 tells us, “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” (KJV) The word grace here is the Greek Word cháris, meaning: “To rejoice. Grace, particularly that which causes joy, pleasure, gratification, favor, acceptance, for a kindness granted or desired, a benefit, thanks, gratitude. A favor done without expectation of return; the absolutely free expression of the loving kindness of God to men finding its only motive in the bounty and benevolence of the Giver; unearned and unmerited favor.”[6]

         Notice that, in listening to these Neoevangelicals, they say a lot of things with very little or no Scripture and when they do use Scripture, for the most part, is used out of context. Some, not all, are borderline inclusionist; that is the belief that everybody is going to make it to heaven.

         When you see folks going beyond the original meaning of the words, ignoring and minimizing Scripture and teaching private interpretations of Scripture, run from them.[7] In order for us to be Jesus’ disciples we must remain in His Word.[8] In other words, the Bible is the place where we find and confirm truth, not in Dr. Joe Blow’s fancy and private interpretations.

         The truth is that we as Christians are not called by God to be lazy; we are actually called to do many things; make disciples, teach Jesus commands, care for the poor, the widows, minister to those in prison and in hospitals and the list goes on and on. This idea that we are just floating around in this world doing nothing, is not biblical. We as Christians have so much to do that indeed, without God’s grace we won’t be able to accomplish anything.

         As Christians we should be equipping the saints to the work of the ministry according to Ephesians 4:12-16. Faith without works is dead (James 2:17). As the direct result of all these lazy, hippie gospel promoters and these misleading definitions of grace, we have many saints walking with dead faith.

         We will be judge by Jesus for the things we did and did not do while on this earth.[9] Doing something is not a recommendation, is a biblical mandate. So I conclude with these words: Get up your BUTT and DO Something for GOD!

Biblical Reference:

[1] John 1:17

[2] Matthew 5:18

[3] Galatians 3:15-22

[4] Genesis 22:18

[5] Hebrews 8:6

[6] Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2000).

[7] 2 Peter 1:20

[8] John 8:31

[9] 2 Corinthians 5:10

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