The Abused and Misused Grace of God

The Abused and Misused Grace of God - Lisa U Maki

If there is one word in the Bible and attribute of God that is misused and abused, it is His "grace". I have heard sinners say: "God understands. He is merciful. He is gracious". I have also heard those I have corrected and pointed to the truth say: "You are not exercising grace towards me".
All these distorted and twisted knowledge and understanding of God's grace inspired me to write this article. I will break down the real meaning of God's grace and what it entails for us to even have it.
Grace means favor. Psalm 84:11 says: For the Lord God is a Sun and Shield; the Lord bestows [present] grace and favor and [future] glory (honor, splendor, and heavenly bliss)! No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.
Notice here that favor is given to those who walk uprightly. And since grace and favor go hand in hand, it also follows that grace is poured out on those who follow the Lord. Romans 5:21 attests to this...
So that, [just] as sin has reigned in death, [so] grace (His unearned and undeserved favor) might reign also through righteousness (right standing with God) which issues in eternal life through Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) our Lord.
Thus, a person who has already discovered Jesus and has been reborn, and continues to sin deliberately, can't say that God's grace will cover him. This is taking advantage of God. In fact, Galatians 5:13 says:
For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don't use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature.
Grace also refers to God's unmerited favor. Romans 3:24 says: [All] are justified and made upright and in right standing with God, freely and gratuitously by His grace (His unmerited favor and mercy), through the redemption which is [provided] in Christ Jesus.
Unmerited favor simply means "favor that we don't deserve". This is why it is difficult for people who are self-sufficient to receive grace from God. It is likewise difficult for people who have been good all their lives to accept the fact that it is not their good works that will lead them to heaven but their belief in and surrender to Jesus Christ.
This "unmerited favor" though has been taken for granted in the sense that Christians have forgotten the "good works" part. Although it is not good works that will save us, good works should follow our salvation. Good works is our fruit that people will see. Without these fruits, how will the world even see that we are different from them? Thus, Christians who continue to live in sin are not walking by grace at all. They are abusing God's grace.
Another meaning of grace is "God's ability to do things which we can't do on our own". James 4:6, Amplified version, explains this clearly.
But He gives us more and more grace (power of the Holy Spirit, to meet this evil tendency and all others fully).
The next part of James 4:6 says: That is why He says, God sets Himself against the proud and haughty, but gives grace [continually] to the lowly (those who are humble enough to receive it).
Take note of this... Grace is given to those who humble themselves before the Lord and for those who are humble enough to receive it. Again, if a person continues to live in sin even after he or she has already known the Truth, then there is no humility there, and so God's grace will not be given.
Grace is appropriated to those who seek for it. Hebrews 4:16 says: Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace (the throne of God's unmerited favor to us sinners), that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good time for every need [appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it].
Grace is associated with our relationship with Jesus Christ. We grow in grace as we grow in Christ. Peter said in 2 Peter 3:18: But grow in grace (undeserved favor, spiritual strength) and recognition and knowledge and understanding of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (the Messiah). To Him [be] glory (honor, majesty, and splendor) both now and to the day of eternity. Amen (so be it)!
A person under God's grace will never sin deliberately. Romans 6:14 says: For sin shall not [any longer] exert dominion over you, since now you are not under Law [as slaves], but under grace [as subjects of God's favor and mercy]. This means that when a Christian chooses to go back to his/her sin, he/she has fallen out of God's grace. It is only when that Christian repents that he or she is brought back to His grace.
So the next time you hear someone saying... Oh God is merciful and gracious. He understands what I am going through... and using this as an excuse to remain in sin, then, you better rebuke that person with these Scriptures on grace. This applies to all of us too, that none of us will abuse and misuse the grace of God.
Let me end this message by reading to you from Deuteronomy 29:18-20...
Beware lest there should be among you a man or woman, or family or tribe, whose [mind and] heart turns away this day from the Lord our God to go and serve the gods of these nations; lest there should be among you a [poisonous] root that bears gall and wormwood,
And lest, when he hears the words of this curse and oath, he flatters and congratulates himself in his [mind and] heart, saying, I shall have peace and safety, though I walk in the stubbornness of my [mind and] heart and sweep away the watered land with the dry.
The Lord will not pardon him, but then the anger of the Lord and His jealousy will smoke against that man, and all the curses that are written in this book shall settle on him; the Lord will blot out his very name from under the heavens.
Remember, God the Father and God the Son are one. The God of the Old Testament and the God of the New Testament are one. You can't isolate the grace of God from His anger and punishment when you disobey and take His grace for granted.
Lisa Maki is the founder of God'z Gurlz, a Bible-based online magazine for women whose mission is to is to provide a place where women can learn to manage their emotions, experience healing, receive love and acceptance, be free to be who God made them to be, and be the best they can be in their homes, schools, professions, relationships, and calling, through sharing of insights and experiences, counseling, prayer, and devotionals, thereby learning from and supporting each other. For more of Lisa's articles, visit Article Source: Article Source: