Afraid of grace

Grace that requires obedience is not grace. It’s law.

Grace plus promising to stop sinning is not grace. It’s law. It’s also futile.

By grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus alone

It’s a little awkward to let grace stand alone. It’s more than a little awkward to acknowledge our only contribution is faith. However, the need to help grace elevates us and diminishes grace. It suggests we have abilities we don’t have. It’s subtle arrogance. Do you remember the first arrogant one was the Devil. Could it be that we are like the devil when we try to help grace?

Trust grace, don’t help it.

Grace terrifies moralists, religionists, legalists and weak believers. Your freedom may terrify you.

Fear of grace is doubt. Trust grace.

Guilt, shame, and law won’t take you where you want to go. Freedom will.

*****

Why do people find it hard to believe in grace?

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10 Comments on “Afraid of grace”

  1. Angel Ribo Says:

    I agree with you very much. The reasons why do people find it hard to accept Grace at value is multifaceted. A few of the reasons I have thought about in the past are:

    1. God’s Grace is too great in magnitude and we are limited by human cognitive ability.

    2. If we allow Grace to apply it is difficult to judge “those who are in vs. those who are out” thus we lose control and have to trust God.

    3. Some feel like they need to “protect” God from those who would “take advantage”.

    One thing I have learned about Grace is that if we are really being accurately true to the message of the Gospel then many who hear us will often interpret our message as license. To really get this concept all we need to look is at the Apostle Paul and his transition from Romans 3-5 into Romans 6. He knew that his readers would likely interpret his message as license. That is an inherent and often unavoidable risk for those who teach and hold to a position of Free Graces. We need not feel defensive at the accusation but instead embrace it head on clarifying the cloud of confusion with appropriate and scholarly exegesis of the scriptures as the Apostle Paul did.

    • Dan Rockwell Says:

      Angel,

      What a great comment. Challenging and informative.

      Love your three points. In particular, I think #3 is a real kick in the pants for religionists and legalists.

      Great seeing you again,

      Dan

      • Angel Ribo Says:

        Thank you for your ministry brother. I guess often I end up being one of those blog “lurkers” just hanging out in the background. God bless.

        Until He returns,

  2. clynchie Says:

    Great blog. Grace is a gift that we do not have to earn, but it is ours to accept. It’s difficult for us as humans, as it is in our nature to feel that we have to earn the right to accept a gift, and yet we are so flawed that we just continue to fall short. It is a different paradim that this gift extended to us is ours, simply by accepting it and giving Him permission to go to work on us.

  3. Tierney Says:

    I understand grace and what it means, but it sounds like I can now just go sin and rely on grace and God to forgive me. Yes, I am forgiven. But what about sinning because you know that you will be forgiven in the end, and that you are covered by grace? I know a few people who operate like this.

    • Angel Ribo Says:

      Excellent comment and it is at the crux of why Grace is so misunderstood and misapplied. The behavior you describe is license. First I would refer again to the transition that the Apostle Paul makes between Romans 5 and Romans 6. Second I would mention again that an individual’s inappropriate behavior does not drive what is the truth in the Word of God. Many may live a licentious lifestyle but that does not negate the truth of Grace. In the end God knows our hearts. God desires to see growth in our spiritual development with our motives in fact becoming more like Christ. Grace is sufficient and always abounds when a need exist (II Cor. 12:9a). That does not mean that I go out and “create” more need so that Grace may abound even more (Rom 6:1-2).

      I like to equate it to having insurance for my health and my car. If I am in a car crash the insurance coverage has been provided to meet my need when it arises. Conversely, that does not mean that since I have insurance coverage I now spend my boring afternoons looking for car crashes to get into without wearing my seatbelt. Although my body and my car may in fact get put back together again by the insurance that is in place, the resulting pain and possible remaining scars and negative consequences of my actions are an effective painful deterrent going around looking for crashes to get into. Likewise Grace does and always will abound but that does not justify sinful choices/behavior nor does it remove the natural consequences of our sinful choices. What we fail to see is that often, although it appears that some are “getting away” with their sinful choices what we are in fact hearing is the lie of the accuser of the brethren so that we are tricked into similar bad choices. What we don’t always see are the resulting scars that remain in the lives of those who continually choose death over life.

      I am grateful for His boundless Grace in the midst of my total unworthiness and it motivates me to live for and serve my Lord and King Jesus Christ.

  4. Pharaoh let my people go Says:

    What an excellent conversation. I am always amazed to hear what we the creation view of the perfect plan of our creator. Sadly grace has been perverted by the “Church” for so long that the nominal christian has no earthly idea of what it truly consists of. I am raising an infant son who is about 7 months old, he lives a life of grace. He has a need and he vocalizes that need trusting that I or my wife will fulfill it. He loves us and trusts us so he lives his life mimicking us. He as he grows older will become more like us, good or bad. For our relationship of grace with the Father we must love him and want to mimic his behavior, just as the only begotten son did. Jesus was accused of being a wine bibber and a glutton, presumedly because he ate and drank. His infinitely close relationship with His Father, i.e. “the Father and I are one” allowed him to eat and drink in grace. He had no need to refer to the “law books” because the Father put the “law” into his heart. Grace emanates from within us not from without. Grace is what we live not a get out of jail free card we are waiting to redeem, we have already been redeemed by grace. Thank you for all of your hearts toward the Father.

  5. gtramblings Says:

    Great blog, please continue with new posts!

  6. gtramblings Says:

    Thank you for the time you spend writing all of your blogs.

  7. Kévin Says:

    Hi Grace freaks 😉
    my name is Kevin, I’m from France. I’m a babe in Christ since the early year 2011 and where I was in joy and peace at the beginning, I have struggles since few weeks/months and attacked by the ennemie throut negative thoughts of legalism…
    I keep asking myself question like : “Am I really saved ?” etc…
    Today I was in a good mood and blessed in my time of prayers and songs for God and I have found a good video on “The baptism in the Holy Spirit” on Youtube, the young guy seemd really inspired and when I looked others of his videos He started to scared me and doubt about True Grace… I was telling myself “Where is the truth ?” “Who can I believe ?” “Which interpretation of the Bible is the good one ?”. Here is some “bad links” I have found… can you tell me you opinion about that ? 😦
    sincerly
    K.

    http://www.kingdomwarriors.com/wordpress/?page_id=10
    https://www.heavensfamily.org/ss/false_grace_gospel


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