Grace teaching today: Is it sound?
Some think that Grace teaching and the Grace movement represent sound doctrine; let us examine His Grace and Our Faith, Part 1. There are many believers talking these days about “Grace Teaching” and the “Grace Movement.”
Some think that Grace teaching and the Grace movement represent sound doctrine; let us examine
His Grace and Our Faith, Part 1. There are many believers talking these days about “Grace Teaching” and the “Grace Movement.” Some think it is the “Current Move of God” in the Body of Christ. Typically, those who are associated with this teaching/movement boldly declare a message of “Effortless Success and Grace.” They preach against “human effort.”
The truth is that we are certainly not saved by human effort (“good works”), But, even in salvation we humans have our part. We are saved by grace through faith. Saving Grace (unmerited favor) is God’s part, and (saving) faith is our part. Let’s look at the scripture:
Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Ephesians 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
No, a man can’t save himself, only God through Christ can save him. However, notice the verse also says “through faith.” The point being that God offers you Jesus, but you have to receive Him by faith. If this was not true, then God’s grace would save everyone whether they believed in Christ or not. That is the doctrine of “Universalism.” We know that doctrine’s not true!
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
God wants everyone to be saved, but everyone will not be saved because everyone will not put their faith in the finished, blood sacrificial work of Christ on Calvary’s Cross.
This leads to the next question, once we are saved, is faith obsolete? Do we now just live by grace? The answer is a resounding no! We live by grace through faith! And God’s grace abounds in us as our faith abounds in Him!
Yes, the Bible says that we are no longer under the law, but now under the Covenant of Grace (Romans 6:14). And, Paul tells us that we are who we are by the grace of God (1 Cor. 15:10). However, the Bible tells us to live according to faith (Romans 1:17) and that we must now grow in grace (II Pet 3:18).
How do you grow in grace? The scripture says by knowledge. How do we gain the knowledge of God? By faith! In other words, by obeying God when He told us to study His Word and gain a greater knowledge of Him. Bottom line, in order to know God more, we have to study His Word more. His Word is “His-Story,” and it is the number one way we gain knowledge of Him. Yes, we have to have experiences with God, but if we don’t know God’s
Word, we won’t be able to clearly understand the Godly lessons of those experiences. The Bible tells us that it was written for our learning and our examples:
Romans 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
1Cor. 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
1Cor. 10:12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.
Those who follow the “Grace teachings” contend that studying is human and effort and is not necessary. They contend that 2 Tim. 2:15 (where it tells us to “study”) relates only to pastors. However, the New Testament makes it clear that interpretation is false.
For example, in Acts 17:11, we find that the believers in Berea were highly honored because they studied the Scriptures to see if what the Apostle Paul taught them was correctly taught and confirmed by Scripture.
Acts 17:10 And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews.
Acts 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
Paul also told Timothy in 1Tim. 4:13, Till I come, give attendance [devote yourself] to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. If a believer doesn’t study, they will be prey to false prophets and false teaching.
Also, the New Testament tells us that grace is multiplied to us through knowledge and that we must add knowledge to our faith (II Pet. 1:2, 5).
Is studying the Scriptures human effort? No! Is meditating on the Scriptures human effort? No! It is what God commands us to do. It is also how God will allow more grace to flow in and through us.
Jesus told us to search the scriptures (John 5:39) and see Him in every book and scripture.
The Apostle John tells us to try (test) all prophets and all spirits:
1John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
How do we try the spirits? By the Word of God! The Apostle Paul tells us that we must be mature saints, knowing the scriptures, knowing sound doctrine (teaching) or else false prophets will deceive us:
Ephesians 4:14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
(To be continued)
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