Grace AND Truth
Over the past 40 years I have come to appreciate God’s grace more than ever. Oh how dependent I am upon Him for every second of freedom I enjoy!
After having participated in various streams of Christianity, I often wonder about my place. Just the same I feel compelled to address concerns I have about the direction of some of these streams are taking.
Since Adam and Eve, humans have had a problem with the authority and sovereignty of God over us. In our day we prefer to see God as a resource for the things we want or need. Even salvation is about us. We need relief from our guilt, and He provides it for us. His Lordship is seen as an option. His Law is viewed with an increasing sense of loathing. While it is right to reject the works of the law as a means to our justification, it is serious error to reject the benefits for which He gave it to His people, specifically the revelation of His holiness and the promise of Christ’s coming to fully demonstrate it.
In some there is such a great fear of “mixing the law with grace,” all while the doctrine of God’s grace is so freely being mixed with today’s popular humanism!
It is time to draw a sharp and distinct line between the Kingdom of God, which cannot be moved, and the popular “me” culture, which is doomed to failure. The power of the Word in God in both the Old and New Testaments can challenge and transform us! The philosophies of our pop culture might make us temporarily feel better about ourselves, but the end result will never be to our benefit.
Let us join with the shrinking minority of those who are still willing to bow the knee to the absolute Lordship of Jesus Christ, in total surrender to Him! Will we yield unto Him and Him alone the right to bring us into conformity to His glorious will, to rebuke, correct, transform and lift us up through any means He chooses — however unpleasant to our flesh?
Certainly the abuse of authority in leadership and the improper use of Scripture in legalism has created havoc in the Church. Satan has taken advantage of this and has led many into another danger that is not immediately evident. Christ warned us of this and has given us the Holy Scriptures for our safety. We can sit at His feet today and humbly learn of Him, trusting His Spirit to illuminate our minds to the Truth in His Holy Word.
Each of us must take the responsibility to know Him intimately — not the God of our imagination — but the One True God, as revealed in His Book, the Bible! Jesus Himself demonstrated how the victory is to be won. When faced with Satan and his lies in the wilderness, He confidently responded with the phrase, “It is written,” and the appropriate Scripture for each situation.
Are we willing to follow his example in this, being diligent to show ourselves approved unto God, and unashamed, correctly handling the Word of Truth? (2 Timothy 2:15).
Or are we more willing to water down the truth in order to make it more palatable to unregenerate people? Or worse, are we happy to give the public what it wants for our own personal financial gain? Jesus was of course kind, but uncompromising. His Gospel has no competition. It is the only true Good News around!
To those prosperity preachers whose soul desire is to see God’s grace at work in everyone’s life, I say “Thank God for you!” All I ask is for an fair and honest look at “the whole counsel of God,” as taught by Jesus, Paul, Peter and others. Let current teachings and philosophies be judged by these, and not the other way around.
To those who are caught up in the popularity game, I appeal for the heart of a true shepherd. Give the sheep what they need, even when it costs you. You are responsible to God more than your fellow preachers. Have the courage to take a stand when you see the exploitation of His Precious children, whose destiny it is to become conformed to the very image of Christ Jesus Himself!
There can be no greater riches, not greater expression of God’s blessing, or demonstration of true prosperity that !