Contending for the faith Pt. 5
Grace vs licentiousness
“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,”
2 Corinthians 6:1
“We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.”
All through the epistles of Paul, he taught about the grace of God as the ONLY means of our salvation. It is the grace of God that brings salvation to all men. No man is saved by his own works no matter how good. Grace is the most powerful force that concerts a sinner into a saint when the sinner accepts and receives Christ as Lord and saviour. Grace is the bringer of salvation. The grace of God is a person and that person is Jesus Christ.
“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”
Jesus Christ is grace personified. That is why we say, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.
“Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;”
Grace is not just the unmerited favour of God, grace is a teacher. Grace teaches us that denying ungodliness and worldly lust and the likes, we should live soberly, righteously and godly in this present world. Every believer in Christ is under the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, and this law is far higher than the ten commandment or the Mosaic laws. Grace gives us higher responsibility of obedience.
However, we have situations where some teachers especially hyper grace teachers have replaced grace with licentiousness. They teach that people can continue to do whatever they like and still retain the grace of grace. They stretch grace to the uppermost limit that as far as you are eternally saved, even though you are in sin, it is not affecting your spirit but only your body. This doctrine is everywhere now but this theology is not consistent with the teachings of Paul on grace. Paul admonished the Corinthian church not to receive the grace of God in vain. When you are in Christ, you are NOT LAWLESS. Among born again Christians, divorce rate has increased, sexual pervasion, practice of 419, ritual money and other illicit businesses are prevalent, all in the name that you can be in Christ but can do anything you feel like doing.
The Lord our God is HOLY and saints of God are addressed as HOLY BRETHREN. Our nature is holiness. We are set apart for God’s praise. We have been called out of darkness into God’s marvelous light so that we can display HIS glory.
Paul taught that he was a prisoner of Christ and that whatever Christ requires him to do that is what he will do. 1 Corinthians 6:9 “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,”
Here, Paul was talking to Christians. If you live in unrighteousness, ungodly, worldly lust and the likes, YOU CANNOT INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD. He that has this hope in him purifies himself even as Christ is pure.
To be continued!
Rev’d Ikponmwosa Timothy Iyoha
President, Insight & Foresight Ministries Int’l