How Much Is Too Much Grace?
I used to be a little nervous around Grace. It is so other-worldly and Jesus-dependent that it’s sometimes hard to know what to do with it. We know Grace is a good thing, but it is easy to feel the need to be careful lest it takes over and corrupts our efforts and programs.
We are sinners saved by Grace through faith. Ephesians 2:5 is revolutionary, but do we stop there? Is that all Grace has to offer, simply getting us in the door and then ceasing to offer any real influence on our new walk with Jesus? I missed the incredible benefits of walking in Grace for a long time, considering it a peripheral thing. But now I am learning that Grace is the essence of True Discipleship.
This is the last (and possibly most important post) in this Discipleship Series. If you missed the 3 previous posts, check them out here:
- Power To Become A True Disciple
- True Disciples Are Fed Up With Their Belly Buttons
- 8 Benefits To Obedience That Every True Disciple Should Know
Is too much Grace bad news? Is there even such a thing as too much Grace? I am all for balance and temperance when it comes to doctrine and teaching, but how can we balance Grace? And are we even supposed to? Some would say we need to temper Grace with holiness for example, but my question is this: Isn’t holiness a fruit of Grace? I think we will find trying to balance Grace with other things only producing weak or powerless Grace, which is not really Grace at all.
When we struggle with sin, laws and rules are powerless to change us. All they do is point out what a mess we are. Grace empowers us to change and keep changing.
I had the privilege of meeting the guitarist, Brian “Head” Welch from the metal band Korn a couple of months ago, and his life is a wonderful testimony to the power of Grace. It wasn’t religion or laws or rules that brought Brian to his knees, but rather the birth of his daughter. In the midst of alcohol and drugs and divorce, God used his little daughter to ignite a change that has resulted in Brian becoming a true follower of Jesus. Only Grace could do that.
Check out an interview CBN did with Brian “Head” Welch from Korn HERE.
One of the main incentives for Christians to keep Grace hidden in a corner is the prevalent fear that Grace leads to license. License to sin. The idea is that if we focus too much on Grace people will take that to mean it’s OK to sin and keep sinning because we are under Grace, and not under the law. Grace takes care of it, so why bother living holy lives?
This is a sneaky tactic from the devil. Check out what Paul had to say about it:
“For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.” (Jude 4)
This was Paul’s point: whoever perverts Grace into a license for sin is doing exactly that – perverting Grace. It has nothing to do with real Grace, because true Grace is the power of God to live righteous lives. For those of us who follow Jesus, there is nothing at all to fear from Grace.
In its true and pure form, Grace does nothing but grow us into true followers of Jesus, empowering us to overcome sin and everything the devil and the world throws at us. It brings real freedom. Isn’t that what Jesus offers us? Isn’t that what we need and want?
The issue is not so much whether we can freely sin and be freely forgiven. The issue is why we would want to sin, now that we know Grace? If we only know the perverted form, then we have yet to know the true power to be free from what keeps us from following more closely after Jesus. So rather than shying from Grace in fear of sin, we ought to embrace Grace even more!
Should We Be Afraid of Sin?
Many Christians are so afraid of sin they do everything within their power to protect themselves from it. I know, I have been there. Making more rules and regulations in order to keep sin far from us might seem wise, but most of the time it does little to help us grow as followers of Jesus.
We need not fear sin when we are walking in the empowering Grace of God. Grace lifts us out of the desire to do what is wrong, and fills us with a new desire for the things of God. That doesn’t mean we are never vulnerable to sinful desires, but it does mean we can turn to Grace Himself, Jesus, to find not condemnation or more rules but power that lifts our gaze from what’s below to what’s above.
We Are Called Ministers of a New Covenant
As true disciples of Jesus, our focus is on what He is focused on. Moses brought the Law; Jesus brought Grace and Truth (John 1:17). Jesus called us to be Ambassadors to the world on His behalf.
“He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” (2 Corinthians 3:6)
My question is this: If we are meant to be ministers of a new covenant, do we know what this covenant is? It’s a covenant of Grace! The law is done, Grace has come. If we don’t make this New Covenant of Grace our main priority and focus, how can we become competent ministers of it? We can’t minister to others what we fear, minimize or ignore altogether.
Grace is much better and much more powerful than what we have made it. That’s why Jesus brought Grace in the New Covenant, because the Old rules-based system wasn’t working. As true disciples of Jesus, it is imperative that we are continually soaked in the amazing blessing and power of Grace of God, so that we can walk like the One we follow. Not just at the time of first believing in Him, but now, today and every day.
- Please comment and let me know your thoughts and questions – I would love to dialogue with you about any of this!
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