What is Grace? Is it, as you’ve probably always believed, favor? Favor which allows you to sin with impunity? Does GRACE do away with the law of God?
It most certainly does not! You’re about to read the SIMPLE TRUTH of WHAT GRACE IS, How to get it… and how to lose it!
WHAT IS GRACE
Romans 5:20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:
The more sin there is, the more grace there is. This is important, so think carefully; if grace is merely favor – that is, God being pleased with you – then why would there be more grace for more sin? Does MORE disobedience earn you MORE favor with God? Ridiculous!
Galatians 1:15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace.
You are called by grace! When you are called, you are still unrepentant, and are NOT obedient to God at all!
Romans 11:29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.
The calling is BY GRACE, and WITHOUT REPENTANCE. So how could God give you favor?? He wouldn’t! Grace must mean something ELSE, it must have a DIFFERENT meaning that you’ve never heard!
It’s time you UNLEARNED what you have learned, and PROVE your beliefs from the GROUND UP, out of the Bible, FOR YOURSELF! If your beliefs are right, you’ll prove them again… but if they’re wrong… wouldn’t you want to know?
John 1:17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.
For those who would claim grace means “favor”, how did the favor of God come by Jesus Christ? Christ’s coming, and His death, made it possible for you to receive grace. You could not have received grace otherwise! But what IS grace, if not favor?
Romans 3:20-21 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
What is righteousness WITHOUT the law? We know that the very definition of righteousness is keeping the law! So how is it possible to be righteous WITHOUT the law?
Romans 4:3, 6-8 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness…. Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.
God treated Abraham AS IF HE WAS RIGHTEOUS… because he BELIEVED God. His grace came by FAITH, And this grace OVERLOOKED his sins… but only his sins OF IGNORANCE!
At this point I’m going to digress briefly and define faith, for those of you who aren’t familiar with our articles on the subject. This is a CRUCIAL, necessary piece of understanding which you MUST HAVE before you can truly understand grace!
WHAT IS FAITH
How complicated can faith be? Just “Believe”, and you have faith, right? Well, actually, yes! But not the way you think! Do you know exactly what it is that you must believe in, to have TRUE FAITH? Remember, your faith must have works! Just believing in God doesn’t do the trick!
James 2:18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
This man would say “He believed”, but that doesn’t cut it! Believing in God ISN’T ENOUGH, and that’s the SHOCKING TRUTH!
James 2:19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
Even the demons believe in God! And does that save them? Hardly! More is necessary!
James 2:20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
Belief in God is only a small PART of what is required for YOU to have FAITH! True, powerful faith, not the weak, worthless LIE that the world has! They say they have faith, but their faith produces no works! Therefore, it is a DEAD FAITH! To have a LIVING faith you must have MORE!
Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
To come to God, in faith, you must believe that He IS! But remember, EVEN THE DEVILS DO THAT! There must be more… and there is! You must also believe that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him – you must believe that if YOU DO GOOD, He will reward you!
But that’s not enough either! Most of the world believes, on one level or another, that God is good, and if you are good God will do good things for you. But that doesn’t produce faith with works in them! No, something else, one last point is required to have TRUE FAITH!
In order for it to matter if God is a rewarder of THOSE who diligently seek Him, YOU MUST BELIEVE THAT YOU ARE DILIGENTLY SEEKING HIM!
TRUE faith is a compound of these THREE beliefs! Knowing God exists, KNOWING that He is good, and KNOWING THAT YOU ARE OBEYING HIM WITH EVERY FIBER OF YOUR BEING!!
1 John 3:19-22 And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him. For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.
And THIS IS HOW YOU KNOW YOU ARE OBEYING HIM! This scripture tells you how to have that LAST PIECE of faith that YOU are missing! Your conscience must be CLEAN! You must KNOW that there is nothing you are doing, that might, even POSSIBLY be wrong, and then you can have TRUE, POWERFUL FAITH, that PRODUCES WORKS, and is ALIVE!
(For more information on this concept, and details on just HOW YOU DO THAT, read our articles “The Simple Truth About Faith”, “Why Isn’t God Answering Your Prayers”, and “Why Shouldn’t He?”)
THE MEANING OF GRACE
So you see, that Faith cannot exist unless you keep the law! So in order to receive GRACE such as Abraham had, you must have FAITH, and know that you are keeping the law!
Abraham KNEW that he was not offending God, even possibly, in any way. And so God gave him grace. This grace OVERLOOKED his sins of ignorance, because Abraham was doing EVERYTHING HE POSSIBLY COULD BE EXPECTED TO DO!
God wasn’t too worried about any other sins Abraham had, because He knew that Abraham would stop them the INSTANT He learned about them! He knew that Abraham would WANT to stop them, not grudgingly do so, only after God threatened him! Sadly, a far cry from most of the world today.
The fact that he was under grace did NOT mean that Abraham could commit murder, and expect God to say “Oh, it’s OK… It’s Abraham, I like him”! He could NOT willfully, knowingly sin and have it counted to him for righteousness!
Hebrews 10:26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
God couldn’t overlook Abraham’s willful, or REBELLIOUS SIN! However… He COULD overlook sins Abraham hadn’t noticed yet!
Acts 17:30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:
Not only that, but if Abraham had knowingly sinned, he could not have had faith, and so his grace would have been removed anyway! But since Abraham was in ignorance of his other sins, if any, God OVERLOOKED those sins until Abraham discovered them!
Romans 4:15 Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.
Abraham had no transgression for his sins of ignorance, because he had no knowledge of them, therefore there was no law! This is the PURPOSE, and the JOB of grace!
GRACE CAME BY JESUS CHRIST
Remember, the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). By that law, the very first sin you committed, as a small child, you should have been killed for – immediately! But you weren’t. Why? How could God NOT judge you for that sin?
God must do His bookkeeping. He must be strictly honest, and legal. And the wages of sin is death. If you sin, you have earned death. So God has to have a completely legal, logical way of allowing you to sin without sending you the judgment for it… which is of course, death.
Romans 5:13 (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.
Ignorance makes a protective cocoon, to prevent God from having to execute you on the spot. Since He has given you no law, He can’t lawfully expect you to obey the law. After all, how could God expect you to obey that which you do not know?? What sort of a monster would kill someone for disobeying a law He never bothered to tell them about??
So He has an excuse not to kill you for your sin. But still, you have sinned. Something must pay for that – even before you repent. God’s books won’t balance unless there is payment for your sin, right now.
Where will that payment come from? The only type of payment that is accepted is death. So if grace is for the overlooking of sins, as we’ve said… then since you aren’t already dead, the only way grace can be paid for is by the death of Christ
John 1:17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.
It seems very easy to say “God loved us, so He just ignored His own laws so we could live…” but it’s not that simple. God must be honest. And His own law requires death to pay for sin. Period. If God were to break His law, He would, Himself, be guilty of sin.
If you allow someone to sin, when you have the power to stop it, you become a partaker of their sin. This is the law.
Leviticus 19:17 Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him.
The KJV Bible’s marginal notes gives an alternate translation of the last part of that verse. It should read:
“Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, that thou bear not sin for him”
If it is in your power to rebuke someone, and you don’t do it… their sin is on your head. You bear the sin for him! This concept is illustrated many times, for example Ezekiel 33:6, Ezekiel 3:18, 1 Timothy 5:22, 2 John 2:10-11, etc.
So had Christ simply allowed you to sin, without judging you for it, He would have been a PARTAKER of your sins, and thereby He would have been sinning Himself! And so He had to have a payment for it, to justify your life until you understood!
There had to be blood to pay for your sins – even when you were in ignorance, and there was no law for you, it was still a sin, and still worthy of death. Your sin wasn’t imputed to YOU, but it had to be imputed to SOMEONE!
Christ wound up being charged for it, and His death allowed you to legally continue in sin until you understand the truth! Christ being raised from the dead allowed justification by Grace. He has already died for all the sins of mankind, so He can, legally, postpone the judgment of sin.
So the GRACE, the TEMPORARY TOLERANCE of your sin, came by Christ – and this paid for your sins from the time you were born, and permitted you to live this long in ignorance of the law without paying for it yourself! Because had you been required to pay for it yourself, you’d have been dead many, many years ago.
REMOVING OF GRACE
Continuing that story, let’s look at your state before you were called. God had given you no information about what He wanted from you. You didn’t know you should keep the sabbath. Therefore, Christ paid for it so you didn’t have to. You were ignorant, so He didn’t impute, or charge, the sin to you.
In other words, you were under grace. While you were in this state, you were safe from the judgment of God. Then one day, you learned a new truth. And then grace flew out the window.
Romans 7:9 For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.
Remember, you were alive without the law through the RIGHTEOUSNESS which is without works, which is GRACE!
But the instant you learned that new truth… in this case, that you shouldn’t work on Saturday. Christ stopped picking up the tab for that sin. Because it was no longer a sin of ignorance! Sin revived for you, and it became YOUR responsibility to do something.
You had two choices. Remember, God’s books must balance. You could repent and Christ will apply his sacrifice to your sin of ignorance. God’s books balance, you are clean, all is paid for and well.
Or, you can decide that you like this sin, and God’s commandment isn’t really THAT important after all… now here comes the fascinating part. Christ’s sacrifice cannot pay for this sin now.
Hebrews 10:26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
So now, YOU must pay for this sin. This means that you must die. Literally. And your judgment will be commensurate with how much you understood – and therefore how much you rejected, and willfully sinned against.
But notice I only said THIS sin. It only takes one to earn the death penalty.
James 2:10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.
To sum up the story, we have you under grace for your ignorance. Then the commandment came, and you rejected it, and you have earned death. Now what does God do? Is He yet through with you? No! Now you go BACK to being under grace! You pay for THAT sin, and then Christ goes back to paying for your future sins through GRACE!
1 Thessalonians 2:11-12 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned (meaning “Judged“)who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
Once you have rejected truth that He has shown you, and committed willful sin, he will send you a strong delusion – something you will believe in, and be deceived into again – and go back to like you were before He called you. The REASON He does this is explained in
1 Corinthians 5:1,5 It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife…. deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, THAT THE SPIRIT MAY BE SAVED in the day of the Lord Jesus.
This was a church member, someone who had the spirit of God, was in the church of God, and KNEW BETTER. And he committed a willful sin – and so Paul instructed the church to put him out of the church. To put him back in the world, where we know from 1 Thessalonians 2:11 that he will receive a strong delusion, and be deceived, and here we find WHY GOD DOES THAT… so that THE SPIRIT MAY BE SAVED!
The spirit can be saved because this man will go back to having no commandment – there will be no law – so Christ can give him Grace for his future sins, to allow him to continue his life without being immediately struck dead.
The man will die for his willful sin – unless he repents, as this man did – and Christ can pay for his other, future, sins through grace. So God’s books balance. But the question remains, why did this man NEED to be deceived – HOW DOES THIS HELP SAVE HIS SPIRIT when he is resurrected?
In order for you to have no excuse before God, you must stand before God, understanding Him fully, with a clear mind and no deception, KNOWING that He is right… and then spit in His face. But NO MAN HAS EVER DONE THIS!
The more you understand and turn away from, the more law you have, and the less grace you will have. That is WHY the latter end of a person in the church who turns away is worse than the first! (2 Peter 2:20)
Because once they’ve known God, and rejected Him, they cannot have as much grace because they have more law! And where the law is, there is transgression!
And yet despite this, they didn’t understand God fully… NO MAN EVER HAS! So they can’t FULLY reject God, and require the immediate, eternal, unforgiveable death penalty in this life! Because EVEN AT THE MOMENT OF DEEPEST UNDERSTANDING, WE SEE THROUGH A GLASS DARKLY!! (1 Corinthians 13:12)
And because of this, BECAUSE THEY ARE STILL DECEIVED, they can still receive SOME grace! They can still receive ENOUGH GRACE to allow them to live out their lives and experience the suffering brought on by sin without dying instantly!
God won’t LET you truly know him in order to PREVENT you from wilfully sinning and causing eternal death on the spot! If you TRULY knew God, without deception, without lies, without temptation, and THEN, of your own free will CHOSE to sin… you would have 0, zip, zilch, ZERO grace. And you would receive the instant, immediate death penalty!
But as long as you, or the man in 1 Corinthians 5, can point to Satan, and say “The serpent beguiled me, LORD!”, then God can make His books balance. And Grace can pay for his sins.
But if God were to permit that man to continue understanding more and more, rebelling all the while, his spirit might not be salvageable in the second resurrection.
Romans 11:32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.
And so God locks this mind down, and allows it to be deceived. (Yes, God, Himself sends deception to people, for their own good. See 1 Thessalonians 2:11, 2 Chronicles 18:21, etc) After this mind is deceived again, there is no law! Therefore it can receive grace again, live out its life, and come back in the second resurrection, where there is no deception to cloud its judgment.
GRACE FOR ALL MEN
Grace is simply the overlooking of your sins of ignorance. That’s all – and now is the time for you to unlearn your inherited meanings, your doctrines picked up from your sweet grandmother, and realize that that is ALL the Bible says it is.
But grace has two distinct purposes on this earth. There are two jobs for grace to do here. The grace is the same in either case – the overlooking of sins of ignorance – but the end result is drastically different.
I’m talking about the people God has called to be in the first resurrection, and the world.
I realize that the concept of the world receiving grace may be shocking to some of you – I’ve even been told it was blasphemous by some. But new truth usually is blasphemous to those who loved the old understanding they’ve always had.
But remember, grace cannot be explained by favor. Hopefully, I’ve proven that by now. Grace is the overlooking of sins of ignorance. It is obvious that converted people, such as Abraham, have needed their sins overlooked, to let them live until they learn their mistakes.
But the world needs that too! Granted, they aren’t being saved in THIS AGE, but there WILL come a time when they will be! And they NEED this experience of THIS sinful life to help them turn their life around in the future!
Romans 5:13 (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.
The context here is the WORLD. Sin was in the WORLD… but sin wasn’t IMPUTED to them, because there was no law! Because the whole world is deceived, and where there is no law, grace covers your sins! The entire world is covered under this – they don’t UNDERSTAND the law, because they have been blinded by God! (Romans 11:32) Because of this, they are still under GRACE! Remember, that the more sin there is, the more GRACE there must be – (Romans 5:20)
Grace allows men who, by rights, should be dead for the sins they’ve committed – which includes everyone who ever lived – to have their sins ignored, because they do it in ignorance. It allows God to send rain on the just and the unjust men – (Matthew 5:45).
God couldn’t send rain on the unjust men, under the law. Remember, those who do good are blessed, and those who do evil are cursed. And yet God does send them rain! Because He overlooks their sins because they need rain to live! Thereby, they receive grace!
GRACE TO ALL
Of course, the primary topic whenever grace is discussed is related to salvation. However, there are many places where the world’s grace is referred to. Jude is an excellent example.
Jude 3-4 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness [License to sin], and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
Jude has set the context here – the purpose of writing this book is because there were men crept in, heretics, who were turning grace into LICENSE to commit evil. They were turning the doctrine of GRACE, which ONLY covers sins of ignorance, into the protestant doctrine of grace where all sins are covered, no matter what… EXACTLY what the world believes today!
Now Jude sets about to destroy that belief by giving examples! He now shows people who HAD grace, but who RAN OUT OF GRACE AND DIED!
5 I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, [In other words… “this is what I’m going to tell you about… even though you once understood the true meaning of grace”] how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.
Jude is saying “You think that you can sin with impunity because you are under grace? Israel tried that… and after they pushed God enough, their grace ran out!”
Please pay close attention to the context here; Jude was wanting to correct the misunderstanding of grace; the only reason Jude would quote the example of the Israelites in that context, was because it was accepted that they had received grace… until their grace ran out!
The GRACE of God was overlooking their sins of ignorance, but that only lasts for a certain time period… Jude is using them as an example what happens when GRACE RUNS OUT! All of them received this grace, and continued to live… until God decided to let them die in the wilderness. Now look at the next example…
6 And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.
This is the same context, and a continuation of the thought. The intent of the passage is the same. Jude is saying “Israel ran out of grace, so your protestant idea of Grace covering all sins is wrong… look at them, they died…” … “Just like the angels, who sinned, have been reserved to judgment. They were cast out of heaven, and are waiting to be judged by the saints”. “Their grace will not last forever.”
7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
And Sodom and Gomorrha, likewise ran out of grace! When God went down to see if what He’d heard about them was true, He decided that the time to overlook their sins was ended!
God had been overlooking their sins, and not judging them for it – but there came a time when their judgment came before Him, and when it did their grace was over! Jude now talks about the character of the people teaching this lie for a bit and continues with more examples in verse
14 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.
“And the world is going to run out of grace soon! So your idea of grace-being-license-to-sin is unsound! The world’s grace is going to disappear when God comes to EXECUTE JUDGMENT UPON all, which has so far, been postponed.”
Remember, grace is for the overlooking of sins of ignorance. Grace is the PAYMENT for the postponing of sins of ignorance! It can be called the forbearance of God, it can be called reserving someone to judgment, sin not being imputed to you, God winking at your sin, but the meaning is always the same… In each case God allows you to live until you understand the truth and repent, or don’t understand the truth and… die.
And yet this grace doesn’t come by faith! The grace that covers the sins of a common thief, isn’t by faith! And yet it is still grace – the sins of all mankind are being overlooked, which is the sole definition of grace, so that they may live and experience sin in this life.
Grace AND Faith
But that’s only ONE of the USES for grace! What happens when you have Grace, AND FAITH, at the same time? Bear in mind that the PRIMARY purpose of grace is for salvation!
Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
In order to be saved, you must have grace WITH FAITH. The grace which has been covering your sins all your life, must be used together with FAITH to be saved! As you’ll recall, faith is knowing that God is, knowing that He is good, and knowing that YOU ARE BEING OBEDIENT!
When you add God overlooking your sins of ignorance, GRACE, TO OBEDIENCE, and you AGRESSIVELY ROOT OUT and DISCOVER your sins, and STOP THEM, GOD WILL BE PLEASED! He’ll be so pleased that He’ll give you MORE grace!
2 Peter 3:18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.
This extra grace He gave you came by faith! And it is for the overlooking of your sins of ignorance, just as the other – but because of your faith, you can be seen as holy and spotless by God, and can receive eternal life!
You see, while the world has grace, they don’t have faith. They know they’re not pleasing God. And so when God overlooks their sins, He is only allowing them to live a physical life. He does not consider them clean, and righteous, because they know they are not diligently seeking Him!
On the other hand, when you have grace, and you add FAITH to that grace, you receive MORE grace, and since you sincerely believe that you are doing EVERYTHING GOD COULD POSSIBLY ASK OF YOU, God sees you as perfectly clean and spotless from sin!
You can be delivered from a sin of ignorance, to avoid immediate physical death without faith. But in order to be delivered from your sins of ignorance TO INHERIT ETERNAL LIFE, you must have THAT SAME GRACE, AND FAITH! You must not only have your sins covered, but you must BELIEVE WITH ALL YOUR HEART THAT YOU ARE DILIGENTLY SERVING GOD!
Grace and faith, working together, are all that is necessary for salvation. Abraham’s FAITH – The fact that he was WILLING TO OBEY GOD (and KNEW IT!) – allowed him to receive GRACE that could put him in eternal life, because he had Grace AND FAITH!
Romans 3:22-25 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely BY HIS GRACE through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
This scripture shows that GRACE, righteousness without works, and the FORBEARANCE, or TOLERANCE of God are all synonyms! They mean the same thing!
Romans 5:21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign THROUGH RIGHTEOUSNESS unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.
When grace reigns THROUGH RIGHTEOUSNESS, it does so UNTO ETERNAL LIFE! When you add faith to your grace, and that faith brings you more grace, you are GROWING IN GRACE AND KNOWLEDGE!
1 Timothy 1:12-14 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it IGNORANTLY in unbelief. And the GRACE of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
Paul obtained mercy for his sins BECAUSE HE COMMITED THEM OUT OF IGNORANCE! GRACE covered those sins of his youth, and allowed God to overlook them! Had he fully known the consequences of sin, and committed a willful sin ANYWAY, there could NEVER HAVE BEEN A SACRIFICE FOR HIM! (Hebrews 10:26)
And when he added FAITH to this grace that he already had, his grace GREW and ABOUNDED because not only was he OBEYING GOD, but HE KNEW HE WAS OBEYING GOD! Therefore his Grace reigned THROUGH FAITH AND UNTO ETERNAL LIFE!!
GOD RESISTS THE PROUD
James 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy? But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
The fact that the world receives grace does not mean that God likes them! Never misunderstand and think that you should sin more, that grace may abound! (Romans 6:1)
Those who are proud, and resist what knowledge of God they have, God resists! The more they know, and the stronger they resist, the harsher God’s judgment is, and the LESS GRACE THEY GET! Because the more they understand… the more law they are under (Romans 4:15, 5:13).
On the other hand, those who CLEAN their hands, PURIFY THEIR HEARTS, and have FAITH and OBEDIENCE to God receive MORE grace, and will receive salvation!
GROWING IN GRACE AND KNOWLEDGE
A few years ago, the first time my 8-year-old nephew, Cole drove the tractor by himself, we knew he would very likely break something with it. Nevertheless, the only way for him to learn was to do it himself and make mistakes. We were planning to overlook some mistakes, that is, extending him some grace for his sins of ignorance – because we knew he’d make some.
Surely enough, the very first day… he drove into the greenhouse. This was expected, so he received only a mild reprimand. His grace paid for that sin. Of course, he then had less grace left, because he’d spent some. Later that same day he drove into the door. While this, too, was anticipated, we were less forgiving the second time. He received sterner correction. He had less grace available now, because he was burning it up quickly. He WASN’T growing in grace as he grew in knowledge, because his knowledge was accompanied by sin (error).
Now, the more sin abounded, the more mistakes he made, the more grace he needed, yes HAD to have to cover and pay for those sins! (See Romans 5:20). To continue to live while demolishing our greenhouse, he NEEDED MUCH GRACE!
However, it has been years now since Cole drove into anything with the tractor. So now, if he DOES make a mistake, we will be willing to overlook a major mistake on his part, because I know his heart is right! By his FAITH, his OBEDIENCE, he has received GRACE from us!
He has MORE grace now, because we are MORE WILLING to overlook his sins! Cole GREW in grace, at the same time he grew in knowledge, by applying that knowledge and not running into things!
Likewise, you GROW in grace the more you continue without sin! The WORLD isn’t growing in grace, because they aren’t obeying God – they aren’t earning more grace by obedience and faith. However, they NEED more grace because they sin more (Romans 5:20 again)!
Now after you stopped committing as many sins, and grow in FAITH, you use less of your grace to pay for sin. When this happens, you have MORE grace, and God is more willing to overlook your sins of ignorance!
This is the ONLY WAY to explain MORE grace, for MORE sin (Romans 5:20, 6:1), and MORE grace, for MORE obedience (Romans 5:2, 2 Peter 3:18, etc)
The worldly definition of “Favor” utterly fails to explain the nature of grace, and thereby fails to make clear the nature of God! It fails to make SENSE out of grace, and faith, and the scriptures! It wraps God up into a nebulous creature who is unknowable and vague! God is NOT unknowable! You CAN know God, and God DOES make sense! If His every action and thought DOESN’T MAKE SENSE, YOU DON’T KNOW HIM!!
GRACE FOR LAZYNESS?
Allow me to make it perfectly clear – Grace does NOT allow you to sin with impunity. It doesn’t justify you sinning because you don’t care, or because you aren’t interested in finding the truth.
Hebrews 10:26-29 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?
You are under grace – but if you knowingly sin, OR if you treat sin lightly, you are insulting the spirit of Grace and the very blood of Christ which gave you grace! Do you suppose He LIKES THIS??
Jude 4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness [LICENSE to SIN], and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
Grace DOESN’T give you an excuse to sin. Ever. If you know about a sin, it is already NOT COVERED BY GRACE. Sinning more – on purpose – doesn’t bring more good things! This LIE that the world believes today wasn’t invented recently – it has been around for at LEAST 2600 years!
Jeremiah 7:8-10 Behold, ye trust in lying words, that cannot profit. Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Baal, and walk after other gods whom ye know not; And come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, We are delivered to do all these abominations?
Ancient Israel believed that they were DELIVERED to do anything they wanted to – They felt that they were “UNDER GRACE”, so to speak! Paul, himself, condemned people who used his words to justify breaking the law! If he could have only seen what today’s churches do with his books!
Romans 3:8 And not rather, (as we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say,)Let us do evil, that good may come? whose damnation is just.
Romans 6:14-18 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed FROM THE HEART that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.
If you yield, and ALLOW yourself to willingly SIN, you are the SERVANT of sin! And as a willing servant of sin, you are not under grace but under law – and condemnation! If you do not KNOW your sins, then they are covered under grace. Does this mean that you should stick your head in the sand, like the noble ostrich, and avoid learning where you might sin? ABSOLUTELY NOT! You must HUNGER and THIRST after righteousness (Matthew 5:6) to have your sins covered!!
These few scriptures in Romans have been abused by most of the world to do away with the law – but here you have the SIMPLE TRUTH!
2 Peter 3:16 As also in all his [Paul’s] epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.
If you DON’T CARE, or WORSE – if you strive NOT TO DISCOVER your sins, so that they will be covered by grace, as practically EVERYONE I KNOW TODAY DOES – God will simply work with someone else. If you don’t love the truth, and HONESTLY seek your sin – then you insult Christ and the grace He has given you! (Hebrews 10:29)
Galatians 6:7-8 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
It is the purpose of the ministry of God to REMOVE YOUR GRACE!
I imagine that’s a shocking concept. But it’s true! Grace covers sins of ignorance, as I’ve established. Therefore, if you REMOVE THE IGNORANCE for a sin, you REMOVE THE GRACE FOR THAT SIN!
Let us say grace is covering a sin of ignorance for you – working on the sabbath for instance. Grace PAYS FOR THAT, because YOU ARE IGNORANT!
When I tell you that is sin, then that sin is no longer a sin of ignorance, therefore, no longer covered by GRACE! I REMOVED your grace FOR THAT SIN WHEN I REMOVED YOUR IGNORANCE
I didn’t remove your grace for lying, stealing, or killing… I removed your grace for THAT SIN by teaching you it was wrong! (Romans 7:9-13)
Of course, if you are obedient, and repent and start keeping that new commandment you just received, then you will GROW in faith, and God will give you more grace to cover other sins of ignorance – but THAT SIN, since it is no longer one of ignorance, CAN NEVER BE UNDER GRACE AGAIN!
And this is the job of anyone who would teach others the truth of God! It is your job to discover their iniquity (Lamentations 2:14), show them their mistake, and remove their grace for that sin! This is what the great men of faith did, and this is what YOU should do!
Hebrews 11:7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.
Noah condemned the world! If it hadn’t been for Noah preaching for 120 years, THEY WOULDN’T HAVE HAD SIN, BECAUSE THEY WOULD HAVE BEEN IN IGNORANCE! And where there is ignorance of the law, THERE IS NO SIN!
But when Noah came along, and began preaching righteousness and building the ark, he CONDEMNED the world by removing their GRACE! Because “to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” (James 4:17)
And since Noah explained the GOOD to them, and they rejected it, it was sin to them! Their sin was imputed to them AND THEY PAID FOR IT BY DYING BY THE BILLIONS! There could easily have been over 2 BILLION people on the earth before the flood. EIGHT PEOPLE lived. EIGHT PEOPLE received grace, and the rest came before the judgment seat of God.
As we all know, in the beginning of most New Testament books, there is a salutation that says something to the effect of “Grace, mercy, and peace be unto you”. So by that it would seem that Paul wanted to GIVE grace, and only mean, evil people like me and Noah wanted to take it away.
Paul asked for grace for people – in other words, He asked that God would be willing to overlook their sins of ignorance – but he was talking to people that he honestly felt it would help. Would he have said “Grace be unto you”, had he walked into Sodom? Did he say “Grace be unto you”, before he cursed Elymas the sorcerer with blindness (Acts 13:10-11)?
Asking for grace for people is something that is very useful and should be done – when it’s needed.
I knew a man once who had a lot of understanding, both in general and on the subject of health. He was able to give a rousing sermon on eating healthy, and said things like “How can you expect God to heal you when you are not eating as you should??”.
However, this same man would go out later that evening and have a big bowl of white pasta. Now this, of course, is hypocrisy. However, the fascinating part is I don’t think he could see it. My father and I believed that he was largely in ignorance of this blatant duplicity.
Then one night we had a call that he was deathly ill. We could not in good conscience ask God to heal him, because he was in blatant rebellion to the laws of health, and had no intention of changing. We had discussed this with him many times. But because of his understanding, we felt that if he had more time – another few months or a year – that he might be able to understand and change.
So we asked for Grace for him. Not healing – but time to understand and repent. Time to make his decisions as to whom he would serve. Soon, he was better than he had been in months. He had the time to make those decisions. Unfortunately, he made poor ones. He never changed his eating habits, and he died six months later.
We had asked for grace for him, and God gave him grace. He temporarily overlooked his sins to give him time to repent. But at the same time, by telling him the truth, we REMOVED grace from him!
Those things about which we told him were NOT sins of ignorance any longer, and could NOT be covered by grace anymore! “For I was alive without the commandment once, but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died” (Romans 7:9) In other words “I was alive through GRACE because of IGNORANCE, but when the commandment came it TOOK MY GRACE! AND I DIED!”
All of the NT salutations asking for grace did what we did for this man! But in the same book Paul, by telling them their sins as in Acts 17:30 TOOK AWAY their grace by bringing them the commandment! (Romans 7:9 again)
Christ: The Ultimate GraceBuster
There was a time, when the sins of the Pharisees was not imputed to them! They were under grace, just like the rest of the world! But then one day, CHRIST told them the truth!
John 15:22 If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin.
When they were ignorant, they had a “cloke” for their sin… their sins were not being imputed because there was no law… they had GRACE! Grace WAS THAT “CLOKE”!!
But then CHRIST came, and told them the TRUTH, and THEN they had no cloke for their sin! Their grace for THE SINS HE TOLD THEM ABOUT WAS GONE! They could no longer be sins of ignorance, and therefore could no longer be covered by grace!
John 9:41 Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.
If they’d been blind, they wouldn’t have had sin! But because Christ came and showed them power, and taught them with wisdom greater than that of Solomon, they had sin, and their grace was GONE!
John 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
Until man has been forced to make an informed choice between good and evil, he doesn’t receive judgment for his sin. Whether he is in the world, or the church. Once he understands, and to the extent that he understands, his grace is removed and his judgment is more severe.
The REASON For Grace
Grace merely means that God HASN’T YET brought your case to trial! It means He is just ignoring your sins – and there is a reason for this! He NEEDS grace so that YOU can learn what SIN is!
Romans 7:9 For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.
WITHOUT the law – before he KNEW what he was doing wrong – he was alive, through GRACE! But after the commandment came, he had no more grace! At that point, he had to make a decision; so he repented, and symbolically died for his sin (Romans 6:2-11)!
Romans 7:10 And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death.
The commandment was meant to produce good things. But Paul – and you – have to die, in order for it to do this
Romans 7:11 For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me.
The commandment revived the sin, took away the grace, and then Paul had to die…
Romans 7:12-13 Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.
This is the pivotal scripture that explains the PURPOSE of GRACE! God gives grace so that SIN will be known for the evil it is! So that you will UNDERSTAND WHY you shouldn’t sin – the misery it brings! This commandment, that is HOLY, and GOOD, had to first cause pain and death in you, so that SIN would be SEEN, and UNDERSTOOD, for what it is.. and more important still, so that you would HATE IT, and AVOID IT, AT ALL COSTS, THROUGHOUT ALL ETERNITY!!