Wednesday, October 26, 2016

God's grace is not flippant!

A grateful thank you to Ralph M. Peterson at Hymns that Preach for this excellent post:


"Last week I was irritated by a post, on a Christian internet site, from a guy who was arrogant and boastful in his sin.  I don’t have time to read it all but here are a few brief excerpts:

“I am a very unconventional, yet very classical and traditional, Christian. What I don't understand is how the Church can be so legalistic.  …The gospel is free grace, extended to sinners.  (Our) righteousness comes from Jesus… with (His) invitation to ‘Come as you are!’

“I do not live by a strict set of rules…and you may find me cussing, smoking cigarettes, and laughing at cruel (or dirty) jokes.  I live with my pregnant girlfriend, unmarried, and I stumble in how I walk with the Lord.  I also live by faith in Jesus Christ and trust that His promises will be fulfilled in my life.

“The Father loves us unconditionally; because Christ fulfilled all the requirements to be satisfied on my behalf.  His free grace covers and cleanses me from all unrighteousness.”

That young man is confused as to the nature of the gospel.  He holds to a common and dangerous heresy called Free Grace.  He claims to have received the free, gift of God’s grace, yet he shows no remorse for his sin, nor a need to repent.  He acts like, just because he once “accepted Jesus,” God is okay with it. 

Well, guess what?   God is NOT okay with it.  In his letter to the Romans, Paul asked a rhetorical question, “Should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his WONDERFUL GRACE?  

And then he answers with the obvious- OF COURSE NOT!  Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it?”

And later he leaves them with a command, “Do NOT let sin control the way you live; do NOT give in to sinful desires.”    (Rom. 6:1,2,12)

It is true that God’s grace is freely bestowed on all those He saves but grace isn’t something trivial.  In fact, in most of our hymns about God’s grace, it is almost always described with superlative adjectives like Amazing, Marvelous, Infinite, Matchless, Magnificent, and Wonderful.  That kind of grace is not cheap; it comes at a great cost.  If we’ve never been grieved or tormented by the magnitude and consequences of our sin against God, then we can’t understand just how great His grace really is.

The Song, WONDERFUL GRACE OF JESUS, might seem like a fun, frolicking little praise song but the author, Haldor Lillenas, captured the awesome greatness of God’s grace with phrases like "broader than the scope of my transgressions,” and "greater far than all my sin and shame."

That’s the kind of Grace we need; not just some flippant sort of favor from a warm and fluffy god who, with a wink and a nod, accepts us the way we are.  God’s grace is effective; when He saves us, He begins to clean us up.

*That kind of grace is inexhaustible; it reaches to “all the lost.”  And it’s “all-sufficient;” it’s enough for all our needs.  

*It is even sufficient for “the most defiled,” and, in the words of the songwriter, it is sufficient for even me, and believe me, I am especially thankful for that because my sin was so great that the Son of God suffered and died on the cross so that I could be pardoned.   

*He took the burden and the penalty of my sin on Himself and He covered me in His righteousness.  That is the WONDERFUL GRACE OF JESUS.
Praise the LORD!

His grace is matchless!


It is deeper!


All sufficient!


Broader than any sin!

Greater than any shame!

Let us magnify the precious name of Jesus!



Anonymous said...

Wow, that's bad! Talk about being flippant about sin... that's NOT an indication of true saving faith.


The Piper's Wife said...

Yes, this is sad. So many people are seemingly like this person Mr. Peterson is speaking about.

This gives us new impetus to speak God's truth to others when we are sharing the gospel. No more, "ask Jesus into your heart." business.

We are to believe in Jesus as our Savior, that He died for our sins, and was raised, conquering death. We come to Him repentant and willing to live our lives for Him---which means to continue to choose to overcome our sins in His strength. (vs "Easy Believism" which is saying a prayer and poof! saved, instead of repenting of your sins.)

John 1:12
"To all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God."

Anonymous said...


Well, well said! Exactly. The "pray a prayer and poof, saved" is one of the most dangerous falsehoods that's been foisted on the church in a long time. (Just saw that occur Sunday at a church we visited, unfortunately...)

Our job, like you said, is to speak the gospel truth in love. The HOLY SPIRIT has to convict the soul unto conversion. So this does not degenerate into a soteriological battle, I think we all can agree on this: the change that God brings when a soul is saved is a visible, testable change. We can know them by their fruit. The Holy Spirit indwells the truly repentant, and He is not "awol". He is God Himself, so He is very real, very present, and very active in transforming the soul to the likeness of Christ.