There is a new gospel that’s being pushed in America today. Have you heard of it? It’s called GRACE. It’s not the grace that the Bible speaks of. Grace has been described as:
That is the grace that cost Jesus Christ His life on a rugged Roman cross. It’s the grace that comes by way of the mercy of God on sinful man. It’s the grace that allows a believer and follower of Christ to live the Christian life. It’s living in the flow of God’s love. Think of God’s grace as a sphere in which you live. So let’s think of a water fountain. If you are going to need water often, then you will want to stay nearby the water fountain.
For our analogy, Jesus is the water fountain (the living water) and I want to say near Him. I want to stay in the sphere of His love.
If I walk away from the water fountain and run 5 miles away, it doesn’t mean that I can’t get back to the water fountain, it just means that I’m not going to have an easy time doing so. You and I can choose to live near the source of the water or live great distance away. Our choice.
There’s a new grace being espoused today. It’s spelled this way:
This grace says you can live any way you like because you say, “I’m under the blood of Christ and I’m free to be me.” This grace knows nothing of obedience. This new grace only knows of “me.” It’s what floats my boat and plows my garden. It’s what makes me happy. It doesn’t matter if I offend my neighbor. It doesn’t matter if I cuss, dress immodestly, lie, steal or cheat. Hey…I’m covered under God’s grace. Going right ahead comprising everything. No big deal.
Dear reader, that’s not the FULL gospel. Let me show you a picture of the Gospel. It’s a wonderful drawing I’ve come up with as an example.
In order for that plane to fly, it’s got to have both wings. It will crash and burn without both wings. We need God’s merciful and rich grace to come to Christ. We can’t earn our way to God by our works. Our works are as filthy rags. But, our works (obedience to God’s commands) SHOWS that we have truly received God’s grace and are walking near the water fountain. We are continuing to drink from the fountain, being filled with the Spirit, growing in faith and in trust and in obedience. We are being sanctified. We are being made holy. We are excelling more and more in righteousness. We hunger and thirst for Christ and when we hunger and thirst for Christ, we will walk the way He walked…in righteousness. Both wings working together: Grace and Obedience. That’s what makes the Gospel plane fly!
Problem is…most of the planes flying today are showing nothing BUT the “GRACE wing.” They say, “Don’t judge me! Don’t tell me I’m living in sin because I’m covered by God’s grace.”
I talked to a fellow pastor earlier this week. He said he was raked over the coals by a lady who complained about his message from the prior Sunday. In the message the pastor said that he felt it was immodest for Christian women to wear string bikini’s. The lady caught him after the service and “let him have it!” She said, “I’m under the blood of Christ. His mercy and grace covers me and I don’t need you looking down your righteous nose at me. I can wear anything I want to wear!!” And she stormed off.
All I could say to my fellow brother was, “Wow!”
You know what…these folks (like that lady) NEVER mention obedience. EVER! They simply want you and I to compromise the Word of God and justify their lifestyles. But, all they are doing is simply trying to rationalize their lifestyle and they really have little if any desire to walk in obedience. In other words, they are fine living 5 miles from the water fountain. But, one day…when their lives begin to crumble, (because we reap what we sow), they will have to make that long journey back to the fountain.
Now is this analogy perfect? Nope! In fact, that walk back to the fountain can be made in a split-second. But, the hard part is sacrificing their own will to the point they are willing to surrender and die to themselves. That’s HARD!!!
Do you know what I’m giving you? The FULL (whole) COUNSEL of the Gospel… I’m a teacher. A good teacher doesn’t JUST teach. NO! They also correct. What teacher, worth their salt, is NOT going to teach AND correct. Yet, there are many, many people who just want to be “taught,” and NEVER corrected!
How would you like a doctor who only gives you a diagnosis but never gives you the medicine to help you. What if a dermatologist told you that you had skin cancer on your face, but then said, “Okay…have a nice day.” You see that’s like “teaching” and not “correcting.” It’s my job as a shepherd to “teach” and “correct.”
I paid a lady to teach and train (which includes correcting) my children how to play various instruments.
The Apostle Paul had something to say about this. You see I want to be like Paul. I want to be innocent of your blood. I want to teach the truth.
26 Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all, 27 for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God.
You see, I’m a shepherd. It’s my job to teach, lead and equip my flock. Paul continued…
28 Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood. 29 I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come among you, not sparing the flock.
Let me give you an example of what I’m saying. I was in Washington, D.C. for a conference a few weeks ago and there was a young lady who gave testimony of being in a church in the D.C. area who’s pastor said this:
“Church, everyone raise your hand to point to heaven and say: ‘God you owe we another year of blessings!’”
This pastor was teaching a “Prosperity Gospel.” He was actually teaching blasphemy in my estimation. Folks, welcome to the “New Grace.” God owes it to you to bless you. I guess He’s just a puppet on our strings. He is a cosmic vending machine…dolling out blessings at OUR COMMAND! Yikes!
I want us to understand that Jesus is full of grace AND truth. Yes, when the issues are blurry, (like mowing your yard on Sunday), we can afford to err on the side of grace. But, when the issues are clear — two people living together in sexual sin, homosexuality, lying, stealing — then we cannot afford to sacrifice truth for grace.
Are you sacrificing truth because you are afraid of being seen as “hard-line” or “uncompromising?” Can I ask you a question? How much of the cancer do you want the dermatologist to cut off of your face? It might hurt! He might have to go deep! But, you and I need the truth don’t we?
How about some “new” grace. Just put a Band-Aid on it and call it a day. We don’t want to offend. We don’t want to “hurt” you. Just do the best you can. No worries. Live it up!
Yeah right… You’ll be dead in a matter of months…perhaps weeks. So much for:
We’ve got to be loving, kind and respectful with people. We’ve got to give a reason for our hope with gentleness and respect, but we’ve GOT TO GIVE A REASON FOR OUR HOPE. We’ve got to stand for truth.
Let’s fly the plane straight and true. Both wings need to be employed… Grace and Truth. Let’s stay near the fountain…
Doing so means we’ll stay in the flow of Christ’s love. We’ll operate in the sphere of His Spirit. We’ll live in Biblical grace out of gratitude for a Savior who saved our soul from Hell. Not a Savior who is a puppet on our string.