Monday, February 21, 2011

Can one live, too much, under grace?

"But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself." -Hebrews 9:26

I have a good friend who told me that ...he was once told... "you live too much under grace." That's an odd statement. Can you? Is it possible live, too much, under grace? Alternately, our eternity is dependent upon ourselves, and our own "good works" (Rom. 3:23, Rom. 3:10, Eph. 2:8). If God is righteous ...then there is no way we can believe this would suffice. Not to disregard the simplicity of what was likely meant by this statement to my friend doubt, if we choose to live in any manner of direct, and deliberate disobedience to God ....then I'd say that statement would be an "under-statement"! If one is living in deliberate disobedience to the Father ....he / she is not "living under grace", but living under the sovereign righteousness, and pending judgment, of God Himself. Yet, the Lord is "not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance." (2 Peter 3:9)

But can a blood-bought, repentant, believer, actively following Christ, "too much" under grace? I submit that one cannot live ENOUGH "under grace"! It is the law, and God's righteousness, which establishes, and convicts, the sinner of his depraved condition, and it is "grace" which exemplifies God's glory to the sinner. God is glorious, righteous, and He is sovereign. We can demand nothing of Him, and we are entitled nothing by Him. Grace is a provision, based on His nature. He can, and does, demand righteousness, and at the same time, provides grace for you and I to achieve what we could not otherwise.

Hebrews 9 is a beautiful, awe-inspiring picture of God's demand of righteousness, and His provision of gracefulness. The first agreement (the law of the Old Testament) made clear God's demand for righteousness and submission. His new agreement (New Testament), was always intended. God didn't have an "aHA moment", or realize that He had underestimated our ability to sin. He knows our nature, and Jesus' provision was intended from moment one! "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come." (2 Corinthians 5:17)

This is why salvation comes down to a faith and a choice. If we believe, and "if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9) He owes you and I nothing... "but as it is, He has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself."