For people have different interpretations of what GRACE should be for. What exactly is its role? Is it foregone assurance of God's acceptance of us even when we carry on with our sinful ways, or it is a tool we can use to overcome our weak points?
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Much is said about grace, but what is it in the very first place? We ought to define it before we move any further. Grace is divine assistance that is extended to anybody and everybody. It is not based on any merit other than the submission of anybody and everybody to God through His son Jesus Christ purposely for sanctification, regeneration and strength to overcome whatever human weaknesses may be. It is the Spirit of God operating in humans so as to add on their strength in a supernatural way so that they are able to live their lives to the glory of God. Just like Righteousness, Grace is exclusively of God. Nobody else apart from God, in either spirit or flesh can afford what it takes to possess it. For it is priceless to be gracious. Grace is God's way and God Himself. Now, the question is: what role is it supposed to play? I think part of the question has been answered in the definition. Grace plays a role to help us overcome our weaknesses which would have otherwise made it quite hard for many of us to realize God's purpose in our lives. For example, the Bible says we are saved by grace, meaning it would have been impossible to realize salvation had it not been for the grace of God through His Son Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9). Two differing views of grace: 1) Foregone purification and justification by God. 2) A tool to overcome sinful nature. Foregone purification and justification by God. This is an emerging and fast growing doctrine. The advocates of this doctrine believe that all that is needed of someone is to accept Jesus Christ and all is done. It is said that since we are saved by His grace, equally so, it is not of us to sustain it. That Jesus has already paid the penalty and it is no longer counted on us for a sin. On this account therefore, it is said that: it doesn't matter how one lives their lives, for if you confess Jesus, you are already predestined for justification by God. However, much as there is truth in this belief, it is not entirely true that once you have accepted Jesus, it doesn't matter how you conduct yourself. For there must be evidence of transformation. Does God justify anybody on the basis of simply confessing His name rather than living for and to Him? If so, why would then Jesus say; "Not everybody who says Lord, Lord will enter the Kingdom of heaven."? (Matthew 7:21). Scripture continues to clarify that: the devil admits the Lordship of Jesus Christ, yet that alone will never justify him (James 2:19). To claim therefore to confess Christ should equally be followed with submission to His Lordship with the content in it of a life for Christ. Thus the life touching testimonies of deliverance by the grace that is housed in Christ. Submission to the lordship of Christ means living for and to Him. On that account therefore, grace is foregone purification and justification in as much as it gets us out of sin and live a life evident of the love for God both in talk and action. God loves to separate you from the potentially consequential sin (John 8:34), (Romans 6:23). A tool to overcome sinful nature. This doctrine states that: much as Christ paid the penalty (which is indeed true), there must be some effort to be applied (Matthew 11:30). For Jesus paid the penalty in the true sense that if we confess Christ and thereby submit to His Lordship, we are readily guaranteed forgiveness unlike in many other cases. Have you readily forgiven everybody who has wronged you? Yet God does! No matter (in the carnal sense) what magnitude of the sin it is! Grace increases with our willingness for transformation to live to the will of God. IT IS NEVER A GUARANTEE TO SIN. It is a guarantee to be forgiven. So, we are not to sin willingly so that God's grace will increase (Romans 6:1-3). There should be evidence of an effort with the aid of God's grace to overcome sin (1Corinthians 9:27), (Matt 16:15), (Luke 17:33), (Mark 8:35), (Luke 9:24). God loves the sinner, a repentant one, not the sin.
Grace is unmerited favor. When Jesus died on the cross and rose again He paid for all of our sins. Past present and future. When by faith we recieve His love for us He sends the Holy Spirit to live in us. From then on we have a desire in us to live for Him. For some, it is almost an immediate change, and others it happens over time. It is always His spirit working in us and thru us to conform us to His likeness. For while we were yet sinners, Christ died for the unGodly. Without faith in what Jesus did on the cross it is impossible to please Him. His grace is sufficient for us. We need grace because we still sin after we are saved. Where sin abounded, grace much more abounds. On the one hand we hate sin, but our old nature is still with us. Thank God for Grace. If it was not for Gods grace in sending Jesus to die for us we would have no hope.
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