The Shocking Truth about Grace
How to End the Cheap Grace Argument Once For All!
I recently listened in on a conversation where the message of grace was attacked. It was called cheap and accused of ruining the [American] church by devaluing obedience to the commandments—What? Somehow in this mindset, the message of grace gives a license to sin rather than bringing believers into a full revelation of the finished work of the cross.
Here’s the shocking truth about grace—It Is NOT Cheap!
How can believers ever call the grace of God cheap! In this conversation more weight was given to recognizing the condition of being a sinner and obedience to the Commandments than was given to Jesus for solving the problem. To me, this logic is cheap grace! The argument was that Paul called himself the chief of sinners so we too must recognize it and wear it as a badge (1 Tim. 1:15). Brothers and sisters this should not be!
Paul himself said about the reconciliation work of Christ, “All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, NOT COUNTINGmen’s sins against them. And he has committed to usTHE MESSAGE OF RECONCILIATION” (2 Cor. 5:18-19 emphasis added).
Reconciliation is an accounting term; if we are reconciled to God than there is NO DEBT left unpaid. If the condition before Christ was debt because of sin then that is untrue now that we ARE reconciled. An exchange has been made, “God made him WHO HAD NO SIN to BE SIN FOR US, so that IN HIM we might BECOME THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD” (2 Cor. 5:17 emphasis added).
Here’s the shocking truth about grace—Sin is NOT the badge to wear as believers; it is Christ’s Righteousness!
Here’s the thing, immediately before Paul’s declaration of being the chief of sinners (1 Tim. 1:15), he said it WAS the GRACE of the Lord Jesus that WAS poured out abundantly to change him… the same cheap grace I ask or the gift of God that is able to transform sinners into the very righteousness of God in Christ Jesus! Righteousness is the badge to wear to show what Christ accomplished!
To Paul, this was past tense…
“Even though I WAS ONCE a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I WAS SHOWN mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. The GRACE of our Lord WAS POURED out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus” (1 Tim. 1:13-14; emphasis added).
To Paul, this was the condition UNTIL Christ…
“Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. BUT for that very reason I WAS SHOWN mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus MIGHT DISPLAY his unlimited patience [might one say grace here] as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life” (I Tim. 1:15-16; emphasis and notes added)
Paul knew where he came from and he never forgot it; there is value in recognizing our condition apart from Christ. But thing is, as believers, we are never apart from Christ. We are a redeem people! Why continue to carry around the label of sinner when Christ looks at us as righteous? It is true as believers we still sin, we may even struggle with sin but we are not by nature sinners and have NO obligation to live that way. In Christ we died to sin so we could live for God in righteousness (Rom. 6:1-4; 2 Cor. 5:21; Gal. 2:20; Col. 2:11-12).
In other words, this righteousness does not come from obedience to the Commandments, after all that is the administration of death and meant to condemn (2 Cor 3:7). Rather, it is “Christ in You, the hope of glory” that enables us to live in this way (Col. 1:27). If we are trying to defeat sin by obedience to mere laws then we are defeated already. It is Christ in you, that makes you good and enables you to do good. Why not celebrate this!
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery” (Gal. 5:1). We were enslaved to sin and death; but for it is for freedom sake that Christ set us free! Don’t be yoked under submission to that again!
Here’s the shocking truth about grace—Our True Identity Comes From Christ
Below is what the Bible says about your true identity in Christ; would you rather let sin and shame rob you of seeing yourself as God sees you? Transformation in life comes through knowing and understanding the Word of God (Rom. 12:2). Doesn’t knowing these things enable you to live a different way, by the Spirit of God out of gratitude to Christ?
Rom. 3:24—We are justified (given credit as one who has ALWAYS obeyed & never sinned).
Rom. 5:1-2—We stand justified in place of grace.
Rom. 6:2—We died to sin.
Rom. 6:4—We have a new life in Christ.
Rom. 6:6—We are no longer slaves to sin.
Rom. 7:4—We died to the law so we could belong to another.
Rom. 8:1—No condemnation awaits us as believers.
Rom. 8:2—We are set free from the power of sin.
Rom. 8:31-34—Who can bring a charge against us as believers? (include yourself here).
Rom. 8:35-39—Nothing can separate us from God; including sin.
1 Cor. 1:2—We are sanctified (made holy) in Christ Jesus.
1 Cor. 1:30—We are righteous, holy and redeemed in Christ.
1 Cor. 15:22—We died in Adam because of sin; we are made alive in Christ because of righteousness.
2 Cor. 1:21-22—We have been established, anointed and sealed by God.
2 Cor. 5:17—We are new creations in Christ.
2 Cor.s 5:21—We are made righteous in Christ.
Gal. 3:25—In Christ we are no longer under the supervision of the law.
Gal. 3:26—We are clothed in Christ (and He doesn’t wear sin).
Eph. 1:4—We are holy and blameless.
Eph. 1:5-6—We are adopted as God’s children.
Eph. 1:7—We are redeemed (purchased) and forgiven.
Eph. 2:6—We are raised and seated with Christ.
Eph. 2:10—We are His workmanship.
Eph. 3:12—We can come boldly and confidently into God’s presence.
Eph. 4:24—We are created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
Col. 2:10—We are complete in Christ.
Col. 2:11—We are set free from our sinful nature.
Heb. 4:16—We have confidence to approach the throne of grace.
1 John 2:1—If we do sin, we have an advocate in Jesus.
1 John 2:28—We are to continue in Him so we will be confident and unashamed.
1 John 3:9—No one born of God will continue to (habitually) sin. Because God’s seed lives in us.
Notice most of these are past tense; not something we are waiting for! This is what God says about us and currently views us as. He looks at us in this way, not merely as sinners who have no hope. He is our hope! We need to redefine what we think about ourselves, based on what He thinks of us and the work He’s done in us through the power of the Holy Spirit!
Here’s the shocking truth about grace—There’s a bottom line!
If you’ve followed this blog for a while, you know I do not get fired up much—if at all. However, this idea that we should constantly be sin conscience before God, is destructive and hurts me physically. I dwelled in this place for years. And what happened is I wore myself out trying to be accepted while carrying around a load of guilt and shame. This killed me and I never experienced the abundant life promised by Christ.
It was only when God rewrote this truth of HIS righteousness on my heart that I was able to shed this burden and find peace. Today, understanding who I am IN Him has NOT given me a license to sin rather it has unlocked the power for change in ALL areas of life.
I know I am not alone in this. If you are in a place of sin, then address it. By no means continue to live this way! Come to God, admit it and seek His forgiveness—He will be faithful to you to forgive you. If you are in a place of condemnation, fear, mourning choices in life or working yourself to death to try to please God, then just know He loves you, He accepts you and He died for you. There is nothing you can do that He won’t forgive and eventually redeem. But he doesn’t want you to stay here in this place. He wants you to come to the throne room, crawl up on his lap and be at peace in His presence (Hebrews 4:16).
I pray in this moment that you learn how to be God-conscious rather than sin-conscious...
Let Him do a work on your heart today…
“As God’s fellow workers we urge you NOT to receive God’s grace in vain. For he says, “In the time of my favor I HEARD you and in the day of salvation I HELPED you.” I tell you, NOW is the time of God’s favor, NOW is the day of salvation” (2 Cor. 6:1-2).
For More About Your NEW Identity in Christ
Check out my series on Rigteousness.
Follow Brett Barclay who writes an amazing blog entirely focused on Righteousenss; righteousinchrist.com
Listen to awesome teachers within the body of Christ who have revelation on this topic:
Greg Fritz; Greg Fritz Ministries
Arthur Meintjes, Kingdom Life Ministries
Living Guilt Free
Grace, the Lost Ingredient
Righteousness Which Exceeds the Pharisees
Andrew Wommack; Andrew Wommack Ministries
If you have Spotify; listen to my playlist full of scriptural truths about Christ and what He accomplished.
Juli’s Playlist: Why I’m Thankful for Jesus
May these truths about righteousness bless you—may you see yourself through the eyes of Christ and find rest and peace.