Grace Is Not Status

Salvation is more than status. Salvation is a relationship with Christ. Still sinning but saved is not the Bible message!. The Jews thought Paul was reasoning:: When we sin, God shows mercy. When God shows mercy He is fulfilling His Covenant with us Therefore, let’s sin so that God can be faithful to His Covenant. They could also have accused Paul of thinking that God’s mercy or His forgiveness is needed because we sin; so, because God loves to show us mercy and be forgiving, we can keep sinning. When we call ourselves sinners only saved by grace, we risk condoning sin when this is exactly what Paul was against. 

It is true that salvation is an all or nothing spiritual state. There is no such thing as partially saved, but how is it possible for us to commit even 1 sin after that? John told us “Those who have been born into God’s family do not make a practice of sinning, because God’s life is in them. So they can’t keep on sinning, because they are children of God.” [1 John 3:9 NLT]. This is why after salvation we need to learn obedience to our Lord. We confess that Jesus is the Lord now of our lives; we must learn to make it consistently so. Like a small child learning to walk, we stumble along, but a child’s fumbling about does not mean they cannot walk or learn to walk!  A Christian’s struggle with temptation does not mean that they are not being conformed to Christ’s image. They are [2 Corinthians 3:18] from “glory to glory” as a process of being sanctified. Explaining away or excusing sinfulness should be unheard of within a believer’s heart.

Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and come short of the glory f God” is sometimes used to unintentionally condone Christians sinning. The words “come short,” it is argued, are in the present time meaning what continues on, but it isn’t sinning that continues; it is a need for a continuing source of God’s grace. Alone we can never please God, nor should we be expected to, since salvation is a relationship with God. A relationship requires God’s involvement. And this is primarily why we maintain that God is a personal God and why we are theists, not deists. God remains involved in our lives!

Paul never spoke of Jesus as our redeemer, but rather, our redemption! [1 Corinthians 1:30]. We are not free to do whatever we will. Our freedom is a freedom to be in relationship with Christ, our continuing redemption. Christ redefines “freedom” in terms of this relationship.

Dr. Lange observed, “The covenant of God is always perfect [for the believer, but—here’s the caveat] according to its [our] stage of development.” A parent’s love for a 2 or 3 year old child anticipates some curiosity and adventure in the child that needs to be watched and channeled, but in the later teen years, more independence is necessary. Lange adds, “If it generally fails to become apparent [if our relationship with God appears impacted in some way by our yielding to temptation], the fault always turns out to be man’s. The covenant of God is surely no contrat socia! [social contract] —no agreement between equal parties. It is the free institution of God’s grace.” But this institution is that of a true covenant, of a personal and ethical mutual relation. All these are fancy words, but put simply: The New Covenant is Christ because it is a relationship with Him, it is practiced and made real to us by following Him.

Predestination [Romans 8:29] is a word often used to suggest that God’s grace can be overpowering, even for someone who appears struggling with sin. Some believers are grateful they do not play a larger role in their christian experience. We did not play any role in our salvation beyond accepting it from God, but after this we are encouraged to “work out” that salvation [Philippians 2:12].

Grace never abandons us and never,, ever will, because God won’t leave us [Hebrews 13:5]. Whether wre we talking about grace when it saves us or a grace that keeps us saved, or a grace that aids us in our Christian walk.  “Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” [Romans 8:27]. 

The well-known term, predestination, means simply, “to decide beforehand” and can be as descriptive of a loving parent as a jailor. As parents, we knew our children had the human potential to walk upright; so, we encouraged them in that direction, often holding their tiny hands with accolades of “good job” as they stumbled and fumbled about [Hosea 11:1].

Grace is Not Irresistible.

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