LESSONS LEARNED ALONG THE WAY (2)
I have asked the questions hundreds of times during my teaching and preaching, “where would you be today, but for the grace of God?” Some could have become:
Served time in prison
Have died a premature death
Be totally away from God today
BUT FOR THE GRACE OF GOD
Many times we have deliberately, wilfully, knowingly sinned against the Lord, and he had every right to “kick us out of the Kingdom”, BUT He loves us so much He showers His grace upon us.
I trust I have learnt (or am continually seeking to learn) NOT TO ABUSE THE GRACE OF GOD.
Ever since the first century, in almost every generation there is an ugly heresy called Antinomianism, that is currently rearing its ugly head again, interestingly this time from Asia and not the West. Antinomianism comes from the Greek and simply means lawless. It teaches that Christians are under no obligation to obey Godly laws of ethics and morality, I personally have met people that have come under the spell of this evil teaching.
These are some of the things that these teachers say:
The Holy Spirit doesn’t convict Christians only the unsaved
Once you accept Christ as Saviour you are under God’s grace and free to do whatever you want
It’s alright to be worldly, have extra marital relationships, smoke booze, swear, gamble and enjoy life to the full
You never have to ever ask forgiveness or ever repent of anything ever again. It is true that every sin we have or will ever commit was dealt with on the Cross, but the Bible says to Christians in 1 John 1.9 That if we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. The psalmist reminds us that if we have sin in our hearts God is not listening Ps. 66.18
What must we do ?
Keep short accounts with God and man
Understand Repentance is as much a word to Christians as unbelievers, because of our bias to sin, we must continually have :
A change of mind
A change of attitude
A change of affection
A change of direction
Mother Basilea Schlink a Lutheran nun, speaks of repentance as the joy filled life.
We must recognise and accept the fact that life has both positive and negative seasons
We must learn to burn bridges from the past and build bridges to the future.
We must trust God’s sovereignty that he will work all things for His good, and never let bitterness develop.
When we fail the Lord we must not:
Blame the devil (the devil made me do it)
Or say I have a depraved nature I can’t help it.
Perhaps the greatest truth we must learn is that now we are believers, we have received an awesome inheritance in Christ. Not only were our sins forgiven,
But He has made available to us everything for life and Godliness 2 Peter 1.3
Our old nature has been rendered powerless (Romans 6)
By His grace we can live above sin (not that we cannot SIN BUT NEED NOT SIN.
We must continually recognise that “without Him we can do nothing” but “With Him we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.
Sadly, we do fail the Lord, and there seems such a fine line between sinning and abusing the grace of God. Let us NEVER take for granted the Lord’s grace and forgiveness but see it as the Lord’s empowering for us to live a holy victorious life.
being a Christian is not following a set of rules of thou shalt and thou shalt not. But letting Christ live His life out through us. that we can say with Paul “It is no longer I that lives but Christ living in me.
If we are truly born again there should be an overwhelming desire from within to live in such a way as to please the Lord.
It was His grace that brought us into the Kingdom of God, it is His grace that keeps us and His grace will take us into the eternal Kingdom.
LET US LOVE AND APPRECIATE THE GRACE OF GOD AND NEVER ABUSE IT