Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Erroneous Teaching Disguised As Grace

A strange teaching has crept into the Church, teaching that you are totally depraved, so much so that even after you have been Born Again, you are totally helpless in obeying God.

This erroneous teaching is disguised as 'Grace' because it departs from the 'Grace' taught in the Bible. It actually nullifies the true Grace of God by stating that you have to perpetually look back at Calvary Cross for your justification. The popular understanding is that since Jesus died for all your sins (past, present and future), you therefore have no need to confess or repent of any sins any more.

Some, who receive such teaching, are glad that they do not need to be accountable for any of their present or future sins and live with gratitude. They still make mistakes and so on, but generally they live a holy life. Chances are these people have been living under such heavy doses of guilt teachings meted out to them in their former churches. Therefore, this type of 'Grace' message is a welcome relief. One lady told me that for the first time, she has been truly liberated.

Others, on the other hand, take the liberty in this doctrine and live carelessly. The logic is that "since I am no longer accountable for my present or future sins, then I can live however I like, as long as I 'believe' that Christ is doing the obeying for me".

The first group lives in gratitude but not a life empowerd by the grace of God. The idea is "I am happy that I need to do nothing to please God because God is never pleased with what I do any way. He is only pleased with the works of Christ. As I am not an ungrateful person and so I live a life of gratitude."

The second group lives in ingratitude, thinking that the grace of God should be large enough to encompass their ingratitude and unfaithfulness. They are considered 'disciples of Christ' because Christ is obeying for them and they never need to obey any more. Any way, even if they were to obey, God will not consider their obedience as anything worthwhile to look at... because it is 'filthy rag'.

This type of belief is called Progressive Justification. It means that you are still depraved and still living under the Law. That is why you need Christ to obey for you all the time. It is not a Grace that sets you free that you can now be able to bear fruits and be responsible for your life living within the powerful Grace of God. It is definitely not the life described by our Lord in John 8:36, "So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed."

The Bible says that you have been justified once and for all. The finished work of Christ at Calvary is effective enough to justify you before God. You do not need to be justified again and again. You are free! He has set you free from the Law. You do not need to go back to the Gospel again and again. The Gospel or Good News is for those who do not know Christ. It is not for you because you have already received the Good News.

The process of sanctification is the result of that one-time justification at Calvary. It is your growing process in the grace of God. You grow daily to become more and more like Christ! This is called 'Discipleship'! It is spiritual growth that relies upon the Holy Spirit. Remember, Jesus gave you the Holy Spirit for a reason. The Holy Spirit is God's grace extended to help you in the process of sanctification. Read Ephesians 4 and it will become clear that after you have been saved, you still need the instruction for Christian living.

God has accepted and saved you as who you were and He is now transforming you to become like His Son, Jesus Christ. Daily, the Word of God and the Holy Spirit, help you to grow stronger in faith, holiness and Christian character.

And finally, take heed to the instruction given by the Apostle Peter:
Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.
2 Peter 3:17 -18

Article by Albert Kang

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