God’s Grace – The Balance – Ray E Horton
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not of yourselves. It is the gift of God, not of works, so that no one should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, so that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:8-10).
There is such a delicate balance to the truth of God’s grace. I am constantly trying to counter counterfeit grace, while seeking to discourage over-reaction that challenges the Good News, the true and wonderful grace of God in Jesus Christ.
A friend unfortunately saw his pastor change to the wrong understanding that “you need not do any works for God. Everything is done. We can just party and rest.”
The counterfeit grace doctrine (as opposed to the real), that “you need not do any works for God. Everything is done. We can just party and rest” is indeed false. Some so-called grace teachers are teaching that, but most are not. However, some do pervert real grace.
Truth is, we do no works for salvation, other than believe (which is really a choice, not a work). Jesus accomplished our salvation on the cross and we receive it by faith.
But then, they miss that there are definite works that follow. We are to align ourselves with God’s purposes, and His primary purpose is that we bring in the harvest of lost souls. That is a key work for us and we do it led and empowered by the Spirit.
Ephesians 2:10 reads “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, so that we should walk in them.” The works that we do are not to gain or maintain our salvation but are a response to His love and grace. I like the saying:
Works are not the root of our salvation; they are the fruit
The works that we do are not to gain or maintain our salvation but are a response to His love and grace
The idea that “everything is done” is false. Everything for our salvation is done, accomplished on the cross, but then, once saved, what about the greater works that Jesus said that we would do?
Yes, we rest in Him from doing our own thing. But then, we are not passive, we go about doing His thing, in the power of the Holy Spirit. Many people get burnt out doing it their way for God, and that is what we are to rest of. But we actively seek Him and do what He shows us to do. Where He calls, He equips, and there is never any burnout in that. It is a rest.
Many religious Christians are discovering God’s wonderful grace for the first time. And what a relief the Good News of His grace really is. No more trying desperately to please a seemingly demanding God. He is already pleased that we put our trust in Him.
And, as Peter tells us in his 2nd letter: “His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who has called us by His own glory and excellence” (2 Peter 1:3). So, we are divinely equipped to serve Him and His Kingdom.
But people in their enthusiasm for newly discovered truth often go beyond that truth and get into the opposite ditch. They were in legalism, but can end up in license, even Universalism.
We who have Holy Spirit revelation of the truth of God’s Word need to help them back out of the ditches, by prayer and encouragement in the truth, to the straight and narrow path of Biblical grace.