Purpose of Guarding the Treasure

The purpose of this blog is to encourage readers to invest their time into the Word of God and "Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you." Paul wrote these words to Timothy (2 Timothy 1:14) in his presumed last letter before his execution. May we be those who see the word of God as a treasure, guarding it with our lives, investing in it with our hearts and minds, and reaping the fruit of an abundant life while getting to know the God who loves us and created us for His marvelous pleasure and glory.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Cheap Grace?

Is grace cheap?

First, I see grace as cheap to us – in fact it is free so that’s pretty cheap! However, it was not cheap for God though, ultimately costing Him the blood of the Son of God! The greatest sacrifice of all time done in love for the world. As such, we should not take the free grace of God lightly.

Hebrews 10:26-31 (written to Hebrew believers) warns of this,
“For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain terrifying expectation of judgment, and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries. Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay." And again, "The Lord will judge His people." It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God
.” There was not a sacrifice for willful sins under the law, but rather an expectation of judgment. That’s what made David’s sin with Bathsheba so bad – it could not even be covered by a sacrifice because it was premeditated! Was David afraid of losing his salvation or having never been saved in the first place? Of course not. Now the church is under grace, a far superior system. Do we think we can escape the judgment of God under grace for a willful sin? Of course not. We are at His mercy and should expect judgment. While we are forgiven, we must still face the consequences of our sin. The author of Hebrews is not talking about hell here but rather judgment due to God’s people for their open rebellion (“The Lord will judge His people.”) (v30)

Let me also say that my position on free grace does not promote license. After five chapters of Romans with the conclusion that justification is by faith and not by works, the next logical question is this in Romans 6:1-2,
“What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?” Paul knew that since justification was by faith and not works, they next logical question would be, “Does it matter how we live then?” While lifestyle has no bearing on justification as justification is a gift, God sent Jesus to redeem us from sin! Why would we continue to live in sin when that is the very thing that God sent Jesus to eradicate? Justification is salvation from the penalty of sin. Sanctification is salvation from the power of sin. Glorification is salvation from the presence of sin. Paul clearly leaves no room for license after justification using here the strongest Greek idiom to indicate repudiation and outraged indignation (“May it never be!”). Thus, while a believer could take the gift of eternal life (the non-fire assurance) and continue to live in the flesh (or else why would Paul even raise the question in the first place), he will most certainly be living contrary to his new birth nature, be in rebellion against God’s will, face the discipline God, continue to suffer the consequences of sin and living in the flesh, and ultimately reap what he has sown at the judgment seat of Christ. He will get to heaven as we all do, by the grace of God through faith in Jesus, but will be ashamed before His Savior for a live wasted.

1 Corinthians 3:10-15 lays out the framework,
“According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building upon it. But let each man be careful how he builds upon it. For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man builds upon the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man's work will become evident; for the day will show it, because it is to be revealed with fire; and the fire itself will test the quality of each man's work. If any man's work which he has built upon it remains, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work is burned up, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet so as through fire.” Some believers will have the foundation of Christ, but will build a whole house comprised mostly of wood, hay and straw (i.e. the deeds of the flesh). Notice that our deeds are tested by fire and the deeds of the flesh will be consumed while the deeds of the Spirit will be refined and remain as a reward, but ultimately the man “shall be saved, yet so as through fire.

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