Thursday, June 19, 2008

SUFFICIENCY OF GRACE

All manner of error and unbiblical Christianity affirm the necessity of Grace. They simply teach one needs to add to grace something of human effort.

Arminianism (Most of the world's "protestant" Christianity) - "We need God's grace...yes. We simply need to add to it the righteous, spiritual, wise, intelligent, 'free-will' decision to have faith. Our faith is so sublimely virtueous, it out-weighs our sin and sets the scale in our favor. Therefore our reward for our faith is eternal life."

Catholicism - "We need God's grace...yes. We simply need to add to it the sacraments of baptism and mass, confession, a little purging of our sins after death, and our 'free-will' decision to believe."

Mormonism - "We need God's grace...yes. We simply need to add to it a little works and our 'free-will' decision to believe.

Jehovah's Witness - We need God's grace yes. We simply need to add to it a little works and our 'free-will decision to believe.

Ect. Ect. Ect.

Biblical Christianity/Doctrines of Grace - Not by grace you are saved and faith, but "by grace you are saved, through faith.." Grace is Sufficient.

1 comment:

Alan Richardson said...

Even for those standing firmly in the doctrines of grace it can be a challenge to walk it out that way. Too often I look at my own efforts and feel either more or less righteous depending on their virtue (or lack thereof.) Did I pray? Did I study? Did I attend? Did I resist? Did I succomb? Did I bear witness?

The "sovereignty" view is terrifyingly uncompromising in this manner; there is simply no room for this sort of thinking. God did it all. End of story. He now expects and enables me to grow into His likeness, but my successes and struggles in this process don't merit me His favor.

On the flip side, the way I walk can please Him. A God who lacks nothing, who is perfect in everything, becomes more joyful when I demonstrate love through obedience and devotion. He has already and permanently set His love upon me, yet I can both please and grieve Him with my conduct.

This is acceptable, but my mind plays tricks with it. The moment I move from joy or grief over my actions to feeling that I have earned or lost His love, I have erred, have underestimated - even misunderstood - His love.

I am righteous only because He makes me so. I am loved only because He chose to love me. I must walk before Him in purity - set apart from sin - but His love for me never wavers, even when I know I have grieved Him. Rather than devalue God's love or lower His standard of holiness, however, this awareness "drives me to his breast." I battle the flesh with renewed vigor, His love rather than legalism, perfectionism, guilt, or merit igniting the fighting spirit within.