The Daily Word of Righteousness

The Perversion of Grace

Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all, (Romans 4:16)

The current fundamental misunderstanding of the Kingdom of God, the poison that weakens the will of the Christian to resist sin, to overcome the devil, and that has led to so many other destructive teachings and practices, is the perversion of the Apostle Paul's doctrine of grace.

The Divine grace in Christ has been grievously distorted and misapplied among us Gentiles. We do not understand that Paul was contrasting the works of the statutes and ordinances of Moses, such as circumcision, with the grace of God in Christ. Instead we are assuming Paul was contrasting godly behavior with the grace of God in Christ.

The Apostle Paul, who often was contradicted by Jewish teachers who could not grasp the fact that God was doing something new among men, especially among the Gentiles, taught us concerning "grace."

The other writers of the New Testament emphasized godly behavior rather than imputed (ascribed) righteousness. But to the Jew of Tarsus was given by the Spirit of God the understanding of the Divine grace that has been brought to the elect through Christ. The doctrine of salvation by grace through faith is emphasized in the Book of Romans, Chapters Three through Five.

It is difficult for a Gentile believer to appreciate how radical a change is experienced when a devout Jew passes from trust in the works of the covenant given through Moses to faith in the finished work of Jesus.

Grace and truth have come to God's elect through Jesus Christ; not just truth, but grace and truth (John 1:17).

Notice, in the following verses, that Paul was not comparing Divine grace with godly behavior but Divine grace with the works of the Law of Moses.

Behold, thou art called a Jew, and restest in the law, and makest thy boast of God, (Romans 2:17)

Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonourest thou God? (Romans 2:23)

Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; (Romans 3:20,21)

Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. (Romans 3:28)

Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law. (Romans 3:31)

What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? (Romans 4:1)

For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. (Romans 4:13)

For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. (Romans 5:13)

Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: (Romans 5:20)

Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? (Romans 7:1)

Paul was referring to the Law of Moses, not to godly behavior, when speaking of the superiority of grace.

To be continued.