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The Daily Word of Righteousness
The Perversion of Grace, #6
But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance. (Acts 26:20)
Indeed, God does forgive the repentant heart. But God does not say, "I love you anyway even though you will not serve me."
Rather, God commands, "Go and sin no more."
God is not mocked. He understands well the difference between the truly repentant individual and the person who is presuming on God's compassion so he may continue in his sins and rebellion.
We cannot outwit God by using the Gospel of Christ as a legal technique such that we can preserve our way of life and still receive the inheritance. God captures the crafty in their own craftiness. God deals shrewdly with the crooked (Psalms 18:26).
If we think carefully concerning what is being conveyed today, the grace of God in Christ is seen to be an admission of defeat on God's part. Man, being hopelessly sinful and rebellious, will not serve God. God, therefore, has created a device known as "grace" whereby man can walk in unrighteousness, moral filth, and disobedience to God and still have fellowship with God through Christ.
How many ministers of the Gospel are living in sin today because of this concept of grace? They are trusting (and teaching) that God waives His standard and brings people into fellowship with Himself while they continue in their sins and rebellion against God.
"No one is perfect" they cry and proceed to practice sin and foolishness.
The logical conclusion of the present concept is that Paradise and the new Jerusalem are filled with sinful, self-centered, rebellious individuals who are "saved by grace" (meaning God does not see what they are or what they do because they are "covered" by the righteousness of Jesus). What the inhabitants are in nature and behavior has not been changed. Rather, they have been brought into a better environment (in Heaven) and partake of the righteousness of Christ by identification, not by transformed behavior.
Believers in Christ who do not, through His grace, overcome the world, their lusts, and their self-seeking, are still sinful, disobedient personalities after they die; unless being shed of our body of itself results in a change in our nature. But there is no passage of Scripture that teaches or implies that physical death results in a change in our personality or that the Lord Jesus will change our personality (other than our body) at His appearing.
Physical death is an enemy, according to the Scripture (I Corinthians 15:26), not the means of our transformation into the image of God. Also, we must consider the fact that Satan and other bodiless creatures rebelled against God while in the realm of spirits. If being in the spirit realm causes us to serve God, how, then, was it possible for the angels to transgress?
What passage of Scripture teaches us we become righteous, holy, and obedient to God on the basis of our entrance into the spirit realm, or that the Lord Jesus will transform lukewarm believers into mighty kings at His appearing? Is it not true rather that what we have become during our life on earth will be revealed at the Lord's coming?
To be continued.