Be Strong, Be Well — Friday, April 30, 2021
Grace is one of the most misunderstood doctrines of the Christian religious world. We often define grace as “unmerited favor,” but this does not mean grace is unconditional.
Everything God has ever given humanity, except for love, he has commanded something for us to do. But even with the unconditional love God bestows, it does not mean God approves or accepts everyone He loves.
The go-to verse about God’s love is John 3:16. But notice the second half and what is attached to His love. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” God gives His love to everyone through the gift of Jesus Christ on the cross. However, no one benefits from His shed blood without believing and obeying the conditions of salvation.
God’s love for everyone (the good, bad, or the extremely wicked) is well-documented in scripture. His love runs deep because He doesn’t want anyone to perish. So, He waits, hoping all will repent and turn to Him and obey His will (2 Peter 3:9).
Grace demands the same. “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men” (Titus 2:11). Grace provides the steps we must take for salvation. As we continue reading in Titus 2, we can see grace includes specific requirements: departing from ungodliness and worldly lust and then living “soberly, righteously, and godly in the present world” (12).
When the religious world accepts the truth on grace, they will no longer teach a faith-only doctrine, denying the validity of baptism for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38; 22:16; 1 Peter 3:21).
When Christians have a more profound understanding of grace, they will no longer believe there is nothing more for them to do until the Lord returns to take them to heaven. Paul continued in Titus 2:14, “Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” —Chris