Did you know that most churches in America actually discourage embracing the grace of God?
Most of them would absolutely deny this, stating that we are saved “by grace” alone. And that is true. But, that is also where most churches stop in teaching the incredible, immeasurable grace of God. And they go out of their way to temper what grace really means. I want to discuss here the most common ways that grace is emasculated.
As I mentioned, churches focus on the salvation aspect of grace. “Being saved” is an act of God toward us through Jesus on the cross, forgiving our sins. Grace has given us a clean slate. But there is a problem with that idea. Yes, we have a clean slate, but then we are expected to keep it that way. Keep away from sin, and ask for forgiveness when we do sin. But the cross means more than past sins forgiven. It means that, through Jesus, ALL OUR SIN has already been forgiven. In fact, when we ask God to forgive us we are asking for something that has already been done. As believers, we do not have to ask God to forgive us. Rather, we go to the Father and tell Him that we are sorry for sinning, and thank Him that we are already forgiven. To seek forgiveness means grace, at the cross, was limited.
Secondly, it is important to obey, for if we don’t we will not experience the fellowship and blessing of God. I was taught early in my Christian walk that if we sin, our fellowship/communication with God is cut off and He will not hear, nor answer our prayers, until we ask for forgiveness. If that is true then we are responsible to maintain our connection with God. But since God dealt with our sin, we are always in relationship, always in touch. always blessed by God. His grace does that.
Lastly, it is expected, that all believers will at some point come to embrace the same traditions, unwritten rules, regulations and beliefs of what it means to be a true mature Christian. To deviate means that one is either a “backslider”, carnal, or not a “real Christian”. So Christianity becomes about conforming and uniformity rather than about the grace of God transforming us into who He designed each of us to be. Grace allows of diversity of thought and opinion on most things. It encourages freedom in the body of Christ to explore and become the unique creation God made each of us to be.