By Silvanus, a faithful brother as I regard him, I have written briefly to you, exhorting and declaring that this is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it. (1 Pet 5:12)
Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ (Jude 3-4).
Mankind perverts many aspects of God’s good creation, but what could be more serious in its consequences than perverting God’s grace? What might such perversions of grace sound like today?
- “The grace of God is irresistible.”
- “I’m not good enough for God’s grace.”
- “I’m good enough without grace.”
- “All I need to do to find grace is believe.”
- “What you’re telling me isn’t as important as how I feel.”
- “Sin isn’t that big of a deal.”
- “Now that I’ve been saved, I’m always saved.”
- “It’s too hard! I can’t do it!”
- “I feel like giving up.”
- “I can enjoy grace and still live as if it’s all about me.”
This sermon—delivered on January 13, 2013—uses the Bible to evaluate each of the above statements.
Grace belongs principally to God. The “true grace” of God and all of its accompanying blessings that enable our redemption and joy have been revealed in his revelation to mankind. Our responsibility is to respond to it, appreciate it, function as channels of it, stand firm in it, and point others to it.