What Does It Mean To Live Under Grace?

It’s Monday Grace!

Years ago I gave several friends a book that explained the teaching of grace. One man read the book, or at least part of it, and gave it back to me. He said, “This book is dangerous.” I knew he was right.

You see, for those who live under the law, either because they have not come to Jesus or because they have never understood what Jesus died to give them, the idea of grace is dangerous. Never mind that it is taught throughout the Bible, even in the Old Testament. Never mind that it encapsulates the Christian faith in one word. Never mind that it is the foundational will of God for His people. Grace is dangerous to anyone who believes they have to perform well in order to please God and be saved.

If you convince someone that he no longer has to work hard to measure up to certain standards in order to make God love him, he might stop working hard. If you tell her that she no longer has to worry about her salvation, she might stop worrying and relax. People who believe they are under grace simply because they have come to Jesus and He loves them might just stop doing the things that move them closer to what the world and the church expect Christians to do.

For example, someone who believes they are under grace, rather than under law, might not read his Bible through every year, like a good Christian should. She might not tithe, like the church says you should. They might break the rules of good Christian behavior. Who knows, they might even begin to associate with the wrong people. They might think that sinners can be saved without changing their lives first. They might eat and drink with sinners, laugh with common people, and serve those who don’t deserve the kindness of good people.

Who knows what might happen if a person leaves the fear and anxiety of the law behind? Well, Jesus knows! He knows that those who are under grace desire, more than anything else, to follow Him. He knows that they want Him to lead them personally, individually. He knows that He can speak into their hearts and they will listen.

Living under grace means freedom and peace. It means no longer striving to measure up, to perform well enough. It means resting in the love of Jesus.

And resting is something those under the law can never understand. They can never rest. They can never do enough to feel peace and assurance. How much is enough when you have to save yourself or please God on your own? It is never enough, and it never satisfies.

We who are under grace rest in our assurance of salvation not because we are suddenly good enough or have performed enough. We rest because we submit our efforts to Jesus. He is the One who did enough. He is the One who called us because He loved us. He did what was necessary for us to be saved. And He gave it to us as a gift. When we received that gift and understood what it meant, we could relax and enjoy a relationship with Him.

And that relationship is not passive. Following Jesus does not lead us astray. We will live better lives than anyone under the law if we follow Jesus. But following Him does not mean keeping some list of rules or striving for certain standards. It means listening to Him, believing that He is real and active in our lives. It means doing what He leads us to do.

Under grace, we become alive in Jesus. We walk through this world as strangers who no longer have to prove ourselves or convince anyone of anything. We know this world is not our home, and the more this world moves away from Jesus, the more we find our peace and strength in our relationship with Him. We do not have to be afraid.

Those who are believers but continue to strive under the law are not really that different from the people of the world who try to be good enough for Heaven. They share the same frustrations, the same fears, and eventually the same discouragement. How many in the church today have given up on Jesus? They have no freedom or peace, but they no longer try. They live in quiet despair with little hope. If you ask a person of the world if he is going to Heaven, he might say he hopes so or he does not believe in Heaven. If you ask many church goers the same question, you might get the same answers.

But those who are under grace, walking through life in the love and presence of Jesus, we have assurance because we trust in Him, rather than ourselves. We don’t worry about doing enough, and we don’t lose our faith.

All because grace is a real relationship with a real Person who loves us.

3 Comments

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3 responses to “What Does It Mean To Live Under Grace?

  1. Z

    Pastor,
    I agree with you on most of what you said. IF the gift of grace were truly accepted as the finished work of Christ on the cross, then the Holy Spirit now living in those recipients of grace WOULD feel spiritually compelled to live according to what pleases God. We can know what God loves and what He hates because it’s all in His Word.
    But sadly it’s not the case for all who SAY they are “born again under grace”. You must admit there are counterfeits who parade as sheep but are inwardly ravenous wolves doing the work of their father satan. To steal, kill and destroy God’s true children. God’s Word says no liar will enter heaven. Paul said we should NOT mock/manipulate God’s gift of grace by using it as an excuse to freely sin even more without eternal consequences. Yet, that’s too much of what I’ve witnessed all my life.
    I come from a clan of cultish professing Christians (“Repeat after me>Sinner’s Prayer>poof! Now you’re saved and going to heaven and you can keep sinning as always-MORE if you want to!”) who DO sin freely, never repented, never asked Jesus to be Lord over their life and state that “Grace and the Blood of Jesus cover my sinning now” (“Because I said the Sinner’s Prayer!”.) No matter how intentional, arrogantly unrepentant, habitual, worsening over time, damaging to God’s children…their sins are. There’s NO change of their hearts of stone to hearts of flesh. There’s no mind of Christ. There’s no Holy Spirit conviction. God’s Word tells us those kinds of people are reprobates. They acknowledge God with their mouths (“open graves”) yet DENY HIS POWER by their actions (wickedness every day). Many are beyond His reach so His Word tells us to stop praying for such people. They’ve been given over to their chosen depravities. Paul says to EXPOSE AND EXPEL THEM FROM CHRIST’S CHURCH to protect Jesus’ true flock from their evil. And God says they’d be better off if they never knew anything about Him than they are KNOWING HIS POWER TO KILL THE BODY AND SOUL AND SEND THEM TO HELL and they still mock God by sinning without giving Him a thought. We ALL sin-but true Christians feel godly remorse for our sins and we repent as soon as possible and try our best to stop those sins. And we don’t sin intentionally, habitually, to harm God’s true children, to satisfy evil urges without any conscience. We WANT to please God! It’s not a burden or living under the law. God becomes our good and loving Father Who sent His Son to die in our place so we could be in a right relationship with Him and spend eternity with Him. It’s not a “bondage of law”-it’s naturally DESIRING to live for God and not for our fleshly, sinful desires anymore. No one will do it perfectly. But we don’t hide behind a mask of “fake Christianity” to cover up our constant evil and sinning. That is a sham! There IS a difference. And I’ve seen way too many in my life who live this sham. Decades of professing to be “born again” and NEVER an iota of change in thought, word or deed. Still as evil as they ever were. Hearts of stone. But their fellow clan/cult members enable them by teaching them to believe that God covers their wretched intentionally harmful, abusive sins and their fakery. Fools leading fools. There ARE false teachers. They are pointed out all over the Bible. They are warned and warned by God and when they refuse to listen to the Lord they are destroyed. They DO delude their followers into thinking they are saved when they are not. We know this by their FRUITS! Poisonous trees produce poisonous fruits.
    That’s why Jesus said clearly that the road to eternal life is NARROW and FEW find it. But the BROAD road to destruction (hell) has MANY on it. That’s the road of this world. And the majority of those on it think Jesus was wrong! (Unbelievers are on it by choice, not false teachings.) Those on the broad road think wrongly that EVERYONE who claims to be a Christian IS a Christian. That’s simply not true in my experience and not true according to Jesus’ own words. He also said that “Not EVERYONE who calls me, “Lord, Lord” will enter the kingdom of heaven. But only those who do the will of My Father.” I’m sure all those people think they ARE going to enter heaven! Many were told falsely they will. But Jesus said only a FEW of those will actually do so. He cannot lie or be wrong.
    The message of grace is simple. But it has been so perverted by those who want to cover the actual wicked state of their hearts and souls. But NOTHING is hidden from God that won’t be revealed in the end.
    Those preaching “cheap grace” to those with itching ears to hear that message will be accountable for the souls lost because of their false teaching.
    No, we can’t earn grace. But we can falsify it. We can wear a sheep mask our whole lives to cover our wolf fangs and fool people. And live as we please, sinning at will, with no regard for a holy God. That won’t go well in the end and people should be made aware of that in the teachings about grace. So much of the Bible speaks to this issue but many teachers ignore those passages in the NEW Testament, not just the Old. If only people would read the Bible for themselves and know God through His Word. So many need to first “GET WISDOM”. Get discernment so they can know false teachings when they don’t line up with what God’s Word actually says.
    I know there cannot be any such thing as a “Christian Abuser”. I’m not talking about mild mistreatment of people. I’m talking remorseless, habitual, life-altering abuse of innocent people. With severe injuries resulting. And the abusers and their enablers ENJOYED their wickedness. No one can tell me they are “born again” simply because they say so. They are not covered by grace but condemned by their evil actions and their victims will be avenged by their Father God, just as He says.
    The message of grace is simple-except when it is perverted by the wicked.

  2. Batya Ahul

    Thank you for this Pastor Dave😎. I have a friend who is a Jehovahs Witness & she must do works in order to hopefully become one of the 144 thousand. She says she “hopes” she will make it to heaven. I absolutely know I am going to heaven to be with Him for eternity and I cannot wait.
    Thank you to those who have prayed for me recently, I feel much more at peace. Please pray for my family particularly my two boys who have had a tough year (I know we all have). I regularly give thanks and pray for Pastor Dave and this wonderful community 🌈😎🌈

  3. Singing Eagle

    OMG! OMG! Thank you Bro. Dave SOOOOO very much for this extremely heartfelt message of grace! I kinda thought I knew what grace was but you put into such elegant words in a picture of grace with all the full color and reality of the awesomeness of what God did for us through His Son, Jesus. Knowing that we all have “not arrived” in our spiritual growth and walk in Him, I can rest in the knowledge that each and every one of us are going to be a work in progress until we leave this earth. Until then, the joy of knowing that He never ceases to walk this life journey with us regardless of whether we are having a good or bad day (or even a season), makes me see all the more the awesome goodness of HIS gift of mercy and grace is so HIM and powerful!
    Right now at this point in my life, I so needed to hear this. And it gives me the grace to not look at others “lack of progress” but my place is to focus on the joy of resting in God’s grace for me. Then following His will to love Him first, then others as myself doesn’t seem so hard because in my relationship with Him, the effort is on Him living and developing in me everyday to be like Him (… letting His light so shine in and through us, so that when men see the good works we do, they will see God and (we all) give God the glory. Matt. 5:16).
    I’m going to come back to read this often (or even print it out). I was “groomed” on the works mentality for years and this message only helps empower the peace, rest and joy in God’s gift. Thank you again Pr. Dave!!!

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