Does God’s GRACE cover (a) ALL (b) SOME (c) IT DEPENDS ON WHICH ONE (d) NONE, of our sins?
To understand our subject we must keep God’s grace in mind. VITAL PRINCIPLE: “If you push any truth to an extreme, and isolate or emphasize it over other truths, it results in a loss of Biblical balance, and falls under its own weight.” “Once saved always saved” is no more correct (although certainly more attractive) than “once saved never saved or maybe saved”. One often leads to being overly confident and the other leads to no confidence at all.
VITAL QUESTION: “Is there more grace for those coming to Christ than for those who are “in Christ”? God doesn’t save us “by grace through faith” and then give us a Bible with the words, “GOOD LUCK- YOU’RE ON YOUR OWN” inscribed on the inside cover!
When it comes to ‘grace’ we need to realize that it is a divine concept, not a human concept. Thus we really do not fully understand God’s grace. We do have His word however to help us understand as much as we can. Needless to say, man often thinks of grace as UNFAIR (Matthew 20:1-16).
Grace means ‘undeserved favor’ and God’s power to become, to grow. Yet grace is often not appreciated, until seen in the light of our own sins. The answer to the sin problem is not more hell fire and damnation preachers who ignore grace…nor do we need more grace preachers who ignore sin… we need preachers who know how these fit and work together! Without Sin, grace would not be needed. Without grace, sin would be unbearable and result in hopelessness.
The specific application of grace is seen in God’s word. Here we see real confidence is found in grace and the promises of God, not in our ability to keep God’s commands perfectly.
God includes both grace and law in His New Covenant offer to man. We have to keep both in mind. “I will put my laws in their minds and will write them on their hearts” (Hebrews 8:10). His laws are immutable, and provide important, necessary guidelines (while law keeping does not save), grace/faith does. God then says, “And I will be merciful to their unrighteousness and their sins and lawless deeds I will remember no more” (Hebrews 8:12). This “mercy” and “forgiveness” is just as immutable as His laws.
We understand that God says breaking marriage (divorce) is sin. But we also need to know specifically what His mercy and grace says about forgiveness and the sin of adultery as with other sins.
Consider David and his adultery with Bathsheba in addition to murder and efforts to cover-up his sins (2 Samuel 11 & 12). When David acknowledged his sin and showed repentance Nathan said to him, “The Lord has put away your sin.” (2 Sam. 12:13). Legalism cries, NOT FAIR! The Bible still reads the same however!
Remember the adulterous woman who was brought before Jesus? The religious leaders asked Jesus “What do you say?” His statement to her was “Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.” Legalism cries NOT FAIR! The scriptures still read the same way! You can’t get more specific than that. She is pardoned and told to stop committing the sin of adultery.
The accusation comes, “You’re just trying to fill the church with adulterers.” Well, the wake up come when you read about the next example… In 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, a list of sins is given and the third one on the list is “adulterers”. Then the text says, “Such were some of you but you were washed, sanctified, justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.” Legalism cries, NOT FAIR! Yet, it still reads the way it reads. What cleansed these brethren was and continues to be, the blood of Christ. This is the power of grace to one who comes to Jesus… Paul, tells these Christians, they had been forgiven of through the blood of Jesus Christ.
Jesus says all sins can be forgiven except what the religious leaders were doing in Mark 3:23-30 (Read it and see.)