Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Grace or Welfare

In this post Grace for mortals, Grace for the dead, and how Grace is applied to believers

Three examples of how God dished out His grace…

Moses can’t speak so God provides a mouthpiece for him, Aaron, so that he can still do his job.
- Grace didn’t give Aaron the job of prophet
- Grace gave Moses, whose speaking problems were legitimate, a workaround 
- Grace is not an exemption from duty

John the Baptist’s mother Elisabeth can’t have children so God overrides her infertility but he makes Zacharias dumb for needing a sign to believe. 
- Grace can override laws of nature 
- And Zacharias, a believer, didn’t get grace for temporary unbelief

The people of Ninevah, gentiles, are about to be destroyed but God’s grace provides a warning in Jonah and a stay when they repent.
- Grace can work for unbelievers too, if they repent

Grace dished in the next life
Most people think of grace as a gift for the next life.  I agree that it is grace that makes imperfection tolerable in God’s eyes because His Son makes up the difference.  My question to you is will grace be dished out differently at the judgement bar than it was dished out here on Earth?

At the judgement bar, if I say, I didn’t do my duty because of my problems, will grace give us an exemption?  Or will God say, what did you do with the workarounds I provided you?

At the judgement bar, if I am a believer but there were times when I didn’t believe, do I get grace for those times?  I would think so, if, like Ninevah, I repented.

What about the example of Paul.  He was a believer, fighting against Jesus’ kingdom.  He was stopped by an angel, he repented and he was given a second chance in life.  He spent the rest of his life fighting for Jesus’ kingdom.  So my question is, at the judgement bar, will grace give sincere, but misdirected people a second chance?

Will grace give the Pharisees who knew about Jesus and chose to fight him a second chance at the judgement day?  There’s a fine line between a Pharisee and a misdirected believer.  How does grace get dished out at the judgement in these scenarios?  I don’t know but it’s worth thinking about.

And what will grace do for the rich young man in Mark 10:17-22 who was a believer but chose not to repent?

Now lets talk about welfare...
It’s free, it’s need-based, it is available to all who qualify. It also stops most recipients from working to support themselves.

Grace is free, it’s need-based, it’s available to all who believe.  Some people assume that because of grace they can now stop working in a spiritual sense.  And that is what Romans 6 seems to speak to from the outset, “Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?” (v.1)

How can a believer do whatever they please and still qualify for grace?  Zacharias couldn’t temporarily stop believing without a consequence.  It’s the grace for the believers that I’m thinking about.  What kind of believer do I have to be to qualify for grace?  I think not a sinful one (Romans 6:15-16).

Challenge:  Choose one thing in your life to repent of and show God that you are a real believer.

All images used with permission

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