Does Grace end at justification?

NO.

We are saved so that we can have a lifestyle that is characterized by good work. What God did was out of His mercy and kindness that He located and reaches out to save us. The Bible declares

“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,  even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved) (Eph. 2:4-5).

Living under grace should be an attitude of appreciation which should encourage and empower us to remain under that grace, submitting to the Almighty God for the mighty work of our salvation.

True, no one comes to God by himself or through religiosity; God’s love provides this free gift to mankind. If we receive or claim this grace, then what should we do? Or what should be the message from the ministers of God to believers? In another way; one of the advantages of grace is seen in God demonstrating His love and righteousness by overlooking those sins that we have “previously” committed because of our faith in Jesus. Do we go again to continue in that sin or waywardness? At least, there must show an element of breaking away from that sin if not total denunciation.

Apostle Paul did not condemn the law because the law is righteous, but that only in Christ (who is our righteousness) believers fulfill the law. Believers, especially, the ministers of God, need to stress the need and importance of knowing what the law says; not because of the fear of the curse attached to non-compliance: but what to do after being born again; not to live in the sin/s or unrighteous manner which ensnares them into the sphere of death.

Apart from the fact that the purpose of the law establishes love between man and God, and man to man; the law sets the standard for right and wrong; the result sets the stage for judgment. Further more, the law command against certain behavior, but the end result is to create good relationship between man and God, and man to others.

There is always that claim by many believers that man is weak to obey the law because of our sinful nature. If our sinful nature is the problem that we cannot obey the law, then it is necessary to subject that nature under the grace which will empower us to mortify that sinful nature.

After justification, the intention of the devil is to make us disobey God’s commandment. The Lord Jesus knew this and that it was difficult to obey God’s law completely; He understands what attraction of temptation is, and He knows man’s predicament concerning this because He had experienced it. He has also empowered us through grace to overcome the devil.

The Bible states that Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. The fact that Jesus fulfills the law and we were offered Jesus’ righteousness through faith in Him does not mean we have to ignore or disobey what the law says.

For one to enjoy this grace to the fullest; a Christian no longer lives according to the flesh or under the control of their sinful human nature. Instead, with the spirit living in believers, empowering them, they will live to please God. The Holy Spirit helps us in our area of weakness. Living under grace is for a believer’s life to be lead by the Holy Spirit. Walking each moment by faith in God’s word under the spiritual control assures absolute victory over the desire of our sinful nature.

In the liberty that believers proclaim in today’s churches, Apostle Paul cautions that we should not put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way (Rm. 14:3). What does this implies? Shall we be in liberty and do those things that are unrighteous, unholy, ungodly, untrue, or those things which are offensive to others in the church?

We should not misuse our freedom which is meant to liberate us from sin; which helps in avoiding the fulfilling of the lust of the flesh. The works of the flesh are summed up in the word sin. The lust of the flesh could be our sinful nature, the natural tendencies of the flesh to please itself independent of God, or worldly habit. All these reflect in our behavior after we have been justified; and is not meant to be. But after justification, there is the need to grow spiritually continually. That is grace at work.

Can a Minister be held accountable for the wrong in the church?

Yes; he would be held accountable for behavior or attitude noticed unchecked. Am I criticizing the ministers? Yes. I am bitter for they have slacked or neglected the work entrusted to them; to lead believers to the kingdom of God. But they have not done that because of their selfish and ego for fame and money.

Note this; Pontius Pilate, who would not free Jesus Christ because of the fear of not losing his power, position and the fear of the Emperor, eventually died for his role in the crucifixion of Jesus. Emperor Tiberius of Roman condemned him to death; not that alone, he committed suicide before the day of his execution. He was trapped by his own fear. How is it going to be before the throne of judgment? Examine yourself.

A man of God must be frank and courageous to speak the true word of God. It is unfortunate that many ministers of God cannot use boldness or frankness of speech to speak the truth of the word of God because of the fear of loosing their members; it is assumed that it will result to loss of revenue (meaning, the establishment of their church is an earthly business venture rather than kingdom’s venture). Instead, they are fearful and reluctant to speak the truth.

Though every man has a right to his/her own conviction (liberty), yet, this conviction cannot be in opposition to the word of God; law inclusive. God cannot hate something and you want to place your own conviction over His. You cannot please and worship God with what is against his will.

By not denouncing sin and works of the flesh in our churches, we are encouraging them and we approve of it. This is where a minister is tested. Should ministers continue to be indifferent to pollution, corruption or indecency in the church?

Apostle Paul said in 2Cor. 5:17,

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”

A believer’s life should change because through justification he/she has started the process of a new being, transformed into the likeness of Christ. That believer is no more living for him/her self (all past conceited life), but he/she lives for Christ. A believer still living for him/her self after justification has received the grace of God without understanding what it is.

Apostle Paul said in 2Cor. 6:2

“In an acceptable time I have heard you,
And in the day of salvation I have helped you. Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation”

The very first step to take after justification is to renounce all old behavior. That is the acceptable time. That moment is the right time to do it not later. Procrastination in taking the right step at the right moment could be dangerous and lead to backslidden. After justification we can work out and develop our salvation (sanctification).

Many believers believed that all that is needed for grace to abound is to confess Jesus. The result of this is that many were stuck and stagnant in that position and are by no means encouraged by ministers of God to help develop them or encourage them to develop themselves.

Although, Paul did not encourage isolation from unbeliever, unregenerate believer or an erred believer; however, he did discourage compromising with there sinful values and practices. Paul exhorted and urged them to change; also, he advised that mature Christians are to help correct the erred.

Many prosperity preachers have made many weak and unknowledgeable believers to stumble because of their indifference to recognize the spiritual situation of some of these believers. Apostle Paul says,

“But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak” (1Cor. 8:9)

Unregenerate believers remain in sin because the preachers who should encourage and edify them with the word of God have failed in their responsibilities to do so.

If we are saved by grace (Justification); then we should live by grace  (Sanctification), that we may enjoy undeserved blessing from our loving father.

We are justified by faith in Jesus; however, our faith must produce good work which is only evident in our sanctification. Grace does not end at justification but continues into sanctification – The ongoing process whereby the Holy Spirit works in believers, making their lives holy, separated from their old ways and to God in order to be more like Him.

Watch out for Part 4 soon

ByLawrenceAbitogun

christianedification.org

Related posts:

  1. Are Ministers not Misconstruing Christian Liberty and Grace in the Church? Part 4
  2. Are Ministers not Misconstruing Christian Liberty and Grace in the Church? Part 2
  3. Are Ministers not Misconstruing Christian Liberty and Grace in the Church? Part 1
  4. Are Ministers not Misconstruing Christian Liberty and Grace in the Church? Part 7 – conclusion
  5. Are Ministers not Misconstruing Christian Liberty and Grace in the Church? part 6 – Benefits of Grace

Category: teaching

About the Author

Lawrence B. Abitogun, called by the special grace of the Almighty God through our Lord Jesus Christ; by the empowerment of the Holy Ghost, witnessing and preaching the gospel to the world, was born to a Christian parents at Uso, Ondo state, Nigeria. He received his elementary and secondary education in Nigeria from 1959-1971. He obtained a Bachelor degree in Fine Arts and a Master of Science in Industrial Arts at North Texas State University, Denton TX USA in 1979 and 1982 respectively.

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