This Web site is optimized for browsers that support web standards.
Two years ago I wrote a paper on the topic of grace. The questions that it raised confirmed to me that grace cannot be explained apart from faith. The two are linked together in Scripture, and the one activates the other. Both are gifts of God. God’s grace gives us the desire and power to do His will. Related to this is God’s mercy, which withholds the just punishment when we fail to act upon grace. The following points summarize and expand what I have been teaching in the Basic Seminar for more than 40 years.
Since grace is given to overcome sin, some might wrongly conclude that by sinning more, we receive more grace. Such a conclusion is condemned by Paul. “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” (Romans 6:1–2).
There are also those who view grace as freedom to do what they want rather than power to do what they ought. This view turns God’s grace into a license to sin and is condemned in Scripture.
A further abuse of grace is dividing it into two parts. One for salvation, and the other for Christian living. There is no such division in Scripture. One Bible scholar noted, “It is a great irony that the people who cultivate a two-stage Christianity do so in the name of grace but in effect nullify grace. They say there is a faith stage necessary for getting to heaven, and then an obedient stage not necessary for getting to heaven (but perhaps for getting better rewards there)… Underlying this mistake is a misunderstanding of grace. Grace is not simply leniency when we have sinned. Grace is the enabling gift of God to overcome sin. Grace is power, not just pardon” (Pleasures of God, John Piper, p. 244+).
“Your explanation of grace and how it works in our lives has answered many questions for me regarding how to apply grace to my everyday life. This nugget of truth is something that I have been confused about for 30 years. Now I have something that I can use to grow in grace. Thanks for your clear and concise explanations of how these crucial areas work. It is very helpful.” —Dan
Copyright © 2002–2011, William (Bill) Gothard. All Rights Reserved.