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Grace – not just for forgiveness of sins

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Baptist Believer, Jun 24, 2019.

  1. Baptist Believer

    Baptist Believer Well-Known Member
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    I just want to share this outstanding and helpful quote. Does anyone disagree? If so, why? Please provide scriptural backing for any assertions.

    "May I just give you this word? Grace is not opposed to effort, it is opposed to earning. Earning is an attitude. Effort is an action. Grace, you know, does not just have to do with forgiveness of sins alone. Many people don’t know this, and that is one major result of the cutting down of the gospel to a theory of justification, which has happened in our time. I have heard leading evangelical spokespeople say that grace has only to do with guilt. Many people today understand justification as the only essential result of the gospel, and the gospel they preach is—and you will hear this said over and over by the leading presenters of evangelical faith—that your sins can be forgiven. That’s it! In contrast, I make bold to say, the gospel of the entire New Testament is that you can have new life now in the Kingdom of God if you will trust Jesus Christ. Not just something he did, or something he said, but trust the whole person of Christ in everything he touches—which is everything. “There is one God; there is also one mediator between God and humankind, Christ Jesus, himself human” (1 Timothy 2: 5). If you would really like to be into consuming grace, just lead a holy life. The true saint burns grace like a 747 burns fuel on takeoff. Become the kind of person who routinely does what Jesus did and said. You will consume much more grace by leading a holy life than you will by sinning, because every holy act you do will have to be upheld by the grace of God. And that upholding is totally the unmerited favor of God in action."

    – Dallas Willard, The Great Omission (San Francisco: HarperOne, 2006) 61–62​
     
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  2. Reformed

    Reformed Well-Known Member
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    I am always a bit wary of liking a quote without knowing the greater context. That said, the whole Christian life depends on grace. Your quote from Willard does not reveal what Evangelical leaders are teaching a soteriological-view-only of grace. I am sure that some may do that but I encounter just the opposite in the circles I keep. All is of grace!

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  3. Baptist Believer

    Baptist Believer Well-Known Member
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    I can assure you that it is quite widely taught – often not explicitly, but by omission of grace in any other context other than salvation. I was raised in that environment and it took me the first 15 years of my Christian walk to realize that fulfilling the Christian life is empowered by God's grace, not simply effort and/or good intentions. I've even heard the same kind of teaching from those promoting Reformed theology. With some, there is an emphasis that God handles our transformation and good works without our participation in the process.

    As you said, all is of grace!
     
  4. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
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    I've never seen it not taught in multiple contexts.
     
  5. Reformed

    Reformed Well-Known Member
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    Bad/false teaching does not belong to any single theological camp. When I read the writings of the Puritans I see them replete with mentions of grace in all areas of the Christian life. If you have never picked up "The Valley of Vision" by Banner of Truth Publishing, I strongly recommend it. It is a compilation of Puritan prayers and devotions. Please look at this particular prayer on the privileges of grace: Privileges. Spurgeon missed no opportunity to preach the glory of God's grace. I am not writing these things to contradict your experience (which grieves me to hear about) but to provide encouragement that there have been and continue to be faithful voices that proclaim the whole counsel of God, including the full breadth of God's grace.
     
  6. Danthemailman

    Danthemailman Member

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    Grace is where God shows us mercy, kindness, and patience instead of the judgment that we deserve for sinning against Him. God's grace cannot be earned by our actions. Grace is based on the character of God and not on our performance or ability to keep the law. Otherwise, grace would no longer be grace.

    Romans 11:6 - "But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace."

    The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23)

    We are saved by grace through faith, not works, not of ourselves it is the gift of God. (Ephesians 2:8,9)

    Galatians 2:21 - "I do not nullify the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly."

    2 Timothy 1:9 - "who has saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity."

    Yet God's grace (enabling power) also operates sovereignly in the lives of believers.

    1 Corinthians 15:10 - But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me.

    2 Corinthians 1:12 - For our proud confidence is this: the testimony of our conscience, that in holiness and godly sincerity, not in fleshly wisdom but in the grace of God, we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially toward you.

    2 Corinthians 12:9 - And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.

    Titus 2:11 - For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age.
     
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  7. HankD

    HankD Well-Known Member
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    I would say every gift of God is grace.

    Ephesians 4:7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.
     
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  8. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire Well-Known Member
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    I’m sorry, are you saying Gods Grace is dependent on effort?!?
     
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  9. Baptist Believer

    Baptist Believer Well-Known Member
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    No.

    Our efforts are dependent upon grace.
     
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  10. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire Well-Known Member
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    That is the good news then!

    Amazing Grace, How sweet the sound
    That saved a wretch like me
    I once was lost, but now am found
    T'was blind but now I see
    T'was Grace that taught my heart to fear
    And Grace, my fears relieved
    How precious did that grace appear
    The hour I first believed
    Through many dangers, toils and snares
    We have already come.
    T'was grace that brought us safe thus far
    And grace will lead us home,
     
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