Psa 103:8-14 The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever. He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Like as a father pities his children, so the LORD pities them that fear him. For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.”
As born-again believers, it is important that we stand firm in our freedom (Gal 5:1). The natural tendency among Christians is to slip back over into a works-based relationship with God. If we are not careful, we tend to get over into performance for acceptance with God; then we become judgmental, then legalistic, then Pharisaical. Faith in and acceptance of the shed Blood of Jesus Christ and in His Name are the only things that make us right with God. You must be born again. You must receive salvation by grace through faith.
Paul asked the Galatians if they were spell bound or bewitched, because they bought into the lie that after you were saved by grace you had to stay saved by self effort (Gal 3:1-3). Many Christians are bewitched today with the same lie. They run around trying to keep themselves saved by their works. For some it’s circumcision, others, what they eat or what they wear, what day they worship on, etc., etc. They think because of some personal effort that God will continue to accept them. The Apostle Paul says you are deceived.
You see, we absolutely need grace. Grace is not some nice addition to our faith that we can take or leave. Grace is not just for the “really” unrighteous. Grace is not just something the carnal Christian needs. Every single one of us desperately needs God’s grace every moment of everyday. Especially the self - righteous, who don’t think they need it that much! You need it more than anyone!
We get saved by God’s grace, and we stay saved by God’s grace. Grace is grace and works are works - you cannot mix them (Rom 11:6). You are not saved by a combination of the two. They exclude each other by definition. Grace means it cannot be earned. Works means it cannot be a gift. Gifts cannot be earned - wages cannot be gifts. If you can do anything to earn righteousness, then it is a wage God owes you. God will owe no man anything. If righteousness is the gift of God (Rom 5:17), it is impossible to work for it. It can only be received.
Again, we need grace. We need grace on a second by second basis. The self - righteous may think they are doing pretty good, but what are you not doing that you should be? Maybe you don’t drink or cuss or chew, or go with those that do - but do you gossip? Do you love your spouse as Christ does the church? Do you immediately obey the voice of the Holy Spirit each and every time He speaks something to you? Do you always put others before yourself? Are you judgmental? Do you take every opportunity you have to share Jesus? Still think you don’t need grace every minute? If you break one law, you broke it all (Jam 2:10).
You see, none of us - not one of us - is without sin in our soul and body. The believer is without sin in his spirit, but not in his soul and body. This is why we need grace. God’s grace is available when we blow it (Heb 4:16). We can boldly, with confidence and assurance, go to the throne of graciousness, benefit, and favor, to obtain, take, grab hold of, and seize His mercy and compassion, and find grace to help in time of need.
Just about the time you really think you are something, you’ll stumble and remember that you are nothing without God’s grace. The prideful, arrogant, and self - righteous will not hear this. They will reject this truth. Why? Because they actually think they are something without Jesus Christ. This is sad but true. We need God’s grace. We need it more than ever. We need it from the day we get saved until Jesus comes back. Be gracious. Be merciful. Stand for truth and do good works by God’s grace out of a love for Him - not to earn righteousness from Him.
We are to speak and live as those who will be judged out of the law of freedom. Mercy triumphs over judgment. Those who show no mercy will be judged without mercy. You need grace as much as the next guy. Let us receive it from God, and give it to others. Until next time, rejoice in The Lord!