I think one of the hardest things the church tries to describe is grace. There is an idea in today's culture that says grace is nothing more than a ticket to sin! We have used it as a justification to do as we please without regard for the life God has called us to live. Yes, the Bible does teach us that where sin abounds so does grace. But the abuse thereof is not okay or permissible!
Many times in a discussion of favorite verses I often relate Amos 4:4. The verses says, "Go to Bethel and sin; go to Gilgal and sin yet more. Bring your sacrifices every morning, your tithes every three years." Many people laugh when they read this. The problem is that this is a good picture of how we tend to view grace. We have some crazy notion that we can act and do as we please since we are forgiven. Then because of that "right" of forgiveness we have "only" to run to God and say we're sorry! So I was wondering how to illiterate my feelings and ideas on grace. I was wondering how to best communicate the error of our thoughts......
What better way than through the very words of Scripture! I was reading Titus in my quiet time this morning and this is what I read........."For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works." Titus 2:11-14 ESV
What a great description of grace. It is true we are ALL forgiven. But the reality is that grace hinges on our walking away from the things of this world and running to the call of God in our lives! It is not about a justification or absolution of sin!
Can we rise to the challenge Paul has given here? Will we renounce the world and its passions and live with self control? Or, will we use grace as an excuse to stay firmly set in the world; and try to clear our conscience through asking for forgiveness? Will we abuse grace, or embrace it and thank God for this amazing gift? What are your thoughts????