The greatest gift we could ever receive is the gift of God’s grace, which is given to us through the sinless life, sacrificial death, and supernatural resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Sadly, we can treat this priceless gift like any other gift and misuse it . . . even abuse it!
Certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. (Jude 4)
Jude, the half-brother of Jesus, identifies those who perverted the priceless by changing the grace of God into a license for immorality. They took the greatest gift that could ever be given and distorted it. They perverted the priceless gift of God’s grace by teaching that the Christian was no longer under any obligation to follow the Law of God as a rule of life.
We have been preaching through the book of Romans at Cross Community Church each week, which has afforded me the opportunity to explain the term antinomianism, which literally means “against the law.” Antinomians disregard God’s Law as a guide for living the Christian life.
In his book, The Cost of Discipleship, Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote about a “cheap grace” that crystallizes the way the church in the 21st century has perverted the priceless gift of God’s grace. Bonhoeffer decried the rhythm of redemption that requires no repentance, the duty of discipleship that requires no discipline, and a Spirit-led service that requires no suffering. It is a Christianity that is devoid of Christ and His call on the lives of His disciples. It is a style of living marked by self-protection rather than self-sacrifice. And when forced to choose, those who seek “cheap grace” always choose the way of ease rather than exertion in Zion.
But this is not for you!
Preaching the Gospel to ourselves daily is the cure that keeps us from perverting the priceless. The clearer our view of what it cost our Lord to give us His grace, the more careful we will be to both appreciate it and appropriate it in our lives, regardless of the cost or circumstance.
Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. (2 Corinthians 5:14-15)
Being compelled by the love of Christ begs the question, “What are we to be compelled to do?” And the Bible makes it clear that our greatest work is not in the doing, but in the believing. The more we understand the truth that our freedom was not free—it did, in fact, cost Jesus everything—the more we will walk by faith, rather than by sight, and live in sold-out service to our Lord.
The grace of God remains “amazing” the more we are amazed by His grace! The perfect Son of the Living God freely took our place on the Cross and endured our punishment for our sin—all our sin. He who knew no sin became sin on our behalf. He lived the life we could never live and died the death we deserved to die in order to give to us His life—a life of righteousness, to be lived out with both freedom and joy, knowing that we are unconditionally loved and fully forgiven.
Keeping Gospel truths in view keep us from perverting the priceless gift of God’s grace. These truths shout to the heart that has been made new that grace is far more than a theological proposition; it is a person, and His name is Jesus Christ.
Now that is the truth that truly transforms!
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!