There has been recent discussion on the doctrine of Grace and Holiness as spelt out in the Holy Scriptures. Following the discussion, I think something was missing in the whole debate. I will, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit assume a position as an authority on this subject. I want to make it plain and crystal clear for easy comprehension for even the new converts. Grace and Holiness are not reserved words for the new creation believer. Grace was not introduced in the New Testament. Grace has been in existence way back the days of Noah. Before delving into scriptures, I want to correct few errors.
1. Grace is not a person. Grace is not Jesus Christ. Grace is an element of Christ.
John 1:17 "For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ."
Grace came through Jesus, grace is not Jesus. Grace is something Christ provides to believers. It is the virtue of favour.
2. The law is not evil. The law is truth! And the law is Holy. The law defines the nature of God to mankind. The Law is righteous. Romans 7:12 "Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good."
3. The Law is not death. The law doesn't kill. Romans 7:13 "Has then what is good become death to me? Certainly not! But sin, that it might appear sin, was producing death in me through what is good, so that sin through the commandment might become exceedingly sinful."
4. The law is Spiritual but man is carnal. It is our carnal minds that kill us, not the law. Romans 7:14 "For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin."
Noting all these, we then come to the subject of what grace actually means. When did God start giving grace to man? Grace is an undeserved Favour from God. There have been men who didn't deserve or merit God's favour but found grace in the sight of God. First was Noah.
Genesis 6:8 "But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord."
God sought to destroy the world, but spared the life of Noah and his family, not because he was more righteous, but by grace he was saved. It was an unmerited favour. Noah didn't meet the standard of God's righteousness, but grace found him.
Not only Noah, Moses also found grace in the sight of God (Exodus 33:13). Moses was a murderer, but God took him from sin and made him his spokesman. A murderer received the holy law and in it was: "thou shall not kill".
Grace is something we do not deserve but has been granted to us. We didn't deserve the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. God gave Him to us. God wanted to just end the yearly cycle of sin offering. God wanted to bring the Gentiles in, although we were not part of the promise. Adulterous we were but found favour in Him. This is grace. We have been brought into the basket, now what next? That is when truth needs to be spoken.
Grace does not leave us where we used to be. Grace takes away our guilt and leaves us guiltless. Grace clean us to remain clean always. Grace delivered us from condemnation and not to put us back in bondage. Alleluia!
And now the grace we have received from God teaches us to remain righteous and not to go back to our old self. Not to revisit the curse.
Titus 2:11-12 "For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age,"
By grace we know the truth which was hidden to us, that we might walk in the righteousness of Christ. Now, when the Scripture says the righteousness of Christ, what it means is, what Christ terms righteousness is not what we see as righteousness. So if you want to know what Christ sees as righteousness, read Mathew 5,6 and 7. That is complete righteousness of Christ. This is wisdom and understanding. Don't misconstrue the scriptures.
The word of God has given us grace to become the children of God and commands us to remain holy because, where we are is a place of holiness. The New Zion is a holy city. Grace does not permit sin.
Romans 6:1-2 "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?"
We are dead to sin and alive to God. We are not the product of sin. It's not possible for a man born of the spirit to be under sin but our free will is still there. We have the power to return to sin or remain in righteousness. God doesn't force any man.
WHAT DO WE PREACH?
We preach Christ Crucified to the Gentile, which is grace because they need salvation. But we teach, correct and train in righteousness, the believer. I think this must close the talk shop of grace and Holiness.
2 Timothy 3:16 "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,"
The book of Timothy is a pastoral epistle. So the pastor of a congregation will not be compelled to preach grace in the church because it is assumed that members are all believers. They have already been saved by grace. In the gathering of the saints, we proof, correct, and instruct in righteousness. Nothing else! It is also important we know the congregation we are preaching to and know what to preach. We don't just prepare a message and begin to preach, it must benefit the hearers.
Grace is somewhat being abused by some believers and I will call it contempt. Let's function properly under the word grace and remain true to the truth. I am saved by grace and walk in holiness because he who called me is holy.
Rev. Eugene Gyakari