God's Grace

935 Words Mar 12th, 2012 4 Pages
All Christians know this passage, and many have memorized it. And yet, many Christians do not fully understand what the passage actually means. They know they have been saved by grace through faith. That is, they know that

their sinful nature separated them from God, who is holy (the opposite of sinful), and that they therefore were dead in their sins, unable to have peace with God. In other words, the payment for sin is death - eternal separation from God. They also realize that they could not make peace with God by trying to measure up to His standard of holiness - for example by following rules and regulations or by doing good works. And they learned that
God nevertheless desired to have peace with man, and that God therefore
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In other words, they believe they are right with God because they do the right things. This is a constant temptation for all who desire to please God. [...] I'll be using the term performance basis interchangeably with the term legalism.

Because performance-based living is so deeply rooted in human nature, the entire world, not just the Christian world, is filled with people who either thrive on it or who are constantly striving to extricate themselves from it. But apart from the applied grace of God - the exact opposite of performance-based living - nothing more than superficial relief is ever realized by anyone, Christian or not.
Source: Grace Plus Nothing, Preface

The 'victorious Christian life' is not obtained on the basis of performance, but rather on the basis of grace. God's grace continues to set us free from legalism, and instead allows us to become expressions of Jesus who lives in and through us (see Galatians 2:20, Galatians 5:1, Romans 6:1-15).

Cheap Grace?
Before he wrote Grace Plus Nothing, Jeff Harkin used to publish a monthly devotional letter under the same title. To insure that people did not misunderstand the phrase, that letter included the following statement:

Every Christian should be aware that Jesus Christ is full of grace and truth, not just grace (John 1:14 ). Therefore, what I meant by grace plus nothing is not some sort of cheap grace without truth. My