Just say you are driving along in the desert and you are 350 miles from the closet gas station. The temperature is running around 125 degrees and you have a full tank of gas. All of a sudden an 18 wheeler carrying 10 Lamborghini pulls up next to you flags you down and you stop. He steps down and says I want to trade you cars. Granted you are driving a 1981 Dotson with no Air Conditioner and no power steering. You ask what is the catch and he says “nothing, your car for one of these”. You get so excited you swap with no hesitation. The man smiles, throws you the keys, loads your car on the back and drives off.
You spend the next hour or so walking around, taking it all in. You sit in the seats and they have heat control, the car is immaculate. It is a 2009 and only 100 have been made in the entire world. You think to yourself, my friends are going to love this. You think of all the women you are going to get and how you no longer have to be the laughing stock of everyone that catches you in that Dotson. So after the excitement passes you put the key in the ignition and nothing! You try again and nothing. You check the gas tank and it is full. You look at the ignition to ensure you turned it the right way and it is good to go. Finally you say “maybe he left the battery unplugged by mistake, I will put it back on and be on my way”. You pop the hood walk to the front of the car, lift the hood, and to your amazement, there isn’t an engine inside. Not only is there no engine, but the car is not manufactured to even accept an engine. You realize not only are you given a useless car, but you are also stuck in the desert and the only vehicle you have encountered on the trip is the 18 wheeler. You have no water, no food and your cell phone is out of range and remember the nearest gas station is 350 miles away.
Sounds ridiculous? So is the Gospel with no Grace. Grace is the engine of the Gospel. No Grace the Gospel is a useless word. It has no power to do anything AT ALL! Grace is the vehicle that gets you to the Gospel Paul says “you have been saved by grace”. The active ingredient in the Gospel is Grace. God elects us by grace, He forgives us by Grace, He reconciles us by Grace and He perseveres us by Grace! Why then is so many people running back to the law as the measure of ones salvation. Why is the mark of a “TRUE BELIEVER” obedience, good works, morality?
Why are so many blogs, pastors, and street preachers, appealing to the Law as marks of true saving faith? Why not grace. Is this not the very backbone of the Reformation? Isn’t our salvation sealed upon the receiving of the work of Christ? Why are we then, running back to a powerless gospel, which is no gospel at all. I am convinced that it is much easier to appeal to the law and works for obedience versus the Gospel. You see the law is much easier to gauge as it relates to obedience versus Grace. Paul asks the Galatians “have you not begun in the Spirit” and then he says “and now you are trying to keep it by works of the flesh”?
I understand that Grace is dangerous. It leaves the people of God in the hands of God and takes them from our grips. It is much easier for me to measure a man’s maturity by the law versus grace. Let me ask a question. Which is more mature in the two scenarios.
1. Christian number 1 is a hard worker, full of good works. He is obedient, faithful, studious, knows the bible and quote you many verses. He is even kind and patient to his brothers and sisters in the Lord.
2. Christian number 2 is sometimes unfaithful, struggles with pornography, doesn’t know the bible too well because he is busy playing video games and studying for school versus studying the bible.
Which one is the more mature Christian? What if I tell you Christian number 1 doesn’t understand that he is justified apart from his works and believes that baptism, and good works are essential to salvation. What if I tell you that Christian 2 understands that it is the blood of Christ that has justified him and that nothing he can do will earn him a right standing before the Lord? You see where I am going? Christian number 1 has no engine, no power, no grace. Christian number 2 has put his trust in the finished work of our Lord, thus he may be a Dotson on the outside but that still puts him in much better position to make out of the desert versus Christian number 1 (if he is a Christian at all).
We must preach, teach, and educate on Grace. Christ’s work must be essential to our educating and evangelism, if not we miss the Gospel and are trading people exotic cars with no engines. As the Holy Spirit spoke through Paul in Romans 3
21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. 27 Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith. 28 For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law. 29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, 30 since God is one—who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. 31 Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law.