In the previous article on abuse of God’s Grace, we focused on legalism, false liberty, and striving to sustain salvation by the, yet salvation is by grace through faith. We now explore the other two aspects of abusing God’s Grace which includes failing to recognize the grace of God in others and mishandling the gifts of grace. Grace is a broad topic that cannot be exhausted in these articles.
We hope that by understanding how people have misused grace, you will be able to choose the right path. Having been raised by an individual school of thought makes it difficult for many people to accept arguments from other quotas. We have become philosophers with minds of our own to the point that we have a hard time even to allow the Holy Spirit to teach us. I pray that regardless of your school of thought, you will be open to the Holy Spirit to grant you victory in your faith even as you learn along with us.
Limit of Grace
I was brought up in a legalistic background. Besides that, to accept any other faith within the Christian circles apart from where I fellowshipped was not easy. One was not allowed to visit other churches due to criticism. Marrying someone who is not from your church was a big problem. These differences are not on the belief in Christ since the churches in question were mainstream like PCEA, ACK, AIC, Baptist of whom we have the same position regarding salvation apart from a few things which are not of significant consequence. The disciples had the same struggle when they found other people casting out demons in Christ’s name (Mark 9:38-39). The disciples argued that they stopped this person from casting out demons because he was not one of them. We have had similar petty arguments in the Christian world. You would wonder whether grace is limited to a particular group of people.
I have interacted with many Christians, and to my surprise, God is at work in all of us. And it is regardless of our various denominations. All those who believe in Christ as their Lord produce the same fruit of the Spirit. Christlikeness is evident in all who have submitted to Christ. I have preached in all the churches mentioned earlier and have never changed my sermon just because I come from different background. I have seen God work in PCEA, Baptist, ACK, AIC, Deliverance church, Full Gospel etc. and the committed Christians resemble Christ in their lifestyle. It has led to my acceptance that the Grace of God is at work, and I must accept that God is at work in other people just like he is at work in my life. Jesus did not say we shall know them by the church they attend, but he said we should know them by their fruit (Matthew 7:15-20). At work, we are all from different churches, but the Grace of God is evident in all of us. The Grace of God is not limited to any group of people, but it is there for everyone ready to embrace it.
Mishandling the Gifts of Grace
God has endowed believers with so many gifts. Grace refers to underserved mercy, and for the gift, you never pay for it. Spiritual gifts are free of charge (Acts 8:20), and different people possess different gifts. In our world today, many people have commercialized the gifts of grace. I have across so many people that spent a lot of money to find healing from their life issues. Many spiritual diagnoses come with a hefty price around it. If the business is not going well; for instance, witchcraft or family background is the cause and some sacrifice in the form of money or bloodshed of goats needed to reverse the issue.
The above leaves many struggling as to what happens when we become Christians if we are not free at all unless we pay money for that freedom. In the pursuit of instant answers to life challenges, many have spent a lot of money. For our televangelists, interpretation of dreams and prophecy has a price to it. The cash sent has ensured that these preachers remain on air to con more people. If the Bible sets the standard for practical living and ministry, charging people for miracles or prophecy is immoral and not in the Bible. Christ knew such times would come, and he told the disciples to give what they received freely (Matthew 10:8).
It is only in our current generation of Christians that believers never question things in the light of scripture. We have become so lax unlike it was in the days of Paul and church fathers. We see a lot of confrontation with people trying to mislead believers. As a result of this, we encourage you to let the scripture guide your life. Choose to stand out like the Bereans who could not tolerate unbiblical teachings regardless of the fame of the preacher (Acts 17:11). They got a commendation for their firm position. Let us scrutinize the happenings of our day in the light of scripture. We need to pass a pure gospel to the next generation.