THE FREEDOM OF GRACE
By: Charles Swindoll
Won’t some people take it to an extreme? Doesn’t a minister run the risk that some in his flock may take unfair liberties if he presents the message of grace. Couldn’t an awakening of grace lead to an abusing of grace?
Martyn Lloyd-Jones states that preaching grace is not only risky, but the fact that some take it to an unwise extreme is proof that a minister is indeed preaching the true grace of God. Some people will take advantage of it. They will misrepresent it. They will go to such an extreme that they will promote the erroneous idea that you can go on sinning as much as you like. If you claim to be a messenger of grace, if you think you are really preaching grace, yet no one is taking advantage of it, maybe you haven’t preached it hard enough or strong enough.
I can assure you of this: Grace killing ministers will never have that charge brought against them. They make sure of that! This issue of grace is indeed controversial. It brings grace abusers as well as grace killers out from under the rocks! All who embrace grace become “free indeed.”
Free from what? Free from oneself. Free from guilt and shame. Free from the tyranny of others’ opinions, expectations, and demands. Free to obey. Free to love. Free to forgive others as well as myself. Free to allow others to be who they are different from me! Free to live beyond the limitations of human effort. Free to serve and glorify Christ.
Because of grace we have been freed from sin, from its slavery, its bondage in our attitude, in our urges, and in our actions. But having been freed and now living by grace, we can actually go too far, set aside all self-control, and take our liberty to such an extreme that we again serve sin. But that isn’t liberty at all, that’s license. And knowing of that possibility, many opt for legalism lest they be tempted to live irresponsibly.
Bad choice! Freedom is frightening. There are people who want to be told what to do and when how to believe and why. And the result is tragic perpetual adolescence. You can’t be afraid of the heights if you’re going to walk on the tightrope of grace. But at the same time you have to watch out for the strong gusts of wind that will occasionally blow like mad.
From: The Grace Awakening