For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly before the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:15-16)
For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodlines and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. (Titus 2:11-14)
Here we have before us two glorious scriptures defining what grace is and what grace does. Grace is defined by my good friend Google as…
- (in Christian belief) the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings.
- a period officially allowed for payment of a sum due or for compliance with a law or condition, especially an extended period granted as a special favor.
So grace is unearned and is not especially something we can work for. Yet, some would seem to contradict the first scripture in Hebrews by the second in Titus. Grace teaches us that we should deny ungodliness and worldly lusts. Therefore, if we don’t always deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, then we have not received or earned grace. Some teach that if a person leaves Christ they were never saved in the first place. I am not pretending to be a theologian on Calvinism vs. Armenian-ism. Nor do I want to start a debate on whether salvation is something you can lose. I merely want to define the Grace of God in this setting.
Is grace earned or is it a gift? Or is it both given and earned? The legalists will tell you it is given but can be forfeited at any time. Some will tell you it is given at salvation and can never be forfeited. I fall somewhere in between but definitely acknowledge it is an unearned gift. I don’t believe the Grace of God is like the grace period on an auto loan. I don’t believe it can be forfeited. I also don’t believe the Christian should take it for granted.
Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. (Philippians 2:12, NKJV)
If we are consumed with working out our own salvation, we simply won’t have time to work out our neighbor’s salvation. More to come soon. Please pray for me, my dearly beloved, that my heart will continue to be filled with the desire to expose the truth and mend the broken-hearted.