Posted by: austend | Monday, May 4, 2009

Grace is Not License

A quote that is very appropriate:

No amount of emphasis on grace can justify taking liberties with God, for the very concept of grace demands gratitude, and gratitude cannot be casual.”

In other words, we cannot use the fact that we are saved by grace alone as a justification for becoming careless with God.

Under pre-Christian times,  one approached God based on the commands of the Law–“do this” and “don’t do this!”  With that kind of system, one had to be careful how he treated God, otherwise he might be punished by God for approaching God in an unacceptable way (cf. Nadab & Abihu, Aaron’s sons, Lev 10:1-3).

Now that we’re saved by grace alone regardless of our good or evil works (Eph 2:8-9), we might be tempted to treat God however we want since He cannot eternally condemn us or unsave us based upon our works.  But this is not the case!  Grace is not a license for us to do whatever we want with regards to God!  We cannot approach Him any old way we want.  He still is a holy God with standards that must be met.  Grace, rather, should drive us to humble gratitude for what God has done for us, and teach us willingly to obey what God has commanded of us.  True gratitude is thoughtful and careful to express itself rightly, not however it feels.  True gratitude is purposeful.

Quote from: Derek Kidner, Ecclesiastes (Intervarsity Press: 1984). {here}

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