Grace is God’s wonderful, glorious gift to us and it should not be misconstrued nor perverted. In many, if not most, “seeker” churches there seems to be an excessive focus on the theme “Jesus did it all”. Most of us know that this refers to Christ’s death and suffering on the cross as the atonement for our sins. It is through this where we receive salvation by grace through faith. While this is true, it is not the whole or only truth. To imply the believer has no responsibility beyond a limp agreement with God’s plan misrepresents what a disciple of Jesus is. This leads to a portrayal of God as “the ONE who expects nothing of me since He loves me”. While all mankind loves a message of unconditional love and acceptance, it is an entrance ramp, not the entire highway or journey.
To tell only one side of a story or to intentionally omit other aspects leaves you with an incomplete view. This is a clear sign of either a disdain for the other gifts and ministries in the body of Christ or neglect of the rest of the story. Either way it leads to a message bordering on, if not outright, heresy. The very best way to identify a counterfeit it to know what actual grace looks like. A more complete, accurate representation of God and His Word emerges as we see this grace in the whole of scripture and the nature of God when He interacts with man.
Only one side is seen in an atmosphere of this excessive overemphasis on grace:
- Jesus’ requirements of discipleship are omitted.
- There is no mention of yielded lives.
- The cost of following Jesus is unspoken.
- The responsibility is placed on the Lord; we say, “Lord,YOU make us ready”.
- If personal responsibility is mentioned the answer is, “God has taken care of it”.
- Responsibility for fulfilling our callings is placed on the Lord.
- The way we live – what we say and do – is unimportant; “Jesus knows my heart”.
Teaching a one-sided view of grace leads to error and, eventually, heresy. I personally wonder if this uber-grace is an inevitable by-product of decades of seeker churches continuously watering down the gospel to attract and include more people. Unless it is balanced with the rest of scripture, it will become a form of universalism in short time. Jesus told Nicodemus, ”You MUST be born again”, not “When you inevitably are saved like everyone else….”. Jesus said,
“If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” Luke 9:23
There is a personal choice and great cost to follow Jesus. He was “in your face” about it! These “grace” teachers are not being honest about it.