In the denomination I grew up in (non-denominational) the idea of being under grace was always an unclear subject. We were not directly taught that we were under law, but we rejected the idea of being totally under grace. In fact we still to this day are repeatedly warned about the dangers of this ‘grace movement.’ We hear scriptures like
Jude 1:4 “I say this because some ungodly people have wormed their way into your churches, saying that God’s marvelous grace allows us to live immoral lives. The condemnation of such people was recorded long ago, for they have denied our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.”
We are told the grace movement gives people a license to sin and it’s very dangerous. On this last point I would have to agree, it is dangerous, but not in the way we think.
Separating Grace from Jesus
These people first of all were not believers. It said they have denied Jesus Christ. But we find a principle here that shows us how grace must be taught. Anyone who says they teach grace, but use it as a license to sin really don’t get grace at all. It never inspires sin and does not encourage it.
However we must realize why we have grace for it not to do this. If we think God has gone soft on sin and doesn’t care anymore we have a recipe for license. But when we realize that God has not gone soft on sin but was justly punishing sin in Jesus… that Jesus had to be brutally killed to give it to us… then we have a recipe for a heart change. Realizing that Jesus died for our sins does not make us want to go and live a sinful lifestyle. Instead it makes us grateful and results in many good works. This then is the key: when grace it taught, it must be realized that it is only possible because of Jesus Christ and that the grace we enjoy today cost him immense suffering and death. When that is in place we have a recipe for a heart transformation something I would consider “dangerous.”