You can’t add to grace!
Discover why adding anything to the gospel strips it of its power.
Grace is God’s free unmerited favour, complete forgiveness, and his love lavished upon humanity through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Grace is what separates Christianity from any other religion in the whole world.
But unfortunately, many Christians are still operating under some form of religious works and not experiencing the love, freedom, and amazing power of God's grace!
Discovering a war
Growing up in religion I held the belief that I was blessed as long as I was doing something productive for God, or I was forgiven as long as I begged and pleaded for forgiveness. The word “free” never clicked in my mind.
Whenever I heard the gospel there was a contingent on it, “You are saved by grace through faith, but…” This “but” would always lead to something extra one must do not to lose this free gift. This mixed message left me very confused, burnt out, and driven further away from trying to live a godly life.
Ephesians 2:8-9 was the catapult for my journey in Christ; coming to the absolute truth of what God has freely given to us in Jesus Christ. As my eyes opened, I began to search for others in agreement with the truth that God freely justifies a sinner with no strings attached. But as I searched I stumbled across a war I had no idea was going on, a war on the doctrine of “eternal security”.
It’s so sad to read some of the opinions out there. Why aren’t some Christians firmly secure in Christ? Why aren’t some Christians taking the words of Jesus to heart, “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no will snatch them out of my hand” (John 10:28)?
Grace has no ‘but’
Jeremy Myers in his article, “Grace has no But” explains how adding anything to the gospel strips it of its power and confuses the message. “Grace has no but, and neither does love, mercy, and forgiveness. Those who add buts to grace do not know God or His grace. There are no conditions or limits to grace. Grace is infinite and free. Period ” (Myers, 2015).
This is a truth that is hard for many Christians to grasp. Many think it is crucial that we must help God out, but in doing so we add to the gospel, which is a real danger. I have seen first hand the dangers of Christians digesting a mixed gospel. There’s a loss of joy, hindrance in growth, and a religious burn out.
The power of grace
I once had an opportunity to speak to a young guy who’d really suffered in life. I had the privilege to buy him some food and eat with him. As we were eating I asked him if he believed in God. He replied, “I do, but I have strayed too far away from him.”
I asked him if he understood grace. He replied, “My dad is a pastor and my mom is also in ministry.” I said, “I get the feeling the gospel has never been made clear to you, is this correct?” He didn’t say a word. So I pulled out my phone, launched my Bible app, and showed him verse after verse how Gods love is unconditional.
While I was still reading, tears began to fall from his eyes and he said, “God loves me! He never left me, it all makes sense now.”
Months later I saw this young man, I asked how things were going. He said, “I’m getting back on my feet, I am still struggling in a lot of areas, but now that I know how much God truly loves me, I have a joy and peace that will never leave.” This truth about God’s grace liberated him to the point where he was able to get his life back on track.
Let us return to the simplicity of the gospel, and not allow our minds to be corrupted or tempted to add to the wonderful gift of God’s grace.
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