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Sermon 25 – FAKE GRACE

03 Mar

The modern church promotes and heavily preaches the concept of grace. What is Grace? It’s basically undeserved favour to you from God. People love the concept because it’s all about favour and everybody is wrapped in seeking their own value and favour, so when God gives it away for free, it’s irresistible. The problem is that grace is not free, it costs you everything, and so what’s being sold to the church is fake.

The Word of God says that grace is only given to the humble; God resists the proud. So you have to walk in humility to be in God’s favour, and nobody is walking in humility.

To walk in humility you have to walk by faith not by niceness or politeness. Jesus wasn’t polite … He didn’t go to Lazarus’ funeral, He ignored His mother, He called the Syrophenecian woman a dog, He spoke in parables so people couldn’t get saved Matthew 13:15, He told Peter off for failing to walk on water, and He called the Pharisees all sorts of rude names. Whether you understand it or not, this is actually the love of God. It can only be understood by faith (Galatians 5:6). So the answer to humility is not politeness; the answer is faith. The bible declares that whatever is not of faith is sin, so even if you act humble, if it’s not by faith, it’s sin.

What’s faith?

Faith is laying everything of value on the line and trusting and waiting on God for His outcome. Faith is knowing that God has the right to do anything, whether it’s good or bad for you. Faith only lives for the kingdom of heaven; it doesn’t enter agreements with God for personal gain, and faith can only be shown to be faith when it’s put to the test. Faith is a quality of God not of you, so for faith to operate you have to be dead, and that’s the problem; no one wants to die, everyone wants the things of the world plus Jesus … that’s not faith, it’s sin.

Doing what’s right without faith, is wrong. So, faith isn’t rightness. When rightness doesn’t get what’s right it complains it’s unfair, and that’s the opposite to faith. You’ll know you are not in faith when you complain about it not working out right.

Faith usually doesn’t make sense, so you can’t figure it out with your head, you have to trust to God’s sense. It didn’t make sense for Abraham to kill his only son and heir to the promise; neither did it make sense for God to kill Jesus; but faith knows God knows.

Faith requires you to be under authority.

If you are person who believes it’s your right to question authority you will never find faith. Like the Roman centurion in Matthew 8:5-13, you have to be under authority to find faith and exercise faith. You’ll know you are not under authority when in your heart you discredit the authority.

When you are not really under authority, you won’t find faith and you aren’t saved, so you’ll turn to grace as your comfort. A false Christian will stand on the principle of grace to feel right with themselves and they’ll argue that you are the one devoid of grace if you dare challenge their fakeness.

The broad way is always chasing and seeking personal value and favour from fellow humans and pretending God’s grace favours ME. Favour appeals to my flesh. I can even live without human favour if I believe God favours me. That last statement is true but if there’s no faith, it’s sin.

Grace is only activated by faith … Ephesians 2:8,9

So, to be humble, you have to firstly be a person of faith who respects authority, and it is learnt by giving up your rights of fairness and giving up your rights of justice and putting the situation in God’s hands, each time you are faced with an issue of self-defence. It comes by training yourself to die to yourself, after you have initially heard the Word of God and consented to God’s way even if it doesn’t make sense.

Arrogance = knowledge without faith

Modern Christians spend hours accumulating knowledge about God either through bible study, sermons or bible college, but more often than not, this is just a technique of elevation so you can be the judge of what is right and wrong, and be valued in the church system. All this knowledge doesn’t soften their heart, rather, like a Pharisee, it hardens it to this truth I’m sharing. Knowledge without faith makes you believe you are the truth and it makes you the authority of whether you should believe someone or not.

The pathway of sin is outlined in Genesis chapter 3

  1. Elevate yourself … I want to be my own god and I envy your position
  2. Gain knowledge
  3. Do what’s right … but really cover up what you don’t want exposed
  4. Judge others for not doing it right
  5. Pretend everything’s ok … but really hide from God’s correction
  6. Lie
  7. Blame
  8. Burdened by responsibility
  9. Separation from God

Judge someone by their spirit, not their weaknesses

Every human being is on this pathway until they find faith, but instead of finding faith, grace is promoted and swallowed. Thus people simply try to be good (step 3), usually by controlling their outward mood so they convince themselves and others that they are saved and righteous, and when someone loses their cool, they immediately judge (step 4) them as below their status. This is an evidence they are not really under grace. The real truth is grace without faith is simply using God for your own elevated status (step 1) in the eyes of others.

When Moses came down from the mount after 40 days with God, he lost his cool and smashed the tablets that God Himself had written on. Like modern day Christians, I highly suspect the people would have criticised him for having a mood. They couldn’t see that he lost his temper because of their own sin. Arrogance = grace without faith. Funny how you can act good but have envy in your heart, yet still call yourself good. It’s not the outward appearance but the heart that counts.

The truth is, God is not going to call you into His kingdom because you are good; He’s going to call you because you own your sin and repent and trust Him by faith (Matthew 22:10).

Fake grace manipulates the Ten Commandments to suit oneself.

People love the concept of grace because it means there’s no consequence for their sin; you can get away with it. Thus instead of honouring the principles of God’s Word by faith, fake grace convinces itself that it’s ok to work on Sabbath instead of trust God’s supply, to merchandise with the world on Sabbath, to have sex before marriage, to divorce and annul your marriage vows to God, to accept homosexuality as equal rights instead of calling it sin, to mock your parents’ authority in your heart, to hold a grievance against your neighbour, and to envy your neighbour’s goods and status. The disrespect of the Ten Commandments is the evidence of the church’s disrespect of God as the authority, and thus the evidence that all worship God on the basis of knowledge rooted in self-elevation, not faith.

Thus fake grace doesn’t confront sin; rather, it tolerates and excuses sin in itself and others. In fact, fake grace actually thinks this tolerance of sin is love and compassion. Fake grace forgets its own sin because it believes it’s covered and removed by the blood of Christ, but then shows its true colours by deriding anyone who still remembers it.

Fake grace teaches that the principle of grace is New Testament, but if the bible is the word of God I suggest to you God didn’t change character half-way through His book. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. The earth has always been under his grace, and when His grace runs out the world will be no more.

This might sound condemning but it’s only condemning to those who don’t want to hear; if you open your heart, it’s releasing.

May God open your heart to faith so you can experience His grace, and may you commit yourself to the real walk of faith so you don’t fall from His grace (Hebrews 12:15).

Pastor Wayne O’Brien

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Posted by on March 3, 2012 in Grace

 

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