The Enemies of Grace Part 2
Galatians 2:21a – I don’t ignore the grace of God (Common English Bible)
Galatians 2:21a – I do not frustrate the grace of God (King James Version)
Religion and tradition – Religion is man reaching out to find God but Christianity is God coming down to find man and bringing man up to His level. Christianity is not a religion, it is a relationship. Tradition is defined as long established procedure that is handed down over several generations. The relationship between God and human beings is made possible through grace via our faith in Christ Jesus. In other words, without grace there is no access and consequently, no dominion.
Our traditional and religious views however, could lock us out of God’s grace. To most people, being a good Christian is about how much you can do/punish yourself for the sake of God in order to qualify for His love and acceptability. There are a lot of traditional beliefs that support this way thinking in virtually all of human society. This mindset is not scriptural; it is anti-grace. While the intention behind it is, most of the time, to serve and be closer to God, the principle and ideology does not accord with the message in the New Testament, in particular the grace (unmerited favour) of our Lord Jesus Christ. If we still have the responsibility to make ourselves right before God in order to be acceptable and to enjoy His blessing, then the death and resurrection of Jesus means nothing. This is where religion and some traditional ways of thinking about being acceptable to God are erroneous and frustrate grace. The cure to this is searching the scripture and cross examining your traditional and religious beliefs in light of scripture and what Christ has done for you.
Doubt, fear and unbelief – These three work hand in hand. If the devil can make you doubt God’s grace and love for you then, you become fearful and feel exposed. If fear remains unchecked, you enter into a state of unbelief. Unbelief is not ignorance. Ignorance is lack of knowledge but unbelief is the lack of will to accept the knowledge that is given to you as true. Doubt means to double. This happen mostly when there is delay in getting your expectation and you have had barrages of disappointments. The Bible indicates that hope deferred, wearies the soul. It is often the case that the older people become, the greater their tendencies to be unoptimistic and unenthusiastic about the future and life in general. This is as result of many unchecked negative life experiences. Consequently, this makes them very fearful, though they call it being cautious. They become less eager to attempt new things. They prefer the norm and familiar. This then develops into unbelief. You will find that most old people will never use iphones. They are always talking about the good old days and never enter into the present and move into the future. This process frustrates the grace and hinders divine intervention and participation in people’s lives. The cure to this is found in the words of Paul, ‘I die daily’ (1 Corinthians 15:31). He said, ‘one thing I do is forgetting what lies behind and reaching for what is ahead’ (Philippians 3:13-14). In Romans 12: 2, we are encouraged not to be conformed to the world but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds to ‘God’s unfailing love for us’. This is a daily job. The grace of God is always unfolding and never static. It is also multiplying, never diminishing. We need to be ready to evolve with and increase in the grace of God on a daily basis.
For Further Study
Galatians 2:21, Mark 7:13, Ephesians 2:8-9, proverbs 13:12, 1 John 4:18
Personal declaration for the day
I will not despise or let go of the grace of God on my life.
Questions for you to reflect on
What enemies of grace are prominent in your life?
How have you dealt with them?
When was the last time you showed unmerited favour to someone?