Lots of people and churches all over the world love to use the word "grace". It's certainly not an uncommon concept in Christianity and it's probably got several popular definitions such as unmerited favor or God's Riches At Christ's Expense. I'd say both of those are true but as Steve McVey has recently written on his blog, grace is NOT just another doctrine, not even if you call it one of the most important doctrines. Grace is a person, Jesus! "For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ." (John 1:17)
So here's a simple little litmus test to use anytime you start to get confused by something being said or taught about grace: replace "grace" with "Jesus". Here are some examples:
Grace is wonderful but you can go too far with it.
Jesus is wonderful but you can got too far with him.
You have to be careful with grace, it can lead to liscentiousness and people thinking they can just go out and sin all they want.
You have to be careful with Jesus, he can lead to liscentiousness and people thinking they can just go out and sin all they want.
It wouldn't be possible to appreciate grace if we weren't constantly aware of our sins and apart from our sin there is no need for grace.
It wouldn't be possible to appreciate Jesus if we weren't constantly aware of our sins and apart from our sin there is no need for Jesus.
And how about this...
Grace is good but we also need to obey the moral law.
Jesus is good but we also need to obey the moral law.
So....Jesus wasn't quite good enough??? He was merely an addendum to the Law, a great little addition? Not quite important enough to actually replace the whole OLD system completely? Methinks it would not be called the 'old' covenant if it were still in use. Mealsothinks Jesus is the mediator of a far superior covenant that has been referred to as "NEW".