We’ve all heard the arguments from the doubters of free grace. If it’s just as easy as accepting Him and all is forgiven, what’s to prevent people from just committing murder and then confessing to God and asking forgiveness.
The hypocrisy of over simplifying the free gift of grace comes from both sides of the Christian isle as well. Not only do non-believers see it as another reason to doubt, but some believers see it as a reason not put any effort into the works side of things. The fact is that both are wrong.
First lets address the non believing doubters. When Paul was writing to the Romans, he outlined the simple process of salvation in this way. “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9). This salvation has TWO parts. Yes, a verbal confession is key and required but there is a more important second part. A witness can hear a confession, that can be public and known to others. However this second part is “believe in your heart”. Only God will know if that confession is real, if you really believe in your heart that God raised His son from the dead to conquer death and redeem you. So for someone to truly believe in their heart that Christ is their Lord and Savior, raised from the dead to do so… that person can never treat salvation as a get out of Hell free card.
Secondly, are those believer who focus too much on the free gift of grace and ignore the works part. It is absolutely true that we are NOT saved by works, we are not judged by works, we earn nothing from those works. There is no check box to earn credit for, there is no ‘higher place in heaven’ for those who worked harder. Works has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with ourselves and EVERYTHING to do with the love of others.
Paul told the Corinthians not to waste the free gift. “Working together with him, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain.” (2 Cor 6:1) Accepting this free gift and then sitting back and doing nothing about it would be a waste, totally in vain.
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Eph 2:10)
It is true that we are not save by good works, but we are saved FOR good works. God created the good works for us to do, then custom molded us with gifts and skills to accomplish that good work. He sent His Son to pay the price for our freedom, not so we would squander that freedom, but so that we would celebrate that freedom by doing the good works He created us to do.
If you are free and alive in Christ, then God has given you a second chance. Don’t waste it!