GS: Grace

Jan 19, 2014

Now you may note with regards to justice that I have left out rewarding good. Rewarding good is not actually a matter of Biblical justice. Being good is an obligation. God shouldn't have to reward people for being good. They're supposed to be good all the time. Falling short of that is sin, despite the fact that "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God". Rom 3:23 Jesus speaks of this in his parable of the unworthy servants of Luke 17:7-10 "Suppose one of you had a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Would he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, ‘Come along now and sit down to eat’? Would he not rather say, ‘Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink’? Would he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’" But despite the fact that God is under no obligation to reward good behavior, He characteristically does so, but not out of justice, rather out of grace.

Grace is not injustice. God is both just and gracious. For God to be just, He is bound to satisfy the demands of justice. He is bound to punish evil and compensate victims of unjustified suffering. He has no choice in the matter. If He had a choice in administering justice to one and not to another, He would be partial, and as such unjust. Many, particularly among non-Christian religions, are under the misconception that God can just forgive sin discarding the demands of justice. For their god, grace nullifies justice. Not so with the Lord God. For the Lord God there is no forgiveness apart from the demands of justice being satisfied, which is why Christ had to die for our sins for God to exercise His grace in the forgiveness of sins. "In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace." Eph 1:7

Grace is not obligatory. As an example, take tithing. The Old Covenant demanded people tithe. There was no choice. It was a matter of duty. And since tithing was an obligation, it was not an act of generosity. Under the New Covenant Christians are under no obligation to tithe. Nowhere in the epistles are Christians told to tithe. What they are told is this, "Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver." 2Cor 9:7 That is generosity. That is grace. It is not obligatory, but done freely. With regards to salvation, God is not obligated to save anyone. Rather He does so out of grace. Paul writes, "by grace you have been saved through faith" Eph 2:8a

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