The Gospel of Grace is the Gospel of the New Covenant. This Gospel is built on Jesus Christ Himself, and not on a doctrine or theology.
About 90% of Christians are unacquainted with the gospel of grace. If you were to ask these people about grace they would declare, “yes, I am saved by grace! I thank God for His grace!” But by their works they testify that God’s grace is not enough. Grace may have got them started, but now it’s up to them to finish. Having begun with the Spirit they are now trying to attain their goal by human effort [simple_tooltip content=’Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh?’](Gal 3:3)[/simple_tooltip]. Instead of working out what it means to be saved, they are working hard to stay saved.
Do you know that you are saved by grace and kept by grace?
So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him. (Col 2:6)
As you received Him, in the same way you should continue to live in Him – by faith! It’s faith in God’s grace from start to finish.
There is a simple test to help you determine whether the gospel message you’re trusting in is the same gospel that Jesus revealed and Paul preached.
Does this gospel cause me to fix my eyes exclusively on Jesus?
Does this message focus on me or does it cause me to fix my eyes on the Author and Finisher of my faith? Does it emphasize what I’m doing (or not doing), or does it emphasize His finished work on the cross? Does it make me introspective and anxious or Christ-conscious and grateful?
When God ushered in the new covenant of grace, He sent His beloved Son Jesus and not a new set of commandments. And every blessing that we would ever need is inseparable from the person of Jesus!
Whatever your need, your answer is found in Jesus and His finished work. He is the one who blesses you with righteousness, holiness, success, victory, favor, provision, healing, wisdom and much more! (1 Cor 1:30). God gave Jesus. He Himself is the very answer you are looking for to your need! Jesus Himself is the way—your salvation in whatever troubling situation you find yourself in! (John 14:6)
That’s why Paul resolved to know nothing but “Christ and Him crucified” (1 Cor 2:2). Any message that doesn’t reveal Jesus will likely be powerless substitute and a wasted opportunity. Jesus is the supreme manifestation of the character and purpose of God. Any message that diminishes Jesus, insults the Spirit of grace. Jesus is peerless and nothing compares to Him.
Does this gospel empower me to overcome sin?
There are two ways to deal with sin: (1) preach law or (2) reveal grace. A law-based message will stir up the flesh in a human-powered quest for a change in behavior. This approach is inherently flawed for the purpose of the law is to inflame sin (Rom 7:5). Thus, any “success” with this approach will only lead to the graver sins of pride, self-righteousness, and the truly fatal sin of unbelief in the grace of a good God. Ultimately the law is powerless to deal with sin because it leaves the heart untouched (Col 2:23). Worse, it releases condemnation and ministers death, just as it was designed to do (2 Cor 3:7,9).
Grace declares that Jesus conquered all sin on the cross (He 9:26). You are not holy because of your behavior but His (1 Cor 1:30). The message of grace will deal very practically with sin by seeking to reveal your true identity in Christ. You are a new creation with a new nature. Your old sin nature has been nailed to the cross and you are no longer sin’s slave (Rm 6:6,20). Appetites are dealt with by recognizing who you are in Christ and reckoning your old self as dead. Again, the focus is on Jesus, not you. Jesus was tempted in every way yet was without sin. As you rest in Him, you will find grace to help you in your time of need (Heb 4:15-16).
The Bible is very clear; the law empowers sin (1 Cor 15:56) and only a revelation of God’s grace can teach us to say no to ungodliness (Tit 2:12).
Does this gospel release peace and joy?
The kingdom of heaven is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Rm 14:17). If the gospel you’re listening to doesn’t reveal Jesus and the gift of His righteousness, then you will never experience the peace and joy that comes with it. It really is all about Jesus. He took our sin and gave us His righteousness (2 Co 5:21). This is what the gospel reveals – a righteousness from God that is received by faith from first to last (Rm 1:17). When you know that God has made you as righteous as Jesus, you will be empowered to reign in life (Rm 5:17).
Paul began every one of his letters with the phrase, “Grace and peace to you from God the Father.” It is only a revelation of God’s favor that brings true peace. Know grace, know peace. Worldly peace is temporary, but the peace of God – that sense that everything is coming together for good because you belong to Jesus and His favor rests on you – passes understanding (Php 4:7). It fortifies your heart and mind so that in all circumstances you find yourself overflowing with thankfulness (Col 2:7). No matter how severe your trial, you will be able to find rest – indeed, even joy – in His mighty, loving arms (Php 4:4).
If you have a positive answer to any of these questions, then it means you are living on pure, undiluted grace!