4. Abusing Grace - Retain the Standard

Desert Church of Christ
Pahrump, NV
We welcome you to our assembly!
Our assemblies:
Sunday morning Bible study: 10:00 AM
Sunday morning worship: 11:00 AM
Sunday evening Bible study: 5:00 PM
Wednesday Bible Study: 6:00 PM
Evangelist: David F. Sims
“abundant grace was upon them all” Acts 4:33
God’s Abundant Grace
Acts 4:33
Abusing God’s Grace
Don’t Take It For Granted!
Please open your Bible & follow along
in Matthew 7:13-14!
God’s Abundant Grace
Acts 4:33
• Some Christians worry about their security…
• Others don’t worry enough about their own role!
• To walk in grace is to walk the strait and narrow
way. But what happens when a Christian steps off
the path?
• There are some misconceptions about the role of
grace in keeping a Christian in a saved condition.
• Our study today: understanding the abuses of
grace that can jeopardize one’s salvation
God’s Abundant Grace
Acts 4:33
• Outline: Four Ways Christians Abuse God’s Grace
– Treating grace as a license to sin
– Assuming grace ignores the intent of the heart
– Assuming grace automatically forgives sin
– Assuming grace prevents sin or falling away
God’s Abundant Grace
Acts 4:33
• Four Ways Christians Abuse God’s Grace
1. Treating grace as a license to sin
• Some NT Christians mistakenly thought there was no law at all
since the Law of Moses was taken away, and that they were
free to sin as much as they wanted, to make grace increase.
– “If I sin more, God can be even more gracious!”
• This is an abuse of Rom. 5:20-21 “where sin increased, grace
abounded all the more”
• But Paul corrected this in Romans 6 “Are we to continue in
sin so that grace may increase? May it never be!”
• Grace does NOT give us permission to sin.
• Grace DOES have law: Rom. 2:4-16; law of God: Rom.7:25; 8:7
• Jesus was not kidding about walking the strait & narrow way!
God’s Abundant Grace
Acts 4:33
• Four Ways Christians Abuse God’s Grace
2. Assuming grace ignores the intent of the heart
• Some think, “It is easier to ask forgiveness than permission”
• Or say in their heart, “Just this once I deserve a little sinful
pleasure…God will understand and forgive me”
• But sins of the heart are still sins: lust, hate, jealousy, pride, etc.
• Matt. 15:8 “This people honors Me with their lips, but their
heart is far away from Me.”
• Acts 5:3-4 – Ananias conceived sin in his heart
• 1 Cor. 4:5 – Jesus will “disclose the motives of men’s hearts”
• The heart determines intent, will, and action. Fakers and frauds
will be identified in judgment…make your heart right!
God’s Abundant Grace
Acts 4:33
• Four Ways Christians Abuse God’s Grace
3. Assuming it automatically forgives our sins
• 1 John 1: 7-9 “if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light,
we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His
Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we are
deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our
sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to
cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
• The words “continually” and “automatically” are not there!
• Sin happens when we step outside the Light…no need for
“continual cleansing” of those who are walking in the Light.
• Simon was directed to repent and pray for forgiveness (Acts 8:22)
• 1 John 1:9 says sin must be confessed in order to be forgiven.
Cleansing, therefore is only as continual as our confession of sin.
God’s Abundant Grace
Acts 4:33
• Four Ways Christians Abuse God’s Grace
4. Assuming it prevents falling away
• Calvinism teaches that the saved can never sin or fall, and if a
believer sins, he was never really saved in the first place.
– Some believers come short of grace (Heb. 12:15)
– Some believers receive grace in vain (2 Cor. 6:1)
– Some believers nullify grace (Gal. 2:21)
– Some believers fall from grace (Gal. 5:4)
– Some lose faith and fall away from God (Heb. 3:8-12)
• Grace prevents Satan from snatching you out of God’s hand
(John 10:28-29), but it does not prevent you from leaving it.
• Grace does not prevent us from sinning or falling. We can still
choose to abandon grace. 1 John 1:8,10!
God’s Abundant Grace
Acts 4:33
• There have always been people who would abuse God’s
kindness, even believers who rebel and live in sin.
• Deut. 32:5-6 “They have acted corruptly toward Him,
they are not His children, because of their defect; but
are a perverse and crooked generation. Do you thus
repay the LORD, O foolish and unwise people? Is not He
your Father who has bought you? He has made you and
established you.”
• Titus 1:16 “They profess to know God, but by their deeds
they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient
and worthless for any good deed.”
God’s Abundant Grace
Acts 4:33
• Summary
– Grace is not a license to sin…we must obey God’s law.
– Grace does not ignore the intent of the heart…we must be
sincere in our service.
– Grace does not automatically forgive sin – we must confess
our sins, repent, and pray for forgiveness.
– Grace does not prevent sin or falling away…we retain freewill
and can fall from grace if we resist it.
– We have a role in keeping ourselves saved: “Everyone who
names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness” (2
Tim. 2:19)
– Phil. 2:12 “work out your salvation with fear and trembling”
God’s Abundant Grace
Acts 4:33
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing
salvation to all men, instructing us to deny
ungodliness and worldly desires and to live
sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age…
(Titus 2:11-12)
Worried about your salvation? Next week we will
examine our blessed assurance!
God’s Abundant Grace
Acts 4:33
• Would you like to receive God’s grace today?
• Obey the Gospel!
• Believe His Word…that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who
died for our sins and was raised up.
• Repent of your sins…commit yourself to holiness.
• Confess your faith in God to save you.
• Be baptized into Jesus for forgiveness of your sins.
• Continue in the blessed relationship of His favor by
remaining faithful in godly conduct.
“abundant grace was upon them all” Acts 4:33
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