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Brad's Blog

9 Reasons To Be Persistent In Teaching Grace

Teachers of grace often fall under great criticism when teaching the gospel of grace. They are consistently accused of giving people a license to sin, being light on sin, and watering down the gospel. They are spoken negatively of and slandered terribly by the religious crowd. In light of these verbal persecutions, teachers of grace must be persistent in teaching the gospel of God's grace.

In the Bible, Paul had to be persistent in teaching grace in the face of persecution.  His message of grace was consistently rejected by many leaders in the religious community. They slandered him daily. Sometimes, they physically attacked him, one time leaving him for dead. The following verses reveal the verbal and physical persecution Paul faced daily and his persistence in continuing to share the message of grace in the face of persecution.

He talked and debated with the Grecian Jews, but they tried to kill him.
Acts 9:29

...Paul and Barnabas urged them to continue in the grace of God...When the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealously and talked abusively against what Paul was saying...The stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, 
and expelled them from the region.
 Acts 13:43-50

So Paul and Barnabas spent considerable time there, speaking boldly for the Lord, who confirmed the message of his grace by enabling them to do miraculous signs. The people of the city were divided; some sided with the Jews, others with the apostles. There was a plot afoot among the Gentiles and Jews, together with their leaders, to mistreat them and stone them. But they found out about it and fled to the Lycaonian cities of Lystra and Derbe and to the the surrounding country, where they continued to preach the good news (the good news of God's grace).
Acts 14:3-7

Then some Jews came from Antioch and Iconium and won the crowd over. They stoned Paul and dragged him outside the city, thinking he was dead. But after the disciples had gathered around him, he got up and went back into the city. The next day he and 
Barnabas left for Derbe. They preached the good news (of God's grace) in that city and 
won a large number of disciples.
Acts 14:19-21

Why not say - as we (Paul and other teachers of grace) are being slanderously reported as saying and as some claim (those slandering teachers of grace) that we say - "Let us us do evil (sin more) that good (receive more grace from God) may result"? Their (those who slander teachers of grace) condemnation is deserved.
Romans 2:5-8

We (Paul and those joining him in teaching grace) had previously suffered and been insulted in Philippi, as you know, but with the help of our God we dared to tell you his gospel (grace) in spite of strong opposition.
1 Thessalonians 2:4
  
Alexander the metal worker did me a great deal of harm. The Lord will repay him for what he has done. You, too, should be on your guard against him, because he strongly opposed our message...But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength so that through me the message (of grace) might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it.
2 Timothy 4:14-15

So we see in these verses the persecution Paul faced in teaching the good news of God's grace. Yet, in the face of persecution, Paul was persistent in teaching grace. For Paul to be persistent in teaching grace in the face of persecution, he asked for the prayers of those who supported him in the message of grace.

Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel (grace), for which I am an ambassador (see 2 Corinthians 5:18-6:2) in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.
Ephesians 6:19-21

And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, 
as I should.
Colossians 4:3-4

Below, I summarize Paul's message of grace, which he desired to communicate fearlessly and clearly.

Grace is everything God did for us, out of his unconditional love and unmerited kindness through Jesus, to bring us into a loving relationship with himself, leaving us nothing to do but to receive by faith what he has done. Through faith in Jesus, we are fully forgiven of all our sins, set free from the law, and now call God "Father" through the Spirit of Jesus who lives in us. Through grace, we do not live as slaves in fear of the punishment of God, rather we draw near to God in a loving relationship in full assurance and confidence, knowing we are fully forgiven, completely accepted, and deeply loved by God.

Just as Paul was persistent in sharing grace with others in the face of persecution, we, too, must be persistent. 

Here are 9 reasons why we must be persistent teaching grace.

1. We must be persistent teaching grace because God has appointed and assigned us the task of teaching grace.

But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God...This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time...And of this gospel I was appointed a herald, and an apostle, and a teacher.
2 Timothy 1:8-11

However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if I only may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me - the task of testifying
to the gospel of God's grace.
Acts 20:24

...our competence comes from God. He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant...he has committed to us the message of reconciliation...As God's fellow workers,  we urge you not to receive God's grace in vain.
2 Corinthians 3:5-6; 5:19; 6:1

We speak as men approved by God to be entrusted (appointed and assigned
with the gospel (grace).
1 Thessalonians 2:4

2. We must be persistent teaching grace because it is the truth.

We did not give into them for a moment, 
so that the truth of the gospel might remain with you.
Galatians 2:5 

 ...the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation.
Ephesians 1:13

...the word of truth, the gospel...God's grace in all its truth.
Colossians 1:3-8
 
Therefore, since through God's mercy we have this ministry (sharing grace with others), we do not lose heart... 
setting forth the truth plainly...even if our gospel is veiled...
2 Corinthians 4:1-3
 

Here are 14 truths about grace we learn from the Bible.


  • It is true no one is righteous, no one can be saved by the law (Ten Commandments), and that all people have sinned (Romans 3:10, 19-23).

  • It is true the law (Ten Commandments) establishes a standard for sin, educates us about sin, and executes us for sin (Romans 7:7-24; 2 Corinthians 3:6-9; Galatians 3:24).

  • It is true the law was nailed to the cross with Jesus (Ephesians 2:14-15; Colossians 2:14, 3:13).

  • It is true that Jesus died for ALL our sins (Romans 5:6-8; 2 Corinthians 5:14, 21; Hebrews 2:9, 7:27, 9:28; 1 John 2:2, 4:10).

  • It is true God is no longer counting our sins against us (2 Corinthians 5:19).

  • It is true that through faith in Jesus we receive forgiveness for ALL our sins (Romans 4:7-8; Colossians 1:14, 2:14; Hebrews 8:12, 10:17-18). 

Forgiveness is the act of God, based upon his grace freely given us in Jesus, whereby he declares us to be fully forgiven forever of all sins, past, present, and future. As a result of his forgiveness, we no longer seek to earn God's forgiveness through the endless cycle of repeated confession as the priest did under the old covenant of law, but now we rest in his forgiveness, telling him "Thank you" for the forgiveness he has given us in Christ  (2 Corinthians 4:15, Colossians 2:7; Hebrews 13:15).

  • It is true that through faith in Jesus, not the works of the law, we are justified (Romans 3:21-24, 28, 4:5, 16, 5:1-2, 16, 18; Galatians 3:11, 24). 

Justified is the act of God, based upon his grace freely given us in Jesus, whereby he declares us to be totally forgiven of all sin and declares us to be righteous, or innocent in his sight, the moment we place our faith in Jesus
.
  • It is true that by faith in Jesus, not the law, we are declared to be righteous in God's sight (Romans 5:21-24, 4:6, 24, 5:17, 19; Galatians 2:20-21, Philippians 3:9). 

Righteousness is the act of God, based upon his grace freely given us in Jesus, whereby he declares us to be right in his sight, or totally forgiven and completely innocent in his sight, the moment we place our faith in Jesus.
  • It is the truth we are no longer under law, but under grace (Romans 6:14, 10:4, Galatians 3:24).

To be under grace means we no longer seek to obtain a right standing with God (justification and righteousness), obtain forgiveness from God, or maintain fellowship with God through religious activity or morality. Rather, we rest completely in the finished work of Jesus on the cross, by which has made us right with God, achieved for us eternal forgiveness (Hebrews 9:12), and brought us into a loving-relationship with him as our Father by which we draw near to him in an open and honest relationship (fellowship) through the new covenant of grace (Hebrews 7:19, 10:19-22).

  • It is the truth that if we seek to be justified by law we fall from grace (Galatians 5:4).
 
To fall from grace, according to the Bible, is to depend upon our religious activities and morality (law) to be right in God's sight (forgiven, justified, and righteous), rather than on the finished work of Jesus (Galatians 2:21, 5:4). A common misunderstanding in the Christian community is that to fall from grace is to slip back into a life of sin as a Christian. When biblically, if someone were to slip back into a life of sin, they fall into grace not out of grace (Romans 5:21).

  • It is true we have been redeemed or set free from the law through the death of Jesus so that we no longer live in fear as slaves to the punishment of God, but rather enjoy a love relationship with God as our "Abba Father" through the Spirit of Jesus in us, knowing we are fully forgiven, totally accepted, and deeply loved (Romans 5:11, 8:15-16; Galatians 3:13, 4:4-7; Ephesians 5:1; 1 John 3:1).

  • It is true we are now led by the Spirit of Jesus in us and not by the law of God outside of us (Galatians 5:13-18, 22-23).

To be led by the Spirit is to no longer rely on the law of God to govern our relationship with God, but to rely completely upon the grace of God poured out upon us in Jesus. As we rely upon the grace of God to govern our relationship with him, we call God "Father" through the Spirit of Jesus who lives in us. We are now led by a loving relationship with God internally, which is in our hearts, rather than externally by his law. As we walk in a loving relationship with God as our Father, a relationship where we experience his love, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and faithfulness toward us as his children, we will then, as we grow in God's love, express these same qualities of God's nature to others. This is called the Spirit-filled Life. 

  • It is true we are now part of the "new man", the church, made up of Jew and Gentile in which the law is no longer valid. Paul calls this the mystery (Ephesians 2:11-22, 3:1-11). 

  • It is true grace teaches us to say "No" to sin and to live a life pleasing to God (Romans 6:14; Titus 2:11-14).

  • It is true grace encourages us, empowers us, and energizes us (2 Thessalonians 2: 16; 1 Corinthians 15:10; 2 Corinthians 12:9-10).

  • It is true some will use grace as a license to sin, proving they are godless, or without the Spirit of God in their hearts. However, we cannot cease teaching the full message of grace because some may use it as a license to sin. (Jude 4, 19).  


3. We must be persistent teaching grace so it remains with people. 

This matter arose for some false brothers (those claiming to teach the gospel, but were  adding religious activity and morality as the means for acceptance with God) had infiltrated our ranks (the ranks of those resting fully on the finished work of Christ on the cross, or grace, for acceptance with God) to spy on the freedom (free from having to meet religious or moral standards to be accepted by God, because acceptance with God is by grace through faith alone) we have in Christ Jesus and to make us slaves (to the law, or depending on religious activity and morality for acceptance with God). We did not give into them for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel (truth of grace
might remain with you.
Galatians 2:4-5

4. We must be persistent teaching grace because grace changes lives. 

For I am not ashamed of the gospel (grace), for it is the power unto salvation (totally changing our lives both earthly and eternally) for those who believe (receive God's grace through faith).
Romans 1:16

...those who receive the abundant provision of God's grace and the gift of righteousness might reign in life (experience a changed life) through the one man,
Jesus Christ.
Romans 5:17

All of this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people (changing the lives of more and more people) may result in thanksgiving (people telling God "thank you" for his life-changing graceoverflowing to the glory of God.
2 Corinthians 4:15 

All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing (changing lives), just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and understood grace in all its truth.
Colossians 1:6-7

A friend of mine, Mark, drove home the necessity of being persistent in teaching grace when he came up to me after hearing me teach on grace for over three months and said, "Thank you for being persistent in teaching grace. It took me three months to get it, but because of your persistence in the face of verbal persecution, it changed my life!" This leads us to the fifth reason we must be persistent in teaching grace.

5. We must be persistent teaching grace because it takes people time to understand it.

Because so few people in the Christian community have been taught the life-changing truths of God's grace, many find these truths difficult to accept at first. Yet, with consistent teaching done in a gentle spirit, many will eventually embrace the truths of grace and experience life change, just as my friend Mark did.

In the December 2014 issue of Bob George's newsletter, Bob printed the following words from a letter he received from someone impacted over the course of time by his persistence in teaching the good news of God's grace.

"I first learned of Bob in the late 80's listening to the radio; and came across this guy saying things that at first, didn't make sense. And that was because I was so used to hearing the regular stuff all my life. But gradually as I kept listening, I started saying to myself: "that's right, what he is saying is right.' In fact, you started to answer all the questions I had stored up all those years listening to the regular stuff, that they could never answer, and
really contradicted the Word that I was reading. Probably for me, the most profound statement for me at that time was: 'God gives grace to the humble, but resists the proud.' I was coming from a place of utter humility, couldn't get any lower than where I was at. Suicide was a thought, but didn't have the guts. Was certainly in a
place to receive the understanding of the Grace of God...Thank you for being so instrumental in bringing this sheep back to the Shepherd" 

This letter demonstrates why it is so important for teachers of grace to continue to share the message of grace in the face of persecution. 

The following verses reveal how we are to persistently share God's grace in the face of persecution in hopes God will enable people to see the life-changing truths of his grace.

Those who oppose (those who are having a difficult time understand the difference between law and grace) him, he (the one teaching grace) must gently instruct (gently teach the truths of grace to those who are having a hard time understanding the difference between law and grace), in hopes that God will grant them repentance (seeing and admitting the error of their beliefs) leading to a knowledge (understandingof the truth (about the truths of God's grace)...
2 Timothy 2:25

...I give you this charge: Preach the Word (the word of truth about grace); be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke, and encourage - 
with great patience and careful instruction.
2 Timothy 4:2

6. We must be persistent teaching grace because Satan is opposed to grace.

Satan is opposed to the teaching of grace because he knows it transforms the lives of those who humbly receive it. So Satan will do everything he can to suppress the message of grace.

 Those (other Bible teachers who oppose the person teaching the message of grace)who oppose him, he (the teacher of grace) must gently instruct, in hopes that God will grant them (those who oppose the message of grace) repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth (about grace), and they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them (Bible teachers who do not understand or teach the fullness of God's grace and are slanderous of those who do) captive to do his (Satan's) will (suppress the message of grace).
2 Timothy 2:23-26

"In your anger, do not sin": Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold...Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving (having grace upon each other in the original Greek language) each other, just as in Christ God forgave (had grace upon you in the original Greek language) you.

Grace releases the grip Satan has on our lives. Grace totally strips Satan of his power. Where Satan desires to destroy our lives through anger, bitterness, rage, fighting, brawling, and revenge, grace sets us free from these emotions as we freely give to others the grace God freely gave to us.

This is why our battle is not against flesh and blood, each other, but against Satan. In our battle against Satan, we are encouraged to put on the belt of truth, which is the belt of truth about grace (Ephesians 6:10-14).

It is grace that disarmed and defeated Satan.  

And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he (Jesus) made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.
Colossians 2:15

And it is grace that disarms and defeats Satan in our lives. That is why he does not want the message of grace getting out. This is why he wants this message suppressed. 

7. We must be persistent teaching grace because some teachers of the Bible oppose it. 

They (some of those who teach the Bible) want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm.
1 Timothy 1:7

Do not have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments (about law and grace), because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord's servant (the one who has been appointed and assigned to teach grace) must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Those who oppose him he must gently instruct (about the truths of the gospel of grace), in hopes that God will grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth (about grace), and they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken 
them captive to do his will (suppress the message of grace by opposing it).
2 Timothy 2:23-26

For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine (the doctrine of grace found in Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians). Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear (teachings rejecting the truths of grace, yet emphasizing one's own personal commitment to religious activities and morality for acceptance with God, rather than faith alone in Christ alone). They will turn their ears away from the truth (the truths of grace) and turn aside to myths (religious traditions of men).
2 Timothy 4:2-4

For there are many rebellious people, mere talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision group (teachers who teach acceptance with God is based on faith in Jesus PLUS religious activity and morality for acceptance with God). They must be silenced, because they are ruining whole households by teaching things they ought not teach.... Therefore, rebuke them sharply, so that they will be sound in the faith and will pay no attention to Jewish myths (emphasis on religious traditions of man as methods of acceptance with God, rather than by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus) or to the commands of those who reject the truth (they reject grace, or the teaching that faith alone in Jesus alone is what makes us accepted by God).
Titus 1:10-14

But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless. Warn a divisive person (one who causes division by teaching law, or a combination of law and grace, as the way of acceptance with God, rather than by grace through faith alone in Jesus alone) once, and then warn him a second time. After that, have nothing to do with him.
Titus 3:9-10

8. We must be persistent teaching grace so we can pass it to the next generation.

Watch your (Timothy) life and your doctrine closely (don't be carried away from the teachings of grace). Persevere in them (the teachings of grace), because if you do, you will save both yourselves and your hearers (from being negatively impacted by false teachings about the law).
1 Timothy 4:16

What you (Timothy) heard from me (Paul), keep as the pattern of sound teaching (grace)...
2 Timothy 1:13

You (Timothy) then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things you have heard me (Paul) say (the teachings of grace, Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians) in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others (the truths of grace).
2 Timothy 2:1-2

9. We must be persistent teaching grace so we can finish the race and complete the task God has assigned us - the race and task of teaching the good news of God's grace.

However, I (Paul) consider my life worth nothing to me, if I only may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me - the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace.
Acts 20:24

...the time has come for my (Paul) departure (death is near). I have fought the good fight (persistent in sharing the message of grace in the face of persecution), I have finished the race (of testifying to the gospel of God's grace), I have kept (preserved and protected) the faith (the truths of God's grace).
2 Timothy 4:6-7

At the beginning of Paul's ministry, his desire was to finish the race and complete the task Jesus had given him, the race and task of sharing God's grace with others in cities all over the Roman Empire. About 30 years later, knowing his death was drawing near at the hands of the Roman government, Paul writes to his beloved son in the faith, Timothy, and shares with him he had been persistent in sharing God's grace and had finished the race and completed the task the Lord had given him, the race and task of sharing God's grace with people. It wasn't long after writing these words to Timothy that Paul's life was taken by the Roman government for his faith and teaching about the life, death, resurrection, and return of Jesus, and the grace he brought to the human race.

Because of Paul's persistent in teaching grace in the face of persecution, the message of God's grace was protected in his generation and preserved for future generations. We must do the same in our generation. Through persistence, we must protect the message of grace in our generation in light of those who wish to water it down with religious traditions and activities, and morality, as the means to acceptance with God. With this same persistence, we must preserve the message of grace for future generations so they can experience its life-changing truths, passing it on to future generations. The biblical message of grace we must persistently protect and preserve in the face of persecution is: 

Grace is everything God did for us, out of his unconditional love and unmerited kindness through Jesus, to bring us into a loving relationship with himself, leaving us nothing to do but to receive by faith what he has done. Through faith in Jesus, we are fully forgiven of all our sins, set free from the law, and now call God "Father" through the Spirit of Jesus who lives in us. Through grace, we do not live as slaves in fear of the punishment of God, rather we draw near to God in a loving relationship in full assurance and confidence, knowing we are fully forgiven, completely accepted, and deeply loved by God.  


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1 Comment to 9 Reasons To Be Persistent In Teaching Grace:

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Shawn on Sunday, December 21, 2014 9:51 AM
Great post, Brad. Merry Christmas to you and your family.
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