“Through Silvanus, whom I know to be a faithful brother, I have written to you briefly, in order to encourage you and testify that this is the true grace of God. Stand fast in it” (1 Pet. 5:12 NET).
The Apostle Peter above talks of the “true grace of God.” That implies there were already people spreading false teachings on grace. In fact, as soon as Paul started preaching the message of grace, men started abusing it and alleging that Paul had told them to continue in their sin, and God would do nothing but cuddle them (Rom 3:8)! This trend has continued until today. Without any question, there are many false teachings about grace. Whenever you have a true message circulating among many false ones, there must be a way to test and know which is which.
Thankfully, there is such a test for grace. Jude gives us a simple test for true grace, saying “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all people. It trains us to reject godless ways and worldly desires and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age” (Tit. 2:11-12 NET). True grace trains people to reject godless ways and worldly desires and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives! There are two parts of this test—the presence and absence of grace. The greatest proof of the absence of grace is the presence of sin, because grace empowers those who know it to triumph over sin and lead a godly life. If you see a lifestyle of sin despite a professed knowledge of grace, you are hearing words of deception. True grace will change your life and your ministry or church. It will beautify you with Christlikeness in character.
Look carefully into the verse above. Why do you think Peter used the word “true” while addressing his audience?
APPLY THE WORD
A direct instruction from the Word above is that you should be careful about what you hear as “grace.” Beware of false teachings, doctrines, and brethren! Be established in the truth yourself.
Ask the Lord to keep you from the false grace that may be coming from all around you in its many forms.
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