Do not abuse God's grace

Have you seen such a thing before? This is a so-called wood-nickel [5-Rappen piece]. During the American Civil War, such wood chips were issued by the government instead of the usual coins. Unlike the normal coins, these had no real value. When the American economy got over its crisis, they lost their purpose. Although they had the same seal and size as a valid coin, everyone who still owned them knew they were worthless.

I am aware that unfortunately we can also see God's grace in this way. We know how real things feel and whether they are valuable, but sometimes we settle for something that can only be described as a cheap, worthless, dilapidated form of grace. The grace offered to us by Christ means complete freedom from the judgment we deserve. But Peter warns us: Live as free and not as if you had the freedom to disguise malice (1 Peter 2,16).

He talks about the wood-nickel grace ". This is a form of grace that is used as an excuse to justify stubborn sin; it is not a question of confessing them before God, so as to receive the gift of forgiveness, nor to seek repentance before God, to seek his help, and thus to resist the temptation and to bring about a change and new freedom through his power experience. God's grace is a relationship that accepts both and renews us in the image of Christ through the work of the Holy Spirit. God generously grants us his grace. We do not have to pay him for forgiveness. But our acceptance of His grace will be dear to us; In particular, it will cost us our pride.

Our sin will always have some consequences in our lives and in the lives of those around us, and to our detriment we will ignore it. Sin always interrupts on our side the well-being in a joyful and peaceful friendship and communion with God. Sin leads us to rational excuses and leads us to self-justification. Overstretching grace is incompatible with a permanent life in God's benevolent relationship that He made possible for us in Christ. Rather, it ends with the grace of God being rejected.

The worst of all is that cheap grace lowers the true value of grace, which is the most precious thing in the universe. The grace offered to us by new life in Jesus Christ was indeed so precious that God himself gave his life as a ransom. It cost him everything, and if we use it as an excuse for sinning, it's like walking around with a bag full of wood-nickel and calling us millionaires.

Whatever you do, do not resort to cheap grace! True grace is so infinitely valuable.

by Joseph Tkach

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