Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The real danger

"Paul spoke of his own preaching as being by the grace of God. Eph 3:8, "Although I am less than the least of all the saints, THIS GRACE WAS GIVEN TO ME: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ." Not only his own preaching, but all ministering to the church, Paul says is to be by grace. Eph 4:7, "But to each one of us GRACE HAS BEEN GIVEN AS CHRIST APPORTIONED IT." Eph 4:11-12, "It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastor-teachers, to prepare God's people for the works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up." Heb 4:16, "Let us then approach the THRONE OF GRACE with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." There is a provision from God to completely support us in our time of need. This is by grace and grace alone. We don't earn it, nor do we deserve it. II Thess 2:16-17, "May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and BY HIS GRACE GAVE US ETERNAL ENCOURAGEMENT and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word." The benediction of grace in the Christian life is "eternal encouragement and good hope culminating in encouraged hearts and strength in every good deed and word." There is nothing in life for which there is not grace. Because grace is so essential for every detail of the believer's life, there can be no danger of teaching too much grace. The real danger is in not understanding grace and in not teaching it enough."

Robert H. Kreger


Troy Thackwray said...

Very true Craig!

What saddens me personally, is I think many people who are genuine concerning their love for God, become defensive when grace is being preached, simply because they have not discovered what it truly means (and meditate on it). I can't think of any reason why a christian can find the [correct] grace message offensive after actually listening to it with an open mind.

I think many people are repelled by the teaching of grace, not because they disagree with it, but because they don't actually understand it (sadly) - they've been distracted either by the deception to try impress God with their own righteousness, OR they have been "put off" by the extremists who proclaim grace as being a ticket to sin and fruitlessness.

I've listened to some of your preaches recently, and i really enjoy the fact that you don't hesitate to emphasize (with correct theology...that's the key!) the importance of actually responding BY FAITH in order to experience our abundant life that is hidden in Christ.
And that's healthy - it's not a mixture, nor is it "holding two things in tension", but taught properly it actually completes a sound teaching of the work of God in our lives.

The way you've taught what i've heard so far, directly encourages people to become faithful in their lifestyle - and true grace does that (our preaching has adjusted to that too)!

I don't know how you feel about it, but sometimes, and it genuinely saddens me, i see (figuratively) the likes of the "apostle Paul's congregation" and "James's congregation" splitting hairs over which teaching should be emphasized more in church (Paul's or James's'), and although you and i understand that these are not two conflicting views, but rather two different contexts embedded in the same gospel, many churches condemn other churches based on people in that congregation abusing the teaching, instead of actually first knowing what the teaching is.

The key is to be wise in what one teaches and when they teach it... because there are two complimenting sides to the grace of God - its FREEDOM and its EFFECT on our lives - but favouring one over the other (or ignoring one or the other) results in heresy.
And that's why teaching is a gift!

The joy you have in preaching the gospel is heard in your voice...!

Craig Glenn said...

Is that you Good Anon? :-)

Thanks Troy...i am encouraged when i see you writing the things you write...

i love what Paul says in Gal 3:9..."the law is not based on faith"...we can preach about faith as much as we want, but when we are mixing old with new, grace and law, trying to "balance" the message of grace (its actually control at the end of the day) Gods people are doomed to "works" of faithlessness, which God does not recognize by the way! When we preach grace, unadulterated and extreme, Gods people are destined to "works" full of faith which enables them to take hold of the blessing that is theirs in Christ...that's why Paul tells us in acts 20 its the word of His grace that builds us up and gives us an inheritance among all those who are sanctified...

Craig Glenn said...

Here is something else that is interesting Troy...those "congregations" that condemn actually know nothing, if not very little of Paul's gospel, the gospel of grace...

Paul wrote 75% of the NT...i think the Holy Spirit is trying to tell us something...if we miss what Paul was saying...we miss what God is saying...and that is tragic. Thing is, i did it for years as an Elder...when we came into this revelation, all of hell broke loose on us to try and shut us up...well, as they say, the rest is history...

Troy Thackwray said...

Very exciting!

We thought we understood the simplicity of the gospel back then, but in hindsight we didn't really, because in the back of our minds we were carrying so many "practical handles" in note-form which we tried to take into "the nations", instead of Jesus Christ Himself (the grace of God) LOL!

Biblical handles, and all these wonderful nuggets in the word of God are certainly wonderful to chew on in a FATHER-SON capacity, but it will be the preverbial straw that breaks the camels back if sonship is not a personal revelation (...aahhh sonship, that reminds me, if you haven't yet, give John Sheasby's 3 part series on "being a son" a listen to... excellent excellent bru!).

Anyway, later buddy!