He Gives More Grace

“But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble” (James 4:6).

Exposure to wrong teaching can snowball and produce years of bondage. This happened to me regarding grace. This particular teacher at a popular seminar back in the 80’s, taught two aspects of grace. The first aspect was regarding salvation. He was accurate on this point.¬†“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:8-10). Unmerited, unearned, undeserved favor. We did nothing to receive God’s pardon for sin. Freedom from the penalty of sin was complete. It was final. Nothing could be added to make our sanctification and position in Christ more complete. “For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified” (Hebrews 10:14).

The second aspect of his persuasive, yet erroneous teaching, was that grace as a Christian was merited. He interpreted this verse, “But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble” (James 4:6) to mean as a Christian we earn more grace through humility. He once wrote that grace reigns through righteousness. Not the righteousness of Christ but our acts of righteousness. He changed Scripture by putting a period after the word righteousness because it fit his idea and teaching of “works based” grace in the life of a Christian. Thus promoting the idea that at salvation we do not receive grace in full measure on a permanent bases . And that grace is merited and conditional to our behavior as a Christian. He even changed it’s meaning by popularizing¬† this new definition. “Grace is the power and desire to do God’s will.” The opposite is true. “Grace is the power of God’s unmerited favor when we fail to do God’s will!” Can you see what happened? Instead of standing fast in the liberty wherewith Christ has made me free, I was once again entangled in the yoke of bondage. (Romans 5:1.) Trying to obey the 1001 rules of Scripture in an effort to please God. Bondage!

Friend, remember this, grace is always the unmerited favor of God. It is never earned. God favors you! What then does “more grace” mean? It simply means that God gives to the humble more understanding, more perception, more knowledge of, and more discernment of what we already possess in Christ. The humble get it. They know the Christian life is all Christ. There is peace, rest, joy, acceptance, and genuine love for others.

But it’s not so with the proud. They are self-righteous. Self-centered. Striving, working, and laboring to get more of what is already theirs in Christ. God resists the proud. The proud do not understand grace. They think grace is license to sin. They believe the teaching of grace promotes a undisciplined life. Those who are ignorant of grace are paranoid of it’s message. They fear discussing it’s true meaning. In some cases it may indeed result in abuses. But that does not change God’s mind.

You see beloved, grace is never earned, merited, or based on our behavior. It is always conditional to the one who is full of grace–Jesus Christ. “But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ” ( Ephesians 4:7). Amazing!

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