People who emphasize grace do so while de-emphasizing human responsibility. For some reason, because of grace, people assume everything is OK to do.
The Bible never says sin is OK to do. “Should we sin that grace may abound? In no way.” Grace teaches us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts so we would live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world.
Grace changes you. But grace’s change is not automatic. We are told not to take the grace of God in vain–to take grace to no profit, to have it do you no positive good.
That would be dumb.
If grace is as great as everyone keeps saying it is, why is our obedience to God so pathetic?
Because we’re not learning grace the way the Bible teaches it. We think grace means my sin is OK, change isn’t necessary, good works might even be opposed to grace! “If it’s grace it’s no more of works.” I’ve heard that phrase many times to excuse sin.
I know this will come as a shocker to you, but I don’t think that’s what the phrase means based on the context.
I have heard many people, who think that believers are totally depraved, say, “We can’t purify ourselves. There’s nothing we can do. It’s all grace. I can’t, and shouldn’t even try, to clean myself.”
Here are a couple verses to consider:
Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
–2 Corinthians 7:1
Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently
–1 Peter 1:22
And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.
–1 John 3:3
Again, I’m astounded by the number of people who claim “we can’t purify ourselves; Christ purifies us” as if we are passive infants being given a bath by our mom.
The unbeliever cannot clean themselves, but the believer can. The believer can because by faith, the believer has been given everything he needs to clean up his life.
This is not meriting salvation, nor salvation by works. This is what happens when a saved person uses what he’s been given in the Gospel.
It’s all right there, all we have to do is use it. Paul brought his body under subjection, he disciplined himself to keep from sin. We’re told to do this several times. This is not contrary to grace.
The Bible says the believer can purify their lives. What happens to our Sola Scriptura when it comes to talking about grace? Paul, James, Peter, and John all say we can purify ourselves. I honestly don’t get where people go with this grace subject.
Stick with the Scriptures. If you use the Scriptures as intended, you can use them to purify your life! Go for it!