In his book, The Cross Centered Life, C.J. Mahaney says that there are three ways that my heart gets drawn away from having the gospel/cross central in my life:legalism, condemnation and subjectivism.
- Legalism is basing my relationship with God on my performance.
- Condemnation is being more focused on my sin than on God’s grace
- Subjectivism is basing my view of God on my changing feelings and emotions.
Evidently, those who would say that preaching grace leads to license and more sin have it backwards (because it is at the point that I lose sight of the gospel that I encounter the problems of rebellion and moralism-which is just a different form of moral/spiritual rebellion). It seems that the message of grace is a tremendous protective against sin, and promotes authentic spirituality and practical holiness. By the way, the apostle Paul agrees, saying in Titus 2:
11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions,and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
I put certian words and phrases in bold to underscore the relationship between grace and godliness. These are encouraging words and a reminder to preach the gospel ofgrace. Do not fear the Judaizers.