How to Completely Destroy the Doctrine of Grace
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. – Ephesians 1:7-10
We have been studying Ephesians at church on Sunday evenings. Verse by verse, slowly and deliberately. This past week, after months and months of meeting, we arrived at verse 9 of chapter 1. In this verse we read the phrase, He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him. The ESV reads this way:
making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ
The phrase, according to His purpose should bring you much comfort. That word for purpose in the Greek is eudokia, which refers to God’s satisfaction, delight or pleasure, His kind intention. And what was that? It was making known to us the mystery of His will, and what was that? The mystery of His will is our redemption by way of the Gospel preached, in which He delights, purposed and contracted in eternity past and to be realized in time.
Our redemption, as stated repeatedly in Ephesians chapter 1, is founded on God’s grace, that is, His unmerited favor. There is no way any Christian can read this passage without seeing that it is God’s grace, His bestowing upon us His lovingkindness towards us in redemption by way of His unmerited favor.
Think about that unmerited favor. As sinners, as rebels to His Law, as haters of Him, there is no reason for God to have acted favorably towards us except for His own good pleasure and to the glory of the riches of His unmerited favor towards us. In addition, dwell for a moment upon the phrase according to His purpose. There’s only one purpose regarding our redemption. Just one, and it is based upon unmerited favor and set forth in Christ.
Yet this doctrine of redemption by faith and the unmerited favor of God is under attack beloved. It is being assaulted in the wide open spaces of modern evangelicalism.
You know, I pray, what God’s grace is. But do you realize that the majority of evangelicalism is preaching and teaching against the unmerited favor of God? Do you know how?
By teaching that God will redeem based on merit.
It’s true. Many are teaching that God will save based on merit, and this teaching is an all out assault on the doctrine of the redemptive grace of God. In fact, such teaching destroys the concept of God’s redemptive grace.
Verse 9 of Ephesians 1 tells us that this whole redemptive plan by the Triune Godhead is according to His purpose. Purpose is singular. There’s just one, and it’s based on God’s grace, unmerited favor. If anyone adds another reason, then the doctrine of the grace of God alone in salvation just went out the window.
So how does one completely destroy the doctrine of grace as unmerited favor to sinners? By far, the most popular way is by believing and teaching premillennial dispensationalism. To say that God will redeem anyone for any other reason than unmerited favor is to completely assault and destroy the concept and biblical teaching of grace.
How many Christians to you know that believe and perpetuate the belief that God FAVORS unbelieving Jews and will redeem them at the second coming of Christ because they are Jews? Because they are Israel after the flesh? How many prominent preachers teach the same thing?
That is not the grace of God, that is not unmerited favor.
That’s merited favor, and the Bible never teaches that anyone will be saved based on merit.
What that belief and teaching is, is that God will redeem some – not by grace, or unmerited favor – but based on who they are, their heritage, their genealogy, being Israel after the flesh.
It is redemption by merit. They will be saved because of whom they are, not by God’s unmerited favor towards them. Do you see it? God will save them because they have the merit of being Israel “after the flesh.”
Such a teaching is a lie from Hell.
Brethren, the opposite of Law is not grace, it is lawlessness. The opposite of grace is not Law, it is dispensationalism.