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"grace alone" dangerous?

26-01-2012 - Posted by Andre Piet

The well-known writer, Willem Ouweneel, on his Facebook page placed this week a contribution, for which he received much approval.

What is worse: a legalistic preaching with hardly any grace, or a grace-grace-grace-preaching with little responsibility? Both of this kind of preaching occurs in the Netherlands, and both are equally dangerous: the “do not taste, do not touch and do not handle”, as well as the “everything is grace, you do not need anything else”. The first “god” is a bogeyman, the second “god” is so sweet that he condones everything. The first mode obscures the mercy of Christ, the second obscures the commandments of Christ.

Ouweneel here seems to propagate a mixture of law and grace. But does he not do this by presenting a false picture of the preaching of grace? When grace reigns, man would not recognize his responsibility. God would condone everything and people would no longer appreciate the commandments of Christ. Well, that is categorically false. Grace-preaching points up to Him who did, does and will do everything. This reality makes that with joy (grace, after all, is joy!) we will take the place where God has placed us. Precisely this joy, makes us better fathers, mothers, children, employees and employers. Grace-preaching is not soft, but makes it clear that GOD, at all times, corrects where necessary. Sometimes with a hard hand. But also His painful interventions are motivated by His love. God’s judgements put things right. They also bring all of His creatures where He wants them to arrive. Always and per definition! Grace-preaching obscures not the commandments of Christ. On the contrary! It directs our attention to Him Who fulfils the commandments in and through us. There is no such thing as a balance between grace and works. It’s all or nothing. “And if by grace, then it is no more of works: otherwise grace is no longer grace” (Rom.11:6). Talking about responsibility: every preacher should be aware, never to add drop of water to the pure wine of grace. Such will counterfeit the message. It’s ever so important not to depart a millimeter from the grace of God! Let us be steadfast and unshakable in it, and allow nothing, not even pious-sounding reasons, detract us from God’s truth. ——————————— translation: Peter Feddema

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