The other day, I overheard someone in a conversation say, "There is no need for me to confess that, it was covered at the cross." Two people were talking about how much we, as born again believers, are to deal with sin. For this one particular person, since Jesus died on the cross as an atonement for sin, there is apparently no need for any of us to confess our shortcomings. Evidently, this is a very popular stance these days in Spirit filled communities
If this is true, then we need to rip out a lot of the New Testament.
I love grace. To me, grace is not even a doctrine. It is a person and His name is Jesus. Without grace, I don't think any of us have a chance. Yet over the last few years, the message of grace has been taken to a level that completely leaves out the role our faith. I have been hearing things like, "There is no need for me to work on my marriage because it was covered at the cross." Or, how about this one, "Don't worry how you will pay that bill because it was covered at the cross."
You would think that Ephesians 2:8 reads like this to Hyper Grace folks: "For it is by Grace that you are saved." I don't think anyone in the Hyper Grace camp would admit to that but if we are not careful, we are going to live that way. Ephesians 2:8 actually reads. "We are saved by grace through faith." Anytime we leave faith out of the equation, we are actually doing hermeneutical gymnastics to get the Bible to say what we want it to say.
A few years ago, Wendy and I went through a period in our marriage that involved the most intense introspection about our inability to communicate than we had ever experienced in 16 years of marriage. Every couple goes through it. We sure did. We even went to a retreat in Colorado to get some help from a counselor. I can tell you what I did not say, "Wendy, this is covered at the cross. His grace is all we need." That sounds so spiritual. It sounds so deep and heavy. What we both actually needed was for the both of us to exercise our own faith in that grace (Jesus.) Grace without our faith is not a recipe for breakthrough. If that is what we perceive as truth, then we need to cut out all 18 times the gospels say, "Let it be done to you as you have believed," or "Your faith has made you whole."
We saw breakthrough in our marriage when we put our faith in Jesus. Faith matters. Confession matters. James encourages us to "Confess, so that we may be healed." Satan is crafty. He realized many years ago that he could not defeat the church so he just joined it and has been tweaking theology ever since.
Grace is everything. However, our faith matters. Paul said it better than I could:
Grace through faith....