I'm surprised at how many people have such a strong opposition to grace. One man gave me the warning of Luke 6:26, ''Woe when all men speak well of you.'' He then said, ''This is the evidence you are a deceiver and a false prophet.''
Based on the response to grace, I'm in safe company. I get bombarded with criticism, and an occasional word of encouragement sprinkles in from time to time. From what I can see, those who are quoting Luke 6:26 are the ones being spoken well of, for preaching righteousness by human effort is widely accepted. The Apostle Paul said it best when he explained how persecution stops when the law is preached, for ''then the offense of the cross has ceased.'' When you take the works of righteousness out of man's hands and say all good is a gift of God's grace or it is a work of the flesh, that is when religion gets offended.
There are many well-meaning Christians that are creating divisions in the church. They preach division by labeling anyone who doesn't subscribe to the boundaries of their denominational lines as a heretic or false teacher. A few weeks ago someone sent me an article titled 'Six People who should be removed from Evangelicalism'. Is this the message of the gospel? As of this writing, there are over 33,000 denominations and sub-denominations in the world today.
Jesus said, ''By this shall all men know you are My disciples, by your love (agape) for one another.'' My friend, this is the reason for the decline of the church. It isn't 'those heretics', it is the fact that with the absence of love for the brethren, the world has no way of seeing Christ in the church. When we see misunderstandings of doctrine, instead of taking to heart the example of Aquila and Priscilla and nurturing people into the way of truth, we take the hammer of judgmentalism and smash them over the head.
When these two mature believers heard Apollos teaching, they recognized mistakes in his teaching, but ...
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