The enemy delights in nullification of the perfect and final work of Christ (Heb. 8:13, 10:10, 2 Cor. 3:6). All day long… he tempts us to add to or take from grace.
Adding to grace nullifies grace.
The enemy knows that adding to Christ’s finished work nullifies grace. If we add to grace, we fall from grace (Gal. 5:4). If we add to grace, the enemy laughs watching us puff ourselves up only to fall and be humbled.
Jesus Plus…are you falling for it?
Jesus plus circumcision
Jesus plus baptism as an infant
Jesus plus immersion as an adult
Jesus plus belonging to a particular denomination
Jesus plus worshipping on Saturday
Jesus plus being on duty as a servant at all times
Jesus plus daily Bible study and prayer
Jesus plus confessing your sins
Jesus plus regularly witnessing
Jesus plus tithing
Jesus plus not wearing pants, make up or jewelry
Jesus plus not drinking, smoking or dancing
Jesus plus centuries of traditions of man
Jesus plus a certain level of obedience
Jesus plus going to church every Sunday
Jesus plus taking communion
Jesus plus “renewing” the covenant…
Taking from grace nullifies grace.
The enemy knows that removing grace by replacing it with condemnation (Rom.8:1) nullifies grace, and incapacitates us. That’s why he uses it, and God doesn’t. Condemnation is the enemy’s sharpest tool of manipulation. If we receive his condemnation, he chuckles watching us try to “fix” things between us and God. As if we could. And, as if God hasn’t already. (Spiritual tip: He did because we can’t. 2 Cor. 5:21)
Well acquainted with the vulnerability of our flesh, the angel of light hovers in the background of our minds. His whip stirs harshness, guilt and condemnation within.
Viewing God through this lens, the flesh then strains for a gold star marching to the beat of workaholism. Meanwhile, flesh naturally obeys the voice of condemnation, believing straight away it must now compensate with some kind of penance because the Sacrifice is
Trapped within the enemy’s game of cat and mouse, we live blinded to God’s tsunami of grace, nullifying the triumphant victory we praise Him for.
Galatians 2:21 says, “I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.” Nullify in the Greek is athetō, meaning “to do away with what has been laid down.” Grace has been laid down for us to walk in moment by moment. We must never do away with it by adding to or taking away from it.
If we nullify grace by seeking righteousness through our own actions, then we must ask ourselves if our lives show clearly that Christ died for a purpose (Gal. 2:21).
Receiving Grace If We Sin
Just as adding to grace nullifies it, receiving condemnation nullifies grace. If we sin (1 John 2:1), we are not condemned (Rom. 8:1), but commanded (Js. 5:16) to confess our sins to one another and pray for one another so that we may be healed. If we sin, God’s plan for us is not condemnation, but healing. (Think about it…was Christ into healing?)
If we sin, God is not angry with us. This is counterintuitive. That’s why He gave us His Word to straighten our broken intuition from the Fall. His unconditional, unilateral covenant cannot be broken by those who believe. If we slip up and sin, we are not breaking the covenant if we still believe Him. Believing Him is the only condition on which the covenant is unconditional. Believe means to trust in, to rely on, to adhere to.
That teaching, “our sin breaks fellowship with God,” is nonsense and unbiblical (1 John 2:1). Christ paid for all sin forever so that He could have a relationship with each of us. Period. The truth is that NOTHING can separate us from the love of Christ (Rom 8:38-39), not even sin. That’s why the cross was a perfect and eternal victory!
Think about it… Christ BECAME sin (2 Cor. 5:21). Hello. He’s obviously well acquainted with sin and can certainly help us escape and heal from it. He’s our friend now at all times (Heb. 4:15-16). Christ very much wants to heal all of our personhood, including the sins and wounds in our hearts (Ez.36:26) that cause us to hurt ourselves, others, and dishonor Him.
Think about it…God KNOWS Christ took all the punishment for all sin for all men for all time -that’s past, present and future. Christ said Himself that the sin issue is finished (John 19:30). He will not even deal with sin when He returns (Heb. 9:28b).
Anger? No. Mercy? Yes. God wants to help us (Heb. 4:16) if we sin… to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Pet. 3:18) so we can live in freedom (Gal. 5:1) as the new nature (2 Cor.5:17) He has made us. Freedom is why He came.
If we sin, are we in need? Yes! So, along with James 5:16 we can also apply a need verse:
Hebrews 4:15-16 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of NEED. There you have it. The secret to victory is receiving mercy and grace from God, not performing for Him (Is. 64:4b) or boasting in ourselves (1 Cor. 4:7).
In conclusion, for us humans, God’s grace is just counterintuitive. There is a day and night difference between wanting to walk humbly in agreement and intimacy with God (Amos 3:3), and believing pridefully that we must perform certain activities or receive condemnation. The more we believe we “must do” for God to measure up to His heights, the more we reveal identification with the enemy (Is. 14:13). Our striving to measure up simply flies in the face of grace.
We can talk truthfully about the self-focused generation of today all day long, but we unknowingly join in the parade of selfishness when we make our salvation about ourselves, even a little. In our arrogance we might assume we’re helping God save us (as if He needs our help), but the truth is that we are stealing God’s glory by nullifying His grace (Eph. 2:8).
His grace is His glory (John 1:14; Eph. 1:6, 2:8; 2 Cor. 4:15)!
If we could only see the reality of all Christ has done for us, we would rejoice in high spirits continually with deepest thanksgiving and wondrous relief! The dark thoughts of adding to or taking from grace would never even enter our minds. We would see clearly that His abundant flow grace is MORE than enough for absolutely everything (2 Cor. 12:9).
He gives grace. We receive grace. God’s New Covenant of grace is unconditional, unilateral and cannot be broken by those who believe. That’s why it is a perfect and eternal covenant. That’s the glory of grace.
Humans are not the performers, repairers or sustainers of God’s unconditional, unilateral covenant. It’s just not possible. Bowing to humbly receive His grace 24/7/365 positions us properly as the recipient of the New Covenant of God’s grace (Heb. 12:2a).
All day long… let’s bow and receive.
“Let me feel that love come over me
Let me feel how strong it could be”
(Steve Winwood, Higher Love)
-LORD, show me why and how I am trying to add to Your perfect, finished work.
-Show me why and how I am taking from grace by allowing condemnation in my life.
-Please open my eyes to see ALL You have done FOR me in your death and resurrection.
-Reveal anywhere my calloused hands have attempted to manipulate the Gospel nullifying Your grace (Gal. 2:21).
-Expose my fear and pride (1 Cor. 4:5). They are not who I am (2 Cor. 5:17).
-Empower me to throw these behind me (Matt. 16:23).
-Extract forever every claim the enemy has on me (John 14:30).
-Please humble me and teach me to walk whole-heartedly in step with you as the new nature you have already made me (Col. 3:10).
Hebrews 8:13 By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear.
Hebrews 10:10 And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
2 Corinthians 3:6 He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant–not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
Galatians 5:4 You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.
Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
2 Corinthians 5:21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Isaiah 64:4b all our righteous acts are like filthy rags
1 Corinthians 4:7 For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?
1 John 2:1 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, the righteous.
James 5:16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
Romans 8:38-39 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
John 19:30 When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
Hebrews 9:28b and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.
Hebrews 4:15-16 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
Ezekiel 36:26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
2 Peter 3:18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.
Galatians 5:1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
Isaiah 14:13 You said in your heart, “I will ascend to the heavens; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of Mount Zaphon.
Ephesians 2:8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—
John 1:14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Ephesians 1:6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved
Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,
2 Corinthians 4:15 For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 4:5 For he will bring our darkest secrets to light and will reveal our private motives.
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
Matthew 16:23 Jesus turned to Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a dangerous trap to me. You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s.”
John 14:30 I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on me,
2 Corinthians 12:9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
Hebrews 12:2a fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.
Galatians 2:21 I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.
Colossians 3:10 and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him