Two phrases that should leave Christian lingo NOW!

I can’t stand these two phrases and for good reason. One phrase sounds disgusting and the other sounds hokey, like something you might learn at church camp in the 80’s or 90’s.  Both phrases are inaccurate to say the least and both phrases have caused division within the church body. They become the topic of discussion on a regular basis and frankly, it’s exhausting. With no condemnation, because we are all guilty of using them at one time or another,  “What are they? Glad you asked…

“Greasy Grace” & “Once Saved Always Saved” have got to go and go now.
Greasy Grace is a term used for “grace” that gives us permission to sin and do whatever we want to do whenever we want to do it.  Afterall, it covers everything and this is why Jesus died.  Pastors who don’t agree with this type of feel good message refer to this type of “grace” as “greasy grace”.  It sounds gross because it is gross.

Once Saved Always Saved actually did come around in the late 80’s – early 90’s as far as I know and it refers to our salvation.  With this belief, you could say the sinner’s prayer accepting Christ in your heart and then go kill someone or molest a child and still go to Heaven.  Once saved… Always saved.  The twist to this is someone would say “well, if they fall into sin that big, they were never saved to begin with!”

While the terms contradict each other, the concepts actually flow very nicely together. Both are very misleading and very judgemental. There is no mention of love or sacrifice, atonement, repentence, serving Jesus or even growing in a relationship with Him. They are both all about how much you can get away with and still be able to dawn the pearly gates and golden streets of Heaven with jokes of smoke from hell following behind you, barely making it in. 

It’s very hard for me to wrap my head around either of these concepts and without getting too theological, I want to give you a very gentle and wise explanation that our churh campus pastor gave us at our microchurch recently. It was so good. In fact, I think it’s the perfect explanation. 

The Lord gave Joel a vision of Jesus standing on a mountain with Joel climbing up the mountain down below.  They were connected by a rope with all the equipment in place for a safe climb. 

    Photo : The Art of Mountain Climbing

There is a decision to be made. You can stay connected to Jesus and continue climbing up the mountain.  Spending time with Him, loving Him, trusting Him, obeying Him, and sharing all of His goodness with others around you will continue to keep you moving upward, closer to Him. You can climb behind Him following in His footsteps and seeking His way.  Slowly, He’ll make you stronger and the weight of sin will go away.  You can learn to make sacrifices and let things go as you grow closer to Him.  You give Him control. He is your anchor.  You let Him clean your heart and purify your soul one day, one moment at a time.  You allow Him to finish the good work He began in you.

Or

You can jump down, unhook your rope, and run in the opposit direction.

Jesus remains at the top of the mountain.  His rope, His grace, will continue dangling from the top waiting for you to strap youself back on and climb up if you so choose. He never leaves.  He never forsakes.  He waits. He waits for you.

What do you choose?

Is it possible that a soul can run from Jesus and say “no thanks”?  

If God’s grace and your one prayer of salvation bound you to Him for all eternity and there was no way out, confining you and controlling you, He would be making you stay. But He gives us a free will.  We choose. We choose life in Him or we choose death. So, because we choose, we have a way out and He is bound by His Word not to bind us to Him and make us stay. 

His grace is sufficient.  He is always there.  His grace covers our sins.  His grace is truly amazing, but we have a free will to run if we choose. Yes, we can choose to give it up. 

So, the ultimate question, “Can I lose my salvation?” Is answered simply by saying, He won’t ever take your salvation from you, but you are free to give it up if you choose. Follow Him or not, it’s up to you. 

So, can you lose it or have it taken from you? No. Can you throw it away? Yes.

God’s grace is not greasy! It is good.  It is unmerited.  It is undeserved.  It’s ours if we seek Him and His ways and it’s ours endlessly if we accept it. 

Grace: the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings. (Google)

When you seak Him, His grace covers all the little mistakes and all the sins we make every single day.  His grace is like a Norwex cloth that soaks up 10 times more  mess than a paper towel and leaves no stickiness behind. His grace is undeserved by us.  We don’t have to work hard or even pray hard to get it or keep it. His grace is His favor on us, His children, us who seak Him.  His grace is beautiful.

I absolutely believe that it is possible for someone to accept Jesus and mean it and then give Him up.  It is not impossible for this to happen.  I also believe that no sin is too great or too big for the blood of Jesus to cover and wash you clean.  I believe even if you leave Him, you can run back. You have time until you have no more time.  This truth is His grace. Always waiting on you. Always ready for you. Always wanting you back. It is an unmerited favor and love that never ends. 

Draw close to His throne of grace, don’t run the other way.

Father, I ask you to show me what your grace truly looks like in my life. This world is confusing. Help me see it and know it so I can learn to give it to others.  Give me the desire to draw close to you, to climb the mountain, to change one step at a time.  Be my strength when I alone am weak.  Change me to be more like you, Jesus.  I love you.

  

One thought on “Two phrases that should leave Christian lingo NOW!

  1. I, like you, dislike those terms. However, I happen to adhere to Reformed theology, so I do believe in what is meant by “once saved, always saved.” But the problem is the theological analysis behind that phrase is far too deep for a cute little phrase. One must wrestle with a load of scripture before one either accepts or rejects the theology of it. For example, one must grapple with tough scripture such as Romans 8:7 (“The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.”); John 6:65 (“This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled them.”); Galatians 4:6 (“Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, ‘Abba, Father.’”); John 6:38-39 (“For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day.”); Romans 9:19-20 (“Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden. One of you will say to me: ‘Then why does God still blame us? For who is able to resist his will?’ But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? ‘Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, “Why did you make me like this?”‘”).

    I quote the scriptures above, not to convince you, but simply to demonstrate that the regeneration of man by the Spirit is a deep theological truth. Paul goes into quite a bit of detail about the role of the Spirit and the will of man in Romans 8 and 9. How man’s will plays into it has been debated heatedly for centuries. And I know you can quote quite a few counter scriptures as well. But it is plain to me that “free will” is not as simple as most understand it. That term is just as misleading as “Once saved, always saved,” particularly do to the undeniable fallen nature of mankind, which is described in scripture as follows: “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.” Romans 3:10-12. Bondage to sin as described in scripture is far more than just a bent toward sin; rather it is described as spiritual blindness (hence Romans 8:7 and John 6:65). The Holy Spirit is required to open the blind’s eyes. If that is accepted, then one has to grapple with how the will and the Spirit interact.

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