You will hear people say, “Oh, be careful of that grace teaching. Too much grace is not good for you. It must be balanced with the law.” I can’t understand why many believers are still trying to balance (mix) law and grace. If you are for the law, then I pray you be for the law completely. If you are for grace, then I pray that you be for grace completely. It is impossible to balance (mix) the two. That is why Jesus also said in Revelation 3:15, 16…”I know your deeds, they are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So because you are lukewarm-neither hot nor cold-I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”
For years I have heard preachers preaching that in this passage Jesus was referring to people who are not red hot for Jesus. Have you ever heard this expression before? And what does being red hot for Jesus mean? Traditionally we have been taught that it means that you are reading many chapters of the Bible each day, witnessing to your co-workers and attending every Bible study or prayer meeting that you can find. But to be cold means just the opposite, you stop doing these things entirely.
These verses have always been preached as though it were about our actions and behavior. But Jesus said that He would rather you be cold or hot and not lukewarm. Now this would not make any sense if He was referring to actions or behavior because wouldn’t being lukewarm for Jesus still be better than being completely cold? So why would He want the church of Laodicea to be cold if they were not hot?
Let’s not just take in everything we hear; let’s put on our thinking cap. You have to test the message and make sure it is consistent with the gospel of Jesus. These two verses would only make sense when they are interpreted in the light of the mixing of the covenants of law and grace in the church of Laodicea. The Lord was saying He wished the church be cold entirely under law or hot entirely under grace. You see, if you were at least completely under the law, it would lead you to despair and into the saving arms of Jesus. The law would unveil to you your sinfulness and inability to keep the full measure of it, and this would cause you to see your need for His grace.
In Romans 3:20 Paul writes, “Therefore no one will be declared righteous by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.”
But when you have mixture where you believe in grace but still hold onto the law, you neutralize the convicting power of the law to bring you to the end of yourself so that you will cry out for the grace of the Savior. That my brothers and sisters is why you cannot be cold and hot at the same time, or be for both law and grace at the same time. The moment you attempt to balance (mix) grace with the law, you neutralize both and each covenant is robbed of its full effect in your life. You become lukewarm because of the mixture, and God hates mixture because it robs you of the power to reign in life through the abundance of His grace.
Romans 6:14 says, “For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law but under grace.” Think with me what this scripture is saying, if we are trying to live under law, sin would be our master.
Therefore, mixing law and grace makes lukewarm Christians and furthermore it is dangerous. It will cause you to live in confusion and our God is not the author of confusion. It is time to stop the mixture and confusion. You cannot live under both covenants.
The Apostle Paul said in II Corinthians 12:9 “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.”
Remember last month I mentioned our dear brother in Christ, Michael Wells, a mentor and friend to this ministry, one of the best expositors of the grace message, went home to be with the Lord on October 11, 2011. He was in Costa Rica doing grace missionary work. His last book completed just before he passed was published in October as well, titled My Weakness for His Strength. If interested in purchasing the book, visit his website for more information www.abidinglife.com.
I thank and praise God every day for your prayers and financial support as you partner with Growing in Grace Ministries for the glory of God. You are the best! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.