Home > Gospel > Grace Robbers Pt 3

Grace Robbers Pt 3

Some of the greatest and most lethal grace robbers are those I call, the ‘List People’. They are continually trying to improve their standing before God by doing things. If this describes you, I hate to tell you, but you are a legalist! You have been robbed of grace.

One of the ways to recognise a legalist is that he is the one whose list of rules is longer than God’s. Let me explain. Many Christians embrace the idea of grace for salvation. However, they then fall into the trap of thinking that after they become Christians there is a list left to complete to keep salvation in effect. This is Grace Robber thinking!

Here’s the kind of thing these Grace Robbers say. ‘If we obey God, we’ll earn more of His love!’ Unlike the original Judaizers, these grace robbers don’t tell us that we need to be circumcised. Instead, they say, “If you want God to really favour you with His smile, you must give your finances, read your Bible, and pray every day.”

Now, here’s where we need to be established in the gospel. Giving money to the gospel, reading the Bible and praying are excellent and commendable activities, but they will not increase the full favour of God which we already have in Christ.

God doesn’t say to us, “I’ll give you my grace, but in return you have to worship me.” Grace is un-conditional! Yahweh is the God of grace without conditions. Grace doesn’t put us into debt to God, instead, it clears our debt. Grace is free, it doesn’t come with an attached Rider. Grace is both unsought and unbought by us. Grace is given without cost to us and without cause in us.

Grace always remains unearned and undeserved on our part; otherwise it would not be grace. If we have to do something to continue to receive grace, it is not grace. Someone asked Spurgeon, “Why do you say ’free’ grace and not merely grace?” Spurgeon replied, “I do so to make assurance doubly sure. We will always call it, not only grace, but free grace, to make it clear that God gives his grace freely to sinners,—the undeserving and ungodly. He gives it without any condition. If, in one place, he says that he requires repentance, in another place he promises to give repentance; if he demands faith at one moment, he bestows it at another. So grace is always God’s free gift, and that suits a man who has not a penny in his pocket.”

I understand the legalist’s position very well because I used to be one.… mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa! I am a recovering legalist. Although, I believed (and preached) that we were saved by grace alone, I also taught that to enjoy the continued favour of God we had to look beyond the cross to our own performance. There were things that we had to do to gain God’s updated favour. I fasted twice a week, and, each day, got up at 4 AM for prayer and Bible study. BTW, there is nothing wrong with such activity, but I thought by doing these things I was maintaining the flow of God’s love and blessing into my life. That was a terrible error! Also, I thought that, if I wanted to keep the smile of heaven, I had to constantly get out there and witness to the unsaved. If I wasn’t doing all those things, I felt I was disappointing God. I, thus, kept myself, and others, in grievous and inglorious bondage.

But, here’s the gospel truth: we believers already have the entire favour of God, not because of any works we have done or are doing. We have the full favour of God because of Christ and His works. We are in Him. We are not accepted by having our own righteousness which comes by fulfilling lists of rules and regulations. We are in Him. We have, therefore, Christ’s entire righteousness credited and reckoned to us (see Philippians 3:9).

So what about works? Yes indeed, what about them? As grace believers, we want to obey God because we know and enjoy His gracious love. By the way, if we think grace means that we can sin all we want, we’ve turned grace into what has been nicknamed, “Greasy Grace.” The more we understand grace, however, the more we desire to follow the Lord Jesus and to honour Him.

The difference between obedience in legalism and obedience in grace is in the motive for our obedience. If we obey God with the belief that it will improve our standing with God, or that He will love us less if we don’t, then we are encountering a grace robber. But, if we obey God in response to being deeply loved and warmly welcomed, then we are standing in grace and enjoying being saved.

Grace believers don’t read their Bibles and pray because they feel like they are obligated to: they read because they want to! They don’t try to share the gospel with people because they feel like they have to: they do it because God has empowered them to want to share.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee


  1. Truth2Freedom
    June 24, 2015 at 5:04 am

    Reblogged this on Truth2Freedom's Blog.

  2. Charlie Marquez
    June 24, 2015 at 8:06 am

    Thanks for sharing. I have a very similar testimony in life and ministry. Steady on my grace-loving brother. #SolaGratia

    • June 24, 2015 at 8:10 am

      Thank you brother for following, reading, and commenting. I appreciate brother Miles ministry. He writes articles that are Christ-centered, therefore gospel-centered.

      Soli deo Gloria

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