And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. John 1:16-17 NKJV
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. Romans 3:23-24 KJV
There is a difference between mercy and grace. Mercy is what we receive when God does NOT give us what we DO deserve. Grace is what we receive when God gives us what we DO NOT deserve. We receive both when we obey the gospel and receive Jesus as Lord. The truth is that grace cannot be withheld from man because of any demerit and it cannot by lessened by demerit; neither can it be mixed with the law of works. However, this does not prove that we do not have any conditions to meet in order to receive the benefits of grace. There is not one scripture that teaches unconditional grace, or that God gives grace to those who disobey the gospel. God’s love is unconditional, but His grace is not. You must cooperate with God in receiving, and continuing to receive, His grace.
Romans 2:11 AMP says: “For God shows no partiality [undue favor or unfairness; with Him one man is not different from another].” God is not a respecter of persons. The same rules apply to all. If He saves just one sinner, who disobeys, then He is under obligation to save them all.
1 John 1:7 NKJV says: “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” God is under obligation to believers only when they walk in the light and remain true to the gospel. He is not under obligation to sinners until they receive Jesus and start obeying His word.
Titus 2:11-12 NKJV says: “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age.”The grace of God teaches us that we should deny ungodliness and worldly lusts and should live soberly, righteously, and godly here and now. Grace can go no further, if people do not obey its teaching.
It is possible to:
1. Receive grace in vain
2 Corinthians 6:1 NKJV – We then, as workers together with Him, also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain.
2. Frustrate (set aside) the grace of God in your life.
Galatians 2:21 NKJV – I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.
3. Fall from grace
Galatians 1:6-8 NKJV – I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, 7 which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.
Galatians 5:4 NKJV – You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.
4. Fall short of the grace of God
Hebrews 12:14-15 NKJV – Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: 15 looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled.
5. Turn grace into lasciviousness
Jude 1: 4 AMP – For certain men have crept in stealthily [gaining entrance secretly by a side door]. Their doom was predicted long ago, ungodly (impious, profane) persons who pervert the grace (the spiritual blessing and favor) of our God into lawlessness and wantonness and immorality, and disown and deny our sole Master and Lord, Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).
6. Sin in spite of grace
Romans 6:1-2 NKJV – What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?
7. Continue or discontinue in grace
Acts 13:43 NKJV – Now when the congregation had broken up, many of the Jews and devout proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas, who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.
8. Minister grace to others
1 Peter 4:10 NKJV – As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
9. Grow or not grow in grace
2 Peter 3:17-18a NKJV – You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; 18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
10. Receive or reject grace
John 3:16 NKJV – For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
Revelation 22:17 NKJV – And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.
James 4:6-10 NKJV – But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” 7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.