Joseph Prince (July-22-2021) Daily Devotional: Test for Counterfeits
And now I make one more appeal, my dear brothers and sisters. Watch out for people who cause divisions and upset people’s faith by teaching things contrary to what you have been taught. Stay away from them. - Romans 16:17 NLT
Even as God restores the glorious truth of the gospel of grace to the body of Christ, be aware that the enemy also produces a counterfeit grace to try to confuse people and make them wary of the true ministry of God’s grace.
But don’t be discouraged or afraid that you might be misled by counterfeit grace. Just be skillful in God’s Word and learn how to discern what is scriptural by reading God’s Word for yourself. Build a strong foundation on the true gospel of grace.
The simplest way to know if someone is preaching the gospel of grace is to evaluate whether the teaching glorifies our Lord Jesus. Does the teaching cause you to want to live a life that glorifies Him? Does it emphasize your works or the work of our Lord Jesus? Does it cause you to be occupied with yourself or occupied with our Lord Jesus?
You may have come across a teaching that claims everyone will ultimately be saved. This is called “universal reconciliation,” which is heresy. Such teachings do not exalt or glorify our Lord Jesus.
You CANNOT talk about eternal salvation without the person of Jesus and His finished work at the cross. Jesus is the only way! Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).
There are also those who teach that being holy and receiving correction are not important since we are under grace. Let me just say this: such “teachers” are propagating error!
True grace produces true holiness. The more you are under grace and established in your righteousness in Christ, the more you will want to live a holy life and be open to God’s correction.
So is there correction under grace? Absolutely. But I want you to be established in the fact that under the new covenant of grace, God does not correct His children by using accidents, sicknesses, and diseases.
Correction in the new covenant takes place through His Word. Paul tells us, “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness” (2 Tim. 3:16 NASB).
Notice how correction through God’s Word includes “training in righteousness,” which is believing right that you have been justified or made righteous by faith in our Lord Jesus. I have found that oftentimes the Holy Spirit uses God-appointed leadership to accomplish this (Gal. 6:1, 2 Tim. 4:2, 2 Thess. 3:15)—to point you back to Jesus’ finished work and who you are in Christ. That is why it is so vital that you be a part of a local church with good leaders.
Observe how the apostle Paul corrects those in the Corinthian church who got entangled in sin and sexual immorality (1 Cor. 6:15–20). In saying, “Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ?” he corrects them by firmly reminding them of their righteous identity in Christ. He then goes on to remind them that their bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit.
What does all this tell us? It tells us that anyone who is reminded of and has a revelation of his or her righteousness in Christ will have the power to overcome sin!
It is those who have forgotten or who are not established in their righteous identities in Christ that get trapped by the destructive forces of sin. Under grace, we are called to walk in newness of life as the righteous children of God.
We are called to reign in life through the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness. We have been purchased with a price, a heavy price at the cross, and are now called to live for the glory of our Lord Jesus!