God’s grace is an amazing thing. Never has anyone forgiven more than what God has forgiven, and continues to forgive, in spite of the continued sinning of each person whom He’s forgiven. Millions of people on a daily basis break God’s law, sinning against their Creator and the one who loves them more than anyone ever could. Yet His forgiveness still awaits each one of us.
“God’s grace will cover it” (or something similar) is a phrase I’ve heard many times in my life from people in and out of the church. This phrase actually reflects a promise from God. But like all of God’s promises, it comes with conditions. One must first be a Christian in order to taste the fruit of this promise. If a person has never obeyed the gospel plan of salvation, his sins are still with him and God’s grace will not cover it. Sadly, many today apply this phrase, “God’s grace will cover it,” to the plan of salvation itself. When presented the truth from God’s Word about how to become a Christian and have their sins forgiven, they recognize a clear difference between this Biblical plan and the actions they took in order to “be saved.” When encouraged, in love, to repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of their sins, being added to Christ’s one church, they balk. They claim that it doesn’t matter—that “God’s grace will cover it.”
Friends, God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son for it (John 3:16). That same Son is the only way, truth, and life, and in order to come to the Father, it must be by Him (John 14:6). It must be on His terms. A part of those terms is that we must believe and be baptized (immersed, Mark 16:16) for the forgiveness of our sins (Acts 2:38). If any part of this plan is altered, then it is not God’s plan and therefore cannot save. If a person believes his sins were forgiven at any time other than at baptism, then what was the reason for his baptism? It could not have been for forgiveness of sins, and therefore was not the “one baptism” of the New Testament (Eph. 4:5). So he is still in his sins.
God has provided a plan for us to follow in order to receive His grace. We didn’t earn it, but we must follow it. If we reject it, add to it, or subtract from it, we cannot receive grace. Make no mistake about it: God’s grace does not cover rejection of His grace. If you alter his plan of salvation, His grace will not cover you. Jesus will return with His angels, “taking vengeance on them that…obey not the gospel” (2 Thess. 1:8). We earnestly plead with everyone to accept Jesus Christ on His terms, thereby allowing His grace to save you.