Star Trek has been a part of American culture since 1966. In the futuristic world of Star Trek, there is no problem that cannot be solved, and no place that cannot be explored. Even its title sequence said, “To boldly go where no man has gone before.” Exciting stuff, but Star Trek is a fantasy world!
Unfortunately, a lot of people live in a fantasy world regarding God’s grace. They “boldly” venture to take it “where no grace has gone before.” Some people in the New Testament were guilty of the same (Jude 1-4), and Christians need to “contend earnestly” for the correct doctrine of grace. People have to see the reality that God’s grace cannot go where man will not meet His requirements.
- God’s grace cannot go where man will not break the yoke of the law. Justification by the Law demands perfection (Galatians 3:10-12). Trying to be justified by the Law of Moses is a yoke that needs grace (Acts 15:10). Following the Law of Moses severs us from grace (Galatians 5:1-4).
- God’s grace cannot go where man will not be taught. The gospel is something that must be learned. Jesus said that we hear and learn about God (John 6:44-45). The grace of God teaches us how to live (Titus 2:11-12). A perverted grace will condemn us (Galatians 1:6-9).
- God’s grace cannot go where man will not believe. The Jews were saved by faith and grace just like the Gentiles (Acts 15:11). The jailor and his house were saved by faith (Acts 16:31). Faith is man’s part and grace is God’s part (Ephesians 2:8).
- God’s grace cannot go where man will not repent. We cannot continue in sin that grace may abound (Romans 6:1-2). We have to repent because God demands it (Luke 24:46-47). True repentance equals regret and most importantly change (Acts 26:20).
- God’s grace cannot go where man will not obey. We cannot practice sin just because we are under grace (Romans 6:15-18). Continued sin insults the Spirit of grace (Hebrews 10:26-29). We cannot practice sin lest we “fall short” of grace (Hebrews 12:14-15).
- God’s grace cannot go where man will not be humble. God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6-10). God wants people who possess a contrite and humble spirit (Isaiah 57:15). As the elect of God, we should “put on” humility throughout our lives (Colossians 3:12).
We cannot be presumptuous and adventuresome with the grace of God. Instead, we should learn, believe, repent, and humbly obey. We cannot earn salvation by perfect obedience. We need grace, but we have to accept the reality of God’s revelation concerning grace.