One of the things that I have really appreciated about the Free Grace movement in general, and GES in particular, is how they have challenged all of us to look at the Scriptures and let the Scriptures speak for themselves. This often causes us to reconsider some of our traditional understanding of what certain verses say.
I have heard numerous testimonies to this effect. Many have said that they thought a certain passage taught that works were necessary for salvation from hell, or that you could lose that salvation, or that if you didn’t have good works you were never saved to begin with, only to find that if we search the Scriptures and look at the passages in context the Bible does not teach these things.
All these testimonies have something in common. The people involved were all willing to lay aside their traditions if they saw that those traditions contradicted what the Bible taught.
Some, no doubt, would say that is easy to do. They maintain that all Christians should simply believe what the Bible says. But it is not simple at all. It is difficult to go against what we have been taught by the churches we grew up in, or our parents, or a trusted Bible teacher.
Anybody who has been involved in Bible teaching can attest to how difficult it is. We have all seen people who have certain beliefs who are not willing to lay aside those beliefs when confronted with the teachings of the Bible. For example, I was recently in a foreign country where Benny Hinn was very popular. I was teaching a Bible study on 1 Corinthians to a group of pastors who had been heavily influenced by him on the issues of speaking in tongues. They saw that 1 Corinthians contradicted what he taught on the subject but simply concluded that Benny Hinn could not be wrong.
We can all be just like those pastors. What I have learned from so many in the Free Grace movement is that the most important thing in studying the Bible is to come to the Bible in dependence upon God to teach us what it says and means. The most important thing is not our level of intelligence. It is not having all the language tools to understand what the Greek or Hebrew says. It is seeking for God, through the Holy Spirit, to help us understand His Word.
God rewards such an attitude (Hebrews 11:6). He wants us to understand the Scriptures. But it requires the willingness to place the authority of God’s Word over our dearly held beliefs if those beliefs are contrary to what God shows us in His Word.
God will give us such understanding if we have that attitude. He can do so in many different ways. He can illuminate our minds through our personal Bible study. He can use other teachers to allow us to see what His Word says when we have misunderstood it. I can say that in my own life I have benefited a great deal from people in the Free Grace movement who have studied God’s Word with this attitude.
If we are not careful, we an all be like those pastors in that Bible study. In humility may we all seek to accurately understand what God has revealed in His Word. For He is One who rewards those who seek Him.