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“Is grace enough…or do we have to do something else?”

“Is grace enough…or do we have to do something else?”

SEPTEMBER 30, 2022

/ Programs / Key Life / “Is grace enough…or do we have to do something else?”

Steve Brown:
“Is grace enough or do we have to do something else?” The answer to that and other questions, on Key Life.

Matthew Porter:
If you think laughter isn’t spiritual or that faithfulness to God means conformity to Christian stereotypes, then this program probably isn’t for you. But if you’re looking for honest, Biblical answers to honest questions, welcome to Key Life. Here’s our host, author, and seminary professor Steve Brown, along with Pete Alwinson from ForgeBibleStudy.com.

Steve Brown:
Thank you Matthew. Hi Pete.

Pete Alwinson:
Hey man. Happy Friday.

Steve Brown:
Happy Friday to you too. You doing okay?

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah man. I’m ready to go on this, with that teaser, I’m ready to go.

Steve Brown:
Yeah man. It’s kind of a big deal. Isn’t it?

Pete Alwinson:
It’s a big deal.

Steve Brown:
Yeah. Well, we’ll talk about that question when we get back, we got a question from a listener on that. How are things at Forge.

Pete Alwinson:
Going to be good. Yeah. Going good. Going good. It’s coming out of the summertime for us now. I know we’re recording a little bit ahead. But yeah, doing good.

Steve Brown:
And I hear from your guys, by the way. So don’t, don’t mess it up. Okay?

Pete Alwinson:
Man. I have no idea.

Steve Brown:
I have spies at Forge and they talk to me often about you and what you’re doing.

Pete Alwinson:
Well, I’m going to watch my back then, right?

Steve Brown:
No, because they all say that, it’s been a life changing experience for them.

Pete Alwinson:
Good. We have a good time.

Steve Brown:
Yeah. Check it out. It’s ForgeTruth.com. As you know, Pete comes in and we answer questions and have been doing it for years, every Friday broadcast. And we do love to do this, and we love your questions. You can call your question in at 1-800-KEY-LIFE, 24 7, and we record those and sometimes put them on the air. You can send your question to

Key Life Network
P.O. Box 5000
Maitland, Florida 32794

Key Life Canada
P.O. Box 28060
Waterloo, Ontario N2L 6J8

Or you can e-mail us at [email protected] And if you can help us financially, those are touch places. We’re a member of ECFA in the States and CCCC in Canada. And they oversee our books to make sure that we are what we are, and that is ethical and ethically spending what you send. In fact we squeeze every dime for the glory of God. So, if you can help, we’ll use it and we’ll use it for God’s glory. If you can’t, we understand, say a prayer for this ministry, Pete, why don’t you lead us in prayer and we’ll turn to some of these questions.

Pete Alwinson:
All right. Let’s pray. Our Father, what a joy it is to just stop for a minute and to remember how good you are and to honor you as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit the one true God who’s revealed himself to us. Lord, and you’ve shown us who you are in your goodness and power and mercy through Creation, preeminently in the person and work of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. So, we worship you today. And as we move ahead in our life Lord, as we approach the week-end, we lift up our pastors and teachers, our priests, our leaders, our worship directors, and all the work and the teams and even those that care about our kids in the nursery, Lord, we pray that your church would meet and that your church would bring honor and glory to your name. We would be built up and that it would be about your grace and your gospel. So, thank you for all that you are and all that you do, and we give you praise and glory and honor. Thanks for Steve, for all of those here at Key Life. We lift up this ministry to you and ask you’d be honored and glorified as we pray in Jesus’ strong and Holy Name. Amen.

Steve Brown:
Amen. Let’s first go to our phone lines.

Caller 1:
I’m not a dollar of the Bible, but I do know how they say, God saves you by grace. And through faith of his Son Jesus Christ, dying and rose again, you know, you are saved and you’re going to heaven. There’s so many people out here that think that that’s it, that’s all. And I seem to feel that there’s more than that, you know, you have to live right, do right, but I don’t know how to really talk to them and show them what Scriptures or am I wrong? Is it just that simple, we’re saved by grace.

Steve Brown:
Listen, how’s that working for you?

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah. Right, right.

Steve Brown:
Listen. No, you’re wrong. And, I like you and I don’t think you’re ugly and your mother dresses you funny, but yes, you’re wrong. And it is irritating, you know, I can imagine if you’re finding out that’s what Christians say they believe, and you’ve never heard that before. It can really irritate you, if you’re trying to be a good person. So, I get that, but you’re still wrong. And you’re wrong, not only are you wrong, if it’s not right, you’re in serious trouble because it’s salvation by faith and Christ alone. You have a Scripture.

Pete Alwinson:
Well, you know, absolutely you’re completely right. And, but I’m wondering if what’s ticking this guy off a little bit, is seeing Christians that are doing that and then they’re justifying all kinds of crazy un-Christian behavior.

Steve Brown:
That’s true.

Pete Alwinson:
And if that’s the case, then I think what he’s really trying to say is what Paul says in Philippians 2.

Work out your salvation with fear and trembling.

Steve Brown:
Yeah.

Pete Alwinson:
Not work for your salvation.

Steve Brown:
And in Galatians, Paul said.

You don’t use your freedom for license.

Pete Alwinson:
Right. Exactly.

Steve Brown:
And so, there’s a thin line, but underneath you know, that you are free.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right.

Steve Brown:
And that if it’s not by grace, you don’t have a prayer.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right. That’s right.

Steve Brown:
For by grace we’ve been saved and not by works.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right.

Steve Brown:
And the Bible is so clear about it, but you might be right. I maybe need to cut a little bit of slack for this guy. But it is irritating to most people when they really believe religion’s supposed to make you nice. And that’s what’s going to get you into heaven.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right. And that’s been your sustained ministry, all your adult life. It’s been so powerful, is helping people see that one little mixture of works or legalism to the work of Christ undoes the work of Christ.

Steve Brown:
That’s true.

Pete Alwinson:
And Paul would agree with you a hundred percent.

Steve Brown:
And Martin Luther did too, he said.

What is it about our arrogance that makes us think that anything we would ever do would be more sufficient than the blood of God’s own Son.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right. That’s right. A hundred percent, but we agree a hundred percent that grace is what energizes godly behavior.

Steve Brown:
That’s how I became a spiritual giant.

Pete Alwinson:
Undoubtedly. Undoubtedly. That is it.

Steve Brown:
But it does. If we get better, that’s how we get better.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right.

Steve Brown:
And we know it. So, it’s even a place of humility we want to say, but Father I’ll do it myself. But it doesn’t work.

Pete Alwinson:
So, even sanctification or the growth and holiness or Christ likeness is not our own work. We cooperate with God, but it’s the primary work of God.

Steve Brown:
Yeah. So true. So, you’re wrong, but maybe you’re motives are right, but thank you for the question anyway. And if you want to call up and do some clarification, feel free.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah. Yeah. Right.

Steve Brown:
This is an e-mail. What’s the difference between trust and faith?

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah. How would you, how would you go about that?

Steve Brown:
Well, I don’t know if I see any difference. I kind of think that it’s, I guess trust is a general thing, faith is specific, but I wouldn’t even go that far. So, I think trust and faith are pretty much the same thing.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah. They’re synonyms and from a perspective having to do a salvation, wouldn’t we agree that it’s trust in Christ alone for salvation, it’s faith in Christ alone for salvation.

Steve Brown:
Exactly.

Pete Alwinson:
It’s the same thing.

Steve Brown:
It smells the same. You know, I have a feeling there’s some difference, I just can’t think of what it would be.

Pete Alwinson:
Well, one might. No, I think they’re synonyms. I have a difficult time digging deeper, to unpack it.

Steve Brown:
Yeah. What we said is sufficient.

Pete Alwinson:
There you go.

Steve Brown:
This is a good question. And I’m back sliding, well, that’s honest. How do I stop?

Pete Alwinson:
That great. I love the admission. And the word backsliding is, you don’t find that particularly in, you find that in Baptist churches a lot will talk about that. Presbyterians don’t talk about it, I guess, because they’re comfortable with it, maybe, I don’t know.

Steve Brown:
Cause we do things decently and in order. We do not backslide.

Pete Alwinson:
Right, but the word is found like one time, I think in one of the prophets.

Steve Brown:
Oh, is it?

Pete Alwinson:
It is. One time. I can’t tell you right this second where it is, but you know, I appreciate that cause if you’re not moving forward spiritually, You will slide back. You will slip.

Steve Brown:
You really do.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah, but I would say, well, what’s going on, I’d do a little self diagnosis, that’d be my first step. What’s making your heart frustrated with growth or with God or with God’s people or what’s going on inside. That’s what I’d want to do.

Steve Brown:
You know, there is a sense in which we all, during the Jesus movement, a young man stood up in our church and said, I didn’t backslide, I just stopped and the light went out. So, what you said is, I have some theological problems with that, but it was a colorful statement and it kind of goes along with what you said. If you’re not moving, you’re probably going backwards. And so, that’s back sliding. I would agree with what you said. And I think with your brothers and sisters in Christ, begin to examine what it is, that’s the roadblock to your growth cause growth ought I’d be normal to the Christian. But I think also, you know, there’s that thing that I teach a lot and I’ve taught it for a long time and I got it from Rusty Anderson, my late friend. And Rusty told me at dinner one time, I’m not gonna get any better. And I went ballistic. I said, Rusty, that’s crazy. You’re supposed to be in the process of sanctification. You can’t, he said, nah, I’m not getting any better. He said, I’ve been doing this a long time and this is it. It’s not going to be better. And then he grinned and said this, but God loves me anyway. And that’s where I got the principle.

The only people who get better are people who know, if they don’t get better, God will love them, anyway.

And so, I’d say to a person who asked this question, let God love you. Focus on his love. Think about his forgiveness and his kindness. It’s hard to kick against the goads, when somebody loves you that much.

Pete Alwinson:
I love that. I love that. So, process what’s going on and then let it move you back to being loved by God and then focusing on grace, because grace is the energizer of everything positive in our lives.

Steve Brown:
It really is. It’s not easy believism or an excuse for sin. It’s a fact, that we are loved.

Pete Alwinson:
It’s a shocking, outrageous, you know, fact that I shouldn’t be loved cause I’m not that lovable.

Steve Brown:
That’s right. And the recognition of that, of being able to deal with that, you know, we have come to the end of what we’ve had to say, and we’ve still got 30 minutes.

Pete Alwinson:
30, 30 seconds.

Steve Brown:
30 seconds. Sorry. I’m old. 30 seconds.

Pete Alwinson:
I could start singing, but I’m not. Are you backsliding? And do you want to admit to any backsliding.

Steve Brown:
And I would sing in response to you singing backsliding, just as I am.

Pete Alwinson:
Without one plea.

Steve Brown:
Without one plea I come.

Pete Alwinson:
Oh man.

Steve Brown:
Well guys, we’re out of here. But before we go, I must say, Key Life is a listener supported production of Key Life Network.

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