Acts 20:32 says, “And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.” Over the past three weeks, we have shown clearly that salvation, acceptance, and righteousness are complete gifts of God; are completely given by grace; absolutely cannot be earned; and can ONLY be received by faith. When one teaches Biblical grace the way the Apostle Paul did, the natural response was, “So, can we just go live in sin?”. If you have never asked this question, then you haven’t heard the Gospel preached like Paul preached it! However, when you hear the pure Gospel, this question is quite reasonable. We will see that grace does not promote sin, but rather it delivers from sin: Rom 6:14 “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.”
Rom 6:1-2; 15 says, “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid… What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.” Does true grace teach sinfulness and lawlessness? God forbid! God’s grace, and our freedom by His grace, is so we can truly love and serve each other and God (Gal 5:13, 1Pt 2:15-16). It delivers us from performance based, drudgery-inducing service; and gives us a love for others and God, and a heart desire to serve Him in joy, peace, and acceptance. It’s the abiding life - simply being a branch and conductor of God’s love, grace and truth.
SO, if I am totally accepted by God based on what Jesus did, and not what I do - why not live in sin? 1. It is not our nature any longer. Rom 6:2 …How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? A born again Christian is dead to sin. They are no longer sinners by nature, but are now partakers of the divine nature (2Pt 1:4). The spirit of a (real) Christian is in union with God. He desires what God desires. He wants to live for Jesus. He honors God’s Word. He wants to do right. It is his nature. Though he may fail at times, and may sin in his soul and flesh, that is not who or what he is. He is righteous; his spirit is holy; and it is his nature to live righteously - though he will never do this perfectly while contained in this mortal body.
2. We don't want to submit ourselves again to Satan (Rom 6:16-18). When redeemed, our Master is now Jesus. He is good, loving, gracious, compassionate, & kind. Satan is evil, cruel, & wicked. Why would we go back under the authority of an evil taskmaster? Jesus offers abundant life, while Satan only offers death. The wages of sin is death, while the gift of God is life eternal. We can choose life & blessing, or death & cursing.
3. Sowing & reaping is still a law of the Kingdom of God (Gal 6:7-8, Jam 1:14-15). Sin always takes us further than we want to go; keeps us longer than we want to stay; and costs us more than we want to pay. If we sow to the spirit, we reap life; if we sow to the flesh we reap death. We can’t sow corn and expect to reap wheat. Even nature shows us that we reap what we sow. Do we want the harvest of sin coming back into our life?
4. Because sin hinders your faith (1Ti 1:19). As a Christian, willful sin brings a guilty conscience. A guilty conscience shipwrecks your faith. God still feels the same towards you, but you won’t feel the same towards God. You won’t have the confidence towards God that you should, if you know in your heart you are being rebellious.
5. Because we love God. 1Jn 5:3 says, “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.” If we love God, we want to do what He says. Though we may fail at times, our desire is to live pleasing to Him. None of us are perfect, but we have a perfect Savior, and it does not grieve us to follow His ways. It is rather a joy to live in His truth.
6. Because we look for His coming (1Jn 3:2-3). As an engaged bride, we keep ourselves pure and ready, knowing that our groom is preparing a place for us, and could come at any time to sweep us off our feet. It’s not, “While the cat is away, the mice will play”, but rather, “While the groom is away, the bride will stay and pray”.
This is not an exhaustive list, but these six reasons are sufficient Scriptural evidence that preaching Biblical grace is not preaching a “license to sin”. On the contrary, only in understanding God’s grace do we gain the true ability and pleasure to live the abundant Christian life - free of the legalistic, performance-based, condemning, “Ol’ sinner” mentality that so many of the Body of Christ live with. I was an “Ol’ sinner”, but by His grace I have become a new creation; and now I am the righteousness of God in Christ. Understand and acknowledge this, and live the effective Christian life (Philm 6). Until next time, rejoice in The Lord!