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I have noticed a horrible trend today. People who claim to be Christians have been throwing the word grace around like a get out of jail free card. This shouldn’t shock me like it does because it has been happening from the beginning. Nevertheless I am shocked by it.
I know this is going to ruffle some feathers, but there are some things we need to know when it comes to grace and sin. There are some questions that we need to ask and have answered. Here is a list of some questions I want to ask today:
Now, there is one other thing I want to mention as well. The things I am about to show you come from the Bible. I believe the Bible is the word of God. I believe it is the standard for truth.
That means if you feel uncomfortable with what you see it is because you are uncomfortable with the Bible. I know that may sound like an arrogant statement. But, when you know the truth, as the Bible records it, you don’t have to say, “This is my opinion.” Because this is not an opinion, it is a statement of truth from God’s word.
There are a lot of people who go around pointing fingers. If you have a fault they are going to shout at you about how horrible it is. Even I have been guilty of this.
Often times it is because they want to make the truth fully known and don’t have the skills in gentleness to do so without sounding like a crazy person on the war path. When you think of it this way you can begin to feel sorry for them. They really just want a world filled with truth and goodness.
But then there are others who point things out just because they are bitter and hard hearted. They don’t care about following the truth. They just want everyone else to. For some reason they get joy out of accusing people and bringing them into the depths of shame.
There is a right way and a wrong way to go about how we should handle things when we see a fault in someone else’s life. Many people may tell you that we should ignore it. They say that it is up to God to show that person what He wants.
The Bible never does say this though. In fact it says we should help our brother remove the sin in their life.
41 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye? 42 Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother’s eye.
I don’t know if you noticed it but I showed this verse on purpose because of how often it is used by people. We tend to latch onto the hypocrite part. But Jesus wasn’t saying we are a hypocrite if we see a sin in someones life.
He was saying we are a hypocrite if we refuse to understand that we also are sinners. But that is not where it stops. He tells us what to do about it.
If we understand that we are sinners then we can get the beam out of our eye by going to Jesus. After that we can clearly see well enough to help our brother as well.
So these verses show us that we are not to ignore sin in our own lives first, and then in others. It also shows us that when we find out how to cast out our own sin we can help our brother…by bringing them to Jesus!
Now that we have talked about our attitudes we need to talk about what grace is. Lets go ahead and ask a question.
Does grace mean we are free to do whatever we want?
13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.
We have been called to liberty indeed. But that liberty is not to be used for the purpose of sin. This brings up a huge question. If we are called to liberty then why are we not free to sin?
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? 3Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: 6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. 7For he that is dead is freed from sin.
Here we see what we have liberty from. It isn’t liberty from doing right and not doing wrong. It is liberty from the bondage of sin.
Sin will consume a person and bring them to death. It brings shame, guilt, and the wrath of God. We are free from this if we trust and follow Jesus.
Does grace set us free from the bondage of the law?
14For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. 15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. 16Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? 17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. 18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.
When the Bible says we are not under the law but we are under grace it is because the law had the sentence of death for our sin. We could never be good enough to escape the bondage of sin which is death.
So what is grace? It could be said that it is mercy. It says that you are not going to be good enough in yourself. That is why Jesus came and died for you. So that even though you are guilty of breaking the law you do not have to be under the wrath of God. The law we are free from is the law that concludes all under the penalty of death.
Do we still have to follow the law?
Now here is the tricky part. Many have tried to claim grace is freedom to do whatever they want and be free from guilt. But this is a cheap imitation of real freedom.
16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. 18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
Only those who are led of the Spirit are the ones who have this liberty. They are the ones you will find that refuse to follow the desires of the flesh. They are the ones who will follow God and do right and not evil. These are the ones who are saved by grace through faith.
They do not consider themselves to be in bondage through pleasing God in righteousness. They consider themselves free. They also see that what others call “grace” (liberty to sin), is a lie from Satan.
Jesus also declared that He did not come to destroy the law. In fact, when speaking of when Jesus would come in the book of Isaiah we are told that He would MAGNIFY the law.
21 The Lord is well pleased for his righteousness’ sake; he will magnify the law, and make it honourable.
17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. 19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Read the rest of that chapter too. It should be clear that there is a standard Jesus has set.
4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
Here we see again that the law should be fulfilled in us. The law is Holy. It is perfect. It will not be removed.
1 Timothy 1:8-10
8 But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully; 9 Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, 10 For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;
Notice the last verse said that the law is for anything other than sound doctrine? That means if the Bible says something is a sin then we should not teach otherwise. If we do teach otherwise then we are guilty as Jesus said.
We are not supposed to simply throw out all solid teachings on what is right and wrong. We are supposed to fulfill those things through walking in love. So yes, we should follow the law of God.
This was not written to force anyone into some kind of legalism. It was written to save people from walking down the broad road that leads to hell. None of what I have written means we will lose salvation through sin…IF we repent and trust in Jesus.
Read this for more information on that.
July 13, 2015 at 11:39 am | | 1 comment
Today I was going to ask about this in church, but the pastor was busy consoling a sister in Christ, so I didn’t want to interrupt.
Regardless, I said in the car as we were pulling out of the parking lot, “God will find a way to make His truth known to me.”
Thank you for writing and sharing this with me. This is a testimony that God will deliver every time we seek Him. It is well with my soul.