Many people ask the question “So because of grace people can continue to sin and do whatever they like?” This is the same thing that Paul was accused of preaching in the bible. It comes from not knowing the full extent our salvation in Christ under the new covenant, and just how much we are loved by Him.
You see, Christ came to save us all. This salvation (in the original Greek) is not just being saved from hell to heaven. It also encompasses God’s protection; deliverance from the power, pleasure and penalty of sin and addiction; deliverance from molestations by the enemy and deliverance from sickness, lack, fear, unbelief, poverty and all earthly ills. And much more that I don’t know!
Ephesians 2:8-9 says “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”
Salvation, including deliverance from sin and addiction, is by grace! Our transformation to a life of right living is by the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:18) and not by our own dogged determination to stop sinning or do “the right thing,” which will always end in failure. Peter’s denial of our Saviour is a lesson on this. Peter boasted in his own strength, much like many of us who think that there are some things that we can never do because we are “better than that.” Just ask Peter who KNEW that he could never deny Jesus.
Only through Christ who strengthens us can we do all things. Without Him, we can do nothing, much less live a righteous life. How can a Saviour who came to save us from our sins use the same sins He came to deliver us from as an excuse for not saving or blessing us?
Also, regarding doing the “right thing,” recall that Adam and Eve ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and they died. They didn’t just eat the evil part. They ate the good too. This tree points to the law by which we have the knowledge of good and evil. When you are trying to keep the law, the good you do can kill just as fast as the evil you do. This is why a kind boss can do the “right thing” by rewarding a hardworking employee with a car and the employee could end up dying in a crash involving the same car after taking it for dedication in his church! This is why a couple could do the “right thing” by taking in and sponsoring the education of a well-behaved family member who just lost his parents (their moms would kill them if they didn’t!) and that good family member could end up molesting their small children.
It takes God’s grace to stop sin and live right. Under grace, you will not continue to sin and not by your own effort. Remember 2 Corinthians 3:18 – “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” His Spirit transforms us as we continue to behold as in a mirror His glory.
How do we behold as in a mirror His glory? By His grace, we see in ourselves Christ (1 John 4:17 says “…as He is, so are we in this world.”) We see not our flaws and shortcomings but who God has made us to be in Christ – His righteousness; much like how Abraham believed God that he would father many nations when he was childless. The result was the birth of Isaac. Believe that you are righteous; you will bear fruit and live right.
There are some who try to replace the grace of our Lord with sheer license to sin and do all sorts. These people are not under grace but under the control of the devil. Paul spoke of these in Jude 1 and described them as spots in our love feasts, greedy and rebellious. Jude 1:3-4 (MSG) –
“Dear friends, I’ve dropped everything to write you about this life of salvation that we have in common. I have to write insisting—begging!—that you fight with everything you have in you for this faith entrusted to us as a gift to guard and cherish. What has happened is that some people have infiltrated our ranks (our Scriptures warned us this would happen), who beneath their pious skin are shameless scoundrels. Their design is to replace the sheer grace of our God with sheer license—which means doing away with Jesus Christ, our one and only Master.”
These people are not of Christ and their behaviour should not make pastors and leaders try to “help God” by introducing the law to keep New Covenant believers in check. Sarah (GRACE) did not need Hagar (LAW) to raise Isaac. Grace is enough. The letter kills. When you preach the law, you are putting the people under condemnation and judgment will follow those that accept this condemnation by trying to get right with God by their own efforts. When the love of God, shown in His undeserved, unmerited favour (Grace) towards us, is unveiled from the pulpit, the people will live right. We love because He first loved us.
Please bear in mind that any kind of ‘grace replacement’ teaching that makes you feel that it is okay to continue wallowing in sin and shun having a personal relationship with our Saviour Jesus is not the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. In Christ, you will not want to sin much less live an immoral lifestyle; and not because of your effort but because God “works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:13.)
When you do make mistakes (which you will,) you will not use God’s grace as an excuse for your actions. You will be genuinely thankful that you are forgiven and rely wholly on Christ to help you get out of that sin or addiction, which you want to be delivered from. Feeling this way has nothing to do with our efforts. It has all to do with our Saviour Jesus. Psalms 37:23-24 says:
The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord,
And He delights in his way.
Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down;
For the LORD upholds him with His hand.
Remember Christ said to the rich young ruler in “there is none good but God” so the good man here is the one that has the Lord as his Righteousness. When this man messes things up and falls, it will not be a total disaster because the Lord is the one upholding him.
If your own righteousness and assurance of eternal life is by law-keeping and right doing and not grace, it is not of Christ! Paul makes this clear in Philippians 3:9 -“and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith;”
Bear in mind that the “law is not of faith” (Galatians 3:12) and “without faith, it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6.) The law does not imbibe faith so our efforts at keeping it cannot please God. It can’t make anyone righteous in His sight. Romans 3:20 says “Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” Trying to keep the law in a bid to get right with God is like pouring water into a really holey basket.
Also, the gospel of grace is all about righteousness by faith – Philippians 3:9 “and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith;”
What the law does is show you how sinful you are, arouse sinful passions in you and cause you to sin more, according to Romans 7:5-
“When we were controlled by our old nature, sinful desires were at work within us, and the law aroused these evil desires that produced a harvest of sinful deeds, resulting in death.” You can never please or get right with God by keeping the law. Never.
You cannot mix law and grace too. You cannot say “I will do my best and Jesus will understand and do the rest.” You cannot put new wine into old wineskins. You cannot have one leg on Mount Sinai (the law) and the other on Mount Zion (Grace). This is the lukewarm church that Christ spoke of in Revelation 14; neither hot nor cold; neither under law nor under grace.
Christ said of this church in Revelation 14:15 – “…I could wish that you were hot or cold.”- hot (totally under grace) where He is our all in all or cold (totally under the law in its pristine condition) where you have to cut off limbs and pluck out eyes when they cause you to sin as Christ shows us in Matthew 5. This way, believers will realise the futility of keeping the law in order to maintain right-standing with God/receive from Him….and be driven to God’s grace.
None can be made righteous by the law in God’s sight according to Romans 3:20.
Believers, in Christ, God gives us His righteousness as a gift (Romans 5:17) and not because we got our act together by being holy. If we could live a perfectly righteous life on our own, a life according to God’s standard of righteousness and not the watered-down version of right living by self-effort where many ‘holy’ Christians are still going about with limbs and eyes that have caused them to sin still intact, we wouldn’t need Jesus. No human can match this standard. All have sinned. All fall short.
As the righteousness of God in Christ, the good or bad things we do cannot make us earn or lose our right standing with God because we did not earn it to begin with. We have it because God “made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21.
To think that we have the power to meet God’s standard of righteousness (the law) is the height of pride and self-righteousness. To believe that this is the way to get right with God is to get oneself cut off from Christ and fall from grace according to Galatians 5:4-
“4 For if you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the law, you have been cut off from Christ! You have fallen away from God’s grace.”
To fall from grace is to be exposed to the curses that come with not keeping ALL of the law (Deuteronomy 28). Here, there is no grace which came through our Saviour Jesus. No wonder many believers are still suffering symptoms of the curse.
If you asked the same people that insist on law keeping as a measure of righteousness to “cast the first stone,” they would all fall short! Nobody (except Jesus) could when the original story of His saving the woman caught in adultery happened; and He wouldn’t stone her, even though He could.
Today, just like their counterparts the Pharisees who wanted to stone the woman, many preachers are condemning and even stoning the flock by telling them that there are terms and conditions like restitution, fasting and “sowing seed” for getting right with and receiving from God, even when Romans 8:32 tells us that with Christ, God gives us ALL things freely – “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?”
Like the Pharisees of old, these preachers can never cast the first stone, yet they burden believers with loads that they cannot carry.
Bear in mind that James 2:10 says that if you break one law you are guilty of all; so if all a person did was wish or feel satisfaction that the bad driver that overtook his car by cutting rudely in front of him got into a minor accident up ahead (this means he doesn’t love his neighbour as himself!) without God’s gift of righteousness in Christ, he happens to be in the same boat of unrighteousness as paedophiles and murderers and is under the same curse as these. All it takes to be under all of the curses in Deuteronomy 28 is to fail in one law.
By the same token, as the righteousness of God in Christ, the good or bad things we do cannot make us earn or lose our right standing with God because we did not earn it to begin with. It is a gift. We are righteous because God “made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21.
Romans 5:17 says “…much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.)”
Believers, you cannot reign in life when you are sick, poor, always anxious or living in sin. BUT GOD’S WORD HERE SAYS YOU WILL REIGN IN LIFE THROUGH CHRIST WHEN YOU ACCEPT HIS ABUNDANCE OF GRACE AND OF THE GIFT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, not by your own effort at being righteous. He will cause you to live right without you even knowing it. This is why on the last day, you will not remember when you clothed Him when He was naked or visited Him in prison. You do it without being conscious of it. On the other hand, those who do it by their own effort will remember and recount how they cast out demons in His name when He tells them “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!”
There is no condemnation for you in Christ, even when you sin. Think about it – if you could live a righteous life all by yourself, Jesus would not have needed to die for you. You won’t need God’s gift of righteousness and no condemnation in Christ. It is this gift of no condemnation that makes us go and sin no more.
Notice that we reign in life through Christ and not through our own efforts. It takes His grace and His gift of righteousness to be free from the desire to sin. As the righteousness of God in Christ, no matter what we do or do not do, we are seen as righteous in the eyes of our Heavenly Father.
God’s grace is not a license to sin, much like (but much better than) how we don’t see diplomats from rich countries going berserk with sin and breaking laws in their less rich host country. They can’t be prosecuted for crimes committed in their host country yet we don’t see them going on sinning sprees because of their immunity. How much more us ambassadors of Christ and citizens of heaven! How can we who are dead to sin live any longer in it?
God’s grace is the key to right living. It is the power of God to salvation (Romans 1:17.) Remember salvation here also encompasses deliverance from the power, pleasure and penalty of sin!
God works His salvation into us. We get delivered from the urge to do evil and we get do that which is pleasing to Him, as it is written in Philippians 2 “12 … work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.”
Believers in Christ, God did not send His Son to the world to condemn the world but that the world through Him might be saved – John 3:17. As the righteousness of God in Christ, He will never condemn or punish you for your sins. He is a just God and will never punish you for sins that have been punished in the body of His Son for your sake. He will correct you as we correct our children when they err but His correction is always to give us life, for our profit and that we may be partakers of His holiness according to Hebrews 12:10- “For our earthly fathers disciplined us for only a short time as seemed best to them; but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness.”
Also, our heavenly Father will never correct us with any of the things that Christ has delivered us from e.g. sickness, death, curses, lack, etc. He sent His Son to die for us so that we might have life and have it more abundantly (John 10:10). Would you really refuse to pay your child’s school fees because he disobeyed you? Would you really let that wicked lesson teacher have a go at your child with his koboko because he didn’t take his studies seriously? You want him to have the very best! It’s your job to remove all distractions and help him take his studies seriously! How much more our Father in heaven. He will save you from those sins that hold you captive!
With His gift of righteousness comes no condemnation for the believer. It is Christ’s “Neither do I condemn you” that makes us “Go and sin no more.”
This is pretty longJ For more please visit: http://rightbelieving101.blogspot.com.ng/
Believe Right and you will Live Right!
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