Top Question: If I have grace and forgiveness, can I do whatever I want? Is it party time?
- “Once Saved, Always Saved.”
- “He is a backslider.”
- “If they walk away from God, they were never really saved.”
We hear these kinds of statements in an attempt to make sense of the mystery of God. As we are explore the topic of grace, it is natural for questions on this topic to arise.
- “How big is grace?”
- “Is there a line you just cannot cross?”
- “As believers, can we do whatever we want?”
Even in Scripture, Paul anticipates his churches would have these questions. He lays out his presentation of the gospel in all its glory in Romans. Yet in chapter 6, he anticipates the “Can I do whatever I want” question.
“What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?” (Romans 6:1-2).
The phrase translated “by no means” is a rather mild translation. The literal words carry a much harsher tone such as, “God forbid!”
God forbid that after we look into the depth of salvation and grace, our response would be to abuse it by doing whatever we want.
Through this question, Paul tells people to return to children’s church and learn the basics again.
Can I Do Whatever I Want?
If your response to the amazing grace of God, is to sin; you don’t understand grace.
One of the most popular arguments against preaching the grace is of God is the anticipation people will go out and sin.
They will contemplate sin, and buoyed by the confidence they will be forgiven, choose to willingly defy the commands of God.
This is not a picture of gratitude, much less love.
And, last time I checked, preaching a smaller version of grace is not helping people to avoid sin!
Instead of worrying grace will be an excuse to sin, why don’t we promote grace as our greatest reason to obey and love God. It is the ultimate motivation NOT to sin!
Titus 2:11-12 tells us, “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age,”
Did you see the word “training?” It is an active force; a continual journey of growing and learning.
Grace is for salvation, but it is so much bigger.
##Grace trains us.
Paul did not even feel the need to bring an answer on this issue. Essentially, he said, “That is a stupid question, you are missing the point.”
Just to be clear, I do believe continual, repeated sin which we are unwilling to look at in our lives puts us in a dangerous place. Following this course of action can and likely will lead us to a change of faith.
But let me be equally clear.
Preaching a limited version of grace as a means of promoting holiness does not work. Paul did not do it and neither should we.
Grace and forgiveness are big enough for abuse.
In fact, we abuse the grace of God every day.
Each time we sin, we abuse the grace of God. Your lies and my pride are equal to those sins we love to judge in others. Each one sent Jesus to the cross.
That is the scandal of grace. Our response is to love and obey, becoming more like our Savior.
So in light of the grace of God, let’s change our questions.
It is not longer, “What can I get away with?”
Rather we ask, “How can I love?”
– For more information on how to book a grace seminar at your church or training program look HERE.
– If you want to explore grace as a small group or on your own, Death of the Modern SuperHero: How Grace Breaks our Rules comes with discussion questions and is read and studied in groups all over the world. Other questions in the “Top Questions” series are:
“Do I Need to Repent?”
“What Happens to Me on Judgment Day?”
“Have I Committed the Unforgivable Sin?“ Take a Look and pass them on to others who would benefit!