Is Grace a Blank Check to Sin? – blog
After Jesus was resurrected and ascended into heaven the Church was born when the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples of Jesus on the day of Pentecost. Jesus told them that the Spirit would come and be with them and even be in them. We read that from the lips of Jesus in John 14:16-17;
“I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.”
As the message of the gospel was being told and people began to believe in Jesus, His death on the Cross and His resurrection many people were being saved. Thousands of Jews in Jerusalem and the surrounding area were being saved and the Spirit was entering their bodies as well.
It was a huge deal when God told Peter to go to the house of Cornelius, a Gentile to tell them about Jesus. Cornelius and his entire family believed, and Peter witnessed that the Spirit entered them as well. The became a bit of a problem for the Jews who viewed Gentiles as completely unacceptable to the Jewish faith. However, God was showing them that the gospel was for all peoples and nations and that they received the Spirit just as the Jews did.
This created a problem. Steeped in their Jewish religion the Jews were well versed in one’s relationship with God being something you had to work at. All the laws and sacrifices for sin had been in place for centuries. However, now one could become a child of God’s through faith in Jesus and not works of being religious.
This message of salvation by grace through faith is what Paul preached as he went as the missionary to the Gentiles. The core of that message is that we are saved by grace through faith and that salvation was a free gift offered to all. All sins were forgiven and cleansed by the blood of Jesus and His death and not from the sacrificial system the Jews were used to following.
So, Paul encountered people who could not believe that salvation could be that simple. In Romans 6 he writes;
“What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?”
Salvation by grace does not mean that we can, therefore, sin at will because it is all covered by the death of Christ. Because sin, though forgiven, still has consequences. We have died to sin through Jesus and cannot experience the life God has for us while walking in sin.
In fact, one of the pieces of evidence that someone has truly been born again is that they will not want to walk in sin. It has the power to destroy the quality of our lives and is a cruel master which will deeply damage us and our loved ones.
Have all our sins been completely forgiven in Christ? Absolutely yes, all sins past, present, and future. However, there are at least two reasons why we should not consider grace a blank check to sin at will.
The first I just mentioned. Sin, though paid for, carries with it pain and suffering. My sexual sins deeply wounded my wife, our four children and myself and we will all have the scars from it. The wage of sin is death and when you choose to continue in sin you are choosing sin to be your Master instead of Jesus. He comes to give us life and that abundantly. Sin only leads to pain, damage and even death.
The second reason is that when we sin, as children of God, God the Father will have to discipline us. He does that out of His love for us. As earthly fathers, we are taught how important it is to discipline our children. We do it out of love and wanting to teach our children that certain actions will hurt them, and it is best to not do them.
Another reason is that sin keeps us from receiving the good things that God has for us. The choice to sin keeps us from experiencing the true-life God has for us. Instead of growing in the fruits of the Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control; instead, we will experience the deeds of the flesh which are;
“…the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these…”
So, what do you want to experience today? The fruit of the Spirit or the pain of the flesh? Walk in the Spirit today so that you will not fulfill the desires of the flesh!