God gives good gifts, and let’s face it, sometimes we misuse them. Often, grace is the most misused of all the Lord’s precious promises.
Salvation is a wonderful gift. Without it, mankind is doomed to an eternity of separation from God.
The grace extended by God through salvation repairs the breach of sin that keeps us away from God. Grace is better than the most incredible Christmas or birthday gift you’ve ever received.
As humans, we don’t know how to appreciate the best gifts. At times, we treat God’s grace like nothing more than a free pass.
What on earth am I talking about? I’m talking about this idea that since God’s grace is so awesome and all-encompassing, we can live however we like without consequence.
Huh? Such logic makes no sense to me.
It’s nothing new, though. The Apostle Paul addressed such farcical beliefs in the First Century.
Too many people want to take an extreme position. If salvation is through faith, then anything we do after salvation doesn’t matter. Salvation can’t be only through faith or else people will live like the devil; we have to do works of righteousness.
Paul addresses these extremes in Romans chapters three through five. Then he comes to the topic of grace.
What shall we say then: Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?Romans 6:1 KJV
If we are saved by faith, nothing we do can save us. If works have no value, then what we do after salvation can’t hurt us. Only the righteousness of Christ carries any weight.
Great, except that Paul has the answer to his own question.
The Romans to Paul: “Well, since works don’t matter I guess it doesn’t matter if we sin. In fact, God can demonstrate even more grace to us if we keep sinning.”
Paul to the Romans: “God forbid” (Rom. 6:2a).
Too often, we’re just like the people in Rome. We want to do what we want to do even though we know it’s against the Word of God.
So we do. While doing it, we justify our actions with the thought that God will forgive us. His grace abounds all the more in the presence of our sin and weakness.
Such a misuse of God’s endless supply of grace makes me squeamish (even though I’ve used the same justification in my life). The sentiment that “God forgives no matter what,” while technically true, is a favorite snare used by our adversary, the devil.
The good news is that “sin shall not have dominion over (us) because (we) are not under the law, but under grace” (Rom. 6:7). The bad news is that when we choose to sin rather than accept a daily dose of grace to live by, we’re chaining ourselves to our old master.
Shall we sin because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbidRomans 6:15 KJV
Don’t misuse the God’s amazing, infinite grace. He gives grace to empower you to resist sin and overcome the Satan-inspired obstacle course of life.
Grace is freedom from the bondage of sin. Grace has never been the freedom to sin.
**This post was first published on a different blog on March 18, 2014.