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A License to Sin… By Special guest blogger Kevin Burgess

January 13, 2014

Greetings,

Today’s blog post comes from my dear friend Kevin Burgess.  He follows this blog and contributes from time to time.  Please enjoy his inspired musings.

Love and….

Kirk Out !

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Yes, Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone. Because one person disobeyed God, many became sinners. But because one other person obeyed God, many will be made righteous.

 

God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were. But as people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful grace became more abundant. So just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God’s wonderful grace rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.

 

Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised to life as he was. We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. ~The Apostle Paul – Romans 5:18-6:7

Lately, I have heard several people declaring the dangers of promoting grace over law,  because they are afraid that “grace could be used as a license to sin.” One of my favorite Christian bands from my high schools days is releasing a new album after 18 years, and this album even contains a song that raises the alarm. Bummer! I don’t know about you, but I have yet to hear anyone declare, “I can sin all I want, because the grace of Christ covers it all.” For all the outcry against the grace message, you’d think there was an epidemic of people, who once lived perfect and holy lives as a result of abiding by the law, who are now running around, cheating on their wives, looking at pornography, robbing banks, and murdering people as a result of embracing the “hyper-grace” message.

The Apostle Paul is probably the most respected person in the Bible, aside from Jesus. He is held high by both those who promote grace apart from the law (Hyper-grace), and those who promote grace as an addition to the law. It’s interesting to me that, Paul, being the original “hyper-grace” teacher, is held with such high esteem by those who fear that grace could be used as a license to sin, because Paul, quite boldly, proclaims the “hyper-grace” message to the LAW/grace teachers of his day; most notably in his letter to the Galatians, in which he firmly declares Christ’s fulfillment of the law, and says that Christ “set it (the law) aside” for ever.

I don’t want to get caught up in the debate whether or not the law has any place in our lives today, but simply to focus on the idea that there is a danger of grace being used as a license to sin. Fortunately for us, we’re not the first generation to ask this question. The Apostle Paul seems to have met up with some of the same criticism in his day, and addresses the concern in his letter to the Romans. He said:

God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were. But as people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful grace became more abundant. 

Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? 

To me, one of the clear underlying messages in Paul’s statement is, “YES, grace CAN be used as a license to sin.” Paul clearly states that those who lived under the law were already sinning more and more (“before” grace), and yet “grace became more abundant,” through Christ. He goes on to basically ask; “why the heck would one want to continue in sin, when they don’t have to?”

have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.

Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised to life as he was. We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin.

We have heard it many times, and Paul confirms it here, once more; we were once slaves to sin, but no more! Our former selves were marked by sin, which led to death, but our current self is marked by grace, mercy, love, and LIFE! Why would one choose to live in a state that once led us to death, when they can live in the state of abundant FREEDOM and LIFE?!

So, Can one use grace as a “license” to sin? Sure, but our new nature has no desire to sin. so the question is somewhat of an irrelevant one!

Regardless of what role you feel the old covenant law plays in one’s life; to use grace as a license to sin would be like a butterfly choosing to continue to crawl along the ground for the rest of its life “because” it has wings. How foolish! Why would a butterfly, whose very nature is to fly, choose to crawl? Would a butterfly hate itself so much that it would choose to deny its new identity? Just like that butterfly would have to hate itself so much as to deny its new identity, one would reveal a deep hatred for their new identity if they were to choose to live according to their old self, and abuse their license by going on a sin binge.

HELLEUJAH, we are no longer slaves to sin! Because of grace… because of CHRIST,  we don’t have a desire to sin any longer! It goes against our very nature! So, come with me! Let’s  share in our new nature, together, and FLY!!!

 

 

 

 
 

 

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4 Comments
  1. I enjoyed this, simply said, simply wonderful. thank you.

  2. I love your heart Kevin! The butterfly analogy is brilliant.

  3. Grace CAN be used as a licence to sin, However here was what most grace nay-sayers don’t see….While in church,for the longest time I was bound by the law, and try as I might I kept finding myself in sin, and sometimes I actually liked it! But time and time again I’d go running to the alter broken and afraid that I was going to “lose Jesus” because of my sin. When I left the Institutional Church, I found grace, I found a different message and honestly, a different Jesus and Daddy God then I had ever seen or heard of before, I found a savior who loved me and understood the challenges I faced each day,I had been singing “I Am A Friend Of God” but it wasn’t till then that I actually felt like it, Suddenly sin wasn’t that much of a struggle any more, I was friends with The Almighty, my savior was so much more then a man dying on a cross saving the world, he was family, and I understood that we held meaning in each others hearts, sin doesn’t have that much of an allure anymore, it doesn’t look all that fun, and I have no desire to “dance with the devil”, and it’s all because of Grace.

    • 2trakmind permalink

      Amen, April! What fascinates me about law based thinking, is the inability to see the facts. Not only are we told in the Bible that the law actually leads to sin’s increase, but statistically speaking, things like divorce, abortion, and pornography addiction, etc. are actually higher within “the church” than in the rest of society. If the solution to the problem of sin was to focus on trying not to sin, the church would truly be the beacon on the hill that it seems to think it is. However, it is only in coming to know Jesus and His love, grace and mercy, where we find true freedom from sin. Thanks for your comment!

      Kevin

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