Grace: A License To Sin?

5 Sep

Some have expressed the concern that somehow Grace can be misconstrued as a license to sin.  I don’t personally know of anyone who believes this erroneous idea, but just in case there is any doubt as to what Grace means, let us simply and clearly state it for the record.

Titus 2:11-12 — NIV
“For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people.  It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age…”

Gal 2:13 — New Living Translation
“For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature.”

Romans 3:5-8 — NKJV
“But if our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God, what shall we say?  Is God unjust who inflicts wrath? (I speak as a man.)  Certainly not!  For then how will God judge the world?  For if the truth of God has increased through my lie to His glory, why am I also still judged as a sinner?  And why not say, “Let us do evil that good may come”?—as we are slanderously reported and as some affirm that we say. Their condemnation is just.”

Romans 3:5-8 — Mirror Bible
“We could argue then that God doesn’t have a right to judge us, if our unrighteousness only emphasizes his righteousness.  That would make God an unfair judge of the world.  This almost sounds like I am saying that is not really wrong to sin, if our cheating only serves to further contrast the truth of God.  Because of my emphasis on God’s grace, some people slanderously make the assumption and accuse me that my teaching would give people the license to sin.  “Let us do evil that good may come?”  I strongly condemn such foolish talk!”

Romans 3:5-8 — Phillips Translation
“But if our wickedness advertises the goodness of God, do we feel that God is being unfair to punish us in return? ( I’m using a human tit-for-tat argument.)  Not a bit of it!  What sort of a person would God be then to judge the world?  It is like saying that if my lying throws into sharp relief the truth of God and, so to speak, enhances his reputation, then why should he repay me by judging me a sinner?  Similarly, why not do evil that good may be, by contrast all the more conspicuous and valuable?  (As a matter of fact, I am reported as urging this very thing, by some slanderously and others quite seriously?  But, of course, such an argument is quite properly condemned.”)”

Romans 6:1-2 — NKJV
“What shall we say then?  Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?  Certainly not!  How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?”

Romans 6:1-2 – Mirror Bible
“It is not possible to interpret grace as a cheap excuse to continue in sin.  It sounds to some that we are saying, “Let’s carry on sinning then so that grace may abound,” How ridiculous is that!  How can we be dead and alive to sin at the same time?”

Romans 6:1-2 – Phillips Translation
“Now what is our response to be?  Shall we sin to our heart’s content and see how far we can exploit the grace of God?  What a ghastly thought!  We, who have died to sin—how could we live in sin a moment longer?”

I Cor 15:34 – King James Bible
Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.



6 Responses to “Grace: A License To Sin?”

  1. darylgstewart September 5, 2013 at 6:12 PM #

    Hi Mark,
    I know some people who do believe that sin is o.k., because it’s forgiven. It is frustrating to try and teach fruit-bearing, because they consider any action of that sort to be a vain attempt to earn salvation. And after all, Christ needs no help paying sins price. The blood of Christ cleanses from all sin. But what then do you do with those scriptures that demand action? “Feed my sheep”- they say I don’t have to. Jesus did it all…..ugh! see what I mean? What would you suggest?

    • marklhen September 7, 2013 at 8:42 AM #

      No one verse… or one truth can be contradictory to the rest of Scripture. If we believe in the inerrancy of Scripture then each truth has to be taken in context with rest. To pick and choose what we believe sets us up for error.

      • darylgstewart September 7, 2013 at 11:44 AM #

        Well Put! What do we say then to those in our circles who vociferously insist that their (bad) works are not an impedance to salvation? i.e., doesn’t the Bible say there will be no liars there? I am really at a loss as to how to handle them.

  2. melwild September 7, 2013 at 11:28 AM #

    Good word, Mark. What’s amazing about teaching this grace is that you have to go to such lengths to tell people what you’re not saying as what you are! I like to say it this way,..grace is not an excuse to sin, it’s an excuse not to. 🙂 Blessings.

    • marklhen September 7, 2013 at 9:34 PM #

      That’s a great perspective, Mel. Thanks!

      I believe that ALL our sins have been already forgiven. We must believe and confess (believe with your heart and confess with your mouth – Rms 10:9) and we must repent (repent and believe – Mk 1:15) for us to receive forgiveness. I’m not saying that every ‘tiny’ sin must be confessed and repented of… but I believe we must walk in a humble heart posture of wanting to walk clean.

      We’re still in a learning curve to understand how Heaven views sin… even more, now with the emphasis on Grace. But we all know what sin does to our hearts, souls and even our bodies… (not to mention our relationships and even our circumstances around us). Even if our sin doesn’t affect Heaven, it does affect us. It desensitizes our conscience, it dulls our sensitivity to Holy Spirit’s stirrings, it bruises OUR confidence with God. It strengthens alliance with the devil. It reduces the flow of Heaven’s anointing through us (I’m not even saying Heaven reduces it). Our hearts become encumbered with preoccupation with sin and the residual of sin (memories, wounded relationships, establishing of evil strongholds in our lives.) All these and many more no-brainer earth-side reasons make sin wrong… not if you want to excel in Heaven’s blessing (again, I’m not even saying the Heaven withholds the blessing… with all the excess baggage that sin incurs, we aren’t light on our spiritual feet anymore).

      Maybe some aren’t concerned with this earth-side baggage… they just want a “get into Heaven free” card. Well, I’d have to ask whether they personally know the Man behind the Grace… or do they just know the theology. You can make heartless cold theology justify anything you want to justify. But if you are related to the Man who really loves you and is your Bridegroom and is your closest Friend, then I’m pretty sure the fruit will be that you want to walk as free from excess sin baggage as you can.

      And let’s just be honest, Jesus said it is possible that some will say “Lord, Lord….” and He’ll say, “I never knew you.” For me, it gets down to walking with a tender heart before the One who knows you best and loves you most. How long has it been since you had tears because of His tender love resting on your heart? When did you last have an informal yet passionate heart to heart with Jesus… that lasted more than 3 or 4 minutes. Is He on your heart and mind all during the day… or only at your ‘religious’ church meeting times?

      I believe true relationship will be evidenced by a desire to walk as much like the One we love, versus trying to get by with as much deviant activities as we can and hopefully not ‘max out the system’. O… what a horrible commentary the latter one is.

      These are just some of the many reasons that would cause Paul to say, “Should we sin more that Grace may abound more?” Heaven and earth resoundingly responds, No, way!!! Not if we’re truly in love with this wonderful Man Jesus who made Grace so awesome and so free.

      • melwild September 7, 2013 at 10:14 PM #

        Wow! Good word! I think you hit the nail on its proverbial head. 🙂

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