First, I will say this post isn’t to condemn. We have all sinned and fallen short of God’s glory (myself included). If we are in Christ we claim the righteousness of Jesus and not our own. We sin sometimes and have no idea we are sinning. God is always willing to forgive us if we sin. This post is hopefully to shed some light on why God says no to us doing whatever we want (sinning) instead of what He says to do. I have been, over the past several years, watching as our world becomes more and more wicked. I read blogs, articles, and responses. I see a trend that is disturbing. It’s something the Bible warns us about, and I suppose I did not expect to see it in my lifetime.
For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear, 2 Timothy 4:3.
The trend is calling wrong right and right wrong. In some places, God’s word is being twisted to fit the culture and lifestyles of the masses. People say they are a Christian, yet they openly admit to living however they want with no conviction and claim grace. I want to define grace and point to some of the things Jesus taught, while I still have the freedom to do so.
Grace has been defined as God’s riches at Christ’s expense. Grace is far more than that. God is so patient, loving, and kind. He gives us so much in His Son. Grace is God’s unmerited, undeserved, lavish favor on those who have sinned. We did not deserve to be saved. We deserved His wrath and death. God sent His Son out of love for us (John 3:16). There is no person who is so sinful that God would not forgive them, restore them, and heal them. Present company included. His love offering for sin was enough for all. Jesus paid the price for all sin. So any person who comes to God in faith, can receive forgiveness. His grace also enables and empowers us to do His will. If we could save ourselves or will ourselves to be like Jesus, we would not have needed a Savior.
What Grace Is Not…
Grace is not a free ticket to keep on sinning. Grace is not a license to live how we want, do whatever we want with no consequences. Here’s what Paul says.
What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been freed from sin, Romans 6:1-7.
If we claim to belong to God, we will have a heart and grow to have a heart to do what He says. This does not mean we will do everything perfectly. It does mean we rely on the Holy Spirit to submit to God’s will for our lives.
Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.” John 14:21.
If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love, John 15:10.
Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God, 1 John 3:6.
People have come up will all kinds of things that say God has changed His mind about obedience. He hasn’t, and He wont for the following reasons.
1. Sin hurts us, the people He loves.
When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord, Romans 6:20-23.
Adam and Eve didn’t believe God’s word when He said if you eat from this tree you will die. They did not die a natural death, they died a spiritual death. They opened the door for evil to reign in our world. They lost dominion on this planet and gave it to the devil. All the evil we see around us, death, sickness, suffering, all come from their disobedience. Sin cost Jesus His life, as He came to pay our penalty for sin. It costs us to disobey God. It costs others when we disobey God. God says no to protect us.
2. Perpetual sin (with no repentance) gives the devil an entry way into our lives.
Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.
You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.
Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation—but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory, Roman 5:2-17.
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you, James 4:7.
I know this post is long. My heart was grieved by an article I read of this person stating they were a Christian, yet they frequently sinned and didn’t think it was a big deal. I dare not judge or condemn, I just know sin hurts every person who succumbs to it. What God offers is always infinitely better.
Our behavior does not change God’s love for us. We cannot mistake His unconditional love with unconditional approval. God does not delight in disobedience or sin. No loving parent says to their child, “Keep doing what you want. Oh, yeah play with those matches. Yes, run in the street. Oh, you like drugs keep taking them. Oh, you like killing people-do whatever feels right for you….” God loves us more than any earthly parent ever could. He says no to sin because it leads us down a path of destruction, destroying us or others. I encourage people to read Romans,1 and 2 Corinthians, & the gospel of John. I encourage people to spend time studying the Bible and praying for wisdom and strength to do God’s will.
Take it from someone who tried life my own way and I can tell you God’s way is best. I thought I knew what I was doing and what was best for me. Well, I didn’t. My only regrets come from not listening to God’s wisdom or choosing things without asking Him for wisdom. Only God is perfect in wisdom. If we choose our own way or the way of the world or our culture, we will end up in a bad place. Our culture says, “Do what you want. Do what feels good to you and for you. Think of yourself. Whatever feels good is good” God says, “Think about what’s best for others. Don’t be selfish. Love Me and love others. Do what I say and find life. Everything that feels good is not good for you. Ask for My wisdom.” Our culture says, “Experiment, test the waters, live it up, try it, taste it, enjoy it.” God says, “Wait; do things My way. Live My way. I will bless you.” Our culture has called what’s evil good and what’s good evil or old-fashioned or out of date. God has not changed. We are blessed to do things His way. If we think there are no consequences for sin, we can watch the news and see there is.
Father I pray for an increase in truth in our world. I ask that we would seek Your will and not our own. I ask that we would not conform to the ways of this world, but stand strong and firm on Your word. Help us to say no to sin and yes to Your will. May we receive Your love and give it back to You. Our freedom cost Jesus His life. May we receive His forgiveness. In Jesus name, Amen.