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Unconditional Love vs. Unconditional Approval

18 Aug

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What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have 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.

For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with,a that we should no longer be slaves to sin—because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.

Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God, Romans 6:1-10.

For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives, Hebrews 12:6 and Proverbs 3:12.

I recommend reading the entire book of Romans in one sitting. I have included parts of Chapter 6. There’s a scary phenomenon I’ve seen on blogs and some Christian websites that say because we are saved by faith we can live however we want. It’s true God allows us to make choices. It is incorrect that God approves of a lifestyle of sin. God never approves of sin.

He forgives our sins. When we confess our sins and seek repentance, He washes away our sins. God is 100 percent holy and just. There would have been no reason to send Jesus to the cross if He were okay with us living any way we want. Sin carries with it the penalty of death, but the gift of God is eternal life (Romans 6:23). Someone without sin had to pay for our sins. Jesus did that for us so we could be raised from spiritual death to life.

God did what we could not do. And the righteousness of Jesus is imputed to those who believe by faith and follow Him. Following Jesus involves obedience, not to earn righteousness or approval, but out of love for Him. Jesus said, “If you love Me, you’ll keep My commandments,” John 14:15.

God loves us no matter what we do. His love is agape, unconditional. He does not approve of or delight in sin. He never has and never will. It violates His nature as holy. His unconditional love is not unconditional approval. Jesus didn’t throw away the law, He fulfilled it and gave us His Spirit to empower us to live differently. Being born again means being given a new nature. We are no longer slaves to sin and sin becomes uncomfortable or unnatural.

Just as a human parent does not approve of their child disobeying, getting in trouble, abusing others or themselves, God does not delight in evil. He wants the best for us. He corrects us knowing sin is destructive. He’s not out to get us, but to help and protect us. Adam and Eve didn’t listen and we are still suffering from their choices. Sin is not our friend.

Key notes:

There is nothing we can do to make God love us more or less. Out of love He corrects us and leads us away from sin. He never approves of sin.

Grace empowers us to live righteous lives because of Christ in us. He changes us from the inside out.

Following Jesus includes making Him Lord over every area of our lives.

God doesn’t come to shame or condemn, but to convict and restore.

Jesus died for our freedom from sin!

Sweet friends, no matter the struggle, if our hearts long to follow Jesus, the Holy Spirit will lead us on a path to becoming like Him. We don’t strive, we abide and follow. God loves us too much to leave us the same. If we harden our hearts it can lead to destruction (Romans 1:28). It is in our best interests to submit to God in every way.

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7 Comments

Posted by on August 18, 2013 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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7 responses to “Unconditional Love vs. Unconditional Approval

  1. Andrew Logan Sr (@aplogansr)

    August 18, 2013 at 8:33 pm

    Excellent!! Thanks for connecting with me on Twitter.

    Andrew Logan, EA
    dba Logan Christian Publishing Company
    author of Plugging Into Real Worship and Conectándose a la adoración verdadera
    http://aplogansr.com
    http://aplogansr.com/es/index.php

     
  2. Crysloves

    August 19, 2013 at 10:06 am

    I absolutely agree with all that is written, but i want to add one thing, this is what i have come to believe is a misconception or get misworded and the enemy uses it to entangle believers in guilt.

    Jesus died on the cross and took away ALL of Gods wrath for our sins. ALL. IT IS FINISHED. When you truly live out Romans 9:9,10 – this forgiveness washes over us. When we sin as born again children, that sin was apart of that original forgiveness. What repenting does is draws us near again to our Papa. Bc of His Holiness He is unable to be close to sin, hence His spirit oyr helper convicting us of it. But the forgiveness is still there.

    God, Jesus knew of these sins too when He CHOSE to be baptized with them. We have to stop thinking that our true conversions weren’t true forgiveness bc this does cause the religious spirit to convince us we have to earn back our salvation. When we have a true conversion our lives WILL change. If they dont then there wasnt a true conversion and the Holy Spirit is not living in them. If you know you have changed then KNOW that ALL of your sins ARE forgiven, seek His Power to overcome the ones that still cause you to stumble. There is authority we have tp conquer ir, and this is in the Name of Jesus Christ. We CAN walk this life without sin just as Jesus. Believe. Love. Empower others in truth.

     
    • Erin Lamb

      August 19, 2013 at 11:12 am

      Thanks for your reply. I agree we are forgiven. This post was to address the misrepresentation of grace, that we accept Christ and then refuse to yield to Him. I tried to state again and again that we are saved by faith and God is the One who empowers us to live transformed lives. We don’t earn salvation. God does convict us because the goal is to lead us on a path of righteousness.
      The Bible states to receive Christ and willfully keep sinning and refusing to repent is to abuse grace. Jesus invited people to follow Him, deny themselves, and be a disciple which is more than a profession of faith, it’s faith that leads to making Him Lord. This includes making Him Lord over every area of our lives. A religious spirit says, I keep the law to be made right with God-I earn God’s love, approval, or my own righteousness. Grace says, I am made right by faith and because of faith I am led to follow Christ-empowered by the Holy Spirit. This post was to say faith leads to obedience. If we profess Him as Lord, yet refuse to do anything He asks something is wrong. And we can never say God condones or approves of sin. He loves us, forgives us, and helps us. He helps us in our weakness.

      There’s no guilt or condemnation, just a continual running to God for His help. His arms are wide open. He came to set the captives free!!!

       
      • Crysloves

        August 19, 2013 at 11:14 am

        Amen!!

         
      • Crysloves

        August 19, 2013 at 12:00 pm

        Just realized I gave the wrong scripture. I meant Romans 10:9,10 Romans 10:9-10 CEVDCUS06

        So you will be saved, if you honestly say, “Jesus is Lord,” and if you believe with all your heart that God raised him from death. God will accept you and save you, if you truly believe this and tell it to others.

         
  3. Gregory A. Johnson (@Gregory_Johnson)

    August 19, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    Erin, thank you for this word that is on target and timely for the day in which we live.

     
    • Erin Lamb

      August 19, 2013 at 6:46 pm

      I’m concerned for people who teach a statement of faith means to continue on in willful sin. There are stern warnings about abusing grace. Grace is so beautiful and powerful. I’m not the same as I used to be and the more I’m with Him, the more changes occur. The more we love Him, the easier it is to obey Him. Bless you Greg. You’re a blessing.

      May we grow more into His likeness day after day.

       

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