Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?
If we go on sinning, grace increases.
The more we sin, the more God pours out His grace.
Grace is ‘on tap.’
Many people think that a true understanding of this will cause people to sin purposely, saying:
Well, God forgives me, so I can do what I want.
But this is a lie.
Anyone to whom God has revealed grace to has already reached the bottom of the barrel.
They have strived and tried to overcome sin themselves.
They have wrestled with God.
They have cried out to Him from the bottom of their hearts, begging to be released from the sin that enslaves them.
It is when we completely and utterly give up, and say to God:
I desire your presence more than this continual struggle with sin.
that He reveals grace to us.
It is when we have nowhere left to turn, when our trying and striving just seems to lead us to more sin, more shame, more self-condemnation, more self-hatred, and so more sin, that we cry out to God and he sets us free, with a freedom so beautiful, so abundantly forgiving, so amazing.
The gospel of grace is this: it is not what we do that makes us holy, it is what Christ did that makes us holy.
We have been made holy by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, once for all.
It is not what we do that makes us righteous.
How much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and the gift of righteousness reign in life?
Righteousness is a gift of God.
And this not of yourselves. It is the gift of God.
We cannot overcome sin. If we could, would Christ have had to die? Would Christ have had to sacrifice Himself, like an animal?
But now, at the end of the ages, Christ appeared once to do away with sin by the sacrifice of Himself.
Because of Jesus’ great love for us we are pure, we are righteous, we are holy.
We could not do it on our own. We can not. Only He could do it. As Paul says:
Nothing we do, it is the gift of God.
If only all of the men and women Christians who still believe we have a part to play in defeating sin would just throw their hands in the air and give up, then God could reveal the wonder of His amazing grace to them and they would be free.
Unfortunately, pride gets in the way, as John Stott says:
We regret the idea that we have nothing to contribute to our own salvation, so we stumble at the stumbling block of the cross.
(The Cross of Christ).
Yes, we may make mistakes, yes, we may mess up, yes, we may do wrong, but Jesus paid the penalty for every mistake we will ever make, ever, so that God is able to see past our old sinful nature and see us as righteous, perfect and holy – as he intended us to be – our true selves.
If you’ve ever felt the presence of God, you’ll know He is amazingly beautiful.
If you’ve ever felt the love of Jesus you’ll know that He is amazingly beautiful.
Well, that’s how God feels about us.
To Him, we are amazingly beautiful.
As beautiful (I know it’s hard to believe) as Jesus.
To God we are righteous and perfect, because He decided, out of His abundant love, to adorn us with His righteousness, with His glory, with His beauty and majesty, as a free gift!
As if we can add anything to the beauty and majesty He has given us!!!
Not of ourselves.
It is the gift of God.
And finally, for those who say too much freedom leads us to sin, there is no such thing as too much freedom.
If God has decided to reveal radical, pure grace to you, it is because you needed to hear it – perhaps you were struggling, and condemning yourself, like me, feeling unworthy of God’s love.
Perhaps you are in a leadership position and God wants you to be preaching His grace to the flock under your care.
Or perhaps God simply wanted to set you free from the trying and striving to please Him, so you may rest in His beautiful presence and simply enjoy the freedom that comes knowing you are completely forgiven and perfectly loved – and that nothing you can do will ever change that.
It is finished!
There is nothing left for us to do, except, like Paul:
Complete the task Jesus has given us to do, the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.