Is grace a licence to sin?

Hi there!


No wonder John Newton called it amazing!

It is amazing when you really discover what it means.

And what does it mean?

That we will never be held accountable for our sin ever again, because Jesus paid the price once for all.


We can stumble, we can fall. We can err, we can mess up. We can make mistake after mistake.

We can sin.

Yet if sin increases, grace increases. How amazing is that?!

Does that mean that if we keep on sinning God will keep forgiving us?

Yes it does!

Does that mean if we purposefully keep on sinning God forgives us?

Yes it does!

Does this give us a license to sin?

There’s the killer question.

It was Dr. Martin Lloyd Jones who said that unless people criticize us for giving a licence to sin, we are not preaching the true gospel. His actual words were these:

There is no better test as to whether a man is really preaching the New Testament gospel than this, that some people might misunderstand it and misinterpret it to mean you can go on sinning as much as you like…If my preaching does not expose it to that misunderstanding, then it is not the gospel. 

Paul was also accused of preaching license, which is why he had to say:

Shall we go on sinning so grace may increase? By no means!

– Romans 6:1

Paul wasn’t alone. Martin Luther, George Whitfield, many of those famous old preachers were accused of preaching ‘license.’

Yet today, those preaching this extreme gospel of grace – branded hyper-grace – preachers like Joseph Prince, Creflo Dollar and Paul Ellis – are criticised.

They are in good company!

The amazing fact is – we are free.

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free!

– Galatians 5:1

How clear could Paul be?!

And Jesus:

If the Son sets you free, you are free indeed!

– John 8:36

There seems to be a pattern here!

The fact is, because of Jesus’ suffering, because of His bravery in going to the cross – we have been set free from the prison of sin. (Luke 4:18).

He achieved it for us.

All we have to do is receive. What an amazing and generous God! Our righteousness is a gift which we receive through faith.

This is why it is offensive to us who grasp the wonder, the magnificence of God’s grace when preachers and teachers suggest we must ‘do our bit’ to overcome sin.

We have nothing to do. Jesus did it all. As Jim McNeely says: the blood of Christ plus nothing.

Joseph Prince makes me laugh when he says:

 One day in Heaven we will sing “Worthy is The Lamb, not Worthy is The Lamb… and me!

So, again, back to the crucial question: does grace give us a licence to sin?

Well, check out these words from Paul:

You are not led by the sinful nature if the Spirit of Christ lives in you.

– Romans 8:9

Now let me ask you a question: is the Spirit of Christ going to lead us to sin?

No way!

Grace is not a license to sin, it’s a licence to be righteous.

By grace. Through faith.


Steve Edwards


10 thoughts on “Is grace a licence to sin?

    • This is false teaching in the church. Paul says our righteousness comes by faith – “a righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.”

      It has nothing to do with what we do. Paul also says our righteousness is a ‘gift’ (Romans 5:17). And “He is our righteounsess.” (1 Cor. 1:30).

      We became righteous when He took our sin (2 Cor 5:21).

      We are not righteous because of the way we live – we are righteous because Christ lives in us.

      “We are shielded by God’s power” – as Peter says.

      We are covered in the blood of Christ.

      “We cannot sin” if we are in Christ (1 John 5:18) “because Christ lives in us.”

      Whatever we do, we are free.

      “And if the Son sets you free, you are free indeed!” (John 8:36)

      This is why grace is amazing!


  1. Here is how we are seen from God’s point of view:
    So how do we then behave?
    How did any man behave in the Bible?
    Cain killed Adam.
    Moses killed an Egyptian.
    Abraham gave up his wife to save his skin.
    David sent a man to his death so he could steal his wife.
    Solomon had hundreds of women at his disposal for the fulfillment of sexual pleasure.
    Peter denied Christ.
    Paul had Christians imprisoned and persecuted them with vigor.
    Paul did what he didn’t want to and didn’t do what he wanted to. (Though I consider Paul to be the greatest man to have ever lived (sans Jesus of course).
    Peter reverted to the law on many occasions, which spiked the ire of Paul and others.
    Corinthian Christians slept with their mothers.
    Galatian Christians tried earning their own salvation again. Self righteousness.
    The Jewish Christians would not forsake the laws of Moses.
    Yet, Christians gave up everything to help others.
    Christians loved God.
    Christians went to the cross and to the lion’s dens rather than to deny Christ.
    Christians did every good work a man could do.

    The point?
    Grace gives us license to do the will of God. It can’t possibly give us any other license. We are indeed free and in one form or another, always have been. Even in chains, men are free to say and think what they will. But Jesus gave us another kind of freedom. Freedom from what? SIN!

    Why does the church charge Christians with guilty verdicts when God has proclaimed us NOT GUILTY!!!

    You and I, the fleshly part of us will continue to sin willfully.
    You and I, the spiritual part of us, can never sin again.

    Liked by 1 person

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