Why Grace is often Abused as a License to Sin? Salvation!

Because the Gospel is preached simply as salvation from the penalty of our sins, we can easily misunderstand it as our license since my sins, whether past, present and future, are all forgiven already. What is the real message of the gospel? Salvation is not the end objective. Salvation is the path to good work. We are saved for good work. The objective of Salvation is that we may be like our Creator God with good works that glorify Him.
Many believers are confused by the hyper-grace message. On the one hand, it is preached that we are not saved by good works but solely by grace, through faith in the work of the cross of Christ. Hence, we are therefore freed to do whatever we like. Yet, on the other hand, we somehow feel that it is wrong to sin but we cannot explain why.  Ephesians 2:8-9 is often quoted to justify we are saved by faith alone.

  • Ephesians 2:8-9 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Paul said that some people accused him of preaching grace as a license to sin. In Romans 6:1  What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? He gave the answer in the following verses, 2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. We are saved from sins to walk in the newness of life. The old life is sinful, new life is without sin, and we shall not walk in sins as that will be back into the old sinful life. 

But I find Ephesians 2:10 make the answer even clearer. 
  • Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Verse  8-9 shows how we can be saved by grace through faith. Verse 10 continue with the purpose, the starts with the 'FOR', and show the purpose of salvation as "for good works", that God has originally intended, which we failed because of our sins, and 'salvation' by grace, is for us to have the grace power to walk, not talk about, but by behavior, in the good works to show forth God's workmanship in creating us.

With this in mind, we can easily understand why James said, "Faith without works is dead". (James 2:26) So, if we claimed we are saved by grace and continue to walk in sins freely, then we can safely conclude that he is not saved. He did not understand the message of grace and there is no evidence of change. A saved person will at least know and struggle to get free from his bondage to sin. 

So, John explains this very clearly to us in:
  • 1 John 3:9 No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God's[b] seed abides in him; and he cannot keep on sinning, because he has been born of God. 10 By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.
The purpose of salvation, which is Redemption, Righteousness, and Worship. The final outcome is the fellowship of God and men related rightly. We are saved for good works to glorify God.
When we get this right, we will not abuse grace as the license for sins. Some 'believers' could behave like the 2nd or 3rd generation rich folks who do all kinds of wild things and expect their rich parents bail them out. Do we only want God to bail us out of troubles but don't want to follow His ways? Jesus said, "If you love me then follow my commandments". So we cannot have Jesus and then do our own things.

Hope you are enlightened. We are saved by grace through faith to glorify God with our good works, proving that we are indeed children of God.

You may want to look at this too Understanding the "Radical" Grace Message of Joseph Prince to see how love causes repentance.

Lim Liat (c) 11 Oct 2016

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