Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Grace questions...

   When we first receive this wonderful message of God's grace for us we rejoice. We desire to express praise and thanksgiving to such a loving Savior and Father. We celebrate the freedom from the traditions of men. We experience true peace of heart and mind. 

 We also desire to share these wonderful truths with others. Some receive it with gladness. Some, who already posses imbalance and instability within, receive it in foolishness and go about establishing their own righteousness. Still others reject it flat out! They accuse you of desiring to go backwards. They inevitably pose the question that most of us who have received the truth of His grace have already been asked. 

"So, what, you mean you get to keep on sinning?" 

 This question has been posed to many in the grace revolution. Or some variation of it has been asked. Such as;

"You just desire to keep on sinning, right?" 
" So, you no longer have to repent, or acknowledge when you sin?"

 I want to respond to this question. None of the great teachers I've heard have ever promoted the idea that sin is good or ok. In fact grace is the means by which we escape the dominion of sin not find a way back into a sinful lifestyle. 

 How should we respond to all of this? Is it good to persist in a life of sin so that grace may multiply even more? Absolutely not! How can we die to a life where sin ruled over us and then invite sin back into our lives? Did someone forget to tell you that when we were initiated into Jesus the Anointed through baptism’s ceremonial washing, we entered into His death?  Therefore, we were buried with Him through this baptism into death so that just as God the Father, in all His glory, resurrected the Anointed One, we, too, might walk confidently out of the grave into a new life. To put it another way: if we have been united with Him to share in a death like His, don’t you understand that we will also share in His resurrection? We know this: whatever we used to be with our old sinful ways has been nailed to His cross. So our entire record of sin has been canceled, and we no longer have to bow down to sin’s power. A dead man, you see, cannot be bound by sin. But if we have died with the Anointed One, we believe that we shall also live together with Him Romans 6:1-8 Voice

  The grace revelation is rooted in the Pauline revelation of our right standing with God and the gospel of reconciliation. Paul expressly states this truth of grace is not intended for us to push backwards and live the life we were rescued from. 

 For sin is no longer a tyrant over you; indeed you are under grace and not the law. So what do we do now? Throw ourselves into lives of sin because we are cloaked in grace and don’t have to answer to the law? Absolutely not! Doesn’t it make sense that if you sign yourself over as a slave, you will have to obey your master? The question before you is, What will be your master? Will it be sin—which will lead to certain death—or obedience—which will lead to a right and reconciled life? Romans 6:14-16

 Take note, Paul expressly states we are NOT under the Law. We are not under the Law, period! The Law is not divided anywhere in the New covenant. It isn't divided into ceremonial, sacrificial and moral. The Law is an all or nothing standard. We are not under any law or rule or code. So does this then mean we live any way we see fit? Of course not!

 Paul here in these two passages reveals to us we have the new life of God within us. Its this already made right and perfect heart within which governs our life and conduct. Our faith in God and purchased right standing guides us in our daily affairs. So truly our standard of living is expressed in a relationship with our Father. It is not expressed in rules and codes and laws.

 The Law and any other traditional code of living does nothing to empower anyone.  It can only demand from you. It can never give you the strength to "perform" what is "required" of you. It can tell you this is the way to conduct your life. It has no power to bring lasting change within. 

 Grace supplies. It imparts within us the desire to follow the Lord. Relationship births the desire to yield to our Heavenly Father. What do I mean by yielding? Doesn't yielding mean to give the right of way? Being in relationship with the Lord translates this way; when temptation or alluring to follow the wrong path presents itself, our loving Father gently reminds us He has so much better for us. That is not law mixing or tradition of men. This is the key to living free.

 If you study Paul's admonition you find what was his biggest concern when addressing sin? Was it that the believer would lose his eternal salvation? Apparently, it was not. What Paul seemed to be concerned about was that the believer would be entangled in the "bondage" or "trapping" of a habitual sin. 

 Paul understood sin will always take you further than you intended to go. It will cost you more than you wanted to pay. It brings misery and leaves you wanting. It also produces within us an unconfident heart. 

 This unintended consequence of an unconfident heart is the worst side effect of sin. It produces a struggle within us to run to God. It seems to push us away from God. In spite of how much revelation of grace we have, an unconfident heart can be a momentarily challenge we must overcome. That's why constantly feeding on the Word about our right standing and His grace is so vital. 

 So in closing to answer the legalist. We are never saying we desire to keep on sinning. We don't "get" to continue in a fallen lifestyle. If we "miss it" or "fail" we simply repent or change our minds about our actions in light of His love and mercy. In fact we have the key to be forever free! Unearned love and favor produces an empowerment to overcome. Receive His grace and overwhelming love and mercy. Receive His complete forgiveness.
He has so much for us. Remember to feed on the Word about grace and righteousness. You won't be sorry.

  Again thanks for taking the time to read the posts. I pray blessings to each one who reads. Leave feedback and share if it's blessing you. Thanks so much.

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