Monday, February 8, 2021

Sin, Grace, and our Liberty in Christ Jesus


For freedom Christ freed us. Stand fast therefore and do not be entangled again with the yoke of bondage. Galatians 5:1 MEV

 We've concluded a series answering the question, what are the laws God has written on our hearts. In the last post of that series, I touched on a controversial topic. Freedom and sin. 

 Today, I sense the impression to continue examining this subject more closely. With a topic so sensitive and controversial it is important to give it the proper attention so as not to lead anyone astray. So is it ok to sin, knowing we are forever forgiven? are we free to sin? Is it even possible to sin under this New Covenant? We will fully answer these questions in depth. 

 First, is it possible to sin under this New Covenant? Some reason that since sin can be defined as transgression of the Law, and the Law having been fulfilled in Christ, therefore there can be no sin. That is a foolish and ignorant assumption. This is the result of a lack of understanding and study of all the New Covenant Scripture. 

 Paul defines sin this way in Romans. James defines sin this way in James 4. John defines it this way in 1 John. So we see, wrongdoing, knowing to do good but refusing to, and doing something apart from Faith are all defined as sin. The Greek word for sin is hamartia. It simply means to miss the mark. What is the mark? God's perfect standard. Since He is Love it may be defined as missing that mark of perfect love, love toward ourselves or others. 

 So can we sin under the New? What does Paul say in Romans 6? How can Paul admonish us not to let sin reign in our bodies if it is impossible to sin under the New? Don't follow foolishness, we can sin under the New.

 Having then established the truth that we can in fact sin under the New, let's dig deeper and answer these hard questions, is it ok to sin, and are we free to sin? Is it ok to sin? To answer this, we must really ask what do you mean by ok? 

 Having it be ok to sin would mean that there would be zero consequences or repercussions for sinning. We only have to read a newspaper or watch television news to know that is not true. People robbing a bank go to jail. 

 Yet when you answer the question are we free to sin it seems there is a contradiction. If I answer we are free to sin, then it appears as if I am saying it is ok to sin. Nothing can be further from the truth. Why?

 Having the freedom to do something doesn't necessarily mean it is an encouragement to do so. In America, we have the freedom of speech. Does that mean the founders were encouraging me years and years ago to go curse my neighbor with my words? That's absurd, of course not. 

 So it is with the liberty and freedom we have in Christ. 

“All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things edify. 1 Corinthians 10:23 MEV

 Are we free to sin? Does Grace give us the freedom to sin? The hard answer is yes. Don't stop there though. Though you are free to sin, you are also free to reap the full consequences of that sin. 

 I liken this freedom to a flame. It's like a lighter, a match, or a torch in our hands. With this flame, we can provide warmth to someone by lighting a fire. We can cook someone's food to bring nourishment to them. We can use this flame to light the path so that others won't stumble. It's up to us.

 We can also use this same flame, to burn their house down, of course injuring ourselves in the process. We could take this flame and lead someone down the wrong path, getting lost ourselves. We could take this flame and start a forest fire thus hurting many others including ourselves. The freedom of choice is ours, in essence, we are dangerously free. 

 Why does Grace give us this dangerous freedom? Because God looks upon our hearts and our thinking. He desires above all else sincerity. Look at Paul's prayer here.

 God looks for sincere hearts. Not mere rule-keeping hearts. A heart motivated only to keep the rules, observe the regulations, and obey the laws, is not a heart moved by love. It is a heart moved only by the rules. If the rules change, then one's actions will surely change. A heart motivated by love is only moved by love. No matter the rules or laws, love will always be the guide, and that is the heart of Grace and Righteousness.

 So can we sin under Grace? Yes. Is it ok to sin? It is if you are ok with negative consequences, harming yourself and hurting others. Obviously then it isn't ok to sin. Are we free to sin? Yes, God looks for sincerity. 

 Why do we sin? Because we want to. We have allowed an unrighteous desire to reside in our thoughts and we look for ways to act on this desire. The enemy can't make us sin.

 Now if we do sin, is that it? Are we out? Are we done for? Are we going to experience eternal damnation? 

 I've heard preachers declare if they were sinning the moment Christ returns they'd be going to hell for all eternity. They truly make light of Grace and magnify sin's power over God's Love.

 When speaking of sin we must always be reminded of the eternal security of the Believer in Christ. Why? Because we have all sinned and missed the mark. Secondly, as soon as we sin or are reminded of our faults, flaws, and failures, the enemy is quick to move in with accusation and condemnation. Why? So you will draw back from God's Love and Grace and stay in the place of shame.

 Let the Words of Jesus be a refreshing stream to your soul.

“Truly, truly I say to you, whoever hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has eternal life and shall not come into condemnation, but has passed from death into life. John 5:24 MEV

No matter your sin, no matter how often you've sinned, no matter when you sinned, you will never come into condemnation. Jesus bore all the pain, the shame, and punishment for all our sins once for all time. Jesus' Blood was enough, God isn't going to hold you accountable for the same sins Jesus paid for. We are eternally secure in Him.

 Again, this freedom isn't an encouragement to sin. Sin will cost more than you want to pay. Sin will take you further than you want to go. Sin will keep you longer than you want to stay. Thank God under Grace we aren't under the dominion of sin.

 In summation, rejoice in the freedom we have in Christ. Rest in the eternal security His Finished Work procured for all those who believe. Enjoy the power and dominion we have in Christ over sin and the works of the enemy. We are free in Him, forever free. 

Image by Briam Cute from Pixabay 

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