I must warn you this post is pretty strong. I apologize for those who are offended but I will not apologize for the goodness of God demonstrated by Jesus on the cross, proven by a risen Jesus and realized in us with power by the Holy Spirit.
Sin is a bad thing, right?
This is what I hear often (way too much). “If we just teach extreme Grace won’t people just do whatever they want?”
If we understood Grace at all, this would be the dumbest question ever. Jesus died to set us free from sin so why would we keep on sinning? I think it is because people think Grace and sin are equal. People think in terms of law i.e. “I need to see what is good and bad so I can choose the good over the bad so I can stay off the naughty list.” Or for those living in fear they need to show people their sin so they will know they are bound for hell.
That is a deception.
The goodness of God leads people to see that sin is bad and bad for them compared to the incredible goodness of God. The enemy stops people from seeing that goodness because of his lies and condemnation. Only God’s goodness will reveal how bad sin is, how terrible a slave master it is, how deadly it is. It isn’t just because God said so or teaching “the penalty of sinning is death (carrots and sticks).” The Bible says the WAGES of sin are death (not penalty). It is what you earn. If you are a slave to sin you are absent of life. You are absent from the very life you crave. Before Jesus people had no choice. Before Jesus sin wasn’t bad just a choice that merited consequence. They didn’t know any better other than what the law showed them. On this side of the cross the veil has been lifted so we can see the incredible goodness of God as a blazing light compared to any sin choice.
The problem is people believe they have no choice. People don’t believe in a born-again supernatural transformation into a new creation (it’s in the Bible). They believe God is angry at them and they have to clean up their act or pay some price so they can be blessed. That is slavery to a lie. “Extreme” Grace is just what Grace is. It is unbalanced. Grace is upside down thinking for human wisdom. When we know the unconditional love of God we are forever changed. We see options. We see freedom. We are no longer slaves. As long as we are slaves or think like slaves we will sin. We will be selfish. We will be deceived into believing stuff like “this doesn’t hurt anyone.” Or “I don’t know why anyone would think this is bad.” Or “people just want to change me.” Or (this is the worst) “it feels good to sin.” Those are lies.
When the “feel good nature of sinning” exceeds the joy of living an eternal life we have failed to teach Grace. That is ridiculous. The enemy through religion has convinced us we are on an island. When you feel alone and on an island your only motivation is self, survival, sin. When you are being held by God sin looks like a really dumb idea when you know how much God loves you. Not because He will be angry or disappointed but because it is eating poison instead of food. It is crawling versus riding in a jet. It is a butter knife compared to a chainsaw for cutting down trees.
We don’t believe in His goodness enough to believe He does stuff supernaturally for us and through us. This is the fundamental problem. This is what the devil has been denying through religion for all this time. Cessationism, no power, no Holy Spirit teaching is from the devil. If people saw, understood and believed in the supernatural goodness of God then sin would no longer be an issue, ever. God is that good. We have to stop apologizing.
I don’t understand why we don’t see it more of His supernatural goodness other than we just don’t believe in it. I don’t know why we have to believe before we see. That is God’s idea. I know that when we stop being stubborn, prideful, all-knowing, arrogant, “I have it all figured out”, hard-hearted debaters, He shows up. The good news is He always finds a way. He is speaking to every one of us. Do we want to hear?
When we say “Grace gives people a license to sin” we might as well be using a satan megaphone. It is demonic and so insulting to God. It is disregarding, demeaning, defaming, disrespecting my Jesus on the cross. He is alive. How dare we ignore His life. The sin discussion is stupid and childish. My God is way way way bigger than that.
How about we heal the sick, cast out demons, make the crippled walk, open the eyes of the bind, open the ears of the deaf, cure the incurable and make disciples of all nations by His demonstration through us the infinite goodness of Himself. It’s not my fault and it isn’t yours. God is that good. He can’t help it. It’s just who He is. Check out the warning that Paul gave to Timothy:
2 Tim 3:5 They may pretend to have a respect for God, but in reality they’ll have no part in experiencing the power of God. Stay away from everyone who lives like this! (Passion Translation)
2 Tim 3:5 For [although] they hold a form of piety (true religion), they deny and reject and are strangers to the power of it [their conduct belies the genuineness of their profession]. Avoid [all] such people [turn away from them]. (AMP)
2 Tim 3:4b-5 They will be conceited, will love pleasure instead of God, 5 ·and will act as if they serve God [ having a form/appearance of godliness/piety] but will ·not have his [or deny his/its] power. ·Stay away from [Avoid] those people.
2 Tim 3:5 they will hold to the outward form of our religion, but reject its real power. Keep away from such people (GNT)
2 Tim 3:5 They will appear to have a godly life, but they will not let its power change them. Stay away from such people. (GWT)
When Jesus died and was risen the entire universe was turned completely upside down. There is no adjective to describe what God has done for us. Why do we insist on denying that truth? Why do we want to give sin power over Grace? How is it something from the devil can completely control the conversation of a born-again child of God? I don’t understand. It is a lie from the enemy.
If you believe this life is just a holding tank of suffering and test taking until the day you die then death is your savior not Jesus.
If you believe God is on a big vacation and we are completely on our own and all His promises are for the millenium, then what are we doing? I’m sorry you have been deceived.
Can you see the deception? Jesus saves. Jesus is King, today, seated in Heaven. He has given us all authority. As He is so are we. We are Abba’s children. We are His heirs. Grace is Jesus. Last I checked Jesus defeated sin. Let’s stop giving it a voice. Instead let’s tell everyone about the extreme, unbounded, extravagant, over-the-top, infinitely good, infinitely-resourced, eternal Grace of Jesus Christ. That is upside down.