WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
FEBRUARY 2, 2022
TOPIC: GRACE IS NOT A LICENCE TO CONTINUE SINNING
BY T. O. BANSO
“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?” (Romans 6:1-2 New King James Version).
Several Bible passages make it very clear that people are saved by grace, not by their works of righteousness. Self-righteousness is like filthy rags before God (Isaiah 64:6). It can never satisfy the justice of God, for all have sinned and have come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). The soul who sins shall die (Ezekiel 18:4). The wages of sin is death but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23).
Ephesians 2:5b says by grace you have been saved. Verses 8-9 further say, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (New King James Version). Many other scriptures support the fact that salvation is by grace.
However, some people have stretched this truth further to argue that because they have been saved by grace, it doesn’t matter how they live. They believe that they could continue to sin since they have been saved by grace. They claim they are no longer under the law and Christ had died for their sins past, present, and future. But is Christ’s death for our sins a licence to continue to sin? Does grace give us the freedom to live in sin?
People who hold this kind of belief are quick to quote Romans 8:1 which says there is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. They use this scripture to wave aside any appeal by fellow Christians or others to live as it befits a Christian. They seek to silence others by also referring to 2 Corinthians 5:21: “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (New King James Version).
They say they are the righteousness of God and nobody can condemn them. While all the scriptures quoted are true, these people miss the point by closing their eyes to other scriptures that defeat their argument. Anybody can find verses in the Bible and twist them to support their sinful lifestyle or rationalize their sins!
Nevertheless, the Bible has made it abundantly clear that grace is not a licence for any Christian to continue living in sin. “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?” (Romans 6:1-2 New King James Version). This scripture is quite unambiguous. If anyone is serious about living a victorious Christian life, he will not tolerate sin in his life on the pretext that he has been saved by grace.
Yes, we are saved by grace but are not saved to continue to sin. Where is the newness of life if we continue with the sins we were committing before we were saved or add new sins? 2 Corinthians 5:17 says if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature: the old things are passed away; behold, they have become new.
The Bible says we should put off the old man with his deeds and put on the new man. The new life in Christ Jesus must replace the old way of life. “But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him” (Colossians 3:8-10 New King James Version).
Does being saved by grace permit us to continue to live a sinful life? Does this show we appreciate what Jesus died to save us from? Paul addresses the matter further thus: “What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness” (Romans 6:15-18 New King James Version).
While we have been saved by grace, it is not a licence to live irresponsibly and say Jesus has died for our sins. Galatians 5:13 says we have been called to live in freedom (liberty) — not freedom to satisfy our sinful nature, but freedom to serve one another in love. The apostle Peter also says in 1 Peter 2:16 that we are not slaves but free; nevertheless, our freedom is not an excuse to do evil; we are free to live as God’s slaves.
We cannot continue in sin as Christians so that grace may abound. We cannot continue to sin and use grace as our excuse. We cannot keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more kindness and forgiveness. This is not the essence of salvation by grace.
Titus 2:11-14 says, “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works” (New King James Version).
A born-again person is not a sinner but he can still sin after being born again. There’s no Christian who has attained sinless perfection; no saint of God is faultless. But there is a difference between someone who is living in sin, practising sin, enjoying sin, and a Christian who is striving for complete victory over certain sins. The plan of God is that His children should live above sin but a Christian can still sin (though he shouldn’t), and if he sins, God demands that he genuinely repents, asks for and receives forgiveness, and forsakes that sin. Forgiveness of sin doesn’t give anyone the licence to sin. No genuine Christian will justify sin or rationalize it.
1 John 1:8-10 says, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us” (New King James Version).
The apostle John continues in 1 John 2:1-2, “My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world” (New King James Version).
A child of God who is struggling with certain sins should admit it, repent, confess, and seek the help of the Holy Spirit for victory instead of abusing grace, twisting the message of grace, and perpetuating a sinful lifestyle.
In 1 John 3:6, the Bible says, “No one who abides in Him [who remains united in fellowship with Him—deliberately, knowingly, and habitually] practices sin. No one who habitually sins has seen Him or known Him” (Amplified Bible). If anyone continues to sin and justifies it on the strength of grace, he, most probably, was never genuinely saved.
Also, 1 John 5:18 says, “We know [with confidence] that anyone born of God does not habitually sin; but He (Jesus) who was born of God [carefully] keeps and protects him, and the evil one does not touch him” (Amplified Bible).
The apostle John also says, “The one who practices sin [separating himself from God, and offending Him by acts of disobedience, indifference, or rebellion] is of the devil [and takes his inner character and moral values from him, not God]; for the devil has sinned and violated God’s law from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. No one who is born of God [deliberately, knowingly, and habitually] practices sin, because God’s seed [His principle of life, the essence of His righteous character] remains [permanently] in him [who is born again—who is reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, and set apart for His purpose]; and he [who is born again] cannot habitually [live a life characterized by] sin, because he is born of God and longs to please Him” (1 John 3: 8-9 Amplified Bible).
From this passage, it is clear that no Christian will deliberately, knowingly, and habitually sin. He cannot live a life characterized by sin. But Christians are daily faced with temptations to sin, and, unfortunately, sometimes, sin. “For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish” (Galatians 5:17 New King James Version). Nevertheless, no Christian should explain away his sins, using grace as an excuse to make himself feel good. He should repent and forsake his sins. Whoever covers his sins will not prosper but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy (Proverbs 28:13).
David said when he kept silent about his sin, his body wasted away through his groaning all day long (Psalm 32:3). But he added, “I acknowledged my sin to You, and I did not hide my wickedness; I said, ‘I will confess [all] my transgressions to the LORD’; and You forgave the guilt of my sin” (verse 5 Amplified Bible).
Grace is no licence to continue sinning. Repent and forsake your sins. Don’t continue to yield to temptations and tolerate sinful habits helplessly and use grace as your defence. Consecrate yourself. Live a holy life. “But as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, ‘Be holy, for I am holy’” (1 Peter 1:15-16 New King James Version).
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, thank You for saving me by grace. I will not abuse Your grace by continuing sinning. I will obey Your Word, consecrate myself, and live a holy life. Holy Spirit, help me to live victoriously over sin. Sin shall not reign in my mortal body, that I should obey the lusts thereof in Jesus’ name.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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