Article By May Howard // EEW Magazine Spiritual
So, before you abuse God’s grace and quickly run into the judgment-free zone to forfeit accountability, read the Bible which teaches you to bear the responsibility of following Christ.
Since Jesus was the only perfect human being to ever walk the earth, no one can be sin-free 100 percent of the time. Nevertheless, the word of God does not excuse or condone habitual sinning. In fact, Scripture guides and teaches us to abandon our old sin nature and walk according to the new life we have in Christ.
How do we know that to be true? Here are 7 verses to prove it:
Romans 6:1-2 NLT “Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it?”
As believers, when we accept Christ, we go through a spiritual death and renewal. We die to our old sinful, fleshly nature and are rebirthed. We no longer give into that pattern of embracing base, immoral desires, but rather, we respond to the prompting of the Holy Spirit that leads and guides us into all truth according to John 16:13. Our will is conformed to His will.
I John 3:9 NLT “Those who have been born into God's family do not make a practice of sinning, because God's life is in them. So they can't keep on sinning, because they are children of God.”
There is no such thing as truly being born again and forever living a life of habitual sin. No! Transformation happens. Change takes place. If you are in Christ, the seed of righteousness is planted in you and therefore, you produce righteous fruit. The difference is apparent in your walk, your talk, your habits, your lifestyle. As a part of God’s family, you should have some resemblance to your Daddy, your Heavenly Father.
1 Corinthians 15:34 NLT “Think carefully about what is right, and stop sinning. For to your shame I say that some of you don't know God at all.”
Examine your regular practices and daily actions. Overall, would you say that you’re striving to please God? This self-examination is not legalism. That doesn’t mean you should rip yourself to shreds and go on a guilt trip after every error. On the other hand, this process of introspection is to help you get honest about your relationship with the Lord and renew your commitment to live holy. This verse very plainly says “stop sinning,” which is an admonishment for you to deliberately make a choice to walk upright before the Father.
1 Corinthians 6:19 NLT “Don't you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself…”
God, who is holy, dwells within you. His spirit is alive in you. That indicates something important and profound. When you dishonor yourself—your temple—by practicing sin, you dishonor God who dwells within your temple. If your lifestyle is messy and sin-laden, God will not be able to dwell there. It’s time to clean house. Be more intimate with God through prayer, fasting, study of His word, and fellowship with other believers. Ask Him to clean your heart and renew the right spirit within you as Psalm 51:10 says.
Colossians 3:5 NLT “So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don't be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world.”
The Bible mandates that we cast off or put away sinful things. This verse lists some of the snares we should avoid. These pitfalls undermine our relationship with God and ruin our witness of Him to the world. Turn away from such things. 1 John 2:16 NLT tells us, “For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world.” Resist the world and submit to the Savior.
Ephesians 4:1 NLT “Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God.”
Can we proclaim that we are called, chosen instruments God can use when we don’t live up to biblical standards? Again, this is not saying we are perfect, but we certainly should be striving. If you or I are intent on serving the Lord, our decisions ought to reflect that. The word of God says live a life worthy of your higher calling in Christ.
Hebrews 10:26 NLT “Dear friends, if we deliberately continue sinning after we have received knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice that will cover these sins.”
This Scripture is so important for those with a tendency to abuse grace. You cannot continually, habitually sin after you have discovered the truth of the gospel. If you do, the sacrifice of Christ does not cover that sin. Willful sinning is entirely different from the mistakes we sometimes make when we succumb to our flesh. Those who make sin a habit by doing whatever they like, whenever they like, however they like, without any regard for the Lord, do not belong to Him. Don’t be that person. Otherwise, you cut yourself off from the amazing grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Following Christ is rewarding and yet, it requires sacrifice to do so.
If you are a current or former grace abuser, don’t forget the importance of yielding to God daily, crucifying your flesh, and feeding your spirit with the word of God which empowers you to say no to sin.
On the inevitable occasions when you miss the mark, as we all have and will again, admit your faults. Receive God’s grace and forgiveness which is always available to you as long as you are sincere in your devotion and commitment to Him.