When is the last time you read a blog, read a book, or heard a sermon which made you ask this question? Does God’s unconditional acceptance mean it is OK to sin? It may surprise you to know that unless you ask this question occasionally, you may not be hearing the entire truth of God’s grace.
The blog I write each week is posted on our GLI Facebook page, my personal one, and a few others. “Can A Christian Lose Their Salvation?” was a recent one. In it I shared how God accepts us in Christ 100% unconditionally. Edwin was concerned and responded, “Never think salvation is a license to sin without a price to pay for committing that sin. The price will be paid in this life and that price will be in proportion to the sin.” He was so concerned about our unconditional acceptance by God in Christ, he felt compelled to write that salvation is not a license to sin, but he went on to say when you sin, the consequences for you will be in proportion to the type of sin you commit!
Edwin was correct that salvation (grace) is not a license to sin, meaning it is not a green light to sin. However, Edwin’s prevention pill for a license to sin was fear. This was incorrect. Though there may be natural consequences when we sin, fear is not God’s answer. In fact, Paul anticipated this question when he wrote in Romans 5:20, “Where sin increased, grace increased all the more.” He is shouting there is (are) no sin(s) so great that God’s grace cannot save a person. Similarly, there is (are) no sin(s) so great that His grace cannot keep us eternally forgiven and righteous in Christ. Once we understand this, we can understand why some might conclude that grace can be misconstrued as a license to sin.
What is God’s solution for this issue? It is found in Romans 6:1-2, and 14. “What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?” “For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.” When we spiritually died with Jesus on the cross, we died to sin as our authority. And Jesus became our powerful final authority over sin instead of the law. Grace (God’s unconditional acceptance) is not a license to sin but rather God’s provision to live secure in our identity in Christ and His power to overcome temptation. This does not mean we will never sin. We will but God’s grace is always there for us.
Here is a suggested prayer as we conclude.
“Heavenly Father, thank You that my sins were not too great for Your great grace to save me through my faith in Jesus Christ. Thank You that no sin I commit will ever overcome Your great grace that has eternally forgiven and made me righteous in Christ Jesus. Thank You that Your great grace which has made me unconditionally accepted in Christ is not a license to sin. Thank You that I died on the cross with Jesus so that sin is no longer my cruel master. Thank You that Your great grace is Your presence and power in me to overcome sin attempting to still be my master. Thank You for this great love You have shown to me and will continue to show me now and forever! Amen”