Is Grace Truly A Licence To Sin And Live Anyhow?
Does grace encourages people to sin or live anyhow? Is hyper-grace truly a licence to sin? Are we truly to live by the Law in order to stop sinning? If you are searching for answers to questions like these, let these gospel truths revealed here refresh and strengthen your heart and walk with the Lord.
One of the reasons people have a problem teaching or listening to a preacher talk about the super-abounding grace we have in Christ, is due to the popular belief that grace gives people licence to sin. Or that grace encourages sin and makes people passive about living a holy lifestyle.
To find out if this is true or not, we will have to first of all explain what the word “grace” is all about.
Grace here is God’s unmerited and irrevocable favour. It is the process by which God saves the sinner and keeps the believer saved, regardless of his or her actions.
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Eph 2:8-9)
Grace is simply God reaching out to man who on his own, can never be able to save himself regardless of how good his actions are, and offering him salvation on the account of His Son Jesus. It is God choosing to forgive and justify man from ALL wrongdoings even before he ever ask for it. God does this simply because of the sacrifice of His Son Jesus on the cross.
To help new converts (children, teenagers, youths and even adults) shy away from sin, most people believe it is better to indoctrinate them with the 613 commandments of Moses (The Law and the statutes) and “fearful” messages and visions of Hell and it’s torments. That way, they will hate sin so much and live righteously on earth.
But is it really true that the teaching of grace is not good for some set of people or believers in general? What does the Bible say?
“Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein.” (Heb 13:9)
The Bible says it is a good thing that the heart (of new and long time believers of all age groups) be established with grace and not the Law which the author called “meats” that profits nothing.
As a matter of fact, to claim that grace gives people a licence to sin will be to wilfully disregard scriptures like Romans 6 verse 14
“For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.” (Rom 6:14)
That place said the only reason will not have dominion (ruler-ship, control, authority) over you, is because you are not under the Law but under grace. In other words, grace does not only deliver a person from sin, it also empowers him to withstand the acts daily. Unlike the Law that pushes one to live righteously his own struggles and afterwards condemns him for any mistake he makes.
“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.” (Tit 2:11-12)
It is only the knowledge of God’s super-abounding grace that can teach and enable us live righteously in this present world. How can something like that turn around and empower us with a licence to sin? Grace doesn’t give anyone such a licence.
That was why twice in that Romans chapter 6, Paul had to ask those questions and immediately answer them, proving that grace is never an excuse to live wrongly.
“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” (Rom 6:1-4)
“What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.” (Rom 6:15)
Show me a grace preacher who tells people it is okay to sin anytime and anyhow they like, and I will show you someone who is no gospel or grace preacher. What such a fellow is preaching is not called “grace” or “hypergrace” in the scriptures. It is called “lasciviousness” or “licentiousness.” It has nothing to do with the grace we have received in Christ.
“Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Jud 1:3-4)
Read the above passage again. This time slowly. Observe how Jude described such men.
He called them “ungodly men.” That would mean people who have no relationship with God through our Lord Jesus. Their mission is to “turn” the grace of God to “licentiousness” or “lasciviousness.”
The word “turn” in that verse is properly translated as “replace” or “change.” It conveys the idea of substituting something with another. To set something aside and take up another.
What that means is that these ungodly men were not giving people a licence to sin by teaching them the grace of God. The teaching of grace never gives anyone such licence. They were teaching people a different doctrine entirely from the beginning. That’s licentious living.
If they were to be teaching the true gospel of grace from the beginning, then there wouldn’t have been any need for Jude to warn people to beware of them and their teachings. That is because the people would have properly understood all that God did for them in Christ, fallen in love with Him and LIVE for Him.
“For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.” (2Co 5:14-15)
So do not let anyone make you close your heart to the teachings of the love of God which is the word of His grace, making you believe the teaching of grace gives people licence to sin. In the real sense, that is the teaching that is capable of building you up and helping you enjoy the inheritances you have in Christ.
“And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.” (Act 20:32)
Finally, like Paul I close with this:
2Co 13:14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.
I hope this meets you well.
Glory to God!