Does God's Grace Encourage Sinning?
God's grace is wonderful! But is it too good? If God freely gives eternal life instead of punishment, what is to stop us continuing to sin? If the law is abandoned as the basis of righteousness, some people were concerned that Paul's teaching would lead to moral anarchy. So he now explains the moral and spiritual obligation to continue to struggle against sin - not to earn salvation but to show our gratitude to our Saviour.
Grace encompasses both justification and redemption. Justification is a legal concept, exchanging Christ's punishment for mine so that I can go free; but redemption is relational. The sinner, who was previously in slavery to sin, has been purchased by God with the price of Christ's sacrifice. Believers are no longer slaves of sin and Satan, but have been brought into God's family as free people. So we owe a debt of gratitude to Him and, because we now belong to Him, we are not at liberty to please ourselves.
For all of us, sin has been the habit of a lifetime, our moral default. But when we submit to Jesus Christ as Saviour we must learn new habits. We have not just been 'let off' our eternal punishment, but have also been brought into a new relationship with our Maker who is our new Master. Instead of a lifetime of sinful living which confirms God's right to condemn us, every day we must now prepare to live with Him for ever. Obedience instead of disobedience; service instead of rebellion; receiving His Word instead of telling Him what to do; learning to love instead of hate; welcoming truth and rejecting lies ... these are all part of the new life which has been won for us by God's grace. Are you willing to commit yourself to serving your Saviour like that? There is no other option!
© Dr Paul Adams