“Guilt Free, Grace Full,” read the sign in front of a church building. As I glanced further I noticed a picture behind the bold printed letters. At first I was shocked by what I had seen, but then I couldn’t help but be burdened in the very depths of my Spirit. As it was a picture of Church members dancing, drinking, wearing mardi-gra beads, and throwing coins in the air, “Guilt Free and Grace Full!”
What kind of message were they trying to send? Were they telling people to sin at will because there covered in the grace of God? Who in their right mind would promote such a thing? I felt sick to my stomach. Do we, as Christians, have some sort of ‘ticket’ to sin because we said a few ‘magic’ words and called ourselves Christians? Can we party hard, sin at will, be forgiven, and then get into heaven, all in one swoop? Guilt free and covered in His grace? Is that how it works!? I think not!
“Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace. Well then, since God’s grace has set us free from the law, does that mean we can go on sinning? Of course not!” Romans 6:14-15
Nowhere in Scripture do we have Gods permission to sin. It’s true the Spirit does not condemn us, but in the same manner, He does convict us of our sin. We do not have some sort of ‘ticket’ to sin. We don’t give our lives to God so that we can sin, rather we give our lives to God so that he can help us not to sin. For if we love the Lord, then we will hate sin.
“You who love the Lord, hate evil!” Psalm 97:10
If you are a true believer, then your life will be transformed. Meaning, you will not willfully be continuing in habitual habits of sin. Your nature will change. Will we be perfect? No, but this imperfection doesn’t give us the right to sin either. Do we sin at times? Unfortunately yes, but rather than indulging in sin or promoting sin, we should stay as far away from it as possible. In fact, we are no longer slaves of sin, but rather we are to be slaves of righteousness.
“Knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin…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 6:6, 17-18
“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” 1 Cor. 10:13
With each temptation He gives a way of escape. If sin is at your door, you can rest assured there is a way out, a way not to sin. The choice is up to you, but the question is, who are you going to listen too? The next time temptations come, instead of giving in, try overcoming it. Desire to be like Christ, for God gave us this desire when we became believers.
Now as far as grace. Yes, we do serve a God of grace. His grace is abundant and he does forgive us of our sins. But again, just because we serve a graceful God doesn’t mean we should have one foot in the world and one foot in Him. That is called being lukewarm and God says he will spit them out of his mouth. While it’s true, he is loving, merciful, forgiving, and graceful God, we also have to remember that he is our righteous judge.
“Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul.
Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” Matthew 10:28
So I’m left with one question, how on earth could a church, someone who claims the name of Christ, post such a sign in their window? And the answer is this. Multitudes of shallow sermons are being preached that don’t dig deep enough to do any soul searching. They teach a one sided grace message. To them, God is there to bless them, give them stuff, answer their prayers, and let them into heaven. Nothing more. Therefore, the fruit of such churches, are people who believe they can live like the world and go to heaven. In other words many false converts are made under the pretense of a ‘god’ that doesn’t exist.
Does God answer prayers, bless us, and give us things? Yes he does, but that’s not all he is about. He is so much more! He is a relational God. He desires to be a part of your life and loves you more than anyone in this world. He is not vindictive or mean, and he doesn’t want to beat you with guilt, he only seeks your redemption and desires your love.
If you are a believer, praise God for who he is! And don’t give yourself a ‘ticket to sin.’ Rather, lets seek to be like Christ.
Love you all!