I think it’s fair to say that one of the primary concerns people have with preaching true grace is that of giving people a licence to sin. People say things like “But if we tell people that they’re 100% accepted, and 100% secure, that their salvation depends wholly on God and not on themselves, won’t they just go out and sin?” I’ve often thought similar things myself, and it’s been one of the key objections that’s held me back from accepting pure grace over the last 10 or 15 years.
Well, I was having breakfast in a local pub, hoping to use their free wi-fi at the same time (I’m still waiting for a phone line and broadband after moving to Derby!) and a random thought flew through my brain that I think could be significant. The thought was this:
“In a fair fight between sin and grace, grace always wins!”
Now, on one level, this sounds remarkably similar to what Rob Rufus has preached about Romans 5:20 – almost picturing a boxing match between our sin and God’s grace, and how God’s grace will triumph every time in us finding acceptance before God. But this was a little bit different – I’ve been asking God about how grace and sanctification works ‘cos sanctification is where law almost always creeps back in to the life of a believer. So then this thought comes…
Applying it to sanctification, it means that God’s grace *will* win out over sin – sin will not have dominion over us because we’re under grace! God will be at work witihin us and change us so that we are liberated from sin’s power. The intriguing thing was that phrase “in a fair fight”. What could that mean?
Then it dawned on me that a dirty fight would be one person using a weapon that the other couldn’t possibly use – one that gave them an unfair advantage. What is that weapon? The law!!
Sin wields the law, draws strength from it, and then uses it to accuse us and beat us down into submission. The bible tells us that the law is the strength of sin. What is more, grace can never use the law because grace is based on faith, and the law is not of faith. When sin uses the law, it disarms grace because we go back under an “I’ve got to earn it” mentality, that strips us of faith and leaves us weak.
This is why so much of our efforts in sanctification come to nothing! We go back under law, giving sin the upper hand and making it no longer a fair fight.
But if we disarm sin, by removing ourselves completely from being under the law, it’s a fair fight and grace always wins!!
Does it make sense, or am I off-beat here?