As Christians, are we under the law or are we under grace? If we are under the law, we are obligated to obey the whole law to achieve righteousness (see Galatians 5:3-4). If we are under grace, we have no obligation to obey the law (to achieve righteousness).
The whole purpose of Christ’s sacrifice was to move us out from under the requirements of the law and into grace. But without obligation, some people will take advantage of this. Doesn’t this make grace cheap?
If someone thinks they can outsmart God, then they are already deceived and hopeless. Salvation isn’t a tradeable commodity. If you find a free movie pass, you can use it to get into a movie theater even if the pass wasn’t intended for you. But a “salvation pass” doesn’t work that way.
God issues a salvation pass to the specific person. The pass is bound to that person’s heart by faith. No one else can use it.
If a person tells God he believes in Him so he can acquire a pass, and his heart isn’t in it, he is only deceiving himself. His heart isn’t in it, so it won’t work. He isn’t a new creation. He doesn’t have a new heart. No one can steal from God. No one can trick God into giving out a salvation pass.
I used the following image in my book, Confident Identity, to show the contrast between someone who only changes on the outside (conforming) versus someone who is changing from the inside (transforming).
God is about internal change, not shortcuts or appearances. For those of us who have put our faith in Jesus Christ, we have a new heart. We are under grace. We really don’t need to meet the demands of the law because Jesus already did that for us (Romans 8:1-4).
Amazingly, God made the offer of grace while we were still enemies of God.
For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death-Romans 5:10
of hisSon, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.
If we received grace as enemies, certainly we are saved after we have been reconciled and are now friends with God.
But the question still remains: can a Christian take advantage of God’s extravagant grace? Yes and no. Yes, in the short-term day-to-day living we depend upon God to pay for our sinful choices. No, in the long-term, we have a new heart and we won’t keep on willfully and carelessly sinning (1 John 3:6). This is because you have been set free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2).
Paul makes this all clear in Romans 6:
For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace. What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means!-Romans 6:14-15
Therefore, you can both:
- Be saved having God full grace and righteousness which includes eternal life (Romans 5:21), and,
- Be accountable to grow spiritually and make the choice to stop sinning (see all of Romans 6 for the complete context).
In fact, the only way you can conquer sin is to be genuinely saved and
I hope your attitude is of the new code (grace). You do wrong. You feel bad for your behavior. You cry out to God as your Father. He works with you, His child, to correct the problem. There’s always a way forward in this scenario. There’s always
For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”-Romans 8:14-15
The grace you have removes the need for fear. It didn’t cost you, but it did cost Jesus. That cost allows you to have a pass with your name on it.