So why not sin then?

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If grace sets you so completely free that you are accepted no matter what you do, then what is to stop people from sinning?

No offence intended, but that is a really dumb question. It is like a child saying, “If my daddy will still love me if I hit my head against the wall, then I can just hit my head on the wall all day long and there is nothing to stop me.”

There is nothing good or helpful about sin. Ken Blue says you don’t sin for the same reason you don’t stick your lips in a meat grinder – it’s painful and it’s disfiguring. Every broken marriage, every wrecked life, every damaged relationship is caused by sin.

Paul gives two answers to the question “Shall we sin then?” in Romans 6. The first one is basically, “You don’t have to do that anymore”. Verse 2 says, “We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?” We are not mastered by sin any more (vs 14) and God has placed his new life inside us (vs 4-5). We don’t have to go back to the “death” of being enslaved by sin again; we have his life now, and it is in every way better than where we came from.

The second answer is, “What good did it ever do you?” It says in verse 21, “What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of?” The reason you don’t sin is not because God won’t accept you if you do, you avoid sin just because it isn’t good for you.

The question, “Doesn’t God’s grace leave us free to sin?” really implies that God doesn’t know what he is doing by making us so free. It also implies that God’s love and grace has an evil effect. Does reflecting on God’s grace and mercy towards you really make you feel like going out and sinning all you can? Can you imagine anybody who has been overwhelmed by God’s grace having that reaction?

For reflection:

God delights in, enjoys and rejoices over his children (Zephaniah 3:17), even if they never change. But his love and grace also draws us and transforms us. As someone has said, “He loves us as we are, but he loves us too much to leave us as we are.”

This is actually what we desire and long for – to be better than we are. Like a horse was made to run and an eagle was made to fly, we were made to live a holy and righteous life. One reason why Jesus is so attractive is because he is fully human – all that we were created to be. And something in us longs to be like that, too.

“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me” (Philippians 3:12)

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