6 Oct 2007

Too Much Grace?

Submitted by theshovel
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What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? Romans 6:1-2 NASB

No doubt many of you have heard these verses quoted as a caution against the dangers of having too much grace. I mean, it does sound reasonable, doesn't it? After all, as kids, we did learn that it's human nature to take advantage of too much freedom, right? And here, the question is posed and answered with a strong negative, which makes our fear seem quite Biblical.

So, how about it ... have these verses caused you to keep the grace of God on a short leash in your life lest you use it to continue in sin? Don't you find it rather odd that the very thing that delivered us from the bondage of sin keeps getting blamed for causing it? Perhaps we've learned to read these words through somebody else's glasses.

"Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase?" Don't you realize whose question that is? It is the question from the mind that fears God. The fact that Paul wrote these words only indicates that he fully understood what it was to have feared God. This knowledge made him fully aware of the question begging to be asked by those who heard of the inconceivable grace he described. He asked the same question that has haunted us from childhood each time we learned to fear whatever degree of freedom we had been given.

The answer to this question is not really "no" because the response, "May it never be!", demands that the question itself is absurd. The real answer is found in this:

How shall we who died to sin still live in it?

Do you hear it? How is it even possible for one to live when (or where) he has died? You see, the problem we have with the question only exposes the problem we have with the very idea that we have died with Christ.

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How shall we who died to sin still live in it? Do you hear it? How is it even possible for one to live when (or where) he has died? You see, the problem we have with the question only exposes the problem we have with the very idea that we have died with Christ.-Jim The answer is WE DON’T live in it! That is what he is saying! The natural mind came up with the question because it misses[stumbles over] the miraculous. The separated mind is dead, it only fears. But, I once read that God has not given us a spirit of fear again. Adam SO vey helpful Jim!
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Posted: Oct-06-07 at 11:25pm by Neil Larkins
As usual, you've nailed it. Not being dead in Christ means that you are still alive to sin. Still being alive to sin means still looking to yourself for the means to be worthy of Christ: Doing what has never worked, rather than being what Christ has made us through his finished work.
Neil


Posted: Oct-07-07 at 6:32am by Gregg
Jim, your statement "Don't you find it rather odd that the very thing that delivered us from the bondage of sin keeps getting blamed for causing it?" is a remarkable statement! The light of this statement exposes man's counterfeit grace, i.e., man's counter of true grace. I shall never forget this statement. Thanks! Gregg


Posted: Oct-07-07 at 3:26pm by Bea
Dear Jim, read and reread this one!!!:} I see Paul trying to press the necessity of Holiness-- in that he does not try to explain away free grace but shows us the connection between justification and holiness are inseperable!!!! Both are given from Christ by the Grace of God!!!


Posted: Oct-08-07 at 4:09am by Guests
This was a good reminder, Jim. Thanks.

Tim - Moscow


Posted: Oct-08-07 at 9:27am by dignz
"I hope this day finds you standing in the confidence of Christ!"

i love that! :) there is no other real standing, is there? everything else is too busy 'shifting' and unable to be 'stable'. hey! that could be a t'shirt saying:

" ... unable to be stable" or "instability for stability" or "stability inability." :)

died ... once ... DONE deal! Finished! sin issue = dealt with! such relief! such a solid foundation is HE ... no shifting, so swaying, no instability! there is real stability in NONE OTHER! :)

such a relief to be found In Him ... always found ... always secure ... always stable ... always.

so happy to be free-ed and free! :) His grace boundifully abounds! (whatever happened to that little bouncy, bounding smiley dude emoticon? i miss him!)
I hope this day finds you standing in the confidence of Christ!

dignz


Posted: Oct-10-07 at 2:20pm by Mike C
Thanks Mr. Jim!

Grace and peace,
Mike C


Posted: Oct-10-07 at 2:56pm by Sprint
Hello Jim,
OK, now you've got me thinking.

In the quoted verse it says, "Are WE to continue to sin..", of course WE realise that WE are a new man that is sinless and righteous in God's sight through the finished work of Christ. So, yes, the question is absurd according to Paul, because the new man can no longer sin in God's eyes. The old man that used to sin is now dead.

So what sins - it is: Romans 7:20 "If WE/I am always doing the very thing WE/I do not want to do, it means WE/I am no longer the one who does it. It is sin that lives in me" (that is in my flesh).

Would it then be correct to say Jim, that "it is not I that sinneth but my flesh" or is that stretching it to say that my flesh sins but not the new man in Christ that I am - what thinks ye???

Sprint.

********************************

Hello Sprint!

I'm glad I've got you thinking, and thinking you are ... and I don't think it is a stretch to see what you are seeing! :) And consider that Paul was not being lax in his recognition of the true nature of sin but had instead presented the whole matter as a startling realization.

Jim

***************************

Thanks for your reply Jim,
It's a privilege to be on your mailing list.
Keep up the good work.
Sprint.


Posted: Oct-10-07 at 2:57pm by Charlie
Jim,

A great article. I have thought for a long time that the problem with written communication is the same today as it was when Paul wrote these words. It is difficult to determine sarcasm and the like from the written word. I believe that some of what Jesus said was the same.

I especially think this might be the case somewhat in Timothy where they are talking about the qualifications of elders in the church.

Peace!
Charlie


Posted: Oct-10-07 at 3:11pm by John
thank you again! i know that you are as joyful as I am that we can never live or continue to live again in sin! i am standing in the confidence of the Lord's complete deliverance. i love you my dear brother!


Posted: Oct-12-07 at 1:21pm by Mary
ENCOURAGING, as usual Jim!!


Posted: Oct-22-07 at 9:23pm by Mary
I find these remarks so wonderfully edifying! This one in particular from Bea: "shows us the connection between justification and holiness are inseperable. Both are given by from Christ by the grace of God." Yowza! I know a place where I'd love to post that!

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