“Sin will never be able to be solved by anything you can do enough of [including trying not to sin], Sin can only be solved by trusting in a redemptive act of God.” — John Lynch.
As a minister who preaches the finished work of the Cross, I am constantly bombarded by religious mind-sets. The problem with most Religious people is that they really have no idea what the Message of Grace is, nor would they take the time to learn, seeing as they already think they know everything. Other Religious mindsets believe their own hype and feel they are the sole voice of truth in the body of Christ, and as such have removed themselves from being teachable by anyone but themselves.
The Religious mind really cannot see the finished work of Jesus because their mind is always taking them somewhere that the message does not go. For instance, when we preach that All Sins have been Forgiven by the blood of Jesus (Colossians 2:13), the religious mind-set think we are preaching that it is okay to sin! Of course, Paul was hit with this accusation as well, so it’s always a good sign that we are preaching the right message. Total Forgiveness of Sin, does not mean Sin is okay. Total Forgiveness of Sins is all about the Character of God and how Christ has dealt with Sin, but sin in and of itself has consequences in the natural. If I rob a bank, there are consequences to that action, but they are not from God, they are on the earth from men.
Another example, when we preach that Believers do not have a sin nature and are no longer under the influence of Sin, the religious mind always jumps to the extreme and says that we are preaching that we don’t ever sin anymore. Of course that is also not what we are preaching. Adam and Eve were both perfect and without a sin nature, but they made a Choice to sin, that cause the fall. Therein we see that sin is a choice, even for the New Covenant Believer without a sin nature. The new Covenant makes that Choice less appealing more and more as we focus on all the Good things that Christ has done for us.
My final example is when we teach that you no longer need to confess and repent to be forgiven; the religious mind set runs over to the extreme and says we are teaching that we are against repentance and confession. Of course this not what we are preaching at all, Repentance means Change your mind, you cannot partake of salvation until you change your mind from a previous belief to believe the truth of the Gospel. In fact Changing or Renewing of the Mind is an on-going process for the rest of our lives (Romans 12:2).
And on the matter of Confession, we say it’s it not basis for our forgiveness as we were forgiven by God because of the Blood of Jesus Christ while we were still dead in our sins (Colossians 2:13). Confession does not earn our Forgiveness, but it is beneficial for our side of the relationship with God. As with any close relationship you confess when you’ve done something wrong, the difference between the religious and the Grace preachers, is that the religious thinks our forgiveness is based on our confession, while the Grace preacher knows our Forgiveness is based on the Finished work of Jesus.
There are many more of these accusations that really none of them are really part of the Message of Grace. The funny thing is that we Grace Preachers would not agree with those things the religious mind-set continuously accuses the Message of Grace to be all about. In face, many of the Religious think we are patronizing them when we say we agree with them on many of their points, but few if any would ever sit down long enough to learn what we are truly saying. None the less, we Grace Preachers are not called to argue, but plant seed. We generally don’t waste time on Stony Ground, and it appears neither Does God, for he resists the Proud and gives Grace (as a doctrine) to the Humble (1 Peter 5:5).
John Lynch on Why the religious cannot receive the message of Grace.