“Don’t teach them Grace! I know these people, they are vermin, if you teach them that all their sins are forgiven, they will go and sin it up! They will take advantage of God!” – The Religious Mindset
I constantly remind people that it was not the world that persecuted Jesus, it was always the Religious. Religious people are offended by Grace, because Grace gives for free what many of them have dedicated their entire lives to getting by their sacrifice, efforts and dedication. The religious always feel that Grace will let people take advantage of God. Of course, the religious always forget that people can “take advantage” of God under Law or Grace.
The number one objection I get from the religious is that Grace is just a licence to sin, that we need law to keep people in line and to keep people to standard of good behaviour. Those religious people, who rely on the law for a standard of good behaviour, do not trust in the new nature of Christ in people to bring about Righteousness. They are so afraid to trust the Christ in people; they feel we need to add to the equation, with laws, rules and duty. The Gospel on the other hand says its Jesus Only, plus nothing.
The religious falsely accused Paul of teaching that grace was a license to sin (Romans 3:8); that we can just go on sinning all the more to the Glory of God’s Grace (Romans 6:1)? Paul rightly answered, we are dead to sin, we cannot live in sin anymore (Romans 6:2). Many believers when they first come to Grace, do go out and look like sinners at first, but that is because they were never really living right before. They were under the pretense of Law that forced them into Good Behavior. Now that Grace has been revealed to them, their first instinct in that liberty may appear to be sinful indulges, but the more they draw on the Life of Christ in them, His Grace will ultimately bring them into the God-life they are meant to live.
Grace would be a license to sin if all God did on the Cross was forgive all sins, then we would be at risk of “taking advantage” of God, but He also gave us a New Nature where we no longer desire sin, rather we desire Jesus. As I often teach in our Seminars, if you believed you were a Billionaire, would you ever need someone to tell you not to steal? Of course not, that person’s faith in their identity as a billionaire will keep them from stealing. So what do you think would happen if a believer trusted in all the Good things Jesus has done to us, in making us Saints, Holy and Righteous? Would you ever need to tell that person to Stop Sinning? Of Course Not, they would live Righteous by faith, like the Bible says they will; the Just shall Live by Faith (Hebrews 10:38)
In the words of Martyn Lloyd-Jones, “First of all let me make a comment, to me a very important and vital comment. The true preaching of the gospel of salvation by grace alone always leads to the possibility of this charge being brought against it. There is no better test as to whether a man is really preaching the New Testament gospel of salvation than this, that some people might misunderstand it and misinterpret it to mean that it really amounts to this, that because you are saved by grace alone it does not matter at all what you do; you can go on sinning as much as you like because it will redound all the more to the glory of grace. That is a very good test of gospel preaching. If my preaching and presentation of the gospel of salvation does not expose it to that misunderstanding, then it is not the gospel.”
Andrew Farley on is Grace a Licence to Sin?