Sunday, March 14, 2010

Grace, Grace, Wasting Grace

Grace, Grace, Wasting Grace
March 8, 2010
Romans 6:1 "What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?"

I was washing my four-year-old son's face the other day, he had dark chocolate all over it; he had indulged a little too much. We were standing over the sink with the water running and I was using a washcloth to scrub his face over and over as he was very sticky. He stopped me from cleaning him and quickly pointed out an error of mine. "Daddy," he said, "you're wasting water!" He was right. I left the water running without concern of wasting it. I should have turned it off between rinsing out the washcloth and wiping his face. Though that water could have continued running forever, I wasn't using it wisely. God's grace is a lot like water, in that it is used to make us clean from dark entrapments, but we can waste it if we are not careful. While God's grace will never run out, we should not try to use more than we need.

If someone was all too aware of God's grace, it was the apostle Paul. Recall that his name was originally Saul, and he persecuted the first Christians, putting them to death. But God saved Saul from his sins, changed his name to Paul, and set his life on a new path. Paul was appreciative that God applied His grace to him, giving him a major second chance; Paul was determined not to waste it. Paul knew of God's grace: the more sin that is present, the more grace that is needed to cover it. But in Romans 6, Paul warns about abusing this grace. Just because we can freely apply God's grace to our lives, doesn't mean we should continue on with our lives in the same sinful manner. Paul instructs us to change our ways, so we don't end up wasting God's grace. His point is: if you know better, then you should live better, regardless of grace.

He goes on further to say that we died to our sinful nature. Once we become Christians, we allow our sin to die on the cross with Jesus, so that we may be alive with His resurrection (read it In Romans 6). We are instructed to not allow that old sin back into our lives again, verse 12, "Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires." This instruction is given to us AFTER we have applied God's grace to our lives, not before it. It is a warning to live our lives, not to continually abuse the grace because it is there, but to, verse 13, "offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness." The grace is not given so you may keep on sinning, the grace is given so that, verse 14, "sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace."

Many Christians think that grace is given to simply apply it to their lives whenever they need to, as a means to justify themselves, covering over their sins. This is backwards. The grace is given so that the sinful nature may not be an excuse or to blame for living our lives against God's Word. By applying grace to your live, verse 22, "you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life."

The next time you are presented with the opportunity to sin, think about what you might be doing with God's grace. Should you deliberately continue to indulge in that sin, you are abusing God's intended grace and are a slave to that sin and not God. Don't continue sinning, thinking you can simply apply God's grace. You are no longer a slave to sin but a slave to righteousness. Yes, you can extend a little extra grace to the new Christian, but at some point, the conviction of God's Word needs to be present in everyone's lives. While grace is free and unlimited, it is not a crutch to continually placate immature Christianity. If you are living your life, utilizing the grace, grace, wasting grace method, then you truly do not understand why God gave us His grace.

1. In what areas of your life are you applying God's grace too liberally?
2. How can you turn those areas of your life over to God so you are not a slave to that sin?
3. How can you submit your life to God, so that you are a slave to righteousness?

Add. Scriptures for Study: Rom 3, 4, 5, 6, Titus 3:7, Heb 10:29, 2 Peter 3:18, Jude 1:4

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