“The law came in so that the transgression would increase, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. What shall we say then, are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? The answer is May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?” That is the question most ask when looking at this through the eyes of flesh. Remember Adam in the garden when he ate of the forbidden tree? God said he would surely die, but he didn’t die. Wait a minute, Adam died in his spirit because he was separated from God. The law is what makes the transgression increase, not grace.
For example, it’s as if a man who owned a cafeteria heard a commotion in the alley where the dumpsters are. He sees the most pitiful man he ever saw fighting the alley cats for scraps of food. He has compassion on him and brings him into the cafeteria and offers him free food everyday so that he wouldn’t have to eat out of the garbage cans anymore. He tells him he can have anything he wants, “anything I want?” he asks. “Yes”, he says, it’s yours for the taking. Then the guy asked him, could he go back to the dumpster and eat more garbage? He thought he was crazy. That is the very thing we are saying when we ask can we go back to sinning or how close to sin can you get without touching it? It’s when we know that Jesus Christ laid down His life for us to take away our sin and to free us from the bondage of sin and death. He was raised from the dead and He gave us His very life to experience. Why would we want to go out and sin or eat more garbage? He came that we might have life and have it to the fullest! No, the grace of God does not give us a license to sin. The grace of God frees us from the bondage of sin and death and allows us to experience the very life of Christ.
We have to take it by faith, like Abraham believed God, before he had any children, that God has reckoned it to be so. Abraham believed God and He credited it to him as righteousness. That is the same way we do it too. We believe God by faith that Jesus finished the work. We rest in Him and let Jesus do what He does in us and through us. For me, that is the best part about living this life resting in Him, through the midst of the storm. It’s by grace that I never want to sin. I don’t think about it, I don’t run into it, but sometimes, I slip, fall, stumble, and occasionally I am drawn away, but I never stay there. Jesus always provides a way of escape from temptation.
Why do we still sin if we are dead to sin? It’s because of our unrenewed mind. We forget who we are and we forget the pain and abuse that sin took us to. Most people in jail don’t want to be there, but they forget once they get out and end up back in the same ole bondage. Once we experience true freedom, when you really know you are free, you never go back.
That’s how 2 out of the three ladies I talked to tonight felt about it. “Bucky” talked about how she was confused about how long to pray and wanted some guidance. “Princess” wanted to talk about how God has changed her this time in jail. She mentioned how other ladies come in and out of there so much and it makes her tired and she is living differently this time because of Jesus. The last lady I heard from was “Riley” she is getting out soon and wanted us to pray with her about not messing up. It is unlikely that she won’t mess up. How would that look to other people who know her and see that she never messes up anything? They would start to talk wouldn’t they?
Well, now she sees how important it is to lean on Jesus and let Him pick her up when she falls, and let Him love her through all the great things there are to learn through failure. It didn’t seem that comforting at the time, but I know she will see how most of us tend to learn the hard way. The good news is that we don’t make the same mistakes over and over. When Jesus Christ lives inside us, He does great things through us to glorify Himself.
That sounds like grace and mercy to me.
The cafeteria illustration taken from “Classic Christianity” by Bob George
Written by Tracey