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Law, Grace Or License


Because of Paulís teaching concerning the Law, he was accused of encouraging people to sin so that lots more grace would abound to the sinner and to the saint. (Rom. 6:1) This is called a license to sin, meaning, if thereís no law, one is permitted to sin all he wants. Just in case youíre wondering, Paul wasnít teaching any such thing, and neither am I. Such thinking disregards and takes advantage of Godís grace and shows a complete misunderstanding of what grace is all about.

In Galatians 5:13 Paul says, "you brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge your sinful nature". He also says in Gal. 5:16, live by the Spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature". As New Testament Christians we are free to live according to the Spirit of God and not to the obligations of the Law.

Replacing the Law with Godís grace doesnít give a you a license to sin. Further to my tithing comments in the last chapter, suggesting that we are no longer under the tithing law doesnít mean we shouldnít give. The New Testament clearly teaches a heart felt generosity in giving that is according to our ability to give with the leading of His Spirit.

Many Evangelical preachers do not get the same criticism as Paul did because they donít preach a gospel free from the Law as Paul did. They preach a mixture of grace and law, that is, get saved by faith, stay saved by law or rules. If we preach total freedom from law we might well be accused of preaching a license to sin.

The fact of the matter is, if we add law to grace in our gospel we are running the risk of making the gospel of no effect. In Gal 5:4 Paul says some extremely powerful words about this point. He says, "you who are trying to be justified by law have alienated yourself from Christ, you have fallen away from grace". If your mixture of law and grace suggests that you need to follow certain rules to be saved or stay saved, you have alienated yourself from Jesus, and youíve fallen away from Godís grace. I realize this is not everyoneís thinking, but in my opinion, if you alienate yourself from Christ, you walk away from Him. Also, if you fall from grace, youíve forsaken your salvation that is based on the grace youíve fallen from. By adding rules as conditions to salvation, whether Godís rules or manís, youíre telling Jesus what He did on the cross is not good enough, something more needs to be done, and that Ďs a pretty bad sin. Thus a proper hermeneutical approach to the Old Testament Law and also to any of manís law is vital to our gospel message.

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