Rom. 6:1,2 ¶ What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?
As wise old Solomon said, “there is nothing new under the sun”. It’s funny how people hear a repackaged message with hip, modern trappings and suddenly they think they are part of something that has never been seen or done before. We are living in one of those moments right now. Large mega-type churches focusing on relevancy to modern culture have largely bought into what they are calling the “grace message”. Focusing on a Santa Claus type of God (minus the switches and coal), the Lord is seen as the dispenser of mega blessings and overlooking all the requirements to clean up our act. Actually this message is as old as the church. From Paul contending for grace that delivers from sin to Augustine clamoring with Pelagius and his focus on man’s ability to improve his own life all the way to the champion of grace Martin Luther. Luther refused to back down on his message of grace even though many were using his teaching for an excuse to continue to live a worldly lifestyle. Luther even coined a name for it, antinomianism. Here is a quote from John Piper describing Augustine’s dealing with this dangerous error.
“But there was a deeper reason for his long engagement in the Pelagian controversy. When he was asked by his friend Paulinus why he kept on investing so much energy in this dispute with Pelagius, even as a man in his seventies, he answered, “First and foremost because no subject [but grace] gives me greater pleasure. For what ought to be more attractive to us sick men, than grace, grace by which we are healed; for us lazy men, than grace, grace by which we are stirred up; for us men longing to act, than grace, by which we are helped? This answer has all the more power when you keep in mind that all the healing, stirring, helping, enabling grace that Augustine revels in is the giving of a compelling, triumphant joy. Grace governs life by giving a supreme joy in the supremacy of God.”
Augustine nailed it. It’s not grace that gives us license to continue in sin, on the contrary. It is the pleasure found in God’s grace that liberates us from the prison of sin. So before you buy into the sugar coated ‘grace message’, dig a little deeper. Return to the ancient wells rather than the cesspool of modernism, drink from the fountain of liberty found in the crimson stream of calvary.