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Grace versus Sin

Where sin abounded, grace abounded much more. – Romans 5:20

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Many years back, I was talking to a pastor and when we were talking about the grace of God, he looked straight at me and made a startling statement: “Patrick, I care a lot about my congregation. I don’t want them to go to eternal damnation. So, I never preach them about grace.”

Okay, “startling” is a mild word to express what I felt. Even today, when I think about it, I am not sure if I know the exact word to express how I feel about this statement. Preaching Christ without any mention of grace, at least IMHO, is an impossible task. And isn’t it by grace, we receive salvation?

Anyways, I asked him to explain and he used the above verse, Romans 5:20, to explain why Christian preachers must not speak about grace. Apparently, there are certain “Christian” preachers who say that since grace abounds much more than sin, it is okay for a Christian to continue sinning. Actually there are some preachers who encourage their church members to sin more, so that the grace of our Lord abounds much more. So, this pastor hates the concept of grace, since it leads to a sinful life, and hence does not preach about grace.

Honestly, it left me at a loss of words. Later I came to know about the false doctrine of “hyper-grace”, but that was the first time, I have ever heard that the grace of our Lord was being abused to continue in sin. It is wrong, but it is also wrong not to teach about grace. All both the preachers have to do is to read further. Because the first two verses of the 6th chapter in the Epistle to Romans clearly contradicts the “hyper-grace” doctrine.

What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? – Romans 6:1-2

If a Christian received the grace of the Lord at Calvary, when he or she realized that while grace is freely given, it cost our Saviour Jesus Christ so much suffering, then they will not continue to sin. Let us go back to Calvary. Let us look at the sufferings and afflictions of our Lord and let us grow in the true grace of our Redeemer, so that we live a holy life – by His grace. Amen.

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Grace abounded…

But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more. – Romans 5:20

As I look at Calvary, as I look at the Cross on which my Saviour Jesus Christ was hanging crucified, my first reaction is to turn my face away in abhorrence. Just like how repulsive the Israelites felt when they had to look at the bronze serpent, raised on the stake.

But the more I look at the suffering Servant, the Son of Man who knew grief, I realize what caused all these. My sins. My disobedience. My rebellious nature. My lustful heart. I must be the one who was punished like that. I must be the afflicted one. Then it dawns me, yes, it is true, that I must be the one… but it serves only one purpose. It serves only the Divine Justice. For I richly deserve that punishment. It would have told the world that the Lord our God is righteous.

The more I meditate on the sufferings and death of my Redeemer, suddenly the Holy Spirit whispers in me… it is not just for the “sins” I have committed… but for the “sin” that indwells in me. Jesus Christ did not just carry my “sins”, He became “sin” for me (2 Corinthians 5:21) on the Cross. Sin abounded; the Cross became an emblem of sin – the most repugnant sight on the world.. Yet, the One Who was suffering there was not guilty. Not guilty of anything. Innocence personified. Oh, the Cross is not only about Lord our God is righteous, but it also tells me that He is gracious.

In the obedience of Jesus Christ, the grace of God abounds much more. Much more than I can comprehend. All I can do is humbly bow my head before God our Loving Father, and Jesus Christ, His Son and my Saviour for the grace that abounded. Amen.

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Misunderstood – Grace

There are so many things in the Bible that are so misunderstood. It comes because of ignorance and most importantly, taking a Biblical verse out of context. And one of the important things that is so misunderstood is the grace of God.

Let me explain that by something that happened when I was a kid. I was raised Roman Catholic. When I was 10 years old, they had decided its time for me to have my first confession and my first communion. A priest came and we were there, some eager boys, listening carefully about confession. The priest explained how first of all, we needed to repent for our sins and then only we have to go to confession booth. After some 30 minutes of explanation, the priest wanted to make sure whether we have to understood the concept of confession. So, he asked, “So, if you want to go to the confession, what is the first thing we need to do?” I was an eager kid and I raised my hand immediately, shouting, “Father, Father, I know the answer.” The priest was very pleased with my eagerness and allowed me to answer that question – except I don’t think he was ready for the answer I had in mind. My answer was, “If we have to go to the confession, the first thing we have to do is SIN.” (DISCLAIMER: I am not a Roman Catholic anymore. I am a Christian. I do believe in confessing my sins to the LORD Almighty and repenting, but not to a priest and then telling 10 Our Father in Heavens and 20 Hail Mary’s.)

Unfortunately this is the attitude today with some Christians who have misunderstood one of the most beautiful verses in the Scriptures.

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Where sin increased, God’s grace increased even more. When we sinned, the LORD’s grace increased much more so that our sins are forgiven. It is such a beautiful verse and has provided comfort to millions of sinners and made them into saints. But then, suddenly people started taking it out of context and started arguing something like this. So, if I sin more, then the grace of the LORD will increase, right? So, I can sin more and more, so that the grace of the Lord will increase further more.

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There is a small problem with this. It just means two things. First of all, it tells that we are reading the Bible with a very wrong mindset. If we think that there could be a verse that could be used as an excuse to lead a sinful life, that means clearly that we are reading the Holy Bible with the wrong attitude. It is called the HOLY Bible for a reason. It is the Word of the LORD, the Most Holy, Holy, Holy God. So, when someone puts such an argument with a verse taken out of context, it just shows that they have no or little understanding of the nature of our God.

Second, it also shows that we have not read the Bible properly. Just two verses later, the Spirit of God gives the answer for this question through Apostle Paul in very clear terms. Paul asks this very question in Romans 6:1.

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Then, he goes on to answer that question in a very emphatic manner.

God forbid! How shall we, who are dead to sin, live any longer therein? – Romans 6:2 (KJV 21)

Yes, dear friend, when we sinned not knowing of the Holiness of the LORD Almighty, His grace increased more and our sins were forgiven. Now, by His grace, we are dead to sin, so, may God forbid, let us not sin anymore. May the LORD, in His grace, help us overcome the temptations. Amen.

Philippians 1:6“… being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

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