If you read Friday’s post, then you know that we established some truths about how, just because we are saved by grace through our faith in Jesus, this DOES NOT give us a license to continue sinning. Romans 6:1-2 Quite the contrary, as new creations in Christ we must live more Christ like each day. But what does this mean? I posted here http://voiceoftruthblog.com/?p=784 that we are to strive to be Christ like in life, but there was one important aspect that I pointed out in that post and in the one Friday. In order to become more like Jesus we must submit our lives to Him and make Him the Lord of our lives. To understand this, I was going to include a discussion of Free Grace Theology vs. Lordship Salvation, but decided against it, because despite how I may feel about one viewpoint or the other, a man-made definition is wholly inadequate to describe the Gift of Salvation given to us from God through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Instead, what we’ll look at are biblical truths concerning our Salvation, which continues with the message of “A License to Sin?”
I have actually heard people tell me that it doesn’t matter if they go to church, doesn’t matter if they tithe, really doesn’t matter how they live, as long as, they try to live decent and believe in Jesus. Really? If that’s the case, why would the Holy Spirit waste His inspired breath in the authors of the New Testament? All we would need is a verse saying Christ was crucified and resurrected, all of the rest of the instructions and teachings can just fall away, right? Is that what this person was telling me? Is that what you are saying if you continue to live in sin and refuse to make Jesus Christ Lord of your life? That line of thinking simply cannot be consistent with the way Jesus instructs His followers to live, yet there are those that believe receiving Christ as Savior doesn’t result in any change in lifestyle, doesn’t require letting go of self, or doesn’t really even result in Jesus being Lord of their life.
The Bible teaches us that in order to be saved their must be a heartfelt repentance of past sins. II Corinthians 7:10, Mark 2:17, Luke 13:3, Luke 15:7 In order to understand this, let’s look at two different repentance stories, the first from Saul in I Samuel 13:8-13; when he sinned by disobeying the Lord, he offered up this response when rebuked by Samuel, “then I (Saul) said, ‘The Philistines will now come down on me at Gilgal, and I have not made supplication to the LORD.’ Therefore I felt compelled, and offered a burnt offering.” Notice Saul’s response to his sin, he “felt compelled” to disobey. How often in our lives do we try to justify sin, whether because it’s what we wanted to do, it felt good to us, or made sense to us. On the flipside, we have David’s response to his sins with Bathsheeba after his rebuke from Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” II Samuel 12:13 David’s heartfelt repentance is obvious and is often the topic of his Psalms. Saul’s on the other hand is just mere words. The same can be applied to repentance when a person accepts Jesus as their Savior. An insincere repentance likely leads to no noticeable change in behavior or lifestyle and is therefore just words. The byproduct of such disingenuous repentance is not only a lack of noticeable fruits, but a false conversion. The true heartfelt repentance leads to a drastic life change, a change that yields fruits of the Holy Spirit, a change that results in Jesus being Lord of your life.
In keeping with our repentance and license to sin theme, the Disciple John, in his first epistle, describes the evidence of those who have had a true conversion, “This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother.” I John 3:10 It is impossible to be saved, to have Jesus be Lord of your life and continue to live in sin. Now keep in mind, I’m not saying that we won’t sin after asking Christ into our hearts, in fact John speaks to this in I John 1:8-10, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the Truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make Him out to be a liar and His word has no place in our lives.” Each of us will slip up and sin, as it’s in our nature, but as new creations in Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit, we’ll become much more aware of sin and therefore be more in tune to avoid it.
Not only does Salvation require true repentance to God, along with faith in His Son Jesus, but it results in an inability to continue to live in sin, mandates that we confess our sins when they occur after Salvation, and will manifest itself in our lives resulting in the fruits that I mentioned earlier. As Jesus taught in Matthew 7:17, “Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.” We know that the fruits of the Spirit are, “… love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” But think about each of these; they are truly by-products of a heart filled with Jesus through His saving grace. Are you displaying those fruits in your life? Have you truly confessed your sins with a repentant heart?
Prayer: If you claim Christ as Savior but continue to live in sin, you may need to seriously examine your relationship with Jesus. Repent of your sins and turn back and make Jesus the Lord of your life. Acknowledge any unconfessed sins to the Lord and ask that he search your heart Psalm 139:23 and renews your soul Psalm 23:3 Pray that the Lord helps the Fruits become more evident each day.
Additional Study: John 16:7-10, II Corinthians 5:17, II Timothy 2:11-13