Grace—A License to Sin?
People always ask, “But doesn’t grace give people a license to sin?” To which I must respond, “No. Grace simply exposes the motivations of our hearts.”
The Grace of God is what leads people to repentance (Rom. 2:4). It is the unearned, undeserved, irrevocable goodness of God.
So where does that leave good behavior and responsibility? Right where it belongs—as a heart issue. Grace exposes the motivations of our hearts. When we realize we can live by grace, we stop pretending to be good for the sake of avoiding hell. Before God’s Grace was given in Christ, we couldn’t do right or live with right motives. It wasn’t a part of our nature.
In His famous Sermon on the Mount, Jesus talked about this issue in depth. Throughout the entire monologue, He spoke of the heart issues the law couldn’t change.
Unfortunately, the church has not understood what Jesus was saying. They say, "Jesus told us to obey the law. It’s in red, so we’ve got to at least do that!" But honestly. If Jesus was telling us to obey the law and live life in perfection in order to have relationship with God, we might as well quit now. There is no hope. Just close that Bible—in fact, throw it away—and go live your life.
When Jesus spoke to the people, He was essentially saying, “Don’t you see? Keeping the law is impossible for you. You can’t reach God’s standard of holiness. Even the Pharisees, though they spend all their time spelling out physical holiness, can’t meet God’s standard of heart perfection.”
That’s why we needed Grace. Grace is way more than just God’s attitude towards us; it is His ability in us that enables us to step into the freedom of the finished work of Jesus Christ. It is His ability to live without guilt, fear, or shame.
Just like God first developed relationship with Abraham by grace and continued relationship with Abraham’s children because of whom they were related to, God has chosen to deal with us by grace, and when we realize that we are related to Christ through His finished work, we choose to believe!