Free To Love
God’s grace is huge and His Kingdom is massive! His grace is so much bigger than even the biggest sin a person could commit!
Those who have become proponents of grace have discovered that there will be others who will accuse them of promoting a message that will cause Christians to live a lifestyle of irresponsibility and immorality. I believe that this thinking comes from the idea that we all need to have our lives governed by rules or by godly principles. The truth is, this idea becomes a demand to conform our lives or perform in order to meet this high moral standard.
If a person’s heart is leaning towards sinning, then they will look at that statement as something that gives them the freedom to indulge in the sins they desire to do. This person whose heart is leaning towards sin will continually be looking for ways to push the limits of what they are allowed to do because after all - God’s grace is bigger. However, when our hearts are set responding to God’s love for us, which was demonstrated through Jesus, then we will view this statement as something that gives us hope when we make mistakes.
Jesus has provided a better way to live and that is to be led by the Holy Spirit. When we are led by the Holy Spirit, then we become free from the set of rules, or laws, that religion may put over our lives.
Gal 5:18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. NKJV
Nowhere in this verse does the Bible tell us that “not being under the law” means that we have the license to live immorally. The New Covenant has many “commands or directives” to help our lives, but they were never meant to become a replacement of the Old Covenant law because the life of a believer is not about adhering to rules. The believer’s life is about having a personal relationship with God our Father.
When we read a command in the New Testament, we are receiving a view of what life can become as we become more and more engaged in our love relationship with our Father. Without effort, His love begins to flow out of our lives as the fruit of the Spirit flows out from us into our world.
The people who are entrenched in legalism and living by the rules actually can become offended at the last half of this verse: “you are not under the law.” Because they get caught up in the offense, they miss the incredible truth found in the first half of this verse where we discover the amazing reality that the Holy Spirit is a much, much better guide than the law for our lives.
John 16:12 "I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. 14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. 15 All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.* NKJV
Here Jesus is revealing a glimpse into the future - the time we live in that is after His death, resurrection, ascension and the sending of the Holy Spirit. In other words, Jesus was giving them a glimpse of the New Covenant of Grace.
He understood that it was too much for them to comprehend at that time so He lets them know an amazing truth. He promised that He would be sending them the Person of the Holy Spirit to guide them into all truth. NOTICE, Jesus did not say that He would be sending them a new set of principles to guide them.
All of us know the reality that there are those people who will and do abuse the grace of God and use is as a license to sin. But just because of some people’s abuse of grace does not nullify grace to those that adhere to it. We need to understand this is nothing new.
Jude 1:4 For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God* and our Lord Jesus Christ. NKJV
When we look at one person’s life who is living under legalism or performance-based religion and another one who is living under the grace of the New Covenant, we discover that both are doing works - but the motive in doing them is different. Those under legalism are trying to please God and become holy by doing good works. Those under the New Covenant are doing good works out of the relationship they already have with God. Good works do not foster good relationships, but rather good relationships foster good works.
Those living in the grace of the New Covenant want to walk in good works because of the revelation they have that Jesus became sin so that we who believe become righteous - not by works but by receiving. We understand that Jesus became our sanctification and has fully qualified us for all that God His Father has provided. The works just flow spontaneously out from the lives of the grace-filled believers because they are being led by the Spirit. According to Webster’s definition the word sanctification itself means; the state of growing in divine grace as a result of conversion.
Grace becomes the motive for doing good works that is so much stronger a motive than legalism that you could not even be able to measure it. Why? Because it comes from inside of us and the law or legalism is pushed on us from the outside.
Rom 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace. NKJV
Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, NKJV
Grace gives us a boldness in the presence of God and this is how grace teaches us! When we understand that there is nothing we can do to make God love us any more than He already does, and nothing we can do to make Him love us any less, something amazing happens. We become empowered to get up faster when we fall and soon find out we now have the strength coming from inside us that we no longer need to fall.
It becomes a normal way of life to live morally because our hearts desire to respond with love for the amazing love that the Lord pours over our lives every day! If you want to know how to live and keep a high moral life, then whatever you do, do not focus on keeping a high moral life. Instead, focus on your love relationship with the Father. Soon you will discover that instead of being free to sin, you are free to love!