Just the other day I was in a meeting where a person was sharing on “grace.” I use quotations because I don’t think the person really understood what grace was. This meeting was geared towards those who are in recovery for emotional, chemical, and sexual addictions along with other hurts, habits, and hang-ups. I’m sure some of you know what type of meeting I am talking about.
The guest speaker began his sermon talking about grace and I was like, “Awesome, because that’s what those who are struggling with sin need to hear.” So I listened and had an open and hopeful mind. The sermon was good for about 10-15 minutes and then it took a turn downhill. I mean not to judge the person speaking, for who am I to judge another man’s servant, but to check if it’s truth Berean style.
He mentioned how much of a wretch he is and proceeded to tell us how we are wretches as well. He also mentioned how sin is permanent and that we are permanently in sin. He then started talking about the hyper-grace message and how he likes it and, I guess, thought his message was hyper-grace. I beg to differ.
Don’t hold me back!
First off, believers are not wretches! We are children of God, born again with a new spirit, heart, mind, and we are accepted in the Beloved. (Eph. 1:6, 1 Cor. 2:16, Philippians 4:7, Ezek. 11:19, 36:26, 2 Cor. 5:17, Gal. 6:15) We are one spirit with Him. (1Cor. 6:17) I am sure he was referring to Rom. 7 when Paul was describe how wretched he was for not being able to do what he wants but doing the very thing he didn’t want. This scripture, in my opinion and based off what I believe scripture teaches, is not really a Christian’s struggle with sin but the struggle with the law of sin. (Rom. 3:20, Rom 8:2-3, 1 Cor. 15:56, Gal. 2:16, Heb. 10:1)
Sin and the law of sin were forever dealt with on the cross AND resurrection of Jesus Christ. (Col. 2:14, John 19:30, 1 Cor. 15:17, Rom. 11:27, Col. 2:10-12, Heb. 1:3, 1 Pet. 2:24) Now read 1 John 2:1-2 and look for the keyword “if” present in this scripture.
My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world. (NKJV emphasis mine)
If we sin…if. Guess what the greek word for “if” is? If! Based on the fact that Jesus walked with God in full humanity and never used His Divinity but did only what He saw the Father doing tells me that, I also can choose not to sin as I abide in Him just as He abides in our Father. (John 5:19, John 15:4-5, Philippians 2:7, Heb. 2:17-18,) To use a quote from Georgian Banov (www.globalcelebration.com), “If you’re not free from sin until you die, then Jesus isn’t your savior; death is.” This is so truth but the church still doesn’t believe it as a whole.
Another scripture he quoted was in 1 John 1:8 which states if we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. He forgot to mention verse 9 where it says if we confess He is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness. This is truth. We are set free from sin! The law of the Spirit of Life has taken over and is operative! If we say we haven’t sinned we are justifying ourselves through the law of condemnation, which has glory by the way. (2 Cor. 3:9) But the ministry of righteousness exceeds it in glory! Hallelujah!!
Don’t hold me back!
I am reading a book by Watchman Nee called, “Not I, But Christ,” and it is astounding teaching. Oh the simplicity that is in Christ. In 2 Corinthians 11:3 is says,
But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. (NASB)
In this book he clearly lines out that the law of sin is a law and is in effect but the law of the Spirit of Life is present and is a greater law that does indeed supersede it. I’ll leave with some other quotes.
The Lamb was slain before Adam ever fell. – Anonymous (not sure who said this originally)
“Grace means that God does something for me; law means that I do something for God. God has certain holy and righteous demands which he places upon me: that is law. Now if law means that God requires something of me for their fulfillment, then deliverance from law means he no longer requires that from me, but himself provides it.” ~ Watchman Nee, The Normal Christian Life
What is Romans 7? Romans 7 tells us that the dead man is protesting. The Lord has crucified the old man, yet I protest. – Watchman Nee
As Christ is our substitute in death, so is He our substitute in life. – Watchman Nee
Let me tell you, victories are all won unawares. Why is it that you overcome without being conscious of it? It is because a law is working. The law of the Spirit of Life set you free from the law of sin and death. Jesus established a higher law to disable the lower law. To overcome sin does not require an ounce of strength, for it is the work of the law of the Spirit of Life. – Watchmen Nee (paraphrased)