Recently we have looked at the security of our salvation, the teaching that once God gives us salvation, we are eternally saved and cannot lose that salvation. The Bible teaches this truth in many different ways, and we looked at it from the perspective of God’s grace and the definition of eternal life. But the teaching of eternal security leads to a fear for some, a fear that someone will profess to accept faith in Christ and then use the teaching of eternal security to justify committing all sorts of sin. The idea is that if God will forgive us for our sin anyway and still allow us into heaven no matter how we live, then God must not care how we live, and we can live however we want. On one hand, this fear has some merit, because some have certainly made this exact argument. Some have used the argument that since God will save us anyway, then they can live however they want, sometimes even arguing that God does not care how we live. So those who fear this response reject or refuse to teach eternal security, often out of a genuine concern that a professing Christian should live in a way that pleases God. But on the other hand, the Bible never uses God’s grace as an excuse for sin. It never justifies sin by saying that God will forgive us anyway. In fact, the Bible teaches the exact opposite, in several different ways. The Bible teaches that the fact of our salvation (and its security) should motivate us to live a certain way for God. It also does clearly teach the security of salvation, and we must hold to this Biblical truth. We must never sacrifice truth that God has given simply because some have misrepresented or misapplied that truth. We must hold to God’s truth even as we reject the error of those who twist it.
Paul addressed the question of whether or not God’s grace is a license to sin in Romans 6. Apparently some were asking this very question, so Romans 6:1 says, “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?” But the resounding answer is in Romans 6:2, which says, “God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” “God forbid,” a phrase which literally means “may it never be.” In their language, this is about the strongest possible way to say no. The answer is clear. We should not intentionally keep sinning in order to try to receive more of God’s grace. Paul states that we are dead to sin. When we accept Christ and receive spiritual life, we also died to sin and the old way of life. The clear Biblical answer to the question of whether or not grace is a license to sin is that it is not. The Bible teaches just the opposite.
We also see this in Titus 2:11-12, which says, “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.” God’s grace has appeared to us in Jesus Christ, as He has provided salvation through God’s grace. But what does that grace teach us? Does it teach us that we can live however we want because God’s grace will forgive us anyway? No! It teaches us the exact opposite. It teaches us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts. It teaches us to deny sin. It teaches us that God’s grace has forgiven us of the sin that threatened to destroy us, so we should not turn back to that sin.
So what makes that change in our lives? The change comes about because God has made us into something new when we get saved. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” When we get saved, we are “in Christ.” At that time, God makes us into something new. He doesn’t remake our physical bodies, but He remakes our spiritual lives. For what purpose? Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” We are God’s workmanship, His masterpiece. But God had a purpose in creating us new. He created us unto good works. God has designed us to do certain good works that He has planned for us. These good works do not save us (as Ephesians 2:8-9 makes clear). In fact, we could not do good works that truly pleased God until after we are saved and God had made us into this new creature. But when God has made us new, He has designed us to do those good works. Even as a Christian, we do still sin. But God didn’t design us to live in sin and take advantage of grace. Instead, God designed us to do the good works that He has laid out for us. When we sin as a Christian, we are going against what God has designed us to do. God’s grace is not an excuse to sin. Instead, grace teaches us to deny the desire to sin and live the way that God wants us to. Grace has made us into a new creature that is designed to do the good works that God has laid out for us, not the sinful works that we used to pursue. This is what God has designed us to do. Now we must live for what we are designed to do.