For some believers there are a series of subtle incremental steps that cause them to exchange the grace of God for a life of license and sensuality. Grace never promotes sin or makes one want to sin…so something has gone wrong — not with grace but with them. Here are six steps to be alert for in our lives to keep us from sliding down the slippery slope to license.
The first one is not a small step. It’s a leap—a fatal leap that makes it hard to stop and not continue taking the next steps. The leap to this first step is forgetting I still need to mature spiritually and that my sanctification requires effort on my part. I ignore my responsibility to be involved with the Spirit of God in my growth and solely focus on my justification.
My justification is an incomprehensible miracle. Jesus paid the penalty for all my sin. His obedience is imputed to me. God looks at me and sees the righteousness of Christ, not my sin, and declares me righteous. Incredible…but here is where my first step away from grace can begin. I am so convinced (and rightly so) that God sees me as perfect in Christ, I wrongly forget I am a spiritual babe that needs to grow. I forget that even though God sees me perfect in Christ, in my reality I still sin. And so I allow my justification to wrongly tell me that my perfection in Christ is the only thing that matters.
When I believe this then the inertia to the second step away from grace becomes unstoppable. If I think that God only sees my perfection, then I mistakenly conclude that He is unaware of my sin. Now the momentum increases.
Thirdly, if the only thing God sees is my positional perfection in Christ and He is not aware of my sin and need to mature in my reality, then my sin and immaturity is not an issue or concern to God. I can do anything I want and it will not bother God.
This quickly leads to the fourth step, that my sin does not affect God. My only belief is that God is looking at me through the righteousness of Christ and is pleased with me. And He is. I forget that my sin also grieves Him (Ephesians 4:30). He may be pleased with me, but He is not at all pleased with what I have done…and what it is doing to me.
I can now take the fifth step. If God is unaware of my sin, and it is not a concern to Him or bothers Him in any way, then there is no reason for the Spirit of God to convict me of my sin. I can stop feeling guilty. Wow – does this ever feel freeing. I interpret feeling guilty as a sign of my unbelief that God sees me as perfect.
Sixth – if God is unaware of my sin, is unconcerned about my behavior and I can do anything I want then I can stop asking for forgiveness. The confession I was taught in I John 1:9 to practice I now apply only to unbelievers.
And there it is. I have exchanged the best life I could ever have, designed for me from before the beginning of time, for a life filled with the deceitful lure and promises of sin. I think I am free…but I am deeply deceived. “Take heed…” (I Cor 10:12).
QUESTION: What are your stepping stones away from grace? Let’s have a conversation – leave a comment.
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