The abuse of grace

As Christians, we have been given the greatest gift anyone could ever hope to receive; the grace of God.  There is no greater or more merciful gift than this.  So, why is it that we so often treat it as a simple wad of used toilet paper?  Have we become so desensitized that we do not recognize sin?  Do we forget that God does not work on a sliding scale?  Somehow we take up righteous causes fighting against the great evils of abortion and homosexual marriage and yet we trivialize our own sins which are just as egregious.  “Jesus Christ,” the Christian man shouts at his friend as he stubs his toe.  “Why the f*** did you leave that there!?”  According to the law, this man has just committed blasphemy and murder in his heart, whether he intended to or not.  “That f***in’ b******!” he shouts at the car who just cut him off, forcing him to dangerously slam on his brakes.  Let us not forget the woman whom he looks at lustfully or his neighbor’s fancy BBQ grill that he wishes he had.  Covetousness and lust.  These and all other manner of sins should grieve the Christian the moment they enter his heart, but more often than not, they pushed to the side.  Out of sight, out of mind as it goes.

Every Sunday he goes to church and corporately confesses his sins.  There, his part is done.  He is absolved.  Go Jesus!  But the life of a Christian is that of perpetual repentance and forgiveness.  This is why we should study the scriptures daily.  So that daily we can be convicted of our sins.  So that daily we can be repentant of our sins.  So that daily we can know the forgiveness that is Jesus Christ.  So that daily we can go to bed with a clean conscience knowing that Jesus Christ paid for our sins.  The Christian needs this because though he can never atone for his sins himself, he is not given a license to sin.  Nowhere in scripture does it say, “Sin freely that grace may abound!”  In fact, Romans 6 says just the opposite.  To willfully continue in sin is to say that Christ is not in us.  Though we are simul iustus et peccator, that is simultaneously sinner and saint, when we do sin, we should be deeply grieved and troubled by it.  We should be repentant.  And then, we should look to our baptism and remember that Christ has forgiven us all of our sins, even these ones.  And we should rest easy knowing this and try not to abuse what has been given to us.

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