29 A vessel (jar) full of sour wine (vinegar) was placed there, so they put a sponge soaked in the sour wine on [a stalk, reed of] hyssop, and held it to [His] mouth.
30 When Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, It is finished! And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.
For this final segment of the “IT IS FINISHED” series, I would like to discuss critics whom are against the gospel of grace. The re-occurring theme is, this hyper-grace message will give congregations a license to sin.
I suspect many who will read this post will respectfully agree or disagree. Regardless to what side of the spectrum you may or may not fall on, what matters is Christ is preached (Philippians 1:15-19). Now, having said that, let’s begin.
I would like to focus on Romans 6:1-14 which addresses the bulk of Paul’s teaching on a license to sin. One thing that is perfectly clear to me, is this is nothing new. The gospel of grace had its share of critics during Paul’s time on earth as well.
The same elements concerning an epic struggle between law and grace are the basis for bondage that cause many pastors across the nation to shy away from the message of grace. Pastors fear their congregation will use the message of grace to justify sin.
In Romans 6:1-14, Paul reveals key points which explain how grace received freely releases the believer to live righteously through Christ.
- Romans 6:1-3 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? Paul was saying that we as believers are to be vested in what Jesus did on the cross. Realizing that Jesus took our place and died on the cross must compel all believers to have hearts of gratitude. This gratitude must move our hearts to aggressively receive the grace that Jesus has already paid for with His blood. This is powerful!
- Paul pointed out in Romans 5:20 that there was a purpose for the law which was to point and prepare hearts to Jesus. That which we could not keep according to the law, would be done through the finished works of Jesus’ death on the cross.
- Roman 6:4 states that we as believers are transformed and empowered to live a new life through Jesus. This new life we live is activated through faith in Jesus. Paul also states “we are buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” So, we as believer take part in the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ.
- Romans 6:6, Our old self has been crucified with Jesus. Therefore, we are no longer slaves to sin but slaves to righteousness.
- Romans 6:8-10 makes it perfectly clear that what Jesus did on the cross was complete and eternal. There will never be need for a do over, for in Jesus we have been made the righteousness of God through Christ Jesus.
In Romans 6:11-14 Paul advises believers to count themselves dead to sin and alive in Christ Jesus. One of the keys to being dead to sin and alive in Christ Jesus is the renewing of your mind. Romans 12:2 instructs believers to no longer conform to the patterns of the world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Most preachers run into problems because they try to do what only Jesus can do. It is the Holy Spirit within each believer that will enable the power of grace to flow in your life. You can preach the worst sermon in the world, but that will not undo or stop the power of God’s grace to transform one’s life.
Furthermore, most critics of the gospel of grace do not preach the message of grace because they are held by the bondage of law and grace mixtures. They believe in and have head knowledge of grace, but have not aggressively received the message of grace due to religion which can bred confusion.
God is not the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33)! He sent His son to die a horrible death so you and I could be redeemed to Him forever. Jesus did it all so we as believers cannot say we are saved by grace due to our merits.
Grace is unmerited favor and a gift that is paid in full with the blood of Jesus. This gift of grace and the love of Jesus is what compels believers to live for Christ. When you understand what grace is and what Jesus did for you, a sense of overwhelming gratitude not condemnation is what compels you to live a life for Christ.
And when you fall short, which you will, the power of knowing that you are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus will tear down the walls of condemnation!
I say to you, live the way Jesus intended for you to live which is life to the full seated in Heavenly places by the power of His grace. IT TRULY IS FINISHED! To God be the glory, amen!
** If you are in need of prayer (Ephesians 6:18), please click“Prayer Request.” I would love to pray for you. Please remain secure in the promise that all prayer request are kept confidential. I also ask that you think of others whom you can share this message with.
To God be the glory, amen.