Free to Sin?

“Okay, so you are telling me that I am already perfect in Christ because He is my life.  So then I am free to go out and sin as much as I can and still be perfect?”


Every teacher of grace gets this objection.  If you don’t, you probably are not teaching grace. 


“If the work is already finished on my behalf; if I am as spiritual as I will ever be; if I already have the love and acceptance of the Father because of Jesus—then what is there to stop me from sinning?”


And if you don’t know the answer to that, you don’t understand the grace of God. 


For some reason, the legalist thinks that rules and standards will stop people from sinning.  But it hasn’t worked so far.  It didn’t work for the Pharisees in the time of Jesus and it doesn’t work for the legalist today.  But the legalist says that’s because the sinners don’t actually live according to the rules.  He points out compromises and failures and doubts in the lives of those who sin. 

And he’s right.  There are compromises and failures and doubts in all our lives.  That’s why we need a Savior.  That’s why we still need Jesus, even after He reached into our lives and saved us.  And the legalist still needs a Savior, just like the rest of us.

The rules were not enough to make us perfect before we came to Jesus and the rules are not enough to keep us perfect after.  The rules, God’s rules, are there to warn us of the suffering we will encounter in certain situations.  Do we really need the threat of losing our salvation to keep us from adultery or stealing?  Are there no other reasons to avoid those things? 

When Bobby was little, his mother warned him about touching the hot burner on the stove.  He seemed to like playing around the stove, so she told him he had to stay away in order to be safe.  Bobby didn’t listen.  So Mom told him she would punish him if he came close to touching the hot burner again.  He did and she did.  She used whatever means she could to keep him safe.

But when Bobby grew up to be a young adult, he came home one day and told his mom that he was going to touch the hot burner.  Her days of giving punishment were past, he said.  Now he would do what he wanted, and he wanted to touch the stovetop.  What would you expect Mom to say? 

She said, “Go ahead.”

If Bobby couldn’t do what was right because he trusted her wisdom and love, then he would have to do what he wanted and suffer the consequences.  Does this mean that Mom would reject her son?  Of course not.  She still loved him as much as ever.  But he would have to understand that it was her love that gave the prohibition in the first place.  He would have to find out for himself that the hot burner would bring him pain.  She had wanted to spare him.  Mom still loves Bobby, even when he learns that the hot burner hurts. 

God loves us and wants to spare us the pain of certain actions and attitudes.  Even after we become believers, He wants us to avoid the trouble sin causes.  But He doesn’t reject us when we sin.  Nothing that He has done for us or in us will go away.  We still belong to Him and His life still is in us.  We are still perfect new creations in Him. 

Does God actually say that we are free to go out and sin all we want?  Read the story of the prodigal son.  He never says that He will keep us from the trouble our sins will cause.  He never says that sin won’t hurt.  But He allows us to do what we want.  If we cannot trust Him and His love for us, perhaps the consequence of our sin will bring us home.


Filed under grace, Legalism, Relationship

3 responses to “Free to Sin?

  1. Great post
    This is weird it resonates so much and you are right the consequences always brings us back home.

  2. Richard

    “So then I am free to go out and sin as much as I can and still be perfect?”
    Perfect! He makes us perfect.

    It is nothing that we can do ever. Jesus did it all for us on the cross..
    Everything hinges on the cross of Christ. He gives us grace to do whatever we want to do.

    Now comes our part. Do we value the free gift that has been given?
    If we do how much value do we give it?
    Here in lies the problem of most Christians in our churches today. We want our cake and eat it too!

    The bible and Holy Spirit were left for us so we can be all we were meant to be. Sure we can disobey Jesus and still get into heaven but a person who has given his or her whole life to Jesus for Him to use them will glorify God in everything they do and they will reap the benefits of being obedient.
    To a rebellious christian the law is bitter but to one who has surrendered his will the law is sweet.

    You want to see clearly or in the fog?
    You want wisdom or foolishness?
    Seems pointless to have Christ in us and not be able to use Him..

    • prodigalkatherine

      Richard, having Christ in us is about inviting Him in so He can use us, not so we can use Him. We don’t do it to gain some sort of magical power, special sight, or control that makes us better than other people. We do it because we love Him and surrender our right to ourselves so that God may use our lives (even the broken pieces) as He sees fit.

      Surrendering our wills mean that we accept that God is driving the sanctification process, not us. Our job is to be on our knees and to continually seek connection with God – both when we succeed and when we fail (which we will). To expect perfection indicates that we think it’s something we can achieve in our own righteousness. We can’t. All we can do is to continually choose to get close to God, and let the Holy Spirit bring to fruition the work on our character that needs to be done.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s