There is a fine line between living by grace and abusing it. As Paul concludes his thoughts at the end of chapter 5 in his letter to the Romans he speaks of how we are lavished with grace through Jesus Christ. In fact, he even states that “where sin increased, grace increased all the more.”
But you can tell that Paul is aware that this could lead some to take advantage of grace and abuse it because he opens chapter 6 of Romans with this statement:
“Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace?Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it?” ~ Romans 6:1-2
God’s lavish grace is no excuse to live as we want but rather makes us acceptable to a holy God and then empowers us to live differently. Larry Crabb says it well…
“I might mention in passing that my acceptability in Christ is no warrant for careless living. Scripture also teaches that I am accountable to God for how I live.
If I understand accountability, but not acceptability, I will live under pressure to behave well in order to be accepted. If I understand acceptability, but not accountability, I may become casually indifferent to sinful living.
When I understand first my acceptability and then my accountability, I will be constrained to please the One who died for me, fearful that I might grieve Him, not wanting to, because I love Him.” ~ Larry Crabb in Effective Biblical Counseling
May we be fully embraced by acceptability AND accountability, in that order, so that we can live in such a way as to demonstrate the grace and truth (John 1:14) that flowed from Jesus when He lived among us.
And in doing so, may we reflect the glory of God!
© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2012. All rights reserved.