By Johnny Tatum


The purpose of this Bible study is to understand that we are so free in Messiah that we are free to disobey.






In our Grace #4 study: Balancing Grace Hinders Grace, we saw that God sees grace as one power accomplishing two things, as follows:


First Aspect Of Grace:  We Are Totally Forgiven.


We are not going to be punished for our sins ever.  So if a believer says If I sin, God will punish me, he does not understand grace at all.


Second Aspect Of Grace: Grace Releases Us From The Power Of Sin.


Though we will not stop sinning, we are not slaves to sin.  So if a believer says Since I am under grace, I can do whatever I want (sin it up) and there will be no consequences, he does not understand grace at all either.


If we soften the first aspect of grace (we will never be punished for our sins), we are going to weaken the second aspect of grace (grace frees us from the power of sin).  But that is precisely the mistake we make, and we all make it — we want to soften that first part.  Whenever someone says, God is not going to punish me ever for my sins.  I am totally forgiven.  The sin I am going to commit tomorrow was pre-forgiven, the inevitable yeah buts begin.  Do you know what those deadly monsters are?


Here are some examples—


I am totally forgiven

Yeah, but…

God will never punish us.

Yeah, but…


Those dreaded monsters, the yeah, buts!





I confess that I throw out the yeah buts.  Whenever I hear someone say If you are a believer, God will never punish you for your sins, I think Yeah, but…  Everybody does it, and that is a serious problem, because if we soften the first part of grace, we are going to weaken the second part of grace.


Why do we do that?  Why do we start saying Yeah, but…when we hear that we are totally forgiven and God is not going to punish us for our sins?  I do not know.  I ask: Is it because it is more comfortable having limits?


I believe that is one key.  It is more comfortable having limits.  That is why we do not want to rest in the first aspect of grace, which is why we experience so little of the second aspect.  Grace is the power that kills off the power of sin in our lives, but we experience very little of that because we have never gotten past the first part of grace—we are forgiven.  We are totally free, but we want those limits.  Give me a life where I have very simple rules and regulations; that is what I want—Yeah, but…  When we say We are free, we have got to go all the way and say We are so free in Messiah that we are free to disobey.  We are free—without the yeah buts.


A second reason for the yeah buts is that there is guilt in humanity that does not really want to be assuaged.  Human nature cries out for justice.  And we really do not want to let go of punishment for what we have done wrong.


A third reason it is so hard to understand is that it is so contrary to human thinking.  It does not make any sense to think that the way to reach a point of obedience in our lives is through resting in the fact that we are forgiven and we will not be punished for when we sin.  It does not make any sense, does it?  But then Paul himself says that it is foolishness:


For the wisdom of this world is foolishness before God. (I Corinthians 3:19)


Whatever the reason is, if we are not resting on the fact that we are forgiven, if we are not resting on the fact that grace means we will never be punished, then that means we are hindering the aspect of grace that releases us from the power of sin.



So far we have seen a lot of doctrine, which is essential because if we do not have the correct doctrine (correct understanding) about grace, then the application will never come in our lives.  On the other hand, if there is no application of these principles in our lives, then it is useless to know about grace.


Therefore, we want to see how we incorporate these principles in our lives.  How do I incorporate this in my life?  How do I access this in my life?  How do I get comfort and hope–spiritual fruit–good works–signs and wonders–actual holiness–labor for Messiah–strength–growth produced, spiritual gifts stimulated, and released from the slavery of sin?


We will see that resting in grace does not mean that we sit on the couch all day and say Oh, wow!  Since God has not moved me, I will just sit here all day, because if I do anything else it will be self-effort.



Next: Radical Grace #6: Overview of Romans 1 Through 5 – Grace As freedom From Punishment For Sins: Roaches!


Back To: Radical Grace Series Page

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