Truth or Consequences
INTRO: A preacher recently quit the ministry after more than 20 years of faithful, dedicated service and became a funeral director. When asked why he changed vocations, he said:
"I spent 10 years trying to straighten out John and he's still an alcoholic. Then I spent three and one-half years trying to straighten out Harold and Susan's marriage problems and they ended up getting a divorce. Later I tried for two years to help Bob kick his drug habit and he is still an addict. Now, at the funeral home, when I straighten them out, they stay straight!"
1) The message of the church is one of grace and forgiveness. A Christian's sins are forgiven.
2) However the message of the church is also one of discipleship and holiness. A Christian must be committed to eliminating sinful practices from his life with the help of the Holy Spirit.
3) A Christian who believes that the doctrine of grace frees him to commit sin without consequences is operating under a dangerous delusion.
4) The Apostle Paul was the premier preacher of grace and he often warned about that very misapplication in his letters:
Gal. 5:13 "You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature..."
Rom. 6:15,18 "Shall we sin because we are...under grace? By no means!...You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness."
5) However, there is evidence that the idea of grace as a license to sin is becoming increasingly popular in the American church.
QUOTE: Christian Standard, Feb. 14, 1993 editorial:
A Roper Organization survey reveals little difference in the behavior of "born-again Christians" before and after their conversion experiences. In fact, the study found that behavior in each of three major categories - use of illegal drugs, driving while intoxicated, and marital infidelity - actually deteriorated after the ...
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