Grace: Freedom Not to Sin

Power to Say, “No,” to Ungodliness and, “Yes,” to Righteousness

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age . . . .

Titus 2:11-12

Grace is not the freedom to sin, but the freedom not to sin. Grace is God’s heart extending itself towards us as he initiates in us the ability to overcome our weaknesses, failures, and inadequacies. The foremost characteristic of living by grace is trust in the redeeming work of Jesus Christ: the Cross forgives our past sin through Christ’s death, puts away our present sin through Christ’s burial and triumphs over future sin through Christ’s resurrection. Grace is not an abstraction, but Jesus living his life in us by the power of the Holy Spirit.

To be in Christ—that is redemption; but for Christ to be in you—that is sanctification! To be in Christ—that makes you fit for heaven; but for Christ to be in you—that makes you fit for earth! To be in Christ—that changes your destination; but for Christ to be in you—that changes your destiny! The one makes heaven your home—the other makes this world His workshop.

Major W. Ian Thomas, The Saving Life of Christ/The Mystery of Godliness (Grand Rapids, Mich: Zondervan, 1988), 22.

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