Thursday, July 7, 2016

Holiness is the wrong answer to sin

Often, our response to sin, as Christians, is to resolve to not do that again. Or, stay away from that place or that food or that drink or whatever it is that trips us up.

We set our jaws and clench our fists, and add “don’ts” to our lists of bad things to avoid. We determine even harder to be more holy. To be pure. To be sinless.

We’re sure we can if we just do the right things and avoid the wrong things. It’s just a matter of more power of the will applied to the won’ts, don’ts, and shouldn’ts.

But it never works.

Putting holiness over sin is like putting a band aid on a cancer. It doesn’t address the issue.

Grace is the answer to sin.

Before we can become holy we must bathe in the free grace of God. It’s grace and grace alone that heals the pain and shame and brokenness of sin.

Holiness is the product of grace.

Grace frees us from sin and empowers us to walk in the other direction, away from sin and toward holiness.

Sure, there are choices we still need to make and stuff we need to avoid. But the ability to make the right choices and the strength to avoid the bad stuff and do the good stuff isn’t in us without grace.

Holiness without grace is legalism. Legalism only tightens the chains; it can’t set us free.

Grace wins.


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