Transformation and Grace

Sin is not just a blemish on our past, and it is also a detriment to our future.

As a result, God calls us not just to grace but also repentance.

In Biblical terms, we need both justification and sanctification. 

These are foundation truths of the Christian faith.  I fear that the second part of this equation is being lost to the tide of culture. 

We love the message of God’s amazing grace.  It is fantastic news to hear that God knows our sins, mistakes, and failures and offers us a clean slate.  He does not hold our past against us; instead, he forgives us through the power of the cross.  Everyone who hears that message says a hearty “Amen.”

The other side of the equation is equally important. The call of faith is not merely a message of grace but also of transformation.  We are to leave our sins behind in exchange for a new tomorrow. The sin that stains our past is also entangled around our soul and must be severed to live the life God desires for us.  We die to our old self so that we may walk in a new life. 

This message has increasingly been coming under attack.  Culture tells us we were born this way, and there is nothing we can do to change.  It is in our DNA.  God made us like this, and there is nothing flawed with anything he makes.  Yes, we need grace, but it ends with me letting go of my past. 

In the past year, I have been accused of lacking grace, unloving, and being pharisaic.  Why such harsh accusations?  Because I told people they needed to leave their sin and live differently.  It has been deemed unloving to tell people they need to change the behavior that is against God’s will.  These actions are destroying their life. 

Today, I want you to know I do not believe it is ungraceful to tell someone to change.  It is great to pick someone up out the filth of their life and clean them up, but it is also necessary to instruct them not to return to living in the dump. Jesus said we are to take up our cross daily and follow him.  We are to die to our old self and live a life where Jesus is the sole leader. 

Grace without transformation is not only unbiblical, and it is also detrimental to the future God desires for you.  A message of anything less is a false teaching that does more harm than good.      

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