When it is said that a message may be giving people the license to sin and the other person replies, “no one needs a license, they were already sinning without a license” he may just be missing a point, one if acknowledged, would have through a renewed understanding unleashed the power of the grace of Christ within the church.
Let’s first look at what the term “license to sin” really means. It means you now have the permission to do it. It doesn’t mean you are being given the ability to sin people have that without anybody’s help but a wrong message can make it appear that personal behaviour and acts of sin don’t matter, that God is already pleased with you anyway regardless of how you live. What really is happening is the work of the law is removed from the heart but it is not replaced with the grace of Christ.
True, a man may have the ability to drive but without a license but when he drives he knows within am doing something wrong and so he doesn’t have that inward peace. The argument they were sinning already without a license doesn’t therefore hold. Yes, they did sin but at least man felt very uncomfortable with it because of the law. Now with this message, there is supposed to be no discomfort within when you sin, that is the license.
No message gives the ability to sin, that was inherent in man after the fall but a license is something that silences the voice within saying what you are doing is wrong and you need to repent. It gives the sense that sinful behaviour doesn’t really matter as much as was once thought for all my “future sins” have been forgiven before I commit them anyway.
No one needs a license to sin but he can be given the feeling that nothing really changes when he sins and that becomes a license at the subconscious level. The new arrangement I have in Christ doesn’t lay emphasis on my conduct he thinks. It, therefore, removes the good fight of faith to live right, which he once had in him.
You may say I never said in my message “you are now permitted to sin,” yes, you didn’t, but the sense of your message actually permits sin, it removes the restraint within the person to fight the good of faith concerning that sinful behavior because he now feels that is “works” and all he has to do now is to “accept” that it is all done in Christ and since all his future sins have been forgiven, he needs not repent of any wrong doing. Any form of nudging by his conscience is now termed as the voice of condemnation that must now be silenced.
The message may just be issuing visas to people into the world of living in the flesh while they claim “finished works of Christ.” You can enter a foreign nation without a visa, yes, but when you operate there you will have no real rest because you know you are there illegally. No Christian should be made to feel comfortable living in the flesh, which is not the rest spoken about in the book of Hebrews. The so called refreshing feeling many who have received the message claim to have, the relief they speak of, is actually being relieved of not having to daily fight the fight of faith and not an actual deliverance from the bondage of corruption. The corruption remains but they now take no responsibility for it.
The message attempts to remove the guilt the law brought but fails to give the grace that delivers from corruption.
The person who fights the good fight of faith and does the works of faith is termed as one who is trying to add to the finished work of Christ. He is made to feel there is nothing he can do to please God now for God is already pleased with him by the work of Christ. Even when the New Testament clearly states this about things we still do that please God. These sacrifices constitute our present priesthood unto God.
Colossians 3:20 Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.
1 John 3:22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.
Hebrews 13:16 But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.
1 Peter 2:5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
True, man, outside walking in the Spirit will fulfil the lusts of the flesh, he needs no license to do that. The problem, however, lies here, even when the old man sinned under the law, he became conscious of his guilt before God and that restrained his mouth from speaking words that could effect great damage on the earth. The sense of guilt created by the law, restrained man from exploiting his nature of sin fully.
Imagine a society without the law; stealing will not be a crime, insulting your parents will not be a wrong thing. If you were angry with anyone, you could just kill him, no feeling of doing anything wrong. Marriage will definitely be non-existent because adultery will not be a crime. The family unit will collapse and barbarism will be the order of the day
Romans 3:19 “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.”
The law was the restraining tool God used to keep men within certain boundaries, making them know that there was something wrong with his nature and pointing him to his need for a saviour who is Christ our Lord. The law made man realize that justification could only be by faith in Christ.
Galatians 3:24 “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.”
The law led us to Christ and in Him, we have been regenerated and now a new person has emerged who doesn’t require the law to live right. He shows his school master that he doesn’t need him anymore for he now fulfils his righteous demands with ease in Christ.
Christ did not just deal with the consequence of the law, which was the sense of guilt, but with the root problem which was the reason the law was even introduced and that is sin. The message, therefore, must not just deal with the guilt of sin only but with sin itself. To deal only with the guilt and not sin will allow sin to creep in being highly deceptive in nature and wreck havoc.
After Christ died and was raised, something else happened, He ascended and sat down at the right hand in order for the Spirit to be poured forth into men. We must emphasize the present work of the Spirit through whom we mortify the deeds of the body. In whom if we walk we will not fulfil the lust of sin in our flesh. The complete message is that Christ condemned sin in the flesh and has sent His Spirit to execute His will in us. He guides us and when we do wrong He nudges us via our conscience and as we turn to whom He has made us in Christ, He transforms us into the same image.