The Grace of God

That Brings Salvation Has Appeared to All Men (Titus 2:11)

Sin Boldly?

Posted by israeliteindeed on October 28, 2011

Martin Luther is credited with saying the following:

“If you are a preacher of grace, then preach a true and not a fictitious grace; if grace is true, you must bear a true and not a fictitious sin. God does not save people who are only fictitious sinners. Be a sinner and sin boldly, but believe and rejoice in Christ even more boldly, for he is victorious over sin, death, and the world. As long as we are here [in this world] we have to sin. This life is not the dwelling place of righteousness, but, as Peter says, we look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. It is enough that by the riches of God’s glory we have come to know the Lamb that takes away the sin of the world. No sin will separate us from the Lamb, even though we commit fornication and murder a thousand times a day. Do you think that the purchase price that was paid for the redemption of our sins by so great a Lamb is too small? Pray boldly—you too are a mighty sinner.”

Dear reader, I hope you shuddered in horror at these words. I would like to specifically zero in on this portion:  Be a sinner and sin boldly, but believe and rejoice in Christ even more boldly, for he is victorious over sin, death, and the world. As long as we are here [in this world] we have to sin. 

Replacing the word “sin” with the word “murder” we have this:  Be a murderer and murder boldly, but believe and rejoice in Christ even more boldly.  Or how about this: Be an adulterer and commit adultery boldly, but believe and rejoice in Christ even more boldly. Or perhaps your favorite sin is lying:  Be a liar and lie boldly, but believe and rejoice in Christ even more boldly.  Do you steal? Be a thief and steal boldly! Just make sure you believe and rejoice in Christ more boldly!

Some may accuse me of taking Martin Luther’s words out of context, but I assert that his words have been used as a license to sin by many, and indeed seem custom-made for the job!  He said you can murder a thousand times a day and still remain in Jesus Christ! Have you ever heard such blasphemy? I know Luther is a revered reformer, but Christ’s sheep hear His voice and they follow Him. They will not follow the voice of the stranger, and this is the voice of a stranger if I’ve ever heard one. Test the spirits by which men speak!  Never assume that someone honored by others is the friend of your soul.

To the shamed adulterer, Jesus said, “Go and sin no more.” (John 8:11)

To the man whom He had healed from a 38-year infirmity, Jesus said, “Sin no more lest a worse thing come upon you.” (John 5:14)  What could be worse than 38 years of perpetual infirmity?

Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame.” (I Cor. 15:34)

He also wrote, “Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?” (Rom. 6:15-16)

Again, Paul wrote to Timothy, “Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: ‘The Lord knows those who are His,’ and, ‘Let everyone who names the name of Christ DEPART FROM INIQUITY.'”  (2 Tim. 2:19)

The Apostle John testified that he wrote his epistle “that you may not sin.” (I Jn. 2:1)

Peter wrote of false teachers who would deny the Lord who bought them, bringing on themselves swift destruction. How do they deny the Lord?–through disobedience and teaching disobedience to the Lord’s servants. For they profess to know God, but in works they deny Him. Some of their distinguishing marks are:  they will receive the wages of unrighteousness (because they are unrighteous), they count it pleasure to carouse in the daytime (not even blushing for their sins, but doing them boldly even in the company of the Christian church), and they have eyes full of adultery, and they cannot cease from sin (2 Pet. 2:1-14; Titus 1:16).

They cannot cease from sin! Though Jesus said to cease from sin and gives victory over sin to those who abide in Him, and though His apostles taught that we must cease from sin and obey Jesus, these teachers not only cannot cease from sin in their own lives, but they also teach others, “Be a sinner and sin boldly…as long as we are here, WE HAVE TO SIN.”

Do you hear the hiss of the deceiver in those terrible words?

Please do not misunderstand me. I know that Luther stood against the darkness of the catholic church, and I believe he started out on the right foot and even helped some to escape their slavery to the Roman church. However, he had some gross error, and this error about sin has likely led millions to deny the Lord who bought them and bring upon themselves swift destruction.  Luther was a man so taken with his concept of “faith alone,” that he wanted to cut the book of James out of the Bible. Why? Because James wrote, “A man is justified by works, and not by faith only” and “faith without works is dead.” (James 2:20-24)

Dear reader, I am grateful that if I do sin, I have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.  However, the goal is NOT TO SIN. When we were reunited with our Father through the atoning death of Jesus, it was not to continue a life of sin until the day we die.  We came back to the Father as dear children who love and obey their Father, not just because He has authority and power, but because He has proven His love and kindness in Jesus Christ. Death is not our Savior from sin; Jesus is our Savior from sin. Jesus will save His people from their sins (Matt. 1:21). Is Jesus Christ in you? Examine yourselves, to see if you be in the faith. Is His Spirit leading you, and are you walking in step with Him?–if so, then you are not fulfilling the lust of the flesh. The righteous requirement of the law is fulfilled in those who walk after the Spirit (Gal. 5:16; Rom. 8:4).

Beware of any teacher, no matter how famous, who comes teaching you to walk after your flesh as boldly as you please. Beware of men who make you feel secure in Christ while you follow your flesh. They will say “God doesn’t see your sin; He only sees Jesus.” Or “The righteousness of Jesus is imputed to you even if you commit fornication or murder a thousand times a day!”  Do not be deceived. God will not be mocked, and those who live according to their flesh will DIE the second death. Though satan may whisper through his angels of light, “You will not surely die,” be assured that God’s warnings are true, and the wages of unrighteousness is still death.

God’s true servants always turn people toward obedience to God.

Thus says the LORD of hosts:

“ Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you.
They make you worthless;
They speak a vision of their own heart,
Not from the mouth of the LORD.
They continually say to those who despise Me,
‘ The LORD has said, “You shall have peace”’;
And to everyone who walks according to the dictates of his own heart, they say,
‘ No evil shall come upon you.’”
For who has stood in the counsel of the LORD,
And has perceived and heard His word?
Who has marked His word and heard it?
Behold, a whirlwind of the LORD has gone forth in fury—
A violent whirlwind!
It will fall violently on the head of the wicked.
The anger of the LORD will not turn back
Until He has executed and performed the thoughts of His heart.
In the latter days you will understand it perfectly.
“ I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran.
I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied.
But if they had stood in My counsel,
And had caused My people to hear My words,
Then they would have turned them from their evil way
And from the evil of their doings.
“ Am I a God near at hand,” says the LORD,
“ And not a God afar off?
Can anyone hide himself in secret places,
So I shall not see him?” says the LORD;
“ Do I not fill heaven and earth?” says the LORD.

~Jer. 23:16-24

God bless you.

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4 Responses to “Sin Boldly?”

  1. John Gregory said

    I rejoice that we have the Word of God and the Holy Spirit! I am also glad that I for one do not
    follow reformed theology or Luther. Read, study the Word, pray & be open to the leading of the Holy Spirit. And then obey! As the old hymn tells us Trust and Obey for there’s no other way.
    To be happy in Jesus, but to Trust and Obey.
    John Gregory

    • Amen, John. Trust and obey. The Spirit of God leads us into all truth as we trust and obey the truth. It seems that those who do not love the truth, but only approach the Scriptures to “prove” what they hope is true, will be quickly led astray. God bless you.

  2. hoshiana said

    Thank you for your faithfulness. These are words of truth, indeed.

  3. […] At the website, The Grace of God: […]

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