Read Romans 6
Focus on verse 15
One of the older James Bond movies went by the title “Licensed to Kill”. While this makes an intriguing movie title, I find it somewhat frightening to think that such a license might actually exist. Not quite as frightening, but perhaps equally or even more dangerous is the concept of a license to sin. I might add a disclaimer here that the mention of this movie title in no way should be taken as a recommendation of any of the Bond movies as wholesome family entertainment.
In today’s reading Paul addresses the misconception that God’s grace might lead to people getting the idea that it gives them a license to sin.
What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! (v. 15)
The apostle insists that grace is not a license to sin, but that conversely, it actually sets us free from our enslavement to sin. (v. 16-18) He goes on to explain that we become slaves to whomever we choose to obey – if we give in to the impulses that tempt us to do or say things that offend the standards that God has given us in His word, Paul states that we become enslaved by those desires and actions.
It is God’s grace that provides us an opportunity to be free from that bondage to our sin nature. It could perhaps be compared to deleting one’s browsing history. Grace covers the things in our past that offend God – allowing Him to see us the way He created us to be – without any imperfections thanks to the cleansing quality of the blood of Christ. When Jesus died on the cross He took all my bad stuff upon Himself – so when I placed my trust in Jesus and what He did for me, God no longer sees all that bad stuff, but rather sees the good stuff Jesus did. It is an amazing concept that overwhelms me every time I think about it.
When we understand the magnitude of what God’s grace does for us and in us, it motivates and empowers us to live up to the potential that God intended for us to fulfill. All that remains is for us to learn to walk in it.