Jesus didn’t say, ‘Go out and sin.’
APRIL 6, 2021
Jesus didn’t say, ‘Go out and sin.’ Let’s talk about it on Key Life.
That was Steve Brown. He’s an author, seminary professor and our teacher on Key Life, a program all about God’s radical grace. We’re committed to bringing you Bible teaching that’s honest, straightforward, and street smart. Keep listening to hear truth that’ll make you free.
Thank you Matthew. We’re looking at Galatians, the fifth chapter, and we’re starting in that 15th chapter at the 13th verse and going to the end of the chapter and we’re going to spend a good deal of time in it. We’re presently defining what freedom is by talking about from the text, what freedom isn’t. And then once we get down that road and successfully at the end of that journey, hopefully. Then we’re going to look at the rest of the text and look at the fruit of the Spirit and the fruit of the flesh and how they’re in opposition to each other. But we have seen, and I’ve said, if you don’t get grace, don’t listen to this broadcast, because it’s not a standalone broadcast. It’s connected to the other teaching of Paul. And he went through a lot of trouble, to teach us about grace and freedom, real grace and real freedom. And now he’s bringing the letter to a close and he’s saying some things that need to be said institutionally. Now we’ve seen that freedom is not license. And we’ve seen that freedom is not independence. I’m not free, so I can tell you to leave me alone. I’m drawn to you, because free people are drawn to free people and bound people by the way, are drawn to bound people. I had a young man one time, another friend of ours had made him call me and asked whether he should take this church, he had been offered. And I said, well, tell me about the church. And he started telling you about their sin. Okay. And he said, do you think ought to go there? And I said, do you want me to tell you the truth, or say something nice? He said, Oh no, tell me the truth. The truth is that no way you should go there, because you don’t have enough love to even be their pastor, all you’ve done is condemn them. If you’re not into grace, then don’t go kill God’s people. Cause that will not make God a happy person. And he hung up on me, but it was all right. And you know, somebody needed to say it. Well, you gotta gotta remember just the same, as you go with these teachings in Galatians. Paul is talking about some important things, what freedom isn’t, but you’ve got to get grace before you understand it. And so freedom is not disobedience, Galatians 5:14.
For the whole law is fulfilled in one word, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
Paul is saying here, there’s some things, that get changed in your heart when Jesus comes into your life. And one is, that you want to please him. I’ve said it a thousand times and I’ve said it because it’s true. That you never met a man who wants to please God more than I do. And you’ve probably never met a man who fails at that more than I do, but something happened inside. And I really want to please God. If you’re presenting the gospel to somebody, and you talk about grace and how Christ died on the cross for sins past, present, and future. And one person says to you, Hey, that means I can do whatever I want. That means I can go out and sin and enjoy it and have a good time. That means that he’ll forgive me no matter what. And your answer should be. Are you crazy? Of course not. But what if the person says, you know, Steve, I’m not a, I’m not a good person and I’ve tried so hard and I just can’t pull it off, there’s stuff in me that, that nobody can fix. And I can’t fix, I don’t know. I’m not sure that God could fix what if it’s never fixed? Will Jesus still love me? And the answer to that question is, absolutely. He knows you’re fraying, he knows who you are, he knows the places where you struggled and he forgave you before you ever struggled, because he’s known you and made up his mind about you, long before you were ever born. Now notice the question in its essence is the same, but notice also that the attitude is different. One is an antinomian attitude by somebody who obviously doesn’t get the gospel. The other is a repentant attitude, aware of one’s sin, aware of disobedience, but reaching out and hoping that forgiveness and grace is a part of that. So, if your attitude is I can hardly wait to sin. I can hardly wait to do something bad, cause God’s gonna forgive me kind of thing. You don’t get it and you’re probably not saved and you probably need to go back to square one. But if you’re drawn to the world, if you sin, if you fall, as John said, we have an advocate with the father, even Jesus Christ. But it’s a matter of attitude. And something happens to the attitude, when Jesus said to his disciples in the garden, cause they kept falling asleep by napping in the presence of the most important event in the history of the universe, he said, your spirit is willing, but your flesh is weak. If your spirit is willing and your flesh is weak. That’s a good thing or it’s an okay thing or it’s a grace covered thing and you need to remember that. And so, freedom is not license and it’s not independence and it’s not disobedience. Freedom is also not indulgence, Galatians 5:16.
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and do not gratify the desires of the heart or the flesh.
One of the most dangerous teachings that I hear, is the teaching that when you become a Christian, you don’t want to sin anymore. That’s crazy. I don’t know who said that, or who keeps saying it, but I wish they would stop. Of course, I want to sin some more. I have not been a Christian, and I’ve been a Christian a long time. I have not been a Christian, so long that I’ve forgotten how much fun it was to be a pagan. Why did we sin sin? We sin, because we like to sin. That’s why we sin. Why are we disobedient? Because we’d rather be sometimes in our flesh disobedient more than being obedient. And so, it becomes a matter of God’s Word, of knowing what he says, of what he teaches, that causes us to say that sometimes this is a struggle. And if you don’t think it’s a struggle and that you can just indulge in anything, and it doesn’t matter. It does matter. You know what the 10 commandments are? They are 10 very strong and wise statements on how to live a happy and good life. That’s what they are. And as we become Christians, we have God’s Spirit to help us live a happy and good life. Jesus called it the abundant life, and he came to give it to us. And a part of that is knowing where the minefields are, of being careful, of doing things the way he has designed them to be done. And so, when a person becomes a Christian and they’re free, will God love them, if they don’t do it that way? Of course, the love is unconditional. Will that person sometimes sin, of course they will. Not me, I’m ordained, I’m different, but you will. And if you believe that, you’ll believe anything, but it’s not indulgence. It’s a recognition that there’s something in me that wants to be different, and I’m going to struggle as hard as I can. You know what Chuck Colson told me toward the end of his life? No, this was before, he used to smoke two or three packs of cigarettes a day. And when I first met him, that’s what he was doing. And everybody jumped on him, and eventually he quit. I said to him, Chuck do you ever want to smoke again? He said, let me tell you something. If I were arrested for being a Christian and they put a gun to my head and gave me one last wish, do you know what it would be? And I said, no. And he said it would be for a cigarette. That’s what it would be for, that, he got it. Got it. And all of the Christian life is that way too. Sometimes we fail. Sometimes we’re successful. God’s love never fails. But if anybody tells you that this isn’t a struggle sometimes and hard sometimes, then they’re lying to you. Oh man. If you knew, the associate that said that the senior pastor restrain your anger. And the pastor responded. You’ve never seen as much restrained anger as you see right now. Got it? It’s a struggle. So don’t be surprised when you struggle. If you fail, you’re forgiven. You think about that. Amen.
Thank you Steve. Of course, that was Steve Brown, continuing to explore Galatians 5 and to help us understand what real freedom is all about. But as Steve mentioned, you can’t understand freedom, if you don’t first understand grace. So, I don’t know about you, but I like to fix things. Hold on, let me put that differently. I would enjoy fixing things. Absolutely true story. Our front door had a split in it, so I fixed it by closing it back together. But in the process, I accidentally glued the lock in place, fixing fail, but there are times when the things we can’t fix are a lot more serious. Maybe someone has hurt you. Maybe your kids are in trouble. Maybe it’s a spouse who isn’t a believer. Well, what do we do then? Well, that’s exactly what Steve speaks about in an article appropriately titled You Can’t Fix It. And you can find that article in the new 2021 edition of Key Life Magazine, along with other great pieces by Robin DeMurga, Chris Wachter and Chad West. Grab your free copy right now by calling 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also email Steve@keylife.org and ask for the magazine. If you’d like to mail your request, send it to
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