The Grace Response to Sin

By Justin Johnson

What is the grace response to sin after salvation?

You can find the threefold answer in Ephesians chapters 4-5.

1. Stop it.
2. Avoid it.
3. Reprove it.

Stop sinning.

Ephesians 4:26-32 says to put away lying, “sin not”, “steal no more”, “let no corrupt communication proceed”, “grieve not the Holy Spirit”, and “put away from you”. It is clear that sin should be stopped.

Avoid sin.

Ephesians 5:1-10 says we should follow God. Following the fleshly leads to nothing profitable. “Be not ye therefore partakers with them” (Eph 5:8). Your avoiding sin proves what is acceptable unto the Lord (Eph 5:9-10).

Reprove sin.

Ephesians 5:11-14 says to reprove sin which requires not simply being light, and avoiding darkness, but the courage to manifest light in the darkness. Sin is blameworthy and shameful.

Law vs. Grace

The difference between law and grace is that the law requires you stop sinning before you can be justified. If you do sin, your standing is conditional and is lost.

Grace forgives, justifies, and gives a new identity in Christ freely to all who believe (Eph 1-2). Stopping, avoiding, and reproving sin neither saves you nor makes you a saint. Only grace can do that.

Under grace our standing in Christ by grace is through faith not works. It is not conditioned upon our behavior. This does not mean our deportment does not matter.

Grace does not demand sin be stopped under threat of our salvation. We are already saved by grace. Grace teaches us to stop sinning because Christ died for our sins, and we have now put on Christ (Eph 4:24). Grace changes the inner man and his motivation. Only grace can do that.

Whereas the law forces a man against his will, grace changes the man according to God’s will.

It is amazing that some people think God’s grace allows sin. It doesn’t. Grace teaches us to sin not, and is the only way that sin can be stopped.

Don’t receive the grace of God in vain (2 Cor 6:1). If you are saved by God’s grace, use the grace of God to walk worthy of your position in Christ (Eph 4:1).

The grace response to sin is to stop it; avoid it; and reprove it.

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Published: January 6, 2018
Last Modified: January 6, 2018
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