“Why not rather say, “Let us do evil that good may come,” as we are slanderously accused and as some claim that we say?…” Rom. 3:8
The apostle Paul was falsely accused in his day and the same thing happens today. Some people think that it sounds too easy and frivolous to have your sin forgiven by believing in Jesus. They mean that it can not be as easy as just receiving grace and forgiveness. But there must be real change and that one must earn grace. Trying to make oneself deserving of grace stumbles on itself, for grace is precisely that, one receives goodness that one does not deserve.
The Gospel, which is the good news of what Jesus has done for us through His death and resurrection, really takes this with sin very seriously. Sin always brings problems and guilt, there is nothing good about sin. But to tell people to just get it together, is to take this with sin lightly. Then it is up to everyone to choose what is okay and not. And there people have different views. Sin goes deeper than in our behavior. It is in our hearts and that is why we sin. Thus, it needs a transformation of the heart to break the vicious circle. Before God, we have all sinned.
The message that Paul preached was that Jesus, who had never sinned, was made to be sin on the cross. He who was completely innocent took the punishment of the guilty. The guilty are us humans, all of us. But, God let the punishment and judgment of sin fall on His beloved Son on the cross. Then, on the third day, Jesus rose from the dead and is now the atoning sacrifice for our sins. The powerful thing is, that when you come to Jesus in faith and put your heart’s trust in Him, He both forgives and frees us. He forgives us all our sins and He frees us from the power of sin that wants to ensnare us and it results in transformed hearts and lives.
This is to take sin very seriously. To acknowledge that Jesus, the Son of God, took your punishment and to put your faith in Him. It puts an end to the vicious circle of sin, guilt and shame. In fact, it is the bad conscience that causes people to go deeper into the darkness. A conscience cleansed and liberated by Jesus, on the other hand, loves God, himself and other people and wants to do only good.
God bless you.
/ David Billström