Are We Saved By Faith, Less Sin, Or Is It A Mix?
The same thing that saves us is the same thing that makes us right with God in our daily lives, and it’s not your performance
If you have shared the message of total forgiveness by faith alone, you have likely been called a heretic, a hyper-grace teacher, or even a false prophet. This is especially true if you teach that a person can be saved and still make a lot of poor choices in their daily lives…..aka sin.
Why is the gospel of grace so offensive to some Christians? I think it’s because legalist teaching today is different than it was 2000 years ago. Today it comes from Christian leaders who incorrectly teach the gospel as seen in our bibles.
Why do so many Christians freak out when we teach forgiveness and salvation have nothing to do with behavior? I’ll tell you why. It’s because they fail to see that what saves us and how Christians should behave are two totally different subjects.
SHOULD A CHRISTIAN SIN?
Is it okay for Christians to sin? Of course not. How can we live in sin if we are new creations in Christ? Sin never fulfills us. In fact, it always leads to destruction. We’re not made for sin. So, no, a Christian should not sin. But, what if we do? What if we sin 3 times in a week? What about 50 times? 100? When is it too many to be covered by the blood of Christ? Or should I say, when do you think the power of His blood loses to sin and becomes worthless?
We either believe our sins are forgiven or we don’t. There’s no biblical truth that sins are only forgiven up to a certain point. That’s the equivalent of saying God might let you off the hook for 123 sins, but on the 124th sin God retracts His forgiveness. Or put another way, it’s like saying, ‘God forgives your sins…..unless you sin too much’.
Additionally, there’s no biblical truth to the idea that the little sins are forgivable, but the big ones are not.
[Colossians 2:14] having CANCELED out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.
The wage of any and all sin is death. Jesus died. If you are a believer, your sins have been paid for. Taken away. Little ones. Big ones. The ones you rarely commit. The ones you struggle with and commit over and over. It’s time we stop putting limits on the blood Jesus shed on the cross…..for sins.
[Hebrews 10:17] “And their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”
How many Christian sins does God remember no more? Some? All, unless to sin too much? Have you bought into the idea that there’s a limit? Does the idea that total forgiveness makes you feel like you could not possibly think sin is bad if you believe God really did pay for them all? Don’t buy the lie. That’s the sales pitch to scare you away from God’s grace. Their pitch is, if you think God really forgives ALL of your sins (no matter how many or how big), then you must be a lying, cheating, adulterous, sin-loving atheist. They say ‘that’s a license to sin’!
Don’t let them steal God’s grace!!!
You are not saved by less sinning. You are saved by faith. I hope you never get sucked into a life of sin, but if ever you do, the only chance you have of getting out it is by believing that God has already forgiven you, and you can come back to Him any time.
[Psalms 103:12] As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
CAN A PERSON BE SAVED JUST BY SINNING LESS?
Can a super nice, charitable, and polite person be saved if they sin less frequently? Of course not. We need to make a decision for Jesus.
All Christians meet people who deny Jesus, and think they can go to heaven just because they are ‘good people’ and they really ‘try to do the right thing’. Oh, but we are quick (rightfully so) to say you can’t get to heaven just by good behavior. We tell them they need Jesus. We tell them about the cross.
Hmmm, why does it sometimes start with the message of the cross, only to end with the message of your behavior? I am NOT saying behavior isn’t important. It is. But it doesn’t save us, and it’s not what maintains our good standing with God.
THE SAME THING THAT SAVES US ALSO KEEPS US IN GODS FAVOR
I know this is not popular in many circles, but when Jesus died for our sins, He not only saved us for heaven, but He also made us right with God HERE AND NOW! So many Christians think what Jesus did was good enough for heaven, but it doesn’t fully go into effect here and now. In other words, they think, here on earth, that God still holds their sins against them, and He’s essentially holding our forgiveness hostage until we die. At which point He will then forgive us.
Again, sin is stupid. We are called to live upright godly lives. But the reason God calls us to live this way is that we are living out our true identity. What is our identity? Holy. Justified. Sanctified. Royal Priesthood. Child of God. Cleansed. Righteous. Just to name a few!
The same thing that saves us is the same thing that makes us right with God in our daily lives.
Jesus. Blood. Faith.
It may sound super religious and ominous to imply that our behavior is at least partly what saves us or makes us right with God after salvation, but if that were possible, then why did Jesus die? The truth is even the smallest sin separates us from God and is worthy of death (if we don’t water down the wages of sin).
The only acceptable payment for sin is death. Jesus died. It’s time we stop dishonoring Jesus by taking away from the power of His blood sacrifice all while inflating the power of our behavior. The bottom line is if you stumble at ONE POINT of the law you are guilty of it ALL (James 2:10).
[Galatians 2:21] I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.”
Author: Mike Cynar
Mike Cynar was raised in a church setting where he frequently noticed that many attendees would eventually drift away. The church labeled these individuals as ‘back sliders’ or ‘fake Christians’ just looking for ‘fire insurance’. However, Mike realized the issue was rarely with these individuals but instead with the church’s message itself. The teachings heavily emphasized behavior improvement and one’s flaws, with only a fleeting mention of one’s identity in Christ. It felt as though every sermon was tailored to the church of Corinth, who as we know or committing sins that even unbelievers don’t partake in. This trend was noticeable not just in one denomination, but across Baptist, Catholic, Pentecostal, and many other churches. Upon understanding the true essence of the gospel – that our righteousness comes from Jesus’ actions, not our own – Mike was inspired to liberate believers from lifeless sermons and reconnect them with the genuine teachings of Jesus. He believes that one can nurture a vibrant and growing bond with Jesus, unhindered by rigid religious practices. And thus, “Jesus Without Religion” was born.
It turns out that it is grace that leads to repentance. And if our heart is to get others to walk in the Spirit and live a godly life, then the best approach is not a beat down sermon, but rather to remind other that it is only when we understand our true identity in Christ that we will live it out. Yes, it’s true, if you’re convinced that God thinks you’re a dirty sinner, you will ultimately continue a lifestyle that mirrors that view, but if you truly believe that even on your worst day, you are called holy, sanctified, justified, and will be presented blameless in the end, well, it turns out this is the secret to living out on the outside what has been worked in to the inside.