If God forgives all my mistakes, why can't I do whatever I want?
"Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace?2 Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it?" - Romans 6:1-2 (NLT)
Even as a brand new Christian, I recognized a real issue in my youth group. In fact, it was this issue that almost turned me off from Christianity all together.
The issue: People who proclaim that they love and follow Jesus, yet still continue to sin and act however they want.
They would be at youth group every week, but still go to parties on the weekends, be inappropriate in their dating relationships and act counter to how a Christ - follower should act.
And the worse part was, the more I thought about it, I realized I was apart of the issue myself. I was no angel and made many mistakes along the way.
I knew I was forgiven by God and going to Heaven, but I still felt convicted about what I was doing. It was all so confusing for me.
Seeing my Christian constituents and knowing my own struggles, I wondered: If God forgives all my mistakes, why can't I do whatever I want?
In answering this question, we must remember: God's grace should be embraced, but never abused.
In His infinite love, God has provided us forgiveness, mercy and grace that we do not deserve. We should embrace that and know we are forgiven!
But, in the process of embracing His grace, we must never abuse it. Abusing it involves living a life of perpetual sin, knowing we are forgiven and going to Heaven anyways.
There are lots of reasons not to abuse God’s grace, here's a few:
1. The Bible begs us not to live this way. In Romans 6:1-2, the Apostle Paul is addressing this same issue to the people in Rome. In doing so, he talks about how we should never sin with the assumption that God's grace will just keep increasing to cover our sins.
Don't get me wrong, God's grace won’t run out on us. But, we should not take advantage of that by purposely continuing to live in sin. It goes directly against what God has called us to do with our lives.
2. Not living in line with God's ways will mess our lives up. God's rules in His Word are meant to serve as guardrails for us. They are not there just to make our lives less fun. In fact, when followed, God's way is better than our way.
Sure, you may still go to Heaven doing whatever you want, but your life on Earth will be Hell.
Living a life of purity is more fulfilling than promiscuity. Always being honest is superior than leading a life of a liar. Honoring and respecting your parents results in a better outcome than not doing so.
3. If you feel no desire to do what God wants you to do over what you want to do, you ought to check your commitment to Christ. This is a hard truth, but if you have truly given your life to God, you should want to serve Him with it. You are not going to be perfect, but there should be something within you that wants to honor Him with your choices.
If that desire is not within you, than I would encourage you to check your commitment to Christ. Perhaps you never truly made it.
With all of this said, we must remember one thing. We do not live for God out of guilt, but out of gratitude. Gratitude for the undeserved, amazing grace and forgiveness He has given us.
We do not live for Him out of guilt and worry that if we don't act properly He will leave us. He is not going anywhere. He loves us, even in our sinful, imperfect forms (Rom. 5:8).