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What Sin?, by Phil Ware

    Boy did I make them mad! I was doing a Bible class with singles on repeated sin. I let them carry the discussion but was emphatic, “There is no forgiveness for repeated sin.”

    “What? You’ve gotta be kiddin’!” was their exasperated cry. They argued. They got angrier. I wouldn’t give in.

    “If you repeat a sin you’ve already asked forgiveness for, then there is no forgiveness for repeated sin!” I stood my ground.

    It was a gamble to take this approach, but the importance of their understanding forgiveness was worth it. For singles struggling to be holy with the same issues over and over, it was an essential breakthrough. For all of us, it is vital. “There is no forgiveness for repeated sin!”

“There is no forgiveness for repeated sin!”
    I believe sin must be taken seriously. Too often churches today offer cheap grace—do what you want and just assume that God’s grace will cover it. That’s not biblical. It’s playing games with God and mocking the Lordship of Jesus. Dietrich Bohnoeffer called it “cheap grace.” Jude called it “perverting the grace of God into a license for immorality.” (Jude 3) Sin must be taken seriously!

    There is, however, another side of cheap grace that is just as prevalent but rarely addressed. Because of Jesus’ sacrifice, when God forgives us, he forgets our sin! He banishes it to nonexistence. He not only forgives us, he purifies us of all unrighteousness. If our sin has been forgiven, it can be repeated because it has never happened. When we talk about repeating sin, we demean the incredible sacrifice of Jesus, the cost of his blood to purify us, and the sacrificial grace of God who makes us holy through forgiveness. Cheap grace must also refer to our reluctance to believe that God has removed our sin and made us whole and holy once again. For us to keep hanging on to sin God has forgiven cheapens his grace just as surely as it dilutes our discipleship.

    God promised that as long as we confess our sin and walk in his light, then our sin is gone. More than forgiven, our sin cannot be repeated. God’s expensive grace means it never happened. We are free, new, and clean to live for him out of joy and praise for his glorious grace.

Rather than wallowing in doubt and shame,
Let him wash you clean of every stain!
Come to the cross of Christ for grace
And leave committed to live his praise.
Sin is cleansed. Guilt is gone.
We’re alive to sing forgiveness' song!

I John 1:6,9

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