“A certain individual supposes that Christ's righteousness, having been imputed to him, allows him to go on living in sin. That is, he supposes that he is entirely exempt from the penalty of violating the law. He even thinks that he has the honors and rewards of full obedience while he still has all the self-indulgences of a life of sin. Horrible!
“Examine such a case thoroughly, and you will see that selfishness is at the bottom of the religion in it. The man was worldly before and is devout now, but he is devout for the same reason that he was worldly. His selfish heart is the basis for each system.”—Charles Finney, God's Call, page 104
Not that you can live without sin without the grace of God. That is the foundation of what Finney is saying, which is why he finds it so horrible. The person is stamping on the grace by which they might be saved, saying it is can have no effect in their life.
Monday, October 27, 2008
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I think that when grace is taken as a license to sin, indeed it's taken that way out of selfishness. I also think that it's often taken that way because grace isn't preached fully enough - in it's entirety. Grace is often taught merely as pardon of sin, which is part of the wholeness of grace, but is not nearly the full story. What's often missed is the Life that comes with grace - the very life of Christ. Pardon is great, but mere pardon doesn't give Life. If only people would realize the fullness of grace, I don't think we'd have to deal nearly as much with licentiousness. :)
I agree with you. Pardon without life is worthless.
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