Behavior and Grace
by Angie Turner

I've noticed that most of the exhortations in the Bible regarding behavior were usually in the context of a contrast: Before Christ, you did this. Now that you are in Christ, now that the very essence of who you are has changed... live according to truth.

Notice with the man who was sexually immoral with his father’s wife in 1 Corinthians 5: Paul did not say he wasn't saved or had lost his salvation. He didn't say it when he was admonishing the Corinthians for having sex with temple prostitutes (6:15–20). He did not serve up condemnation. Instead he reminded them of who they are now in Christ. He reminded them that they are not who they once were, even though they were ACTING like it.

In 2 Corinthians 1:24, Paul tells them that he did not have dominion over their faith but were fellow workers for their joy. That doesn't sound like someone who is judging and condemning. He desires to see them grow in Christ for their benefit, reminding them of all they've received from Christ and the truth of who they really are.

When we slip into sinful actions, we're actually responding to a lie about ourselves. We are no longer slaves to our sinful selves. That dude is dead… so when we live like he isn't, we're living a lie. We don't live in response to sin any longer, but in response to God. Paul, in Romans 3:20 says that it is the law that makes us focus on sin. But now a righteousness apart from the law (apart from focusing on sin in order to control it) has been made known - a righteousness that is through faith in Jesus Christ.

Copyright © 2003 Angie Turner



Copyright © 2001-2008 
Living Covenant Ministries International