Is God’s Grace a License to Sin? Many people accuse grace preachers of encouraging sin. Does the Gospel of Grace lead to lawlessness? “Antinomianism” is a word originally coined by Martin Luther during the Reformation to describe those who live in lawlessness or are against the Law. The word is made up of two Greek words, “anti” which means “against,” and “nomia,” which means “law.”
For every mile of road, there are two miles of ditch. On one side of the grace road lies legalism, on the other side of the road are those who see grace as an excuse to sin. And that is the major criticism of the grace message: grace is being used as an excuse, a license, a reason to sin.
* One of my friends interned at a church where the pastor took his entire staff to a local bar and bought them all alcohol just to prove they were under grace.
* I recently heard a television preacher excuse his adultery by saying he was living under God’s grace.
* Another preacher decided it was acceptable to watch pornography on his computer because God was “going to forgive him.”
*The son of a well-known preacher published a book about grace that supports homosexual marriage.
Does grace allow us to sin?
Grace preachers are often accused of allowing people to sin. This accusation is absolutely false. No one who truly preaches grace is saying that it is all right to sin or giving people permission to do wrong. Yet, the accusations continue. Even Paul was accused of encouraging people to sin. You are not really preaching grace until you face the same accusations Paul encountered.
Look at how Paul responded to these accusations. He brought balance to the issue by emphasizing that he was not condoning a sinful lifestyle: “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?” (Romans 6:1-2). Paul continues, “Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts…For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace” (Romans 6:12-14). Paul goes on to repeat his original assertion: “What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not!” (Romans 6:15). In the book of Galatians he sings the same tune: “For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh…” (Galatians 5:13).