Christians can strain the relationship with God through our sin. But if we are repentant, we don’t need to fear that we will be removed from God’s family.
Christians all love the idea of being forgiven. We love to sing of our sins being paid for and know how kind our God has been to us. That is 100% correct. If we trust in Jesus, we are secure knowing that Jesus paid our penalty for us.
This has led many to struggle to understand why Christians should keep God’s law or try to deal with sin. After all, logically, if we are forgiven by what Jesus has done, then our future is secure. It doesn’t depend on us, we are constantly told, it all depends on Jesus. So this should mean, we reason, that we can live however we want. God loves us. Why worry about sin and law at all?
The idea that we can live however we want because of God’s grace is not a new one. Paul deals with it at length in Romans, for example, way back in the first century after Jesus. And in our modern individualistic age, we are very tempted to follow the same line of reasoning. We’re saved by grace, so that means I can live how I want and I am still forgiven!
I think the logic of adoption helps us a great deal when it comes to understanding why how we live as Christians is so important. Let me explain.
Adoption is when a couple decide to accept a child into their family. That child is not theirs genetically, but usually due to some significant problems in their biological family, they are looking for a safe place to belong. When this child is adopted, it is not due to their worthiness. It is due to the gracious act of their new parents. They have a new legal status due to what their parents have done. That’s what Jesus has done for us. When we come to trust in Jesus, we then have a different status before God, and we are part of God’s family. We have that status by grace alone.