The Mad Monk’s Gospel
Apr 26, 2014 1303
By Levi James
The gospel is so inconceivable, it is open to a false inference: that if God’s grave is so limitless, then persons risk nothing by continuing in evils of their choosing. But the beauty of God’s love should never be edited down just because there are those who would claim it as licence for their perversity.
Rasputin, the wild Russian monk was a famous example of this wicked misappropriation of the gospel. He taught that repeated sinful indulgence would enable offenders to experience even more bountiful volumes of God’s mercy. The more enthusiastic the sinner, the more grace to be enjoyed.
Paul repudiates the libertine. Not with legalism (many have fallen into that trap), but by reiterating the reality of the believers relationship with the living Christ. Christ and his people are united. Together they are the temple of the Holy Spirit ([tippy title=”1 Cor. 6:19″ class=”myclass” showheader=”true” href=”http://www.biblestudytools.com/tniv/1-corinthians/6-19.html” width=”auto” height=”auto”]19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;[/tippy]). In God’s view of things, believers shared in the death of his Son. This event brought to an end their bondage to evil. Similarly Christ’s resurrection was the beginning of a new life for them. They are pictured as “alive to God” ([tippy title=”Rom. 6:10,11″ class=”myclass” showheader=”true” href=”http://www.biblestudytools.com/tniv/romans/passage.aspx?q=romans+6:10-11″ width=”auto” height=”auto”]10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. 11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.[/tippy]).
Reckless abandonment to the dictates of appetite is unthinkable given the reality of the new relationship to God, which believers share with Jesus. It is a union as real and perfect as Christ’s own relation to his father. Therefore Rasputin’s reasoning is absurd; it does not apply. Since he does not know God and has not experience the glory of forgiveness and the intimacy of God’s kindness, he thinks that grace him his unbridled lusts. But grace is kinder; it sets the sinner free from the captivity of his own impulses by means of bondage to One who is infinitely loving and unendingly merciful. Grace does not embolden persons in evil—because it is grace; because it is GOD’S grace.
“Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means!” ([tippy title=”Romans 6:2″ class=”myclass” showheader=”true” href=”http://www.biblestudytools.com/tniv/romans/6-2.html” width=”auto” height=”auto”]2 By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?[/tippy]).