A Jagged Contention: A License to Sin?

Grace has the power of the mallet. Every other prong and heavy-lifting device that seeks to change people is an expression of law and accomplishes the opposite of what it intends. People fear that grace will give permission to be bad. This is the classic fear: that grace will issue in a license—“007”—to do whatever you want, without consequences.

Yet that never happens! In fact, the opposite happens. When you treat people gracefully, they always end up doing the right thing. It comes naturally. Their righteousness grows like fruit, as Jesus predicted. (Mark 4:20; Luke 6:43-45; 8:15; John 15:5)

– Paul F. M. Zahl, Grace in Practice: A Theology of Everyday Life. pg. 73


What do you make of Zahl’s analysis? Is it always true that when you treat people gracefully they will end up doing the right thing? Or, do sinner/saints have times in which they sin in response to grace?

Share your thoughts in the comments below