Sunday night I mentioned a guy named Rasputin. Take a look. Real pretty hugh. What is worse than his outward appearance is his wicked heart. He was highly controversial and influential monk in St. Petersburg during the early part of the 20th century. He had a small but pivotal role in the fall of the Romanov dyansty and the victory of the Bolsheviks which led to the formation of the Soviet Union.
Ok, so enough of the history lesson. Why bring him up again…
Rasputin taught that one of the keys to holiness was to sin, a lot. He held that, since those who sin the most require the most forgiveness, a sinner who continues to sin with abandon enjoys, each time he repents, more of God’s forgiving grace than an ordinary sinner (FF Bruce). Sounds way out there, doesn’t it.
Apparently not though, because Paul anticipated Rasputins heresy long before Rasputin was a blight to Russian history. Paul says in Romans 6:1-4 “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the
dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life” ESV
While we experience God’s grace in forgiveness, we may not presume upon it by sinning with such a cavalier attitude. Moreover, Rasputin neglects to understand that living a righteous life can only be done by God’s grace. Want to see grace abound? Then abound in good works which God has graciously prepared ahead of time for us to do!