We are adults, we have the right to do whatever we want and we don’t want anyone to judge us. Unfortunately, this popular attitude is not the one that a child of God should have, for at least two reasons.
Being a child of God gives us a life filled with divine promises, amazing blessings and above all, the constant presence of the One that has no limit. But this privilege is also accompanied by several rules. It’s a bit like a prince: he enjoys several privileges, but his position also requires him to follow certain rules related to this function.
Some Christians believe that since they are saved by grace, they have no more laws to follow. Our salvation is indeed granted to us by grace, nothing else can save us except the blood of Christ. “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”(Eph 2.8-9 ESV)
We don’t follow laws TO be saved, but we follow laws BECAUSE we are saved. “Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law.”(Romans 3.31 ESV) When we are saved, we want to please God in recognition of what Christ has done for us. He is our hero and we want to imitate him. We recognize that our way of doing things did not lead us down a good path so we are grateful that He has put us back on the path that He wants us to follow. “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” (John 14.15 ESV)
It would be ridiculous to say, “Oh! Since I am under grace, and the law no longer applies to me, I can kill someone without condemnation!” So, if this one law remains obvious to the children of God, they are all. We can’t afford to be adulterous or immoral just because we live under grace. “But as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct.” (1 Peter 1:15 ESV)
Yes, it will make single people that are very different from those who are in the world. (See this other article on this subject.) But we are supposed to be different! “You shall be holy to me, for I the Lord am holy and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be mine.”(Leviticus 20.26 ESV)
First and foremost, we must not envy the conduct of the unsaved, because their actions lead them to eternal death. “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”(Romans 6:23 ESV) God does not give us rules to follow only to make our lives difficult. It imposes limits to protect us! It’s to our advantage to follow them!
Secondly, we should be different because we have the antidote to eternal death. “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.”(Matt 5.13 ESV) If we are exactly like those who are not saved, then why would they turn to us to find Jesus? Would you go to a dentist who has teeth covered with a thick layer of tartar and rotten black with cavities? Even if he has all the necessary knowledge, it would be difficult for us to trust someone who does not practice what he recommends to others.
We all know it very well: people do not listen to what we tell them; they look at what we do. Whether you like it or not, people are watching you, examining you. They want to see if what you preach really works; if it is really worth giving their life to God. So stand out! “But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints.” (Ephesians 5.3 ESV) By following the narrow path, not only will you guard yourself against the evil consequences of sin, but who knows, you may also allow a skeptical person to give his heart to Christ.