“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 8:1-2)
What’s a license?
A license entails a certain act encouraged to be carried out within a certain realm with specific restraints and limited support from an authority.
When some folks first heard “total forgiveness of past, present and future sins”, they first argue that it is a license to sin. They usually argue that this means that now “they can do whatever they want.”
Jesus never said to go and sin. That would be like a doctor saying go and get sick, or a judge saying to go and get in more trouble with the law.
Jesus never told anyone to go and do whatever they want either. Logically, nobody can truly do whatever he or she wants. Do you want to get out of debts? Do you want to live on the moon? People, in general, cannot do whatever they want. They can try, but will never succeed because by the time they reach whatever they once wanted, they no longer want it.
It is a mistake to do anything against your own conscience, not being fully at peace with even their own selves. “Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.” (Romans 14:23)
“If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.” (James 4:17)
Faith should be our motive to do anything, not doubt. Joy should be our motive to do anything, not fear. Love should be our motive to do anything, not hate.
Forgiveness of our sins is a major relief. It means that we don’t have to condemn ourselves anymore if we ever sin. Instead, because of Jesus, we should be at peace with ourselves because God is no longer counting our sins against us.
“God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them” (2 Corinthians 5:19)
God is not telling us to go ahead and sin, because with sin comes suffering. He’s leading to joy, Jesus. The joy we can have even in the midst of our sufferings. Don’t we ever find ourselves suffering even if we don’t lift a finger? What God tells us through the gospel is that He is our strength to do anything good, not our human efforts.
God is our strength to have faith in Christ.
There’s joy in the “already-happened” forgiveness of our sins because God by His Spirit is more than ready to teach us how to move forward. And He is able to make us stand.
“To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand.” (Romans 14:4)
Because of Jesus, we don’t have a license to sin, but a waiver from being judged by God for our sins.