Go and sin boldly

Recently I Tweeted this out:

“If Easter is not history, we must become cynics.” – Brennan Manning

This quote was taken from Brennan’s book, Ruthless Trust. As I recall (I don’t have the book with me right now), the point is that if the resurrection did not happen there is no hope for humanity.

BoldlyThere comes a point at which we must choose to believe the evidence we have. It is no good putting off the decision until there is no choice but to believe. God does not work that way. Believe me, I often wish he did work that way. It would be so much easier if we just had detailed instructions like a standard operating procedure to step us through the process.

One of the by-products of growing up in a legalistic system is that one can get frozen into inaction because the “right” thing to do is not obvious. When you live by rules, there is discomfort in any situation for which no rule has been established.

For those of us who claim belief in Jesus, times come when our claim to belief is tested. If the resurrection of Jesus is true, then I can allow myself to trust that God will work things out in the end. I can step out in faith that no matter the outcome, God is working things out for his good purpose.

If Easter is history, then even when I mess up (a regular occurrence), the resurrection shows me that my mess is not the final word. If God can take the travesty of the crucifixion and turn it into the means of our salvation, he can take my mistakes and use them for his glory.

The resurrection should free me from the bondage to rules and legalism. If I am seeking to please God by living in harmony with his command to love God and love others, then I am not likely to go far off track and even when I do, God can turn the situation (and me) around and provide a means of recovery.

I believe it was Martin Luther who said, “go and sin boldly.” The point is not that we are to intentionally sin, but that we cannot allow fear of sin to inhibit us from living life. Life remains a messy business and we will make mistakes and the brokenness inside of us will manifest itself. But the resurrection is evidence that all this will be conquered.

If the resurrection is history, the power of fear has been broken.

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Mark McIntyre

A follower of Jesus Christ who shares observations about how Scripture should impact the church and the world. Mark is the original author and editor of Attempts at Honesty.
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About Mark McIntyre

A follower of Jesus Christ who shares observations about how Scripture should impact the church and the world. Mark is the original author and editor of Attempts at Honesty.


  1. @Planting Potatoes Thanks spuds.

  2. @Paul D. Montoya Thanks Paul. We make a practice of sin, as you say. But we cannot let the fear of sinning keep us from stepping out. Perfectionism has no place in the church.

  3. The point is that we cannot let the fear of failure (sin) keep us from living life to the full.

  4. Planting Potatoes says:

    very good read Mark! I like your use of a Martin Luther quote….I think so many people have misunderstood what he was saying. It doesn’t mean we can just do what ever we want…but that we are covered, like you say, when we do mess up…therefore, we do have hope…..

  5. Dear Brother Mark, This could not be more true in our lives as Christian’s in a fallen world, than the world we live in today. Jesus called us to freedom, not to the bondage of sin in this world. HE is the only Perfect One. That’s why our LORD and Savior was sent to die on the cross so we could have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, the Righteous. He whom the Son sets free, is free indeed. Free from having to sin. Free freon the bondage sin causes us to hold on to without Christ. The one thing wee are taught is, do not use sin for an occasion to the flesh, otherwise grace is no longer grace. GOD does not want us to frustrate His grace, through wilfully sinning against Him, and that’s why He sent the Lamb of GOD Who takes away the sins of the world. Our Heavenly Father knows how sinful we can become, even with the Holy Spirit living in us. But when we grieve the heart of the Father, He wants us to run to the cross and confess our sins to re-establish fellowship with Him and go and sin no more. That means not to make a practice of sin. That’s how much He loves His children.

  6. Paul Unger says:

    This quote just does not resonate with me – never felt the sentiment that is expressed regarding fear of sin as an obstacle to living fully. I apologize for differing with Martin Luther (My Dad is a Lutheran btw) but don’t buy it nor see the quote as insightful reasoning – Sorry Martin – can’t give a thumb’s up on this one – I suppose one could attempt to glean many things from a statement but that does not give all “insights” credibility – nope!! It is not a deep, dark secret that sin of any kind deprives al living of true life but to walk in fear of such a thing is the product of the disorder of scrupulosity and not the healthy mental and emotional state of a balanced mind, heart and soul. Just the way I see it guys and gals with all due respect to the devout nature of Martin Luther.

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