God’s Grace and One Sin

By Bill Cavender

A dangerous doctrine being taught by some brethren now is that the grace of God overlooks and winks at sins of ignorance and human weakness. The idea is we are always in grace once we obtain God’s grace in faith and obedience, and that even without repentance, confession and prayers for forgiveness, God’s grace is ever with us, overlooking our sins and failures (Acts 17:30, Gal. 5:1-4). One writer asks, “Will God’s child be lost forever for one sin of human weakness, ignorance or neglect?”

By reading the writings of some brethren today, one would think that they have had courses in Calvinism from Baptists or Presbyterians. Ideas as those expressed above are very, very close to Calvinism with it’s “irresistible grace” and “impossibility of apostasy” doctrines. I doubt not that we are witnessing a revival of Calvinism in and among a new, younger generation of preachers who are untaught in God’s word.

How many sins must one commit to bring God’s wrath upon him? Well, Nadab and Abihu offered strange fire once (Lev. 10:1-7). A sabbath-breaker sinned once (Num. 15:32-36). Achan sinned once (Jos. 7:1-26). Uzzah touched the ark once (2 Sam. 6:1-11). Moses smote the rock once and was denied entrance into Canaan (Num. 20:7-11, Psa. 106:33). Ananias and Sapphira sinned once (Acts 5:1-11). Simon sinned once and was severely rebuked by Peter (Acts 8:18-24). Peter sinned once and was publicly rebuked by Paul (Gal. 2:11-14). The fornicator at Corinth committed one kind of sin through “human weakness” and was disfellowshipped (1 Cor. 5:1-13). One only has to be guilty of offending one point of the law to be guilty of all (Jas. 2:10-11, Rom. 15:1-4, 1 Cor. 10:11-12).

We must repent of, confess and ask forgiveness of our sins (Jas. 5:16, 1 John 1:8-10, 2:1-2). This we should preach, rather than encouraging brethren in sin by the false doctrine of “always in grace.”

Truth Magazine XIX: 16, p. 253
February 27, 1975