“Here I am riding on me best ship as it’s black sails flap in the ocean breeze. As I am trying to pick me next target of pillage I often think, if only I had a legal pass issued by the King that would give me free reign to do what I want. I’d call it a Grace Pass or better yet a license to sin! Aye, that’d be perfect! I could pillage and plunder to my heart’s content without any fear of repercussion thanks to the grace pass. I heard a fellow privateer say that they are handing out these grace passes for free! FREE! Yo Ho what a yarn. Where’s the fun in looting something for free? As soon as I get my paws on one of these yon passes if they beein real, I’ll be pootin’ in silk.”
-The Grace Pirate
You may be thinking to yourself, “Grace Pirate? I have never heard of such a thing.”
Almost every time the true un-tampered, un-fundy’d with form of grace is presented to a group of people within an ear shot of the church parking lot there are sure to be some who object to this idea of unmerited favor from God. “Wait, you mean to suggest that God will love you without regard for your love for him or without the assistance of the intense level of your seriously sorry heart that promises to do better?” Some will object to it right away, citing all kinds of verses in the Bible that command us to be holy, perfect, obedient, righteous, keepers of the Law. The fact that they even suggest that these are possible, attainable goals boggles the mind of anyone who has been broken by God’s Law…you know…God’s Law and not a cheap version of it that fools us to think that God’s Law is lesser in value and lesser in demand than it really is so that we can might try and pull our sin fatbody’s over its wall to conquer it. (For Fatbody reference ask a Marine or watch Full Metal Jacket…warning…NSFFS Not Safe For Fundy Souls).
There is almost always one in the crowd that will suggest that the message of grace will create “Grace Pirates.” True, they may not refer to this fictional creature by that name but they do refer to a creature that behaves just like him. A Grace Pirate is the fictional potential respondent to God’s grace who will now look at his new found freedom in grace as a license to now sin and use grace to do whatever they want. He or she is a Pirate with a sack o’ grace over their shoulder that will allow them to walk through ramparts and ports to receive a police escort after saying “Sorry, Grace Pirate on deck. Now where are all yar booty be?”
“Oh, I can now go rape, rob, pillage, plunder, murder all I want now because GRACE! Lolz!” – Grace Pirate
Please correct me If I am wrong but I have never known or met anyone who has ever known a small understanding of what God’s grace has done for them and then think “YAYS it is TAHM to SEEYAN!”
Then there are those who may agree and affirm every topic, preaching and message of grace. They may even be self-professing adherents to THE doctrines of Grace, but one glance at their sermons or tweets, or what really fires them up, will reveal that they still hold to the concept that works are what is needed in order to concrete and hold fast to the righteousness that we need or worse, they seem to be suggesting that grace covers them but does not cover you. They will rail against the need for obedience, the need for strong Christians, the need for macho preachers, the need for powerful preachers to preach powerfully from the precious pulpit, the need for a progressive holiness in the believer. All of which will make any person who is serious with themselves and serious with God’s Law become just as panicked as Martin Luther was before it was revealed to him that the “righteous shall live by faith.”
Then there are those of us who have been hunted down and conquered by the Hound of Heaven. Minding our own business or simply trying to survive our just and righteous prison cell that the Law confined us in, grace came and knocked us off our high horse or earth quaked our cell door open. Those of us who have experienced or have ever began to taste God’s one way love laughs at the thought of Saul getting knocked off his horse so hard it changed his name to Paul. Why? Because it is what happened to us. Grace came and mule kicked us blind to the hope in self salvation and blind to the idea that “everything is riding on me.” Do we run back to the lie of self performancism? Yes, daily. But it is God’s grace again that shows us the full measure of God’s Law, the full wrath for our failure to fulfill it, the full consuming of the cup of God’s wrath by Jesus on the cross as He turned it upside down declaring it is finished. All of which leads us again to the fountain of grace over and over again where we jump in without getting into our bathing suits, laughing, splashing and quite honestly having a ball doing it.
We laugh at the thought of the Grace Pirate. Why? Because there is no such thing. Anyone who claims that they have God’s grace and use it to sin is not referring to God’s grace. As if a Pirate ever needed grace to feel ok about being a Pirate or doing Pirate things. You see, there were instances where Kings may have given a pardon or even a commission to Pirates to do Pirate things or to be a Pirate to the enemy in time of war. But, once this was understood, the Pirate was no longer really a Pirate was he? This analogy may not be perfect but I will try my best.
When God loves to give grace to people, Pirates are the only kind of people there are. But when God freely gives a Pirate grace…the Pirate is no longer deemed a pirate but someone who has received a commission from the King. Sure they may do Pirate things still…but they know that because they have been deemed “not a Pirate” by the King, they are able to carry on the mission that the King has given to them. Still 100% Pirate but 100% Deemed “not a Pirate” by the King. Sounds a lot like Simul Iustus et Peccator.
The good news about grace is that once it starts to sink in that because of who Jesus is and what He has done for you, that His perfect life is offered to you so that your crap effort at life won’t be counted against you because it has been counted against Jesus on the cross, all for God’s glory and His love for you, sinner you, then well…I am willing to bet that grace looks a little bit different to you than it does to the Grace Pirate.
When you realize that you now don’t “have to do anything” to earn God’s favor and love because God’s favor and love is already yours…I am also willing to bet that your “want to do’s” may look a little bit different than the “want to do’s” of the Grace Pirate.
“What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 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. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace. What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification. For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 6
My Son and I Dressed Up like Pirates (Yes we like Pirates, YARR)