“Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?”
Sounds like a silly question, doesn’t it? Who would think it’s good thing to sin? I mean sin a lot! So, when you sin God gives you more grace.
It is actually a serious question raised by the apostle Paul in the book of Romans. And he gives a serious answer.
As we noted in an earlier post, Paul condemned the Gentile world in Romans 1:18-32 for their willful ignorance of God. Their ingratitude. Their idolatry. Their insolence. And their gross immorality.
But in chapter two he turns to the Jew and says you are no better! You, too, have rejected God! So, he concluded in chapter three that “all have sinned.”
In chapters four and five Paul gives the answer to the sin problem. It’s Jesus! Through the gift of God’s grace, we can be justified and receive redemption through one man–Jesus Christ (Rom. 3:24; 4:1-16; 5:12-17).
Now Paul anticipates the argument. His readers may reason this way. If man’s sin results in God’s grace, let’s sin more so we can receive more grace!
Paul’s answer? Absolutely not!
Then he reminds them of how and why they were made free from sin.
Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. (Rom 6:3-10).
Shall we continue in sin?
(1) NO! You are dead to sin.
How? Because when baptized, you were immersed into a new relationship. With Christ. With him who loves us and died for us. We were buried into his death. As He died, we died to sin. And we were “washed in His blood” (Rev. 1:5). And that gives assurance.
(2) NO! You are alive with Christ.
Christ died, but was raised. We died to sin, but were raised. Christ is alive. We are alive. We enjoy life in all is fullness because of Jesus. And that supplies joy.
(3) NO! You are not Satan’s sin slave.
He doesn’t own us. We don’t have to listen to him. He can only harm us if we give him permission. His power is limited. Why? Because of the power of Christ. Jesus said, “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (Jn 8:32). Thanks be to God, we’re free. And that provides peace.
(4) NO! You are free from death’s dominion.
Since we are not sin’s slave, death doesn’t control us. It has no power over us. It doesn’t frighten us. We are not manipulated by Satan or his minions. We know Jesus is the resurrection and the life. And that offers hope.
God does not want us to make excuses for our sins. To continue the practice of sin. To live in sin. To wallow in sin. To make sin our lifestyle.
Will we fall short and commit sin? Yes! But the beloved John says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
And so, the apostle of love exhorts us to obey God’s Word with this exhortation:
“We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: 6 Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.” (I John 2:3-6)
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman