Continue in Sin?
Romans 6:1-4 ESV
“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.”
A famous preacher and author, Max Lucado, once gave a sermon on “insurance,” where he compared God’s grace to the car insurance he bought so that he could keep on driving recklessly (1).
So, the message that he gave was that we could accept God’s grace into our lives, and then we could keep on in our sinful practices now without guilt, and without fear of punishment, because Jesus paid it all. But, that is a misrepresentation of God’s grace to us.
For, God’s grace does not liberate us so we can go on sinning without guilt. His grace delivers us out of our prisons of sin, and it empowers us to live holy and godly lives in Christ’s righteousness (Tit. 2:11-14; 1 Jn. 1:5-9).
Old Self Crucified
Romans 6:5-11 ESV
“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.”
When we believe in Jesus Christ, with God-given faith, our old self is put to death with him, but not just so we can escape hell and so we can go to heaven when we die. But, it was so we would no longer be enslaved to sin; so we would no longer be under the control of sin and of Satan.
For, Jesus didn’t die that painful death on a cross just to forgive us our sins so we would not have to face punishment for our sin, as some would have you believe. He died to eradicate sin from our lives. It is his purpose that we would not sin. Yet, he knows we might, but it isn’t like we lose our salvation if we do sin (1 Jn. 2:1-2).
Yet, his grace to us is never to be used as license to continue on in willful, habitual, and premeditated sin against God. For, he says that we know that we have come to know Jesus if we keep (obey) his commandments. He says that if we say that we know him, but we don’t keep (obey) his commandments, as a matter of course, that we are liars (1 Jn. 2:3-6).
Sin Has No Dominion
Romans 6:12-14 ESV
“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.”
Again, the purpose of our salvation is that sin would no longer reign (rule) in our bodies, making us obey its evil desires. So, we are not to present our bodies, which includes our eyes, our ears and our minds, as instruments for unrighteousness.
We are not to fill our minds with the junk and with the filth of this world via TV, movies, social media, the internet, music, and games and the like. And, it doesn’t have to be something considered gross immorality, either, that we might be ingesting. But, it can be light flirtations with evil, via suggestive material, or light nudity, or hints of adultery, or romantic affairs.
So, if Jesus truly did deliver us out of darkness, and if he did truly bring us into his light, then it should be evident by how we live our lives. We shouldn’t be playing around with sin, with immorality, or with the temptations of our flesh. But, our lives should be given over to God, dedicated to walking in his truth and righteousness, in submission to him, and under his power, and in his strength.
Romans 6:15-19 ESV
“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.”
Absolutely! Our salvation from sin is not “fire insurance” so that we can now keep on living recklessly without fear of retribution. And, we really need to get this next part, too, because too many people have a false perception of our salvation from sin.
If we are slaves to sin, meaning we habitually repeat and obey the same sinful patterns over and over again, without true repentance, then it leads to death, not to eternal life with God in heaven (Gal. 5:16-21; Gal. 6:7-8).
But, if we obey obedience, i.e. if we walk according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh; and if we walk in the Light as God is in the Light; and we walk in obedience to our Lord, as a matter of practice; and daily we die to sin and self; and we follow (obey) our Lord wherever he leads us, then it leads to righteousness which then leads to sanctification and to eternal life with God (Rom. 8:1-17; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; 1 Jn. 2:3-6; Lu. 9:23-26; Jn. 10:27).
Slaves of God
Romans 6:20-23 ESV
“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.”
I remember the first time I read v. 20 here, and I really understood what it was saying. It was one of those “wow” moments for me. If we are walking in sin, according to our flesh, as a matter of habit, willingly, we are not only still living in slavery to sin, but we are free from the control of righteousness over our lives. Christ’s righteousness has no power over our lives.
So, the bottom line here is that we are either slaves to sin or we are slaves to righteousness. We can’t serve two masters. It doesn’t mean we will never sin again, if we are slaves to righteousness, but that sin no longer has dominion over our lives; we are no longer under its control, that we live to fulfill our fleshly and worldly passions and desires.
So, salvation from sin is not just being delivered from the punishment of sin and being rewarded with eternal life with God. It means that God is now our owner-master, and our lives are now to be for his honor, praise and glory. And, it means we are to now be slaves (bond-servants) of him and of his righteousness, to live our lives for him, and to do what he desires of us.
For, if we continue on a sinful course, it will end in death, not in life eternal with God. But, if we live as slaves of God and of his righteousness, the fruit of that walk of faith leads to sanctification, and its end is eternal life with God.
For the wages (payment) for living in sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus, our Lord. So, we must read this verse in context, not out of context, for that “free gift” is not freedom to continue living in sin without guilt. That free gift is deliverance from our bondage to sin, and it is empowerment of God to be slaves of his righteousness, which ends in eternal life with God.
So, don’t listen to the lies. If you live to sin, you will die in your sins. But, if you live to God, in truth, you will have eternal life with God. So, obey the truth (Rom. 8:1-17; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; Gal. 6:7-8; Rom. 2:6-8; 2 Co. 5:10; Gal. 5:16-21; Eph. 5:3-6).
An Original Work / August 29, 2018
Your bond is broken
With your Lord and Savior
And, your testimony is
Separate from Him.
Your words not matching
Your actions today.
Repent of your sin and
Bow down and pray.
Live what you testify
In truth always.
Purity’s lacking in
Your life and witness,
For you profess one thing,
But other you do.
Not moral, spiritual.
Still of the flesh.
Not living in truth to
What you confess.
Lying about it
Puts you in a mess.
Living a lie is your practice,
‘tis true of you.
Masquerade righteousness –
None of it true.
Your heart is not given
To your Lord God.
Because of how you live,
You are a fraud.
Turn from your sin and
Give your life to God.
(1) Max Lucado Insurance Letter http://www.sermonillustrator.org/illustrator/sermon6/cancelled_insurance.htm