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.”
By no means! Amen!! Jesus didn’t die that horrible death on a cross so that we could continue living in sin without guilt. He didn’t allow himself to be crucified on a cross and to take all our sin upon himself just to forgive us our sin so that we can escape hell and go to heaven when we die.
The reason he died was to put sin to death in our lives so that we would no longer live (walk) in sin, and so that we might walk with him in newness of life, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (Eph. 4:17-24).
Oh, and I love this question: “How can we who died to sin still live in it?” Exactly!! How can we? That is a very sensible and reasonable question. And, how can so many people be teaching that we can still walk in sin? And, how can so many people be following those lies, too?
For, our salvation from sin is not merely deliverance from hell. But it is deliverance from our slavery to sin. For, when we trust in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of our lives we are baptized (spiritually speaking) with Christ into his death, and his death was death to sin, not just forgiveness of sin.
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.”
We are united with Christ in death to sin. By God’s grace, through God-given faith in Jesus Christ, our old self is crucified with Christ so that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we are no longer enslaved to sin. For, this is why Jesus died, to free us from our addiction (bondage) to sin. So, we must consider ourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
So, how is that so many people today don’t get this? How is that so many preachers today are teaching that we don’t have to die to sin, but that we can keep on in our sin and still have heaven guaranteed us? How can people read this chapter of Romans 6 and still walk away believing in the cheap grace gospel?
For, the cheap grace gospel requires no death to sin and no living to God and to his righteousness. It requires no submission to Christ and his cross, and no walks of obedience to our Lord’s commands. It teaches that one can be “saved” and be bound for heaven, and they can still live in their sin.
But the whole purpose of Jesus’ death on that cross was that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. So, we are to leave our sinful lifestyles behind us, and we are to be changed of the Spirit of God in heart and mind, and now we are to walk in holiness according to the Spirit of God (Rom. 8:1-17; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; Eph. 4:17-24; Tit. 2:11-14).
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.”
So, again, how can anyone read this and walk away from it believing the cheap grace gospel? You literally have to ignore Romans 6 to believe that you can be saved from your sins, be bound for heaven, but that you can continue in your sinful addictions, and that God is just going to look the other way.
If we are saved from our sins, that means we died with Christ to sin, and if we died with Christ to sin, then sin should no longer reign in our bodies, in our flesh. We should no longer be under the power and control of sin and Satan, but we should now be operating under the power of God’s Spirit.
So, we should no longer be living to fulfill the lusts of our flesh. We should no longer be those who serve other gods, or who are still in slavery (addiction) to sin, for Jesus set us free! Sin should no longer be what we practice. It should not be our habit, our “go to” whenever we feel sad or angry or lonely or depressed.
So, in all practicality, this means that holiness and godliness should be what we practice, but not in the sense of a performance, but in the sense of our lifestyle which is given over to the Lord to live for him and to do his will, in his power and strength.
So, God’s grace is not free license to continue living in sin, only now without guilt. God’s grace, which brings salvation, instructs us to say “NO!” to ungodliness and fleshly lusts, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives while we wait for Jesus’ return (Tit. 2:11-14; cf. Eph. 4:17-24).
For, if we walk according to our flesh, and not according to the Spirit, we will die in our sins, not have eternal life with God (Rom. 8:1-17; Lu. 9:23-26).
The Kingdoms of Earth Pass Away
Lyrics by Henry R. Trickett, 1887
Music by James H. Fillmore, 1887
The kingdoms of earth pass away one by one,
But the kingdom of heaven remains;
It is built on a rock and the Lord is its King,
And forever and ever He reigns.
The tempest may rage and its anger acclaim,
Yea, the wind and the torrents may roar,
And the strong gates of hell may assail it in vain,
Still the kingdom shall stand ever more.
The kingdom of God is now open to all,
E’en the vilest may now enter in;
There’s a welcome for all who will turn to the Lord,
Full salvation and pardon for sin.
Chorus: It shall stand, It shall stand,
Forever and ever and ever,
It shall stand, It shall stand,
Forever and ever. Amen and Amen.
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