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.”
What is Faith?
So, what is commonly being taught in the church gatherings today, though not in all, is that all that God requires of us is that we believe in Jesus Christ, God the Son, and then we have eternal life with God and our sins are forgiven. Is this true that faith is enough? Yes, or No?
Let’s examine that Scripturally. For one, when they say “believe,” what exactly do they mean? For I hear many of them say we just need to believe in Jesus but then they turn right around and say we don’t have to submit to him as Lord, and we don’t have to obey him or repent of our sins.
Is that really what God intended? Would our holy and righteous God who has always wanted people to be delivered from their slavery to sin so that they could walk in obedience to his commands all of a sudden change his mind and say it is okay for us to ignore him and to continue living in our sin?
Do the Scriptures even allude to such a thing? No! They don’t! And this is why we must read the Scriptures in their context. For “belief” in Jesus is divine persuasion (Jn 6:44). We don’t come to Jesus of our own accord. So, if this faith is from God, it will submit to him as Lord (owner-master).
So, is faith enough? Yes, if we have a true biblical understanding of what that means, and if we are applying that understanding to our lives in practice, of the Holy Spirit of God, led by the Spirit, and strengthened by his power. For, what did James say? “Even the demons believe, and they shudder.”
His point was/is that belief that is intellectual only is not enough to secure our salvation from sin and eternal life with God. James and Paul both taught a faith in Jesus Christ that resulted in dying with Christ to sin and living to Christ and to his righteousness – faith in action, as applied to our lives.
So, are we to continue in sin now that we are under grace? By no means!
Romans 6:5-7 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.”
No Longer Enslaved
So, why did Jesus Christ give his life up for us on that cross? Was it merely to take the punishment for our sin, to forgive us our sins, and to guarantee us eternal life with him in heaven? Is that really all there was to it? Many people are teaching that it was.
If we read the Scriptures book by book and verse by verse, we soon learn that isn’t all there is to it. We soon discover that Jesus died that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness, and that he died that we might no longer live for ourselves, but for him who gave his life up for us (1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:19-20; 2 Co 5:15; Eph 4:17-24; Tit 2:11-14).
We learn that our faith in Jesus Christ results in us dying with Christ to sin and us living to Christ and to his righteousness, and that if we don’t, that we don’t have genuine faith. For, if we walk (in conduct, in practice) according to our flesh, in sin, it doesn’t matter what we profess with our lips. We will not inherit eternal life with God, but we will die in our sins.
[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 8:1-17]
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.”
The Message of the Cross
This is the message of the cross. This is what true faith in Jesus Christ should produce in our lives. If we believe in Jesus with God-persuaded and God-ordained faith in Christ which submits to Christ as Lord, which dies with Christ to sin, and which lives to him and to his righteousness, we will no longer be enslaved to sin, but now we will be becoming slaves of God and of his righteousness, for Jesus set us free from our slavery to sin.
So, if anyone tells you that you can “believe” in Jesus Christ and have heaven guaranteed you but that you can keep on in your sin, and that you don’t have to obey our Lord’s commands (New Covenant), they are lying to you. For, the Scriptures do not teach that!
In fact, they teach that God’s grace instructs (trains, teaches) us to say “No!” to ungodliness and fleshly lusts and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives while we wait for Jesus’ soon return (Tit 2:11-14).
They teach us, too, that we should not have learned Christ the way many are teaching Christ and his gospel of salvation today. They say that the truth in Christ Jesus is that we are “to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness” (see Eph 4:17-24).
Romans 6:15-16, 20-23 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?”
“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.”
The Free Gift of God
Many people see the phrase “free gift of God” and they assume that they do nothing and that God does it all, and so they continue living in sin, doing whatever it is they want to do, and they ignore the Lord and his commands, while they convince themselves that heaven is guaranteed them.
But we have to look at what the “free gift” is. Read all of Romans 6 and it will become abundantly clear that he is NOT saying that we do NOTHING and that God does it all. The “free gift” is deliverance from our slavery to sin and it is a new life in Christ, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
When we believe in Jesus Christ with God-ordained faith, we die with Christ to sin and we are now free from our slavery to sin so that it no longer has control over us, and it is no longer what we obey. For if we obey sin, it will end in death (eternal death) no matter what we say we believe.
But if we are now slaves of God and of righteousness, and righteousness is what we obey, the fruit we get leads to sanctification, and its end is eternal life. For, the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Meaning? If we live to sin, we are going to die in our sins. We will not inherit eternal life with God, no matter what we profess with our lips. But if we live to God and to his righteousness, in his power and strength, according to his will and purpose, then we will have eternal life with God.
[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 14:23-24; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10, 19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Tit 2:11-14]
More Than Words
Nuno Bettencourt / Gary F. Cherone
Saying I love you
Is not the words I want to hear from you
It’s not that I want you
Not to say, but if you only knew
How easy it would be to show me how you feel…
Hold me close don’t ever let me go
More than words is all you have to do to make it real
Then you wouldn’t have to say that you love me
Cos I’d already know